NHL Game Summary - NY Rangers at San Jose
(Thursday, November 2nd)
Final Score: NY Rangers 3, San Jose 1
San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Kevin Weekes dazzled with 29 saves and three different Rangers scored goals, as New York defeated the San Jose Sharks, 3-1, in the first meeting between these teams in nearly three years.
Matt Cullen and Martin Straka scored for the Rangers, who have won two straight and concluded their four-game west coast road trip 3-1. Brendan Shanahan notched an empty-net goal in the final minute to seal the victory.
"We gritted it out," said Cullen. "It was a big win by our team and obviously a great performance by Weekes."
Kyle McLaren scored late in the third period to cut San Jose's deficit, but the Sharks fell short and watched their two-game win streak halted.
Evgeni Nabokov allowed two goals on 18 shots in the losing effort.
Cullen's fourth goal of the season was scored as time expired in the first period. The Sharks were pressing in their offensive zone as time was winding down, but a turnover allowed Shanahan to pass the disc to Petr Prucha near the blue line. Prucha alertly spotted Cullen and sent a perfect lead pass. Cullen corralled the puck at the far blue line -- while at the same time nicely avoiding a self-inflicted offsides infraction by mere inches -- and skated in on a breakaway before his wrist shot beat Nabokov with one second on the clock.
"We made an absolutely brain-dead mistake at the end of the first period," said Sharks coach Ron Wilson. "We have a great period and a mental blunder like that and that was the critical point of the game."
Just over four minutes into the second period, the Rangers grabbed a two-goal lead. Nabokov made a fabulous pad save on Straka's point-blank chance from near the right post after a cross-ice pass from Michael Nylander. However, the rebound caromed directly back to Straka, who gained control and fired a backhander from behind the goal line to the right of the net that deflected off Nabokov and lit the lamp at the 4:08 mark.
Weekes made 12 saves in the second period and kept the Sharks scoreless with several great stops. On two separate occasions, Patrick Marleau was set up for one-timers in the low slot, but Weekes was quicker. Later in the stanza, Mike Grier had a momentary open net and he shot from the right side along the lower half-wall, but Weekes slid over and denied it.
San Jose fought hard for several good scoring chances in the third and it finally paid off when McLaren's first goal made it 2-1 with 2:24 remaining. The puck squirted around the back of the net and McLaren pinched in from the left point. It appeared he was going to simply keep the puck in the zone with a dump-in, but instead sent a one-timer on goal that flew past a surprised Weekes.
"I don't score too many goals and the puck was on the boards," said McLaren. "We were down 2-0. I have to go in there and do something and I just happen to put the shot on net and got lucky."
Nabokov was pulled for the extra skater, but Shanahan iced the victory with the empty-netter. The veteran sniper now was 12 goals this season.
Shanahan's goal was the 610th of his career, which ties him with Bobby Hull for 12th place on the all-time goal scoring list...This marked the first Rangers-Sharks game since November 18, 2003...The Sharks fell to 4-17-3 all- time against the Rangers...San Jose ended scoreless on five power-play chances, while New York finished 0-for-3 with the extra skater...The Rangers dominated in the faceoff circle, 57-43...Attendance was 17,091.
11/03 02:06:08 ET