Rangers 3, Maple Leafs 2, SO
The Canadian Press
November 10, 2007
-- The New York Rangers finally have a road win.
Marcel Hossa's decisive shootout goal gave the Rangers a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the annual Hockey Hall of Fame game Saturday night.
The Rangers had been without a win in their first six games on the road (0-5-1), and with this win they were the last NHL club to get a win in an opponent's arena.
Nik Antropov took the first shootout shot and Stephen Valiquette made the save. Brendan Shanahan was the first New York shooter and beat Vesa Toskala high on the glove side. Mats Sundin shot high and wide before Hossa got his chance. He deked twice to confuse Toskala and buried the puck behind the Finn to end it.
Sean Avery, alias ``The Pickering Pest,'' set up Shanahan for a goal and scored one himself for the Rangers during regulation time.
Valiquette got the goaltending win in his first start after Henrik Lundqvist played every minute of the Rangers' first 16 games.
Alexei Ponikarovsky scored both of Toronto's goals in regulation. Toskala was the hard-luck loser in front of a season-high Air Canada Centre crowd of 19,530.
There was a group stare-off involving all players on the ice at the boards between the benches after Avery and Darcy Tucker _ both wear 16 _ exchanged words during the warmup, and the two were yapping again in the 12th minute. Tucker dropped his gloves, Avery did not, and both were sent off for unsportsmanlike conduct. They were back on the ice for eight seconds before the gloves came off and they were going at each other with their fists.
The Rangers jumped ahead 2-0 with goals 42 seconds apart from the line of Shanahan, Avery and Scott Gomez early in the second period.
Gomez won a faceoff in Toronto's end and passed to Avery, who took the puck behind the Leafs' net. A backhand pass sent the puck to Shanahan at the front of the crease and the puck was instantaneously behind Toskala at 1:43.
Avery dodged Pavel Kubina to get to the rebound of a Toskala save off Shanahan and score at 2:25.
Ponikarovsky's two goals in two minutes tied it 2-2.
The six-foot-four Ukrainian blasted a slap shot from the circle to the left of a kneeing Valiquette into the top short-side corner of the net at 16:54. Ian White's pass to Antropov at the blue-line should have resulted in an off-sides whistle, but play continued and the goal counted.
Ponikarovsky then slammed a rebound past a kneeling Valiquette at 18:54. The point Sundin got for assisting gave him 1,267 in his career, tying him with Jean Ratelle for 32nd place on the all-time list.
Valiquette kept the Leafs from seizing the lead when he made a fantastic leg save on a Mark Bell bullet with nine minutes remaining in the third period.
Toskala made as equally important a save with seven minutes left in regulation when he induced Gomez to shoot into his chest from point-blank range.
The Leafs' Boyd Devereaux was sent off for hooking with 3:27 remaining in regulation. The Rangers would try to remove the power-play doughnut served up by both teams, but they couldn't do it.
Tucker hooked Hossa as Hossa nearly scored in the closing seconds of regulation time, and the Rangers started overtime with another manpower advantage. They came up empty again.
It would go to a shootout.
Notes: Toronto had a 34-27 shots edge . . .The Leafs, 0-for-4 in this one, were 28th in the league in power-play efficiency (12.8 per cent) coming in. The Rangers also went 0-for-4 with manpower advantages . . . New York entered the game with a league-best 1.67 goals-against average, while Toronto's 3.53 GAA was 29th in the 30-team league . . . Pre-game ceremonies were held to mark Remembrance Day and to introduce Mark Messier, Al MacInnis, Ron Francis, Scott Stevens and Jim Gregory, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday night . . . Sundin's next goal will be his 533rd and will lift him even with Frank Mahovlich for 27th place . . . Jaromir Jagr, who scored 54 goals in 2005-2006 and slipped to 30 in 2006-2007, has only three in the Rangers' 17 games . . . The Leafs' healthy scratches were John Pohl, who sat out a second straight game, Wade Belak, idle for a third consecutive game, and Bates Battaglia, deleted for a fifth in a row . . . Toronto plays at home against Montreal on Tuesday, is in Boston on Thursday and is back home next Saturday against Ottawa.
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