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Scrivens, for Oilers, gets another win against Rangers

by Tal Pinchevsky

NEW YORK -- It's fair to say Edmonton Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens feels comfortable playing at Madison Square Garden.

Scrivens stopped 34 of 35 shots and Nail Yakupov scored the go-ahead goal with 1:38 remaining in Edmonton's 2-1 win against the New York Rangers at Thursday.

Derick Brassard scored and Cam Talbot made 29 saves for the Rangers (31-24-3), who had a four-game winning streak end.

Ryan Smyth also scored for Edmonton (20-33-6).

The Rangers played the 6,000th regular-season game in franchise history, but it was Scrivens who stole the show at the Garden for the second time in less than three months.

"It's a great building, a lot of history here. It's fun to have the history of strapping them on and competing in front of a great crowd," Scrivens said. "I'm still young, I'm still learning in this League. Every good outing is another little bit of money in the bank. Hopefully the balance keeps growing."

Scrivens went 0-1-1 in two games for Cornell against Boston University at MSG; he established a then-career high with 36 saves in a 6-3 loss in 2007 and secured a 3-3 tie in 2009 though the Big Red were outshot 35-17.

In his first NHL start at the Garden, he shut out New York 1-0 on Nov. 17 while playing for the Los Angeles Kings.

Tied 1-1 midway through the third period Thursday, Scrivens was especially sharp when the Rangers aggressively peppered him, at one point outshooting Edmonton 7-2 in a 3:29 span.

"When we needed him he was there. That's the most important thing with your goaltender," Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins said. "He's there to sometimes bail you out but more importantly give you a chance to win the game. He was real solid."

Since being acquired from the Kings in a trade Jan. 15, Scrivens is 3-3-0 record with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .948 save percentage.

"He's come in and been very vocal. He's been very positive with a team that has suffered greatly," Eakins said. "With his play, he's been able to back up his words, which is important."

Scrivens gave Edmonton the opportunity to take the lead late in the third period. Sam Gagner backhanded a pass from the left corner that found Yakupov in the high slot for a one-timer that beat Talbot to the glove side. It was the 11th of the season for the first player taken in the 2012 NHL Draft.

"It was a good play by our guys down low to protect the puck. All I had to do was find space in the middle. I just had to find a spot," Yakupov said. "I think that was our top game this season. We played good. We need to do it to have a good time before the [Olympic] break."

Scrivens stopped all 11 shots he faced in the first period to extend his shutout streak against the Rangers to 80 minutes and 48 saves. It lasted another 22 seconds before Brassard tied the game.

Taylor Hall's clearing attempt along the half wall was deflected and the puck went to Benoit Pouliot at the point. He fed linemate Mats Zuccarello, who sent a quick pass to Brassard near the right faceoff dot, where he wired a one-timer past a stretching Scrivens for his 11th of the season. The play extended Brassard and Zuccarello's point streaks to five games.

Edmonton got an opportunity to retake the lead when New York forward Daniel Carcillo was called for slashing at 10:22. The Oilers thought they had the go-ahead goal 35 seconds into the power play when Talbot lost the puck in his equipment following a shot by Jordan Eberle.

"[A shot] hit me right in the collarbone and ended up under my jersey," Talbot said. "It just fell down my back and the whistle had already blown."

The puck trickled behind Talbot, but referee Chris Lee blew the whistle before it crossed the line. A video review upheld the call.

"I didn't think it was a time for me to stomp and yell and kick," Eakins said. "I saw the ref bringing his whistle up so I knew he was in the process of doing it. It's an honest call by those guys. I like that our guys didn't get too rattled by it and just continued on with the game."

The Oilers didn't have much time to get rattled. Seconds after Edmonton's goal was waved off, New York captain Ryan Callahan gathered a loose puck and went in alone on Scrivens. Callahan deked from his backhand to his forehand but was stopped by Scrivens' left skate.

"He pump-faked a little bit, so you had to be wary of the shot," Scrivens said. "I was fortunate to get a toe on it. He's a good player, and I was lucky to get out on the right end on that one."

Smyth opened the scoring while battling in front of the net, where so many of his 384 career goals have come. David Perron got the puck in the slot and fired Edmonton's first shot of the game, which hit Talbot's chest before deflecting into the air. Numerous players swatted at the puck as it bounced in the crease, but Smyth managed to knock it into the net to give the Oilers a lead 2:56 into the game.

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