Perhaps an errant stick or puck to Jaromir Jagr
’s mouth was just what the New York Rangers
needed to wake up their sluggish offense.
Just one period after losing some teeth, No. 68 broke a 1-1 tie with 9:15 remaining in regulation, pacing the Rangers to a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning
at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.
New York, which has scored a League-low 19 goals this season, got a power play goal from Brendan Shanahan
just 2:44 after Jagr’s tally to seal the victory. It was the second win in seven tries for the Rangers, who improved to 4-6-1.
''Broken skate, broken glove, broken teeth. What a night,'' Jagr said. ''Break my skate, first period. Second, my glove. Then my teeth.”
The Lightning continue to have their spirits broken on the road. While Tampa Bay is off to a 5-0-1 start on home ice, it has yet to win away from the St. Pete Times Forum, dropping to 0-4 with Monday’s loss.
, who scored both of New York’s goals in its 2-0 win over the New Jersey Devils
last Thursday, gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead with his third goal of the season at the 7:40 mark of the opening period. With his back facing Tampa Bay goalie Johan Holmqvist
, Dawes was able to redirect Paul Mara
’s shot from the point past the Lightning netminder. It was his fourth goal in 14 career NHL games.
After being hooked from behind by Rangers defenseman Marek Malik
, Vincent Lecavalier
tied the game on the sixth penalty shot of his career in the second period. The Tampa Bay center stuffed a backhand shot through the pads of Henrik Lundqvist
, who was otherwise perfect in a 21-save effort.
''Jags going, the power play was going ... there were so many good things,'' Lundqvist said. ''We've been playing great as a team but you want to feel like it pays off, too. And it finally did. It's easy to stay patient when you know it's going to pay off.''
Holmqvist finished with 32 stops for the Lightning, who were whistled for four penalties in the third period, which hindered their chances of helping out their goaltender. It left Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella seething afterwards.
''Our goalie gives us a chance after two periods and we can't put 20 minutes of disciplined, hard hockey together,'' Tortorella said. ''We don't deserve anything. We spend more time looking at referees for calls, instead of playing. It's very frustrating to see one guy show up.''
Jagr showed up at Madison Square Garden looking a bit differently compared to the way he left. Despite his new look, the Rangers’ captain had to be pleased. After all, it’s been a struggle in the early going for the Rangers to leave buildings with two points.
'I didn't see myself yet,” Jagr said of his mouth. “It's Halloween tomorrow. I don't have to buy a mask.''
Capitals 7, Maple Leafs 1
At this point, Toronto may actually prefer to play on the road.
scored twice, while five others scored for the first time this season as Washington pulverized the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
Nine home games into the season, Toronto has come away with only three wins, as its record at the ACC dropped to 3-4-2. Monday night marked the second time the Leafs have lost by a 7-1 score on home ice, as the Carolina Hurricanes
handed them the same fate back on Oct. 9.
''Just collectively, for some reason, we're very fragile at home,'' Leafs captain Mats Sundin
''How do I explain it? I can't. Just too many breakdowns all over the ice. ... We did a lot of good things on the road but it seems we're tight at home, we try to do too much.''
The Caps needed just 3:19 to get on the board, as Boyd Gordon
potted his first goal of the year to make it 1-0. The Leafs allowed Gordon to stand alone in front of the net, where he redirected a pass from Matt Bradley
past Vesa Toskala
But the Leafs came right back and tied the game just 31 seconds later, when Alexei Ponikarovsky
beat an otherwise-solid Olaf Kolzig
, who finished the night with 31 saves.
From there, it was all Washington. Matt Pettinger
gave the Capitals the lead for good at the 5:26 mark of the opening period, when he took advantage of a loose rebound and beat Toskala to make it 2-1. Ovechkin notched his first of the evening 11:57 into the first period, and Jeff Schultz
ended Toskala’s night just two minutes later when he was left alone in the slot to beat the Leafs’ netminder. Toronto coach Paul Maurice
then replaced Toskala with Andrew Raycroft
. At the time of the move, the Leafs were being outshot by a 13-3 margin.
''Clearly there's still difficulty in accepting to play a simple game,'' Maurice said. ''We just continued to try and make plays that weren't there.''
The Capitals beat Raycroft for the first time at the 8:57 mark of the second period, when Bradley scored shorthanded on a slap shot to make it a 5-1 game. Ovechkin scored his second of the night – and ninth in nine games against Toronto – via the power play less than three minutes later.
''We played very well tonight, all four lines played well, everybody scored and our goalie played well,'' Ovechkin said. ''I think we deserved tonight's win.''
Material from wire services was used in this report.