Sunday, September 25, 2005

Rangers Comeback To Beat Bruins

In their first game at MSG since the emotional Mark Messier finale on March 31, 2004, the Rangers showed some character in a come-from-behind 4-2 preseason win over Boston Sunday.

Jaromir Jagr paced the Blueshirts with two power play goals and an assist and Martin Rucinsky had a goal and an assist. Michael Nylander added two helpers.

The first period was all Bruins. They outshot a listless Rangers squad 14-2 and controlled play. After Jason Strudwick took acception to a blindside hit by Colton Orr leading to an entertaining scrap which drew an instigator penalty, Boston capitalized when Jiri Slegr's wrist shot sailed through traffic by Kevin Weekes at 6:26. Tom Fitzgerald and Eric Healey tallied assists.

Patrice Bergeron took advantage of a Max Kondratiev giveaway, scoring into a vacant net by a surprised Weekes 9:08 later for a two-goal lead.

But the turning point came just 1:59 later when Zdenek Blatny was denied by Weekes on a penalty shot.

In the second period, the Rangers played much better and took advantage of Boston penalties. Off a brilliant outlet pass by Thomas Pock leading to a two-on-one, Michael Nylander broke in on Tim Thomas, who stopped him but a trailing Jagr stuffed home the rebound for a power play tally at 8:41 cutting it to 2-1.

With under four minutes left, Rucinsky cashed in on another man-advantage when Jagr and Nylander combined to set him up. He beat Thomas with a perfect wrist shot top shelf to tie the game.

In a period which saw the Rangers do the little things right, hustling all over the ice, it was never more evident than on a last second tally by Martin Straka. Forcing a turnover inside the Boston zone, Straka looked at the clock and quickly fired a wrist shot by Thomas to beat the buzzer for a 3-2 lead. It capped off a stanza in which the Blueshirts outshot Boston 12-5, only taking one penalty.

Jagr finished the scoring on a nice passing play with rookie Maxim Kondratiev and Rucinsky for the Rangers' third power play marker with 1:51 remaining.

Weekes had 27 saves in going all the way. Former 2004 number one draft pick Al Montoya backed up.

Rangers also took the shootout 2-1, with rookie Petr Prucha and Rucinsky scoring the winner on a deke.

They take on the Devils in their next preseason game Tuesday night at Continental Airlines Arena. The game will be televised on FSNY at 7:30 PM.

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