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Rangers beat clock to edge Flames 3-2 in OT

by Aaron Vickers /
CALGARY -- Thanks to Ryan McDonagh, the Rangers beat the clock and the Flames.

McDonagh, a second-year defenseman, scored with 1.4 seconds left in overtime to give New York a 3-2 victory Thursday night, the Rangers' first victory in Calgary in almost nine years.

McDonagh corralled Dan Girardi's point shot off the end boards and fired it behind a sprawling Henrik Karlsson to give the Rangers their second consecutive win on the road -- and their first at the Scotiabank Saddledome since Nov. 14, 2002. They are 2-1-2 despite playing their first five games away from Madison Square Garden and have stops in Edmonton on Saturday and Winnipeg on Monday before playing their home opener next Thursday.

"You feel excited about getting the two points," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "More importantly I thought we -- through most of the game -- played better as a team. We get a good bounce off the kickboards, we talked about the lively kickboards here, Danny Girardi makes a great play and we get two points."

Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves to win a goaltending battle with Karlsson, a fellow Swede, in a game that saw four goals scored in the opening period and no more until McDonagh connected to end the game.

"He's just a world-class athlete," McDonagh said of his goaltender, who made 40 saves in a 4-0 win at Vancouver on Tuesday. "He gave us every chance possible to win this game."

Karlsson stopped 26 of 29 in the losing effort.

"I really think we deserved two points," Karlsson said. "The guys played really good in front of me. I really wanted to give them something back. Overall we created more chances and Lundqvist played good in the Rangers' net. It would've been fun to stand heads-up with him in the shootout. That was disappointing."

Karlsson's best stops came at the expense of Marian Gaborik midway through the second period. Sprung on a partial breakaway, Gaborik burst by Giordano but couldn't beat Karlsson's pad. Moments later on the same shift, Gaborik had another opportunity to put his team up by one but the Calgary netminder again shut him down on the doorstep.

Lundqvist was equally up to the task, flashing his right pad after a turnover behind the net put the puck on the stick of Tom Kotsopoulos in the slot. He then turned aside a Tim Jackman, who let go a spinaround backhand that went off of Lundqvist's blocker before bouncing on top of the net and rolling off the back.  

The Rangers' goalie continued to frustrate Flames shooters in the third.  

Off his post after playing the puck, Lundqvist was forced to be sharp just two minutes into the final frame after the Flames' Niklas Hagman tried to bounce it off the back of his leg. He denied Calgary again at 8:30, turning aside both a Jay Bouwmeester slap shot on an odd-man rush as well as Curtis Glencross' rebound attempt, helping push the game into overtime.  

Karlsson stopped five shots in the extra period before McDonagh beat him on the sixth.

The Rangers opened the scoring on the power play at 4:53 of the first period. With Cory Sarich in the box for interference, Gaborik was the beneficiary of a nifty three-way passing play set up by Derek Stepan and Brad Richards.

Calgary captain Jarome Iginla answered just 58 seconds later. After Lundqvist wasn't able to corral a shoot-in attempt by Scott Hannan, Alex Tanguay retrieved the puck along the hash marks and fed a cross-crease pass that Iginla tapped in to draw even at 1-1.

Former Flame Brandon Prust put the Rangers back on top with a shorthanded goal at 13:52, beating Karlsson over the shoulder.

But Calgary got even on its next power play. With Kris Newbury serving an extra two minutes for instigating a fight with Sarich, Mark Giordano used a well-placed wrist shot from the point to beat a screened Lundqvist over the right shoulder.

"I felt pretty bad on that power-play goal, I was screening him a little bit there," McDonagh admitted. "I wanted to try to make it up for him and I am glad I could with the game winner in overtime."

The Rangers defenseman atoned with his buzzer-beater.
"Once Danny gets the puck there, there's not a lot of time and I kind of am creeping down just seeing if there is any kind of bounce," McDonagh said. "I know he's going to put it on the net and thankfully it took a good bounce and there was enough time to put it in."
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