for this game

Dubinsky powers Rangers past Lightning

Oct 4, 2008 - 10:22 PM PRAGUE, Czech Republic (Ticker) -- Brandon Dubinsky scored a power-play goal to snap a tie with 5:44 remaining in the third period as the New York Rangers opened the regular season with a 2-1 triumph over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Free-agent acquisition Markus Naslund also tallied and Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves for New York, which will look to complete a two-game sweep when the teams meet again Sunday at the O2 Arena as part of NHL Premiere 2008.

Martin St. Louis scored and goaltender Mike Smith finished with 39 saves for Tampa Bay, which finished the 2007-08 season with an NHL-worst 31 wins.

With the Rangers on the power play late in the third period, Dubinsky skated in from the right faceoff circle and wristed a shot which sailed past a thoroughly screened Smith and just inside the left goalpost for the game-winner.

"We played great and we deserved to win tonight," Dubinsky said. "We're real happy with the way we played start to finish, and happy that we got the result we wanted."

After spending more than a decade as a television analyst, Tampa Bay coach Barry Melrose was quick to pinpoint why his return to the bench was not a triumphant one.

"Seven penalties against a very good power play - you don't have to be a math major to realize that's 14 minutes that some of your best players aren't on the ice," said Melrose, who spent three seasons as coach of the Los Angeles Kings from 1992-95.

"That's an extra 14 minutes of hard work for our young defense, and they finally stuck one through - and it was just a matter of time against a great power play like that."

The Rangers enjoyed a 41-21 advantage in shots, which is a promising sign considering the team will be looking for offense following the departure of future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr to Avangard Omsk in Russia.

A five-time winner of the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer, Jagr led the Rangers with both 25 goals and 71 points last season.

After the Rangers dominated the majority of the second period, Naslund opened the scoring with 1:52 remaining in the session.

Scott Gomez skated into the offensive zone before lifting a pass to Naslund in the right circle. The 35-year-old Swede quickly unleashed a wrist shot which caromed of Smith's blocker and into the net.

A five-time All-Star and longtime Vancouver Canucks captain, Naslund had quite the debut after agreeing to a two-year deal worth $8 million in the offseason.

"I didn't replace Jaromir I don't think anyone can," Naslund said. "I'm just trying to find my game and playing to my potential."

"Naslund is a world-class player," Gomez said. "He could have had three or four goals tonight. Playing with him, and (captain Chris) Drury, really makes my job easy."

St. Louis leveled the contest 3:57 into the third period after skating into the zone and backhanding a shot which sailed past Lundqvist and under the crossbar.

Credited with an assist was Vincent Lecavalier, who signed an 11-year contract extension in the offseason with the Lightning, keeping him with the team through the 2019-20 season.

But that was all Tampa could muster, thanks to some solid saves from Lundqvist and an offense which continually peppered Smith with shots.

"They had some quality chances, a couple of breakaways there, but Hank was solid, nice and calm back there," Gomez said of Lundqvist. "Games like this where you outshoot a team like that, it would be heartbreaking to lose, but Hank made the key saves and it was a great team effort tonight."

"I like the fact that we stayed with them at the beginning and then kind of took the game over in a sense," said Rangers head coach Tom Renney, who is now 6-0 behind the bench in regular-season openers in his career. "I liked the fact that we kept generating shots and offense."

For his part, Melrose was content with the intensity, just not the result.

"It's a very tough loss because we played so hard," he said. "We did a lot of good things defensively. Our offensive players had the chances."








  • AT PRAGUE
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 0 1 1 2
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NYR - MARKUS NASLUND 1 (SCOTT GOMEZ) 18:08
    3RD PRD: TAM - MARTIN ST. LOUIS 1 (VINCENT LECAVALIER) 3:58
    NYR - (PP) BRANDON DUBINSKY 1 (DAN GIRARDI, PAUL MARA) 14:15
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: NYR

    Oct 4 2:34 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Rangers 2, Lightning 1  3rd - 1:00Oct 4 2:32 PM


  • AT PRAGUE
    NHL NY RANGERS 2
    TAMPA BAY 1
    3RD PRD: NYR - (PP) BRANDON DUBINSKY 1 (UNASSISTED) 14:15

    Rangers 2, Lightning 1  3rd - 5:45Oct 4 2:25 PM


  • AT PRAGUE
    NHL NY RANGERS 1
    TAMPA BAY 1
    3RD PRD: TAM - MARTIN ST. LOUIS 1 (UNASSISTED) 3:58

    Rangers 1, Lightning 1  3rd - 16:02Oct 4 2:06 PM


  • AT PRAGUE
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 0 1 1
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NYR - CHRIS DRURY 1 (SCOTT GOMEZ) 18:08
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYR 14 16 30
    TAM 8 3 11
    GOALIES: NYR - HENRIK

    Oct 4 1:39 PM


  • AT PRAGUE
    NHL NY RANGERS 1
    TAMPA BAY 0
    2ND PRD: NYR - CHRIS DRURY 1 (SCOTT GOMEZ) 18:08

    Rangers 1, Lightning 0  2nd - 1:52Oct 4 1:39 PM


  • AT PRAGUE
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYR 14 14
    TAM 8 8
    GOALIES: NYR - HENRIK LUNDQVIST
    TAM - MIKE SMITH

    Oct 4 12:44 PM
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    Jamesiae Added 5 roots

    Rangers vs. LightningOct 3 9:58 AM
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    mammoth Added 5 roots

    Rangers vs. LightningSep 28 11:26 AM