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Ranger hopefuls help team to first win

Sunday, 09.20.2009 / 1:28 AM / Roundup

By Brian Hunter - NHL.com Staff Writer

Playing their second game in less than 24 hours hardly discouraged a few of the youngsters trying to make the New York Rangers out of training camp.

Artem Anisimov and Pierre Parenteau contributed a goal and an assist each, as did free-agent signee Ales Kotalik, and the Rangers rebounded from a tough loss in Detroit on Friday night by defeating the Boston Bruins 5-2 in a mid-afternoon game Saturday at TD Banknorth Garden.

Sean Avery and Enver Lisin also scored as the Rangers won for the first time in the preseason and avenged a previous exhibition loss to the Bruins earlier in the week at Madison Square Garden. Stephen Valiquette played the first half of the game and made 12 saves, and Chad Johnson stopped all 12 shots he saw in relief.

"Tough game," said Kotalik, who opened the scoring with a power-play blast 4:30 into the first period. "Fourth game in five nights for some guys -- some other guys have been a little luckier to get the night off, but we're just happy we got the win. Right now we've got to get that attitude to hate to lose, and I think we put together a pretty good effort today and finally we can get away with the win."

Kotalik, who spent most of his NHL career in Buffalo before ending last season in Edmonton, doesn't have to worry about his place on the opening night roster -- but youngsters like Anisimov and Parenteau are out to show the Rangers what they can do.

After an unassisted goal by Sean Avery gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead and Marc Savard responded for the Bruins, Anisimov restored the two-goal advantage with a gorgeous shorthanded goal with 4:08 left in the first. He took a pass from Parenteau, broke into the Boston zone, went through the legs of defenseman Jeffrey Penner with the puck and beat goalie Tim Thomas while going across the goalmouth right to left.

Anisimov, who also had a goal and an assist against the Wings, returned the favor by setting up Parenteau in the third to cap the scoring. Zach Hamill of the Bruins and Lisin had traded second-period goals.

Thomas played the entire game for the Bruins and made 14 saves. Boston plays again on Sunday night, hosting Montreal, while New York gets a rare day off and returns to action Monday against Detroit at the Garden.

"It's been a tough week since the start of training camp and we've been through a lot of games and a lot of work," Kotalik said. "It's nice to get a day off and rest a little bit and get the body ready for next week."

Senators 6, Canadiens 1

Alex Kovalev opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal against his former team and Mike Fisher recorded a hat trick in Ottawa's rout of Montreal.

Kovalev, who played for the Canadiens from 2004-09, signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Senators over the summer. He beat Carey Price between the pads at 7:57 to give Ottawa the lead.

"The win was really important and I thought overall we played a really good game," Kovalev said. "It's always strange when you get traded and when you walk into a building where you used to play and you see the guys you used to play with. It's a little bit strange but it goes away real quick."

Jaroslav Spacek, one of Montreal's offseason acquisitions, tied the score with a power-play goal at 14:15, but it was all Ottawa from there.

Fisher's power-play goal with 2:49 left in the first put the Senators in front to stay. Fisher's line combined for 11 points in the game, as Peter Regin tallied a goal and two assists, while Nick Foligno collected four assists.

"It was obviously a good game for us," Fisher said. "We did some good things on the power play, the goaltending was good, Pascal was good and I thought we competed hard.

"It's always nice to score. I've just got to make sure I'm getting better, doing the little things I need to score and getting some momentum, both the team and myself, and bring that into the regular season."

Joshua Hennessy had the other goal for Ottawa, which received 22 saves from Pascal Leclaire in a complete-game effort.

Price stopped 12 of 16 shots before he was replaced by Cedric Desjardins in the third. Desjardins made five saves.

"There are things we are going to have to work on," Price said. "We need to prepare a little bit better and once we get down to normal numbers the guys will come together a little better. We're kind of on our own pages right now and once we cut down to our team, we'll get better."

Maple Leafs 5, Flyers 4 (OT)

Niklas Hagman's second goal of the game 1:23 into the extra period gave Toronto its second win in as many nights following the trade with Boston for Phil Kessel.

Kessel won't be in the Leafs' lineup until some time in November as he rehabs from offseason shoulder surgery, but he was in Toronto on Saturday for an introductory press conference and addressed the Air Canada Centre crowd midway through the first period via the video scoreboard.

"Toronto's a great team, the fans are outstanding, and it's going to be a great year," said Kessel as the crowd roared its approval. "The fans here are the best in the League."

Matt Stajan, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Francois Beauchemin also scored for the Leafs, who received 25 saves in net from Vesa Toskala.

Daniel Briere scored twice in the second period as the Flyers outshot the Leafs 16-3 and built a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes. Their other goals came from captain Mike Richards and new defenseman Chris Pronger. Ray Emery and Brian Boucher split the goaltending duties, with each making 10 saves.

Pronger, acquired in a deal with Anaheim, tied the game at 2-2 with a one-timer past Toskala on a two-man advantage. Trailing 4-3 in the third, Toronto would force overtime on the strength of a power-play goal by another blueliner new to town, as Beauchemin put a shot by Boucher.

"It's fun when you win," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "We can build a little momentum. At least we'll know what it feels like to win (heading into the regular season)."

Capitals 3, Blackhawks 2 (OT)

Mathieu Perreault scored off a goalmouth scramble with 12 seconds left in overtime to complete Washington's rally from a two-goal deficit.

The Capitals outshot the Blackhawks 5-2 in the extra period and were swarming goalie Cristobal Huet prior to the winning goal. Shoane Morrisonn came out of the left corner for a shot Huet stopped, but the puck ended up going over to the right side of the net where Perreault fired it home.

Kyle Wilson forced overtime when he beat Huet with 2:47 remaining in the third period. Chris Clark also scored for Washington, which received 24 saves from Michal Neuvirth.

Patrick Sharp and Jack Skille got Chicago off to a quick start. Skille, the seventh pick in the 2005 Entry Draft, has 24 games of NHL experience with the Hawks over the past two seasons. He came up with a loose puck in the neutral zone, sped down the right wing and put a quick wrist shot past Neuvirth to make it 2-0 at 5:54 of the second.

Sharp opened the scoring at 4:52 of the first period for Chicago, which played its first game of the preseason.

"I think it's been good," Sharp said of training camp up to this point. "We're getting better and better every day. Still a little sloppy out there and rusty as far as what we're doing system-wise, but the energy's there, the intensity's there, and the main thing is just improving every day."

A preseason-record crowd of 19,734 fans was on hand to watch the Blackhawks play at the United Center for the first time since Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.

"It's huge," Sharp said of the fan support. "It starts right with the national anthem. I think our record speaks for itself last year in the regular season and playoffs. We feel like we've got the best fans in the League and we love playing for them."

Stars 4, Blues 2

Jamie Benn was a playoff hero last season for the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL -- now he's making his push for some ice time in Dallas.

Benn scored a pair of third-period goals Saturday night to lead Dallas past St. Louis at the Scottrade Center. The fifth-round pick in 2007, totaled 46 goals and 82 points in 56 games regular-season games for the Rockets, then led all playoff scorers with 33 points in 19 games as Kelowna won the 2009 Ed Chynoweth Cup title.

Benn also had a four-goal game in the Memorial Cup and contributed four goals and six points to Canada's successful run to a fifth straight gold medal at the World Junior Championships in Ottawa.

He gave the Stars a 3-1 lead in the third by scoring an unassisted goal with 7:54 remaining, stealing the puck from ex-Dallas defenseman Darryl Sydor and beating Chris Mason. Keith Tkachuk answered to bring the Blues back within one, but Benn's second of the game into an empty net with 49 seconds left sealed the victory.

Tom Wandell and Loui Eriksson staked Dallas to a 2-0 lead. Marty Turco finished with 24 saves.

David Backes scored a shorthanded goal for the Blues, who received 25 saves from Mason.

"I'd just say the situation's not quite as clear," St. Louis coach Andy Murray said about trying to pare down his roster after three exhibition games. "And it wasn't real clear before in a lot of respects. Some guys played better, some guys not quite as good, and that's the way it normally works."

Sabres 3, Red Wings 1

There are still almost two weeks left before the regular season starts, but Ryan Miller looks ready to go now.

Miller stopped 42 shots and Buffalo rallied for three goals in the third period to top Detroit at Joe Louis Arena.

Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek scored 2:21 apart to turn a one-goal deficit into a lead for the Sabres, and Paul Gaustad hit the empty net with six seconds remaining. Miller made several quality stops in the final minute after the Wings pulled goaltender Jimmy Howard for an extra attacker.

Johan Franzen scored for Detroit, which had the tables turned one night after rallying for four goals in the third to defeat the New York Rangers. Howard, like Miller, played the entire game and made 17 saves.

He was working on a shutout until Roy scored a power-play goal at 9:05 off an in-close shot that might have deflected off the stick of defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom. Vanek made it 2-1 when he redirected a Craig Rivet shot past Howard.

Miller, whose injured ankle late last season helped derail Buffalo's playoff hopes, turned aside all 16 shots he faced in the third period.

Predators 3, Blue Jackets 2

Shea Weber's power-play goal with 29 seconds left allowed Nashville to edge Columbus at Sommet Center for its third win in as many preseason games.

Jason Arnott had scored with 3:59 remaining to tie the game, as the Predators rallied from a two-goal deficit. Ryan Jones got them on the board with 1:52 to play in the second.

"I think they've stepped up right from the start of camp," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "Our best players have been our best players, and they've come through in all three preseason games. They're the best players in the scrimmage, they lead by example. Full marks for them. They came through with a big goal -- actually two big goals, the tier and the winner."

Andrew Murray and Antoine Vermette had tallied six minutes apart earlier in the period against Pekka Rinne to get the Blue Jackets off to a fast start. But they were stymied the remainder of the way by Dan Ellis, who stopped all eight shots he faced.

Nashville peppered Columbus goalies Mathieu Garon and Daniel LaCosta with 40 shots. Garon made 20 saves and LaCosta stopped 17 shots.

Islanders 4, Flames 2

New York got a measure of revenge for Calgary's 5-4 shootout win on Thursday by taking the rematch in Saskatoon thanks to Greg Moore's shorthanded goal with 6:53 left in the third period.

"We're trying to get our foot in the door in the NHL," said Moore. "Games like this, we're just doing our best to make a name for ourselves."

Matt Martin scored twice for the Islanders, a power-play goal and an empty-netter, and Jon Sim also lit the lamp in front of a crowd of 12,833 at Credit Union Center.

The Islanders will play there again Sunday against Edmonton. These are the first NHL games being played in Saskatoon since Calgary played Florida on Sept. 18, 2007.

"It was a great atmosphere and a fun place to play," Moore said. "It's a good opportunity for the NHL to be here and for the fans as well."

Jamie Lundmark and Kris Chucko rallied the Flames in the second period after Sim and Martin struck on man advantages in the first for the Islanders.

"Just one mental mistake out there," Flames defenseman Cory Sarich said. "We did a good job in the second period of kind of righting the ship. We were doing some good things out there. I thought we'd come out there (in the third) and take it to them. It's a game of inches and that's all it was tonight."

Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf was one of many healthy scratches on both sides, two days after being involved in a collision that sent New York forward Kyle Okposo to the hospital with a concussion. Okposo also did not play and remains day-to-day.

Canucks 3, Oilers 1

Roberto Luongo made 22 saves and Darcy Hordichuk netted the go-ahead goal midway through the third period as Vancouver remained unbeaten in the preseason.

Alexander Edler added a power-play goal and Cody Hodgson an empty-netter for the Canucks, who improved to 4-0-0 before 18,630 at General Motors Place.

Edler's wrist shot from the point 9:07 into the first skipped through a screen and through the legs of Oilers goalie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers.

Edmonton defenseman Sheldon Souray tied the score with just seven seconds left in the period, picking up the first goal against Luongo this preseason on a drive from the blue line.

Hordichuk, a physical presence who has scored 17 goals in 375 NHL games, put the Canucks ahead 2-1 with 9:15 remaining when a Jannik Hansen pass sprung him on a 2-on-1 break. Hordichuk used a deke before beating Deslauriers on a backhander over his blocker.

"Honestly, I didn’t even know what I was doing there," Hordichuk said. "(Alex) Burrows told me before the period there to go top cheese and I was thinking top cheese all the way down and I tried to freeze him and throw it to my backhand. I’ve seen (Mikael) Samuelsson score a few of those in practice, so I thought why not.

"It's all in dropping your shoulder and getting the goalie to bite and trying to get it top shelf. It didn't go top shelf, it went bottom right corner, but as long as they go in, that's all that counts."

Hodgson, the 10th pick in the 2008 Entry Draft, scored into an empty net with 54.2 seconds to play. He was playing his first game of the preseason after a lower back injury had him limited for the start of training camp.

"I felt great," Hodgson said. "This week of practice really helped me and got me up to speed. I felt great and I played with some great wingers in (Alex) Bolduc and Samuelsson and I think we did well tonight."

Kings 4, Ducks 1

Top pick Brayden Schenn scored twice for Los Angeles and newcomer Ryan Smyth also had a goal in a victory over Anaheim at Staples Center.

Schenn, taken with the No. 5 pick in this year's draft, opened the scoring 4:10 into the first period with a power-play goal. He would extend the Kings' lead to 3-0 with 4:28 left in the second. Sandwiched in between was a goal by Smyth, acquired in a trade with Colorado during the offseason.

Saku Koivu's power-play goal with 32 seconds left in the middle period was the highlight for the Ducks. They signed Koivu over the summer after he played 13 seasons in Montreal, including the past nine as captain of the Canadiens.

"It's nice to get a goal, but right now we have a lot of other things to be concerned about," Koivu said. "For me, I need to get used to playing a different style, to get on the forecheck more.

"There is a lot of work to be done. On paper, we know where we're supposed to be, but things happen so fast on the ice. The chemistry will come the more games we play together."

Anze Kopitar scored into an empty net with 15 seconds remaining to cap the scoring. Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 19 saves. Jonas Hiller stopped 22 shots for the Ducks, who get a day off Sunday following four games in as many days.

"It's nice to get those four games over with," forward Joffrey Lupul said, "but we would have liked a little better effort. These last four games preseason are really going to be important so we can get off on the right foot to start the season."

Sharks 5, Coyotes 4 (OT)

Patrick Marleau tied the game with 3:02 left in the third period, then won it 2:29 into overtime as San Jose recovered from blowing a three-goal lead to edge Phoenix at HP Pavilion.

Dany Heatley, acquired a week ago from Ottawa, made his debut for the Sharks. Heatley started the game on a line with Joe Thornton and Devin Setoguchi. He took 22 shifts for a total of 16:26 of ice time, and didn't record any points.

"It was good to get it over with," Heatley said. "I felt pretty good. It was nice to see Patty put it away tonight."

Heatley only began practicing with the Sharks on Friday. He almost recorded an assist late in the first, but Bryzgalov was able to turn aside a Setoguchi shot.

"It'll take a little getting used to, the roots of what (coach Todd McLellan) wants, and getting used to Joe (Thornton) and Seto," Heatley said.

Ryane Clowe had the only goal of the first period, then the Sharks got power-play tallies by Setoguchi and Jamie McGinn in the first two minutes of the second for a 3-0 cushion.

Stefan Meyer broke up Evgeni Nabokov's shutout bid with 1:21 left in the second, and the Coyotes roared back to take a 4-3 lead in the third on goals by Justin Bernhardt, Zbynek Michalek and Kyle Turris in a 2:37 span.

Phoenix lost in overtime for the second straight night, following a 4-3 decision to Anaheim on Friday. Ilya Bryzgalov played the first two periods and made 19 saves. Jason LaBarbera finished up, stopping eight of 10 shots.

Nabokov played the whole game for the Sharks and made 26 saves.

Material from wire services and team broadcast and online media was used in this report.


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