for this game

Gomez helps lead Rangers past Penguins

Nov 9, 2007 - 4:16 AM
By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- A dominant first period set the tone for another home win for the New York Rangers.

Scott Gomez and defenseman Michal Rozsival scored in the opening period as the Rangers extended their home winning streak to five games with a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

Sean Avery also scored a power-play goal for New York, which went 2-for-7 with the man advantage and netted its highest amount of tallies since opening the season with five against Florida. Rookie Brandon Dubinsky capped the scoring for the Rangers with his first career goal early in the third.

"Juggernaut," Rangers coach Tom Renney said, describing his team's offensive outburst. "That's what we were saying on the bench. It was a huge night for us."

"It felt pretty good," Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist added. "It felt weird. It was great to see our power play step up today and score some big goals. It was a big game."

The Rangers improved to 8-2-0 at home and won for the fifth time in six games overall to go above .500 (8-7-1) for the second time in three days. They did so with a second straight 22-shot first period on home ice.

On Monday, New York had 22 of its season-high 45 shots on goal in the first but only scored once. In this one, it doubled that total as Gomez and Rozsival tallied nearly 10 minutes apart.

"That's the style we want," Gomez said. "I think we played good enough, we stuck with it and I think Tom and the coaches have done a great job of getting us prepared, and it's showing. The first period, especially at home, we've got to take care of our home ice. Those starts are important."

The Rangers came into the game with a league-low 27 goals, and the opening 20 minutes marked just the fifth time this season they scored at least two goals in a period. They had four in the home opener against Florida on October 4, three first-period power-play tallies against Washington on October 12, three in the third at Atlanta on October 18 and two third-period scores vs. Tampa Bay on October 29.

"They definitely put some pressure on us and I don't think we did a good job with our transition game," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "We weren't getting pucks behind them, and they have a great offense. They did take it to us. I don't know about (22 shots), but they took it to us there."

Lundqvist made his 16th straight start and made 13 of his 26 saves in the third period.

Defenseman Sergei Gonchar scored the first goal for Pittsburgh and also set up Mark Recchi's power-play tally. Crosby recorded an assist, extending his points streak to a career-high 15 games.

The Penguins almost matched their worst offensive period of the season as they had six shots - one shy of their season low - in the first. They did not get their 10th shot until nearly eight minutes into the second and had just 14 through 40 minutes.

New York, which had generated one goal or less in its previous 15 periods, struck when it caught goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury out of position.

Fleury had committed to playing Avery's shot, but the left wing's wrister went wide of the net and caromed off the end boards to Gomez. Fleury had ample time to position himself but could not get to Gomez's slap shot from just below the right faceoff circle with 12:25 remaining in the first.

"Early on in the season, that bounces off four guys, maybe hits the post," said Gomez, who has two goals in his last five games. "But the breaks are coming now."

Pittsburgh evened it nearly four minutes later as Gonchar atoned for getting beaten by Gomez. After the Rangers had trouble clearing their own end, Gonchar took a pass from Crosby and beat Lundqvist to the stick side with a slap shot through traffic from the right point.

Like they did on Monday, the Rangers used a late goal to take the lead as they capitalized on a double-minor to Gary Roberts and scored a power-play goal with 2:34 remaining.

Captain Jaromir Jagr started the play in the right corner with a feed to Gomez in the slot. Gomez then whipped a centering pass to Rozsival, who had plenty of time to score his fourth goal of the season.

Avery made it 3-1 just six seconds into New York's fourth power play, when he beat Fleury with a slap shot from inside the right circle. It was the first goal of the campaign for Avery, who returned Saturday from a shoulder injury and

"He's a good player," said Renney of Avery, who also drew the double-minor on Roberts. "He feels that he can contribute in a number of different ways, and that's really important that he feels that way."

"I'm guess I'm kind of used to the unnerving part," Avery said. "So getting that first one out the way, I think was better. I've been kind of a little frustrated the first couple of games, so that's nice to be able to get it out of the way."

The Rangers reached four goals for the just the second time all season when Dubinsky beat Fleury to the stick side at 2:48 of the third following a nice pass by fellow rookie Nigel Dawes. It was the first career assist for Dawes.

"I was coming off the bench," Dubinsky said. "I just tried to join the rush there and I definitely let Nigel know that I was there. He made a tremendous pass and I just drove to the net and got a shot off, and it went in. It was nice."

The three-goal lead stood for just under two minutes as Recchi scored on the power play at 4:22. But Lundqvist turned aside a point shot by Gonchar with just under 10 minutes remaining and made a nice glove stop on Crosby during a man advantage with just under six minutes to go.

"It's not good enough," Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien said after his team lost for the fourth time in five games. "Tonight, it took us a long time to get into the game. They were skating a lot more than we were and they were winning battles. I liked the effort in the third, but it was a bit late."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 1 0 1 2
    NY RANGERS 2 1 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - SCOTT GOMEZ 4 (SEAN AVERY, DAN GIRARDI) 7:35
    PIT - SERGEI GONCHAR 3 (SIDNEY CROSBY, EVGENI MALKIN) 11:31
    NYR - (PP) MICHAL ROZSIVAL 4 (SCOTT GOMEZ, JAROMIR JAGR)
    17:26
    2ND PRD: NYR - (PP) SEAN AVERY 1 (DAN GIRA

    Nov 8 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    NY RANGERS 4
    3RD PRD: PIT - (PP) MARK RECCHI 2 (GARY ROBERTS, SERGEI GONCHAR) 4:32

    Penguins vs. RangersNov 8 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    NY RANGERS 4
    3RD PRD: NYR - BRANDON DUBINSKY 1 (NIGEL DAWES) 2:48

    Penguins vs. RangersNov 8 8:59 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 1 0 1
    NY RANGERS 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - SCOTT GOMEZ 4 (SEAN AVERY, DAN GIRARDI) 7:35
    PIT - SERGEI GONCHAR 3 (SIDNEY CROSBY, EVGENI MALKIN) 11:31
    NYR - (PP) MICHAL ROZSIVAL 4 (SCOTT GOMEZ, JAROMIR JAGR)
    17:26
    2ND PRD: NYR - (PP) SEAN AVER

    Nov 8 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    NY RANGERS 3
    2ND PRD: NYR - (PP) SEAN AVERY 1 (DAN GIRARDI, PAUL MARA) 9:40

    Penguins vs. RangersNov 8 8:18 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 1 1
    NY RANGERS 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - SCOTT GOMEZ 4 (SEAN AVERY, DAN GIRARDI) 7:35
    PIT - SERGEI GONCHAR 3 (SIDNEY CROSBY, EVGENI MALKIN) 11:31
    NYR - (PP) MICHAL ROZSIVAL 4 (SCOTT GOMEZ, JAROMIR JAGR)
    17:26
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2N

    Nov 8 7:44 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    NY RANGERS 2
    1ST PRD: NYR - (PP) MICHAL ROZSIVAL 4 (SCOTT GOMEZ, JAROMIR JAGR)
    17:26

    Penguins vs. RangersNov 8 7:41 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    NY RANGERS 1
    1ST PRD: PIT - SERGEI GONCHAR 3 (SIDNEY CROSBY, EVGENI MALKIN) 11:31

    Penguins vs. RangersNov 8 7:28 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 0
    NY RANGERS 1
    1ST PRD: NYR - SCOTT GOMEZ 4 (SEAN AVERY, DAN GIRARDI) 7:35

    Penguins vs. RangersNov 8 7:22 PM
  • 10
    roots
    jclaneve Added 5 roots

    Penguins vs. RangersNov 8 8:33 AM
  • 5
    roots
    lpickrell Added 5 roots

    Penguins vs. RangersNov 7 6:26 PM