for this game

Drury, Lundqvist help Rangers continue home dominance vs. Capitals

Nov 2, 2007 - 3:48 AM
By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) - The New York Rangers still are looking for goals, but at least they finally have a winning streak.

Chris Drury scored 6:45 into the second period and Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves as the Rangers inched closer to the .500 mark with a 2-0 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

Last in the NHL with just 21 goals, the Rangers have struggled to consistently find the net and, as a result, had yet to put together consecutive victories until improving to 3-1-0 on a six-game homestand. They needed two power-play goals in the third period to record a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay on Monday and have been held to two tallies or fewer in eight of their first 11 contests.

One of the instances in which they managed three goals was an October 12 meeting with Washington. New York scored three times on the man advantage en route to a 3-1 win in that one but came into this contest just 2-4-1 in its previous seven, scoring just 10 times in that span.

Rangers coach Tom Renney credited Drury's leadership abilities for helping the team battle through its scoring funk.

"There really is a care and a desire to succeed together and protect each other as we kind of fight through this," Renney said. "Chris has done that in a very quiet, professional way, and what it does is, it translates to his teammates to (play) the same level of hockey on the ice."

"We've kind of bounced back from a tough start," Drury added. "Hopefully, we've learned a lot in October, and we are looking for better things in November."

After not getting a shot in the first nine-plus minutes of the game and only seven in a scoreless first period, the Rangers began to control play in the second. They had the first four shots but were kept off the scoreboard as goaltender Olaf Kolzig stopped Brendan Shanahan on a breakaway, dived to rob Drury of a goal and got his glove on a point-blank attempt by captain Jaromir Jagr.

The Rangers finally broke through moments after Shanahan and Drury failed to execute a give-and-go near the doorstep. Shanahan was able to intercept a clearing attempt and dished the puck to Marc Staal.

Drury parked himself in front of Kolzig and tipped the rookie defenseman's blast from the left point for a 1-0 lead. It was Drury's second goal as a Ranger and first since scoring the game-winner in the season opener against the Florida Panthers on October 4.

"It was a nice play by Shanny," Drury said. "He got it back to Marc and I was just in the right place, and I was able to get a tip on it."

The assist was the first career point for Staal, who was drafted 12th overall in 2005.

"It's been a few games," the 20-year-old said. "When you get the first point, it feels pretty good. It was a great tip by Drury. It was a lot of fun."

Drury also set up New York's second goal, which was scored during a 5-on-3 advantage with 10:26 remaining in the contest.

Defenseman Michal Rozsival finished the play when he converted Scott Gomez's cross-crease pass from the left side of the crease. The Rangers nearly scored again on the power play, but Kolzig denied Petr Prucha.

Lundqvist continued his stellar play for the Rangers as he recorded 10 saves in each of the first two periods and 11 in the third. It was the Swede's third shutout of the season and 10th career.

"I feel good," said Lundqvist, who has played in each of New York's 12 games this season. "I feel in great shape. It's all about confidence, too, and I get confidence from the way the team is playing. I feel like we're in more control in a lot of games this year than last year. Even though we haven't got the wins, we've been playing a solid hockey game."

Lundqvist's shutout was New York's first against Washington since December 18, 1995. Since allowing three goals in the second period of Saturday's loss to Toronto, the netminder has yielded just a penalty-shot tally by Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier in two games.

"I think for any team, your goaltender always gives you a chance to win," Shanahan said. "He's certainly been great from the very start of the season. Tonight, he was the first star and he kept us in the game in the first period. He played great throughout, but in the first period, it was really just him."

In that first period, Lundqvist made two nice saves on Capitals star Alex Ovechkin. He robbed former teammate Michael Nylander and defenseman Brian Pothier in a 28-second span in the middle session and ended the period with consecutive stops on Matt Pettinger.

During a four-minute power play for Washington late in the third, Lundqvist made consecutive saves on blue-liner Mike Green and Viktor Kozlov to preserve the shutout.

"We had good chances in the first and in the third. He played unbelievable," Ovechkin said of Lundqvist. "He won the game tonight for the Rangers."

"I can't complain about what we were doing," Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said. "Viktor had eight shots on goal. We had lots of scoring chances. I don't know what the final tallies are, but we certainly had enough not to be shut out."

Kolzig finished with 26 saves for Washington, which has dropped its last seven visits to Madison Square Garden dating to January 28, 2004. He also withstood a collision with Drury and Pettinger at 10:53 of the opening period.

The Capitals were blanked for the first time this season and have dropped seven of their last nine games since opening the campaign with three straight wins.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 0
    NY RANGERS 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NYR - CHRIS DRURY 2 (MARC STAAL, BRENDAN SHANAHAN) 6:45
    3RD PRD: NYR - (PP) MICHAL ROZSIVAL 3 (SCOTT GOMEZ, CHRIS DRURY) 9:34
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: WAS - 0 OF 4, NYR - 1 OF 3.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST

    Nov 1 9:23 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 0
    NY RANGERS 0 1 1 2 END OF THE 3RD
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NYR - CHRIS DRURY 2 (MARC STAAL, BRENDAN SHANAHAN) 6:45
    3RD PRD: NYR - (PP) MICHAL ROZSIVAL 3 (SCOTT GOMEZ, CHRIS DRURY) 9:34
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----


    Nov 1 9:23 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    NY RANGERS 2
    3RD PRD: NYR - (PP) MICHAL ROZSIVAL 3 (SCOTT GOMEZ, CHRIS DRURY) 9:34
    (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Capitals vs. RangersNov 1 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0
    NY RANGERS 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NYR - CHRIS DRURY 2 (MARC STAAL, BRENDAN SHANAHAN) 6:45
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 11 9 20
    NYR 7 11 18
    GOALIES: WAS - OLA

    Nov 1 8:30 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    NY RANGERS 1
    2ND PRD: NYR - CHRIS DRURY 2 (MARC STAAL, BRENDAN SHANAHAN) 6:45

    Capitals vs. RangersNov 1 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0
    NY RANGERS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 11 11
    NYR 7 7
    GOALIES: WAS - OLAF KOLZIG
    NYR - HENRIK LUNDQVIST

    Nov 1 7:41 PM