GAME: New York Rangers (24-33-7-5) at Atlanta Thrashers (27-32-7-3).
TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
After a turbulent week, the New York Rangers will be glad to see the trade
The revamped Rangers will look to put recent off-ice distractions behind
them when they visit the Atlanta Thrashers.
The Rangers traded Vladimir Malakhov to Philadelphia on Monday for prospect
Rick Kozak and a second-round pick in the 2005 draft. They followed that move
by sending Matthew Barnaby and a draft pick to Colorado for 6-foot-8 defenseman
Chris McAllister and a minor leaguer.
Those moves were just the latest for New York, which has also dealt Brian
Leetch, Alexei Kovalev, Petr Nedved, Jussi Markkanen and Chris Simon since last
week as it winds up its seventh straight season without a playoff appearance.
Forwards Mark Messier and Martin Rucinsky and defensemen Greg de Vries and
Tom Poti could also be moved before Tuesday's 3 p.m. deadline.
However, the 43-year-old Messier has made it clear that he intends to remain
with the team he led to a Stanley Cup title in 1994.
"I don't feel at this time going somewhere else is what I'm really looking
forward to," he said.
The Rangers, who have lost five of their last six, blew a chance for their
first winning streak since Dec. 29-30 with Sunday's 7-4 defeat to lowly
Pittsburgh. In his last game as a Ranger, Barnaby scored his 99th and 100th
The Thrashers are coming off Saturday's 2-2 tie with Boston, giving them at
least one point in four of their last five games (3-1-1).
Dany Heatley and Shawn McEachern scored power-play goals for Atlanta, which
is in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, nine points behind the New York
Islanders for the eighth and final playoff berth.
STANDINGS (through March 7): Rangers - 60 points, 4th place, 28 PB, Atlantic
Division. Thrashers - 64 points, 3rd place, 26 PB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Rangers - Jaromir Jagr, 27 goals, 39 assists and 66 points;
Barnaby, 120 PIM. Thrashers - Ilya Kovalchuk, 36 goals, 37 assists and 73
points; Francis Lessard, 127 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 7): Rangers - Power play: 14.4 percent (40 for
278), 25th in NHL. Penalty killing: 80.5 percent (269 for 334), 28th. Thrashers
- Power play: 14.9 percent (51 for 343), 24th. Penalty killing: 85 percent (273
for 321), 6th.
GOALTENDERS: Rangers - Mike Dunham (15-24-6, 1 SO, 2.97 GAA); Jason
LaBarbera (1-2-0, 0, 4.84). Thrashers - Pasi Nurminen (23-24-6, 2, 2.81);
Frederic Cassivi (no appearances).
SEASON SERIES: Thrashers, 2-0-1.
LAST MEETING: March 2; Thrashers, 4-3. At New York, Patrik Stefan had three
assists for the Thrashers, who completed a home-and-home sweep of the Rangers.
Kovalev was traded to Montreal after the game.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 11-16-4-1 on the road; Thrashers - 14-14-4-1 at