NHL Game Summary - Boston at NY Rangers |
(Monday, March 20th)
Final Score: NY Rangers 5, Boston 2
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Michal Rozsival had a goal and two assists as
the New York Rangers spoiled Brian Leetch's return to Madison Square Garden
with a 5-2 victory over Boston.
Martin Straka scored once and assisted on another while Steve Rucchin and Petr
Sykora each recorded a pair of helpers for the Rangers, who have won three in
a row and moved four points ahead of Philadelphia for first place in the
Atlantic Division. The two teams will square off at the Garden on Wednesday.
Leetch, who spent nearly 17 wonderful seasons in a Ranger uniform until being
traded to Toronto near the end of the 2003-04 season, was facing his former
club for the first time ever. The two-time Norris Trophy winner and former
captain received a rousing ovation from the New York crowd during pregame
"I skated around in a fog out there," said Leetch. "It was just a strange
thing for me out there. Unfortunately it showed in our game. Our team kind of
played that way, too."
Hal Gill and Brad Boyes each registered goals in the loss, which further
hinders the Bruins fleeting playoff hopes. Boston is now eight points behind
Montreal for the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference race.
New York got the game's first break when Gill was sent to the box for
interference and it took the Rangers just 10 seconds to cash in with the extra
Rucchin found Rozsival open in the high slot and the defenseman one-timed the
puck past Tim Thomas with 12:44 elapsed for the lone goal of the first period.
The Bruins had a power-play chance early in the second session, but Boston got
careless in the opposing zone and the mistake turned into a shorthanded
Rangers' tally. Blair Betts converted a 2-on-1 with Jason Ward 4:20 into the
period for a 2-0 New York lead.
"We work really hard on the (penalty kill)," said Rangers goaltender Henrik
Lundqvist. "We got a lot of energy from that goal. The special teams were the
key today, that's for sure."
Straka scored off a behind-the-net feed from Rucchin to make it a three-goal
advantage less than midway through the second period. However, Boston answered
just 24 seconds later when Gill beat Lundqvist stick-side for his first
goal of the season.
The Bruins failed to maintain that momentum, however. Michael Nylander broke
free from the Boston defense and sent a cross-crease pass from Petr Prucha
into an open right side of the net 6:18 into the third period to give the
Rangers a commanding 4-1 lead.
Boston again responded quickly, as Marco Sturm intercepted a Rozsival clear
attempt and sent a centering pass to Boyes 11 seconds after Nylander's tally.
The Bruins couldn't get anything going afterward, though, and a long pass from
Rozsival to Straka started an odd-man rush that culminated in a Dominic Moore
goal which sealed the Rangers' win with just over five minutes to play.
Thomas ended with 24 saves while Lundqvist needed to make just 19 stops for
Leetch is the Rangers' all-time leader in goals (240) and assists (741) by a
defenseman and his 981 points is second most in club history, trailing only
Rod Gilbert. His 1,129 games played in a Ranger uniform also ranks
second in franchise annals...Leetch missed the teams' earlier meeting at
MSG this season because of a knee injury...Nylander was named the NHL's
Offensive Player of the Week Monday after recording three goals and
five assists in three games...Rucchin's assist on Rozsival's goal
was the 300th of his career...Gill's goal was his first in 87 games.
03/20 23:38:07 ET