for this game

Gomez helps Rangers edge Hurricanes

Jan 28, 2009 - 4:26 AM
By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- The New York Rangers reached the All-Star break in better shape than their previous two seasons and emerged from the hiatus with another close victory.

Scott Gomez collected a goal and an assist as the Rangers edged the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2, on Tuesday.

Brandon Dubinsky netted the eventual game-winning goal for New York, which has won five of its last six games. Rookie Lauri Korpikoski also scored as the Rangers opened a two-goal lead in the opening 10 minutes of the game.

Markus Naslund added a pair of assists and Stephen Valiquette made 33 saves for the Rangers, who have allowed two goals or less in each of their last six victories.

"We realize how important this is to play well right now," Valiquette said. "Our urgency is there. Coming off the break, everybody had that type of focus when we all met yesterday."

Ryan Bayda netted a first-period goal and Tuomo Ruutu registered a tally and an assist for the Hurricanes, who had a two-game winning streak snapped and fell to 2-6-0 in their last eight.

"No one's happy," Ward said. "We lost. This is a big stretch for us. We have to win hockey games. No one's going to be satisfied with coming close."

Being well over .500 at this point in the regular season is unfamiliar territory for New York, which was battling for the final playoff spot at the midway point each of the last two campaigns.

"It's nice," Dubinsky said. "Our goals and our aspirations are really high. We want to do everything we can to chase down Boston for the conference and win the division and guarantee ourselves home-ice advantage for most of the playoffs. That's where our focus is, and that's what we're shooting for."

"We've got to get a little bit better," Gomez said. "We got the lead in the third and we've still got to get the puck in deep and still got to keep the high guy. There's still stuff that we've got to get better at, but I think the last two weeks, everyone's taken another step towards that."

This season, the Rangers have a chance at the Atlantic Division title and one of the top three spots in the Eastern Conference partly due to their ability to win close games. They continued that trend in this one, improving to 18-4-4 in one-goal contests.

"We said that right from the outset," Naslund said of the team's ability to win close games. "We lost some good players, and the identity of this team was to play as a team and play hard for one another and find ways to win. I think that has been our identity for most of the year."

The night began with an outstanding effort on both ends by Korpikoski, resulting in his third career goal and first on home ice.

After Korpikoski caused a turnover in the defensive zone, Naslund carried the puck up the left wing on a 2-on-1 rush and passed to Gomez. Gomez's shot was stopped Ward, but Korpikoski hustled down the ice and banged in the rebound just 4:21 into the contest.

"It kind of came close to my feet," Korpikoski said. "I just pushed it in."

The Rangers doubled their lead with 9:57 remaining in the opening session, when Naslund and Gomez teamed up again. Defenseman Michal Rozsival moved the puck up the ice to Naslund,

who made a nice stickhandling move in the slot and left it for Gomez to lift a one-timer from the right faceoff circle over Ward.

Carolina halved the deficit just over three minutes later following a turnover in the right corner by New York blue-liner Marc Staal. Bayda wound up with the puck on the doorstep, and his shot trickled past Valiquette's right pad.

The Rangers scored a much-needed insurance goal when Dubinsky finished off a nice pass from Nikolai Zherdev on the doorstep with 7:50 to go in the third. But Ruutu tallied just 25 seconds later, when his shot from the right circle got past Valiquette to draw the Hurricanes within one.

"We had a really good start to our game, but they scored a goal against less-than-adequate coverage," New York coach Tom Renney said. "We seemed to take a step back from what we have been doing. Then I thought we recovered."

After that, Carolina was unable to muster any scoring chances and could not pull Ward for the extra attacker until there were less than 30 seconds remaining.

"I don't think we can keep giving away our chances and our looks around the net," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said. "They got one more than we did at the end of the day. That was about it."






  • 86
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    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Hurricanes 2, Rangers 3  FinalJan 27 10:49 PM
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    Hurricanes 2, Rangers 3  FinalJan 27 9:38 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 1 0 1 2
    NY RANGERS 2 0 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - LAURI KORPIKOSKI 3 (SCOTT GOMEZ, MARKUS NASLUND) 4:21
    NYR - SCOTT GOMEZ 10 (MARKUS NASLUND, MICHAL ROZSIVAL) 10:03
    CAR - RYAN BAYDA 4 (TUOMO RUUTU, ROD BRIND'AMOUR) 13:04
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: NYR - BRANDON DUB

    Jan 27 9:25 PM
  • Silversword55 LET'S GO RANGERS! BEAT THE HURRICANES!!

    Hurricanes 2, Rangers 3  3rd - 2:37Jan 27 9:17 PM
  • 71
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    Silversword55 Added 5 roots

    Hurricanes 2, Rangers 3  3rd - 2:37Jan 27 9:17 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 25 roots (Close Finish)

    Hurricanes 2, Rangers 3  3rd - 2:37Jan 27 9:17 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 2
    NY RANGERS 3
    3RD PRD: CAR - TUOMO RUUTU 14 (CHAD LAROSE, ROD BRIND'AMOUR) 12:35

    Hurricanes 2, Rangers 3  3rd - 7:25Jan 27 9:09 PM
  • 41
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    RUWTbot Added 41 roots (Close Finish)

    Hurricanes 2, Rangers 3  3rd - 7:25Jan 27 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 1
    NY RANGERS 3
    3RD PRD: NYR - BRANDON DUBINSKY 8 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV, DMITRI KALININ)
    12:10

    Hurricanes 1, Rangers 3  3rd - 7:50Jan 27 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 1 0 1
    NY RANGERS 2 0 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - LAURI KORPIKOSKI 3 (SCOTT GOMEZ, MARKUS NASLUND) 4:21
    NYR - SCOTT GOMEZ 10 (MARKUS NASLUND, MICHAL ROZSIVAL) 10:03
    CAR - RYAN BAYDA 4 (TUOMO RUUTU, ROD BRIND'AMOUR) 13:04
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL

    Jan 27 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 1 1
    NY RANGERS 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - LAURI KORPIKOSKI 3 (SCOTT GOMEZ, MARKUS NASLUND) 4:21
    NYR - SCOTT GOMEZ 10 (MARKUS NASLUND, MICHAL ROZSIVAL) 10:03
    CAR - RYAN BAYDA 4 (TUOMO RUUTU, ROD BRIND'AMOUR) 13:04
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST

    Jan 27 7:44 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 1
    NY RANGERS 2
    1ST PRD: CAR - RYAN BAYDA 4 (TUOMO RUUTU, ROD BRIND'AMOUR) 13:04

    Hurricanes 1, Rangers 2  1st - 6:56Jan 27 7:31 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 0
    NY RANGERS 2
    1ST PRD: NYR - SCOTT GOMEZ 10 (MARKUS NASLUND, MICHAL ROZSIVAL) 10:03

    Hurricanes 0, Rangers 2  1st - 9:57Jan 27 7:24 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 0
    NY RANGERS 1
    1ST PRD: NYR - LAURI KORPIKOSKI 3 (SCOTT GOMEZ, MARKUS NASLUND) 4:21

    Hurricanes 0, Rangers 1  1st - 15:39Jan 27 7:15 PM