for this game

Prucha powers Rangers past Islanders

Dec 30, 2008 - 5:51 AM
By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Petr Prucha has spent most of the season watching his teammates from the press box. In two of the recent instances that he has shed his suit and tie, he has helped the New York Rangers immensely.

Prucha scored early in a wild third period and the Rangers pulled out a 5-4 victory over the New York Islanders on Monday night.

Markus Naslund regained the lead for good 7:12 into the third but it was Prucha, who sparked the four-goal outburst in the final 20 minutes. Nigel Dawes netted the eventual game-winner for the Rangers, who have won two of three from the Islanders.

"That's a big goal," Rangers center Scott Gomez said. "I've played with a lot of guys and that guy is one of the best teammates I've ever met. For whatever reason, he hasn't been in the lineup. He never says a word. He's one of the guys that just always got a smile on his face, works the hardest in practice and not only was that a huge goal but to see him (score), that was big-time."

"That's the type of effort you get from him all the time," said Rangers coach Tom Renney after dressing Prucha for just the 12th time in 40 games. "It's nice to see it translate into results and for our team. I think we fed off him being in the lineup, which is a good thing. He's a battler and he's a helluva man."

Gomez and defenseman Michal Rozsival tallied for the Rangers, who snapped a season-worst three-game losing streak and picked up their fifth win when trailing through 40 minutes.

Brendan Dubinsky and captain Chris Drury collected two assists apiece and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 20 shots for the Rangers.

"It feels like every goal got everybody so fired up," Lundqvist said. "Prucha's goal was definitely a big one. His goal was very important."

Mike Sillinger and rookie Kyle Okposo scored late in the opening two periods and Blake Comeau tallied early in the third for the Islanders, who failed to get points in three straight contests for the first time since November 13-17. Mike Comrie scored late in the third for the Islanders, who are 1-10-2 in their last 13 contests.

Joey MacDonald filled in for Rick DiPietro, who was scratched due to a groin injury. For two periods he seemed on the verge of duplicating his 35-save performance against the Rangers from November 4, but he allowed three goals in the first 7:12 of the third and dropped his 11th straight game (0-9-2).

"We battled hard," MacDonald said. "We scored four goals. You should win a hockey game when you score four goals. We had some bad bounces, bad luck, and there is not much you can do about it. If pucks from behind the net go off chests and in the net and shin pads, you just have to battle through it."

The third-period collapse was the least of the problems for the Islanders. Already with six skaters on injured reserve, they lost Trent Hunter to a scary injury when he was caught in a gap in the boards following a clean check by Ryan Callahan just 40 seconds in.

A stretcher was called, but Hunter was able to skate off on his own.

However just nine seconds later, Prucha forged a 2-2 tie when he charged hard to the net and banged in a Dubinsky rebound. It was the second goal of the season for Prucha and second in four games for the 26-year-old, who had been a healthy scratch for the previous eight contests.

"It's a great feeling," said Prucha, whose other goal was a game-tying goal that lifted the Rangers to a shootout victory over Pittsburgh on December 3. "I got lucky, I guess.

"It's tough being out of the lineup for so long and it was frustrating. But I got the chance to play again and scored, so hopefully I will be in the lineup for the next game."

That was only the start for the Rangers, who took their first lead at 2:08 of the third when Rozsival's sharp angle shot from the boards near the left circle got through.

The lead lasted just 23 seconds as Comeau banged in the rebound of defenseman Mark Streit's shot at the right doorstep.

Nearly five minutes later, the Rangers regained the lead when Naslund drove to the net and beat a pair of defenders to convert a nice pass from Gomez. Dawes finished it off by one-timing a nice backhand feed from Drury.

Dawes' tally turned out to be the game-winner when the Islanders pulled MacDonald for the extra attacker and Comrie scored off a scramble with 18.7 seconds left.

"I think the Rangers played really well," Islanders coach Scott Gordon said. "I thought they played the whole ice and they won a lot of battles. They played well for 60 minutes."

Before reaching five goals for the fourth time and producing their second four-goal period, the Rangers seemed headed for another frustrating defeat and one that was coming just three days after Renney described the Rangers' performance in a 4-2 loss to New Jersey as "brain dead".

"We had a tough time scoring, but I thought it was nice to get rewarded with the win," Naslund said. "We've been in this situation a bunch of times and we've been able to pull it of and I think that gives you confidence. It wasn't a complete game but I think it was a step in the right direction."

They fell behind 1-0 with just under five minutes remaining in the first following a miscue by Dmitri Kalinin. Pressured by Hunter behind his own net, Kalinin collided with Drury, allowing Hunter to gain possession in the left corner and he found Sillinger for an easy goal at the right doorstep.

The Rangers forged a 1-1 tie 8:29 into the second during a delayed penalty when Gomez finished off a centering pass from Zherdev.

The Islanders regained the lead with 11.7 seconds left in the second when Okposo deflected defenseman Freddy Meyer's slap shot over Lundqvist.






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    Islanders 4, Rangers 5  FinalDec 30 1:23 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 1 1 2 4
    NY RANGERS 0 1 4 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYI - MIKE SILLINGER 2 (TRENT HUNTER) 15:04
    2ND PRD: NYR - SCOTT GOMEZ 7 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV, BRANDON DUBINSKY) 8:29
    (WITH EXTRA ATTACKER)
    NYI - KYLE OKPOSO 4 (FREDERICK MEYER IV, BRENDAN WITT) 19:48
    3RD PRD: NYR - PETR

    Dec 29 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 4
    NY RANGERS 5
    3RD PRD: NYI - MIKE COMRIE 4 (BRUNO GERVAIS, BILL GUERIN) 19:41 (WITH
    EXTRA ATTACKER)

    Islanders 4, Rangers 5  3rd - 0:19Dec 29 9:32 PM
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    Islanders 3, Rangers 5  3rd - 4:49Dec 29 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 3
    NY RANGERS 5
    3RD PRD: NYR - NIGEL DAWES 6 (CHRIS DRURY, RYAN CALLAHAN) 15:11

    Islanders 3, Rangers 5  3rd - 4:49Dec 29 9:24 PM
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    Islanders 3, Rangers 4  3rd - 12:48Dec 29 9:13 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 3
    NY RANGERS 4
    3RD PRD: NYR - MARKUS NASLUND 14 (SCOTT GOMEZ) 7:12

    Islanders 3, Rangers 4  3rd - 12:48Dec 29 9:13 PM
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  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 3
    NY RANGERS 3
    3RD PRD: NYI - BLAKE COMEAU 2 (MARK STREIT, MIKE COMRIE) 2:35

    Islanders 3, Rangers 3  3rd - 17:25Dec 29 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    NY RANGERS 3
    3RD PRD: NYR - MICHAL ROZSIVAL 6 (CHRIS DRURY) 2:08

    Islanders 2, Rangers 3  3rd - 17:52Dec 29 9:06 PM
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    Islanders 2, Rangers 3  3rd - 17:52Dec 29 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    NY RANGERS 2
    3RD PRD: NYR - PETR PRUCHA 2 (BRANDON DUBINSKY, WADE REDDEN) 0:49

    Islanders 2, Rangers 2  3rd - 19:11Dec 29 9:00 PM
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  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 1 1 2
    NY RANGERS 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYI - MIKE SILLINGER 2 (TRENT HUNTER) 15:04
    2ND PRD: NYR - SCOTT GOMEZ 7 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV, BRANDON DUBINSKY) 8:29
    (WITH EXTRA ATTACKER)
    NYI - KYLE OKPOSO 4 (CHRIS CAMPOLI, BRENDAN WITT) 19:48
    SHOTS ON GOA

    Dec 29 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    NY RANGERS 1
    2ND PRD: NYI - KYLE OKPOSO 4 (CHRIS CAMPOLI, BRENDAN WITT) 19:48

    Islanders 2, Rangers 1  2nd - 0:12Dec 29 8:38 PM
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  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    NY RANGERS 1
    2ND PRD: NYR - SCOTT GOMEZ 7 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV, BRANDON DUBINSKY) 8:29
    (WITH EXTRA ATTACKER)

    Islanders 1, Rangers 1  2nd - 11:31Dec 29 8:18 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 1 1
    NY RANGERS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYI - MIKE SILLINGER 2 (TRENT HUNTER) 15:04
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYI 6 6
    NYR 13 13
    GOALIES: NYI - JOEY MACDONALD
    NYR - HENRIK L

    Dec 29 7:44 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    NY RANGERS 0
    1ST PRD: NYI - MIKE SILLINGER 2 (TRENT HUNTER) 15:04

    Islanders 1, Rangers 0  1st - 4:56Dec 29 7:35 PM
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    Islanders vs. RangersDec 29 11:50 AM