for this game

Lundqvist, Jagr keep alive Rangers' hopes

May 2, 2008 - 3:57 AM
NEW YORK (Ticker) -- The New York Rangers needed big efforts from their leaders to remain alive in the postseason. Henrik Lundqvist and captain Jaromir Jagr came through.

Lundqvist made 29 saves and Jagr scored two goals and set up another as the fifth-seeded Rangers staved off elimination Thursday by posting a 3-0 victory over the second-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Four of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Brandon Dubinsky added a goal and an assist for the Rangers, who trail in the best-of-seven series, three games to one.

"We had to leave it all out there," Dubinsky said. "Obviously, they had a chance to close the series out. You don't want to be done, not win the hockey game and say I had a little bit of gas left in my tank, and I think the guys poured their hearts into it and emptied those tanks tonight and found a way to win."

"We got one more game, and that was our goal," Jagr said. "We have a chance at one more game. It's up to us how we are going to handle the next game. We know we're in a tough situation. ... Maybe it's happening for a reason, to be down 3-0, you never know. That's why we should just play and see what happens."

Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves for the Penguins, who lost for the first time this postseason.

"This is the Stanley Cup playoffs. You're not going to win every game," Pittsburgh's Pascal Dupuis said. "It's how you bounce back and how you react from a loss."

"You have to look at the big picture," Penguins coach Michel Therrien added. "It's a good accomplishment to win one game on the road in the playoffs."

Pittsburgh will make its second attempt at advancing to the conference finals on Sunday, when it hosts Game Five.

"We're going back to Pittsburgh down 3-1, and we've made this predicament of whether or not we should have a better fate," New York coach Tom Renney said. "It really doesn't matter. We're going back to Pittsburgh still in the series, and that's the most important thing. We live to play another day, and we intend to win."

"If we can go up there and get this win, it's wide open," Lundqvist said. "It's still a tough task for us. They're a great home team, but I still believe if we go there and play a really good special-teams game, I think we'll pull it off."

A finalist for the Vezina Trophy, Lundqvist did not resemble the goaltender who posted a league-leading 10 shutouts during the regular season in the first three games of this series. After allowing a total of 12 goals in New York's five-game triumph over New Jersey in the conference quarterfinals, the Swede yielded 12 in the three losses to Pittsburgh before coming up with his best effort Thursday.

Lundqvist turned aside eight shots in the first period, nine in the second and 12 in the third en route to his first shutout this postseason and the second of his playoff career.

"It was good timing, and we needed it," Lundqvist said. "We had some luck, but you earn your luck. There were some close calls and they hit the crossbar, but I just went out there and tried to play my game."

"To come back like that, that's huge," Jagr said. "It's up to him. We can score some goals, but if he plays like that, he's going to give us a chance."

Some of Lundqvist's best saves came in the middle session. The 26-year-old stopped Ryan Malone on a breakaway with just under 4 1/2 minutes remaining, then denied Hart Trophy finalist Evgeni Malkin on a penalty-shot attempt just over two minutes later.

"We got some chances. We didn't capitalize on them," Therrien said. "I thought we could have played a little better and execute better offensively, but at times we did a great job."

Racing in on a breakaway, Malkin was pushed into Lundqvist from behind with 2:07 left by Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi, who was without his stick. The referee awarded Malkin a penalty shot, but Lundqvist knocked away the puck with his glove to keep the Penguins off the scoreboard.

"Henrik came up big on that penalty shot," Jagr said. "That was huge. I think it was the turning point in this game."

"Tonight, Lundqvist was really strong," Pittsburgh's Marian Hossa said. "He kept them in the game."

Lundqvist also relied on some luck early in the third as former Ranger Petr Sykora's shot from in front hit a body before bouncing off the crossbar. The puck fell to Jordan Staal, who shot wide of the right goalpost while staring at an open net from the left side of the crease.

"I was nervous before the puck dropped," Lundqvist said. "I'm always nervous, but I told myself to go out there and play more aggressive. It felt like they got (Game Three) way too easy. We played well enough to get the win, but we didn't, so I think we were all upset with the result, especially that (it was a) home game. So it was important to get a 60-minute solid game and, obviously, get the win."

While Lundqvist came up big in goal, Jagr did the same for the Rangers on offense.

"He's been really good the last couple of weeks of the regular season and into the playoffs," Lundqvist said of Jagr. "He's so strong with the puck. His shot is so much better when he's confident. Hopefully, he can keep going."

After a scoreless first period in which Pittsburgh outshot New York, 8-6, the Rangers got on the board courtesy of their captain.

Carrying the puck down the left wing, Jagr unleashed a wrist shot from the faceoff circle that beat Fleury to the stick side at 12:45. It was the fourth goal of the postseason for Jagr and 76th of his playoff career.

"He's a big guy who's holding on to the puck well," said Dupuis, a teammate of Jagr with the Rangers last season. "He's playing well for them. He's their best player, and he showed it tonight."

"He is a driven man right now, there's no question about that," Renney said. "Certainly for all the right reasons, he wants this team to get back in the series. In terms of us being competitive with these people, he has led the charge."

Following the tally, Jagr was flattened by Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, who delivered a high hit that sent the Czech to the ice for several minutes.

But the former Hart Trophy winner proved to be just fine as he helped set up Dubinsky's power-play goal early in the third.

Jagr got the puck behind the net to Martin Straka before it squirted to the bottom of the right circle. Dubinsky gained possession and spun around before putting a shot past the outstretched right leg of Fleury just 44 seconds into the period for a 2-0 bulge.

"The puck just found its way out there (to me)," Dubinsky said. "I just turned around and found a way to score. It's a good feeling."

A winner of two Stanley Cup championships with Pittsburgh in the early 1990s, Jagr sealed the victory with a power-play, empty-net goal in the game's final seconds.

"They were an excellent hockey team," Dupuis said. "They had their backs to the wall. ... We knew they were going to come hard, and they did. I don't think we were ready for that."

For his efforts, Jagr received several loud ovations from the sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden.

"It was nice to hear our fans acknowledge him and what he's continued to contribute here," Dubinsky said. "I think it feels good for him and good for us."

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby admitted his team did not equal the Rangers' intensity level Thursday.

"You have to do your best and match their desperation level," he said. "You put yourself in their place, down 3-0. You can do your best to match it. Urgency has to be a little more there and (you have) to be hungrier than that. We have to remember there's a price to pay if you want to score goals in the playoffs."






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    Penguins 0, Rangers 3  FinalMay 1 10:42 PM
  • 20
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    meninredsox Added 5 roots

    Penguins 0, Rangers 3  FinalMay 1 10:06 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 0
    NY RANGERS 0 1 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NYR - JAROMIR JAGR 4 (BRANDON DUBINSKY, FEDOR TYUTIN) 12:45
    3RD PRD: NYR - (PP) BRANDON DUBINSKY 4 (MARTIN STRAKA, JAROMIR JAGR)
    0:44
    NYR - (PP) JAROMIR JAGR 5 (BRENDAN SHANAHAN, CHRIS DRURY)

    May 1 9:46 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PITTSBURGH 0
    NY RANGERS 3
    3RD PRD: NYR - (PP) (EN) JAROMIR JAGR 5 (BRENDAN SHANAHAN, CHRIS
    DRURY) 19:46

    Penguins 0, Rangers 3  3rd - 0:14May 1 9:42 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PITTSBURGH 0
    NY RANGERS 2
    3RD PRD: NYR - (PP) BRANDON DUBINSKY 4 (MARTIN STRAKA, JAROMIR JAGR)
    0:44

    Penguins 0, Rangers 2  3rd - 19:16May 1 9:01 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0
    NY RANGERS 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NYR - JAROMIR JAGR 4 (BRANDON DUBINSKY, FEDOR TYUTIN) 12:45
    MISSED PENALTY SHOTS: PIT - EVGENI MALKIN, 17:53 2ND.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----


    May 1 8:42 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PITTSBURGH 0
    NY RANGERS 1
    2ND PRD: NYR - JAROMIR JAGR 4 (BRANDON DUBINSKY, FEDOR TYUTIN) 12:45

    Penguins 0, Rangers 1  2nd - 7:15May 1 8:25 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0
    NY RANGERS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PIT 8 8
    NYR 6 6
    GOALIES: PIT - MARC-ANDRE FLEURY
    NYR - HENRIK LUNDQVIST

    May 1 7:44 PM
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