for this game

Dubinsky propels Rangers past Sabres

Jan 17, 2008 - 4:17 AM
By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) - For the New York Rangers, their first meeting with the Buffalo Sabres was hardly about gaining a measure of revenge. It was more about reverting to the way they played earlier in the season.

Brandon Dubinsky and Petr Prucha each collected a goal and an assist as the Rangers edged the Buffalo Sabres, 2-1, on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Henrik Lundqvist finished with 23 saves and also supported a solid effort by the penalty killers, who held Buffalo scoreless in five chances, including a lengthy 5-on-3 in the second period.

It marked the first meeting between the teams since Game Six of last spring's Eastern Conference semifinals on May 6. The Sabres won that contest, 5-4, before losing in the conference finals to the Ottawa Senators.

Like Game Six, it was a must-win for the Rangers but for different reasons. Although New York stopped a season-high five-game losing streak with Saturday's 4-1 win over Montreal, it came into this contest 1-5-1 in its previous seven and 6-11-3 since December 1.

"Obviously we had a bad string," Dubinsky said. "I think for our team and for our season's sake, we've got to turn the corner and make sure we're bringing that effort and that intensity every night and having fun every night - because we're confident in the group of guys that we have."

In their previous six wins, the Rangers had allowed just seven goals and faced with the prospect of hitting the .500 mark, they did many of the defensive things that led them through a 12-3-1 stretch.

"It seems whenever we win, that's we do," New York coach Tom Renney said of the forechecking and defense. "So that's a decent recipe for success. Teams that can transition well and add defensemen to it, it's better to come 200 feet instead of 25. We talked a lot about it in terms of making and finishing checks. That's important."

"We got to get a lot of wins going through the next couple of months," said Rangers center Blair Betts, who was named the contest's third star. "It seems like we'll play a really good game and then we'll kind of slip a little bit. We got to get more consistent, get on a roll and get our confidence back and I think when we do get our confidence back, things will come a little easier. Our little mistakes won't come back to haunt us."

While it picked up a much-needed win for New York, it also continued the losing for Buffalo, which has dropped its last 10 (0-5-5). The Sabres have not won since a 6-5 shootout win in Philadelphia on December 22 and have scored just 15 goals since then.

Jason Pominville scored the lone goal and Ryan Miller finished with 33 saves. Despite that and four straight power plays in the second period, the Sabres never led and lost the lead at 9:42 of the session.

"We had a few power plays," Pominville said. "We weren't able to get anything out of them. They're a good penalty kill team, but we got to better on the power play."

Dubinsky, who earlier Wednesday, was named to the YoungStars competition during the All-Star weekend, finished with his second career multi-point game. He won a faceoff from Buffalo's Paul Gaustad, whipped it back to defenseman Paul Mara just inside the blue line and Prucha stood in front of the net and deflected the one-timer past Miller.

"It was a great faceoff win," Prucha said. "I just tried to tip it and then the puck was in."

After Prucha's fifth goal, the Rangers had to kill of four straight penalties. Among them was a lengthy 5-on-3 when Chris Drury and defenseman Marek Malik were whistled for holding just eight seconds apart.

Lundqvist made three saves during the two-man advantage and also help from penalty killers, who spent the penalty kill blocking shots.

"It's exciting to get back that feeling," Lundqvist said. "I think we've let in a couple of goals on the PK, and if we can tighten that up, it will make the difference I think. Tonight was a big step in the right direction for us. If we keep doing that, I think we have a much better chance to get the two points every night."

The Rangers broke on top just 6:15 into the contest when Dubinsky finished off a slick pass through the slot by Nigel Dawes. Prucha also set up the goal by chipping it from behind the net to Dawes.

Buffalo tied when Pominville finished off a tremendous passing play. After All-Star defenseman Brian Campbell left a pass in the right circle to Clarke MacArthur, Pominville finished the play by beating Lundqvist, who was unable to get back in position.

That was among the few highlights for the Sabres, who have lost four consecutive one-goal games and six during this skid.

"That was the disappointing part of the game," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "We got a few pucks to the net but we didn't make any plays.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 1 0 1
    NY RANGERS 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - BRANDON DUBINSKY 5 (NIGEL DAWES, PETR PRUCHA) 6:15
    2ND PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 11 (CLARKE MACARTHUR, BRIAN CAMPBELL)
    2:43
    NYR - PETR PRUCHA 6 (PAUL MARA, BRANDON DUBINSKY) 9:42
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVE

    Jan 16 9:28 PM
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    Sabres vs. RangersJan 16 8:52 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 1 1
    NY RANGERS 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - BRANDON DUBINSKY 5 (NIGEL DAWES, PETR PRUCHA) 6:15
    2ND PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 11 (CLARKE MACARTHUR, BRIAN CAMPBELL)
    2:43
    NYR - PETR PRUCHA 6 (PAUL MARA, BRANDON DUBINSKY) 9:42
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Jan 16 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    NY RANGERS 2
    2ND PRD: NYR - PAUL MARA 2 (BRANDON DUBINSKY) 9:42

    Sabres vs. RangersJan 16 8:18 PM
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    Sabres vs. RangersJan 16 8:17 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    NY RANGERS 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 11 (CLARKE MACARTHUR, BRIAN CAMPBELL)
    2:43

    Sabres vs. RangersJan 16 8:04 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0
    NY RANGERS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - BRANDON DUBINSKY 5 (NIGEL DAWES, PETR PRUCHA) 6:15
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 9 9
    NYR 10 10
    GOALIES: BUF - RYAN MILLER
    NYR

    Jan 16 7:41 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 0
    NY RANGERS 1
    1ST PRD: NYR - BRANDON DUBINSKY 5 (NIGEL DAWES, PETR PRUCHA) 6:15

    Sabres vs. RangersJan 16 7:18 PM
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    Sabres vs. RangersJan 16 7:31 AM
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    Sabres vs. RangersSep 28 10:22 AM