for this game

Avery's big night propels Rangers past Penguins

Mar 19, 2008 - 3:35 AM
By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- After a forgettable weekend in Florida, Sean Avery made sure the New York Rangers began their stretch drive with a much better result.

Avery scored twice as the Rangers squandered a two-goal lead before pulling away for a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.

Avery's big night came after the Rangers suffered consecutive regulation losses in Florida and Tampa Bay. Besides helping the Rangers avoided a third straight loss, the agitating forward also helped push New York (38-26-9) two points ahead of idle Boston (37-27-9) for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

"It was huge," Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr said. "I think we needed something like that for our confidence, to get the monkey off of our back. All the teams behind us were winning. It's not easy. You can win a lot of games, but when you get on a bad roll, you can lose a lot of games."

"If you have two losses in a row, you get a little tense, you get a little nervous," New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. "You understand how important this game was, too. We don't want to let it slip here. It was very important for us to bounce back with a good game against a good team."

Fredrik Sjostrom scored the game-winner 3:55 into the second period after New York committed two turnovers to allow Pittsburgh to tie the game. However, it was Avery's second goal that broke open a tight contest.

Martin Straka also scored midway through the third, completing New York's string of three unanswered goals. The outburst came after Pittsburgh's comeback forced Rangers coach Tom Renney to call a timeout.

"It was probably (more tense) when we blew a two-goal lead," Avery said. "I thought (there were) a big couple of saves from Hank (Lundqvist), and then Freddy scores a huge goal to go up 3-2. That was probably the turning point of the game."

"I told them that up until that point of time, we had real good control of the game, and a couple of minutes wasn't doing us any favors," Renney said. "We had to do what we were doing originally, and then we could control the game."

Avery, who scored New York's first goal, made it 4-2 just over five minutes into the third. He did so by putting himself in front of goaltender Ty Conklin and converting a long pass from defenseman Dan Girardi, who threw the puck through the slot from the left point.

The goal was Avery's 15th of the season and seventh in the last 12 games in which he has played on a line with Jagr, who draws most of the attention from defenders.

"I'm standing all alone, and I've just got to try and get in the right position and let the overchecking they do with him complement my game," Avery said.

Ryan Callahan also scored for the Rangers, who improved to 11-2-3 in their last 16 contests.

Lundqvist allowed goals by Jarkko Ruutu and Jordan Staal 93 seconds apart in the second but finished with 20 saves for his 100th career win in his 183rd start, becoming the fastest netminder in franchise history to reach the mark.

Conklin equaled a season worst by allowing five goals as Pittsburgh had its three-game winning streak snapped. The Penguins (41-25-7) also remained one point behind the Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey Devils (42-24-6), who were idle.

After scoring just twice in their two losses in the state of Florida, the Rangers equaled that total in a span of 40 seconds midway through the first.

Avery opened the scoring at 11:07 as he converted a nice feed from Jagr, putting a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle past Conklin. Moments after the goal was announced, Callahan doubled the lead when he buried the rebound of Chris Drury's shot.

Pittsburgh, which had scored seven goals in its previous two games, wins over Philadelphia and Buffalo, came back early in the second.

Ruutu finished off a breakaway by lifting a backhander over Lundqvist just 98 seconds into the period. Staal scored less than two minutes later after former Ranger Pascal Dupuis forced Lundqvist to commit a turnover behind his own net.

The deadlock lasted just 44 seconds as Sjostrom scored his second goal as a Ranger after coming over from the Phoenix Coyotes in a trade on February 26. The Swede intercepted a pass intended for Staal and banked a wrist shot off the left goalpost during a breakaway at 3:55 for a 3-2 edge.

"There were a few mental breakdowns and big turnovers that cost games," Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien said. "The end result is an indicator of the way the game went."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 2 0 2
    NY RANGERS 2 1 2 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - (PP) SEAN AVERY 14 (JAROMIR JAGR, MICHAL ROZSIVAL)
    11:07
    NYR - RYAN CALLAHAN 8 (CHRIS DRURY, MARTIN STRAKA) 11:47
    2ND PRD: PIT - JARKKO RUUTU 3 (RYAN WHITNEY, DARRYL SYDOR) 1:38
    PIT - JORDAN STAAL 11 (PASCAL DU

    Mar 18 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    NY RANGERS 5
    3RD PRD: NYR - MARTIN STRAKA 13 (CHRIS DRURY) 11:29

    Penguins 2, Rangers 5  3rd - 8:31Mar 18 9:12 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    NY RANGERS 4
    3RD PRD: NYR - SEAN AVERY 15 (DAN GIRARDI, BRANDON DUBINSKY) 5:37

    Penguins 2, Rangers 4  3rd - 14:23Mar 18 9:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 2 2
    NY RANGERS 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - (PP) SEAN AVERY 14 (JAROMIR JAGR, MICHAL ROZSIVAL)
    11:07
    NYR - RYAN CALLAHAN 8 (CHRIS DRURY, MARTIN STRAKA) 11:47
    2ND PRD: PIT - JARKKO RUUTU 3 (RYAN WHITNEY, DARRYL SYDOR) 1:38
    PIT - JORDAN STAAL

    Mar 18 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    NY RANGERS 3
    2ND PRD: NYR - FREDRIK SJOSTROM 12 (UNASSISTED) 3:55

    Penguins 2, Rangers 3  2nd - 16:05Mar 18 8:07 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    NY RANGERS 2
    2ND PRD: PIT - JORDAN STAAL 11 (PASCAL DUPUIS, BROOKS ORPIK) 3:11

    Penguins 2, Rangers 2  2nd - 16:49Mar 18 8:06 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    NY RANGERS 2
    2ND PRD: PIT - JARKKO RUUTU 3 (RYAN WHITNEY, DARRYL SYDOR) 1:38

    Penguins 1, Rangers 2  2nd - 18:22Mar 18 8:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0
    NY RANGERS 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - (PP) SEAN AVERY 14 (JAROMIR JAGR, MICHAL ROZSIVAL)
    11:07
    NYR - RYAN CALLAHAN 8 (CHRIS DRURY, MARTIN STRAKA) 11:47
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PIT 8

    Mar 18 7:41 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 0
    NY RANGERS 2
    1ST PRD: NYR - CHRIS DRURY 23 (MARTIN STRAKA) 11:47

    Penguins 0, Rangers 2  1st - 8:13Mar 18 7:29 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 0
    NY RANGERS 1
    1ST PRD: NYR - (PP) SEAN AVERY 14 (JAROMIR JAGR, MICHAL ROZSIVAL)
    11:07

    Penguins 0, Rangers 1  1st - 8:53Mar 18 7:26 PM
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