for this game

Jagr, Rangers throttle Thrashers

Jan 23, 2008 - 4:25 AM
By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- It remains to be seen whether Tom Renney's line changes will spark a turnaround for the New York Rangers, but for one night, they were successful.

Jaromir Jagr had a goal and two assists as the Rangers recorded a 4-0 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers improved to just 3-6-2 in their last 11 games and also avoided a third straight loss. They did so by getting goals 3:20 apart in the first period from Sean Avery and Brandon Dubinsky.

"We have been talking a lot about how we need to play," Dubinsky said. "Tonight is a perfect example of how we have to play. I would love to leave here jumping for joy, but it is just one game."

"We got the lead," Jagr said. "I think that was the key. We jumped on them right away."

Jagr set up both tallies and then finished off his fourth game with at least three points by scoring his 636th career goal early in the third.

Martin Straka had a shorthanded goal in the second and defenseman Fedor Tyutin collected a career-high three assists. All-Star Scott Gomez also had two assists as New York had seven players record a point.

"He (Jagr) looked really sharp," goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. "He looked strong on the puck. I think all four lines worked really well. I think Atlanta looked a little tired. They came in coming off tough games here and then they get a tough start - it's always tough to bounce back. It felt like we never gave them a chance to feel good about themselves."

Lundqvist finished with 14 saves and did not even face a shot for the first 16-plus minutes of the game. He recorded his seventh shutout of the season and 14th of his career.

The Swede made four saves in the first period, seven in the second and three in the third.

The Rangers entered Tuesday out of the playoffs following a home-and-home sweep at the hands of the Boston Bruins that included Sunday's 3-1 loss. Following that defeat, Renney hinted changes in the lines could be coming and on Tuesday he followed through on it.

Renney slightly altered the top line, replacing Straka with Avery alongside Gomez and Jagr. He put Straka on a line with Chris Drury and Petr Prucha and placed Brendan Shanahan alongside Dubinsky and Nigel Dawes.

The new combinations seemed to work as the Rangers had the first 15 shots of the game and did so from going to the net on many shifts. Their willingness to do so was rewarded with 7:48 remaining when Avery scored his fourth goal of the season.

Dubinsky doubled the lead with his seventh goal at the 4:28 mark of the session and Straka added insurance with 12:24 left in the second. Jagr scored his 15th goal of the season in the third period.

Not only did the revamped lines work, it also gave Jagr a chance to feel more confident and even work on some aspects of his game.

"With the victory we got, it's given me extra time to work on my game to be sharp," Jagr said. "Every goal (I) score is good for confidence but more (because) we won.

"(When) we don't have to press, you can play your game. When you lose, sometimes you try to do too much and it doesn't work that way."

Renney agreed with Jagr's sentiments and also said that a night like Tuesday also makes him a better leader for the team.

"It helps him a lot because he is the leader of our team and he is right when we are in a tough situation he does try to do too much," Renney said. "I think from that point of view, it also diminishes his effectiveness as a leader because he gets quiet. He doesn't say a whole lot.

"So a night like tonight gives him the voice that we need, never mind the way he played. That just speaks volumes. So it's a real good night for him from that point of view."

Atlanta made its first appearance in New York since getting swept by the Rangers in last spring's Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The Thrashers dropped their four in a row and fell to 5-8-2 in their last 15 games.

"If we could figure that out, we'd be pretty good hockey team," Atlanta coach Don Waddell said "We've continued to dig ourselves in a hole playing good teams that are desperate. It's tough to bounce back."

Aside from committing two costly turnovers that led to New York goals, Atlanta also lost Ilya Kovalchuk late in the first. After being elbowed by defenseman Michal Rozsival, Kovalchuk retaliated by shoving Rozsival from behind and was given a misconduct for intent to injure when Rozsival was bloodied.

"It wasn't my intent to hit anyone," Kovalchuk said. "For sure, it's not the best thing to do, but I just tried to finish my check. It's a contact sport, so I didn't try to kill anybody - but you have to finish your checks."

"We couldn't really see the play from where we were," Waddell said. "The guy turned and he hit him pretty hard and his face hit the glass, so he got cut. Whether it's a right or wrong call, it's called and we have to deal with that. Losing him doesn't make it any easier, that's for sure, because we didn't have a whole lot of offense tonight."

Kovalchuk was on the ice for New York's first two goals.

New York opened the scoring with 8:48 remaining in the first when Avery put a loose puck from the low slot past goaltender Kari Lehtonen.

Kovalchuk helped contribute to New York's next goal when he coughed the puck up above the left faceoff circle to Avery. Before Avery went off for a line change, he passed to Jagr, who dished it to Tyutin.

Tyutin was being pinned along the boards just inside the blue line by Mark Recchi but managed to get the puck to a streaking Dubinsky, who finished the play with a backhander that gave New York a two-goal lead and 14-0 edge in shots.

The Rangers padded their lead 8:36 into the second when Straka finished off a breakaway that was created by another Atlanta miscue.

After defenseman Alexei Zhitnik turned it over to Tyutin behind the New York net, the puck went to Chris Drury, who was able to get it to Straka when Vyacheslav Kozlov went off for a late change.

Jagr finished off the win with his 15th goal with 15:57 remaining.






  • 10
    roots
    DanSportsfan Added 5 roots

    Thrashers vs. RangersJan 22 11:05 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 0
    NY RANGERS 2 1 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - SEAN AVERY 4 (JAROMIR JAGR, SCOTT GOMEZ) 12:12
    NYR - BRANDON DUBINSKY 7 (JAROMIR JAGR, FEDOR TYUTIN) 15:32
    2ND PRD: NYR - (SH) MARTIN STRAKA 9 (CHRIS DRURY, FEDOR TYUTIN) 8:36
    3RD PRD: NYR - JAROMIR JAGR 15 (SCO

    Jan 22 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    NY RANGERS 4
    3RD PRD: NYR - JAROMIR JAGR 15 (SCOTT GOMEZ, FEDOR TYUTIN) 4:03

    Thrashers vs. RangersJan 22 9:02 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 0
    NY RANGERS 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - SEAN AVERY 4 (JAROMIR JAGR, SCOTT GOMEZ) 12:12
    NYR - BRANDON DUBINSKY 7 (JAROMIR JAGR, FEDOR TYUTIN) 15:32
    2ND PRD: NYR - (SH) MARTIN STRAKA 9 (CHRIS DRURY, FEDOR TYUTIN) 8:36
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Jan 22 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    NY RANGERS 3
    2ND PRD: NYR - (SH) MARTIN STRAKA 9 (CHRIS DRURY, FEDOR TYUTIN) 8:36

    Thrashers vs. RangersJan 22 8:18 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0
    NY RANGERS 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - SEAN AVERY 4 (JAROMIR JAGR, SCOTT GOMEZ) 12:12
    NYR - BRANDON DUBINSKY 7 (JAROMIR JAGR, FEDOR TYUTIN) 15:32
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 4 4
    N

    Jan 22 7:46 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    NY RANGERS 2
    1ST PRD: NYR - BRANDON DUBINSKY 7 (JAROMIR JAGR, FEDOR TYUTIN) 15:32

    Thrashers vs. RangersJan 22 7:35 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    NY RANGERS 1
    1ST PRD: NYR - SEAN AVERY 4 (JAROMIR JAGR, SCOTT GOMEZ) 12:12

    Thrashers vs. RangersJan 22 7:30 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Cubs Added 5 roots

    Thrashers vs. RangersJan 22 5:33 PM