OTTAWA (AP) _ Even on Jaromir Jagr's best night, he couldn't supply as much
offense as the New York Rangers needed.
Bryan Smolinski scored twice in the first period and Daniel Alfredsson had a
goal and two assists as the Ottawa Senators ruined Jagr's debut with the
Rangers by routing New York 9-1 Saturday night.
``It wasn't the start I was looking for, that's for sure,'' said Jagr,
acquired from Washington in a long-rumored deal completed Friday.
As has been New York's problem throughout the season, its defense and
goaltending faltered. Jussi Markkanen allowed six goals in the first and third
periods and Jason LaBarbera, recalled Friday from the AHL, yielded three in the
second as the Rangers' losing streak hit four games and their winless streak
was stretched to six (0-4-2).
``That was awful,'' Rangers center Eric Lindros said. ``We were outskated,
we didn't think _ we were awful.''
Jagr made his first two appearances with the Rangers on the power play as
Ottawa drew a pair of penalties within the first 4:44.
He threw his linemates offside on his first two offensive rushes, and it was
all downhill from there for the Rangers.
``It's not nice to lose 9-1 in your first game, but hopefully the worst is
behind me and this team, and we somehow learn from this loss and turn things
around,'' Jagr said.
Zdeno Chara also scored twice, and Jason Spezza, Radek Bonk, Josh Langfeld
and Martin Havlat added goals as Ottawa set a season high in a game and
extended its winning streak to three.
``I think with the high profile trade they made last night, they put some
fear into us,'' Smolinski said. ``We knew that they were going to come out and
play hard. I think we just played our positions, and maybe we took the wind out
of their sails a little bit. We didn't do anything special but obviously
they'll be a different team the next time we see them.''
New York's regular goalie Mike Dunham missed the Rangers' worst loss since a
10-2 defeat at Quebec on March 6, 1993, because of a concussion sustained
Thursday against Philadelphia.
``Describe it? I don't think it's possible,'' Rangers coach and general
manager Glen Sather said. ``It's one of the worst beatings I've taken in my
career. It seemed like everyone stood around and was waiting for Jagr to win it
Rangers center Bobby Holik disagreed.
``That's Glen's opinion _ I didn't feel that way,'' Holik said. ``Even if
Jaromir did magic, it still wouldn't be enough tonight. It's a team game and
every one of us has to do what we're here for.''
The Senators, 6-5 winners over Pittsburgh on Thursday, have scored 15 goals
in two games and are 14-2-4 in their last 20.
New York trailed 7-0 when Matthew Barnaby ruined Patrick Lalime's shutout
bid 4:45 into the third.
Markkanen stopped just nine of 13 shots in the first, LaBarbera allowed
three goals on six shots in the second, and Markkanen returned for the third
and gave up two goals on 10 shots.
Spezza scored on a breakaway 6:15 in after he intercepted Martin Rucinsky's
centering pass. Spezza then assisted on Smolinski's score at 10:06.
Chara made it 3-0 with a slap shot past Markkanen for a power-play goal at
13:27, and Smolinski scored Ottawa's second straight with the man advantage at
17:25 for his second goal of the period, and 13th of the season.
LaBarbera, making his second appearance of the season and third overall in
the NHL, fared no better than Markkanen.
Alfredsson made it 5-0 with his 21st goal 3:31 into the period, and Bonk
gave Ottawa its second straight six-goal game with his 11th at 4:18.
Langfeld, who assisted on Bonk's goal, scored for the second straight game
Markkanen gave up Chara's second goal with 5:52 left and Martin Havlat's
power-play goal with 51.2 seconds remaining.