NEW YORK (AP) _ It'll take more than a two-goal performance and one victory
to make Bobby Holik happy.
Holik ended an eight-game goal drought Monday night, scoring twice _
including the winner with 2:41 left _ to lift the New York Rangers to a 4-3
victory over the surging Vancouver Canucks.
The Rangers entered on a three-game losing streak and had won only once in
10 games (1-7-2), but they snapped the Canucks' five-game winning streak after
squandering a two-goal lead in the third period.
``I want to restrain myself from being too positive because it's a good
win,'' said Holik, the Rangers' most outspoken player. ``We will have to be
careful not to get overexcited with one win.''
Holik's first goal was New York's first on the power play in 19 chances. It
came off a pass from Jaromir Jagr, who found Holik in the right circle with a
The Czech pair put in extra power-play work together, with assistant coach
Tom Renney, at practice Sunday. That setup was something they exercised during
``We believe practice makes perfect,'' Holik said. ``In no way are we
perfect, but we worked a long time on it.''
The winning goal was a product of a turnover by NHL leading scorer Markus
Naslund. Holik then took a pass from Brian Leetch, who had three assists, and
let a shot go from the right circle that beat Dan Cloutier.
``Look at how many games he's won for us,'' Canucks forward Brendan Morrison
said of Naslund. ``He came in and he wasn't very happy about it. You can't
point the finger at one guy. We just weren't that good as a team overall.''
Jagr and Alex Kovalev also scored, and Mike Dunham made 27 saves for the
Rangers, 10th in the 15-team Eastern Conference.
``We know where we are, and we have to start winning some games,'' Kovalev
said. ``This was a nice team to get the first one.''
Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi scored seven minutes apart in the third to tie it
at 3 for the Canucks, the only NHL team with 30 victories.
``They are a hungry team going through stuff over there,'' Bertuzzi said.
``We got back in the game because of Markus.
``We can't start blaming anyone. It was just a mistake that wound up in our
Naslund joined Columbus' Rick Nash as the NHL's only 30-goal scorers this
season, and Morrison added a goal for Vancouver _ winners of 10 of its previous
11 road games.
``We didn't play up to our standard. That makes it even tougher to
swallow,'' said Naslund, who has a league-high 65 points.
Holik gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead with 8:19 left in the second with the
Rangers' first power-play goal since Leetch's tally on Jan. 22. New York hadn't
led since its previous victory a week earlier against Florida and was outscored
8-3 during the three-game slide.
``There were certainly positives with our power-play scoring, our goaltender
playing well and us getting two points,'' Leetch said. ``These are some things
that all really haven't happened in one game for us in a while.''
Kovalev made a play most expected more of when he was reacquired last year.
He deftly kept the puck in the Vancouver zone in the waning seconds of a power
play and in the second period.
He turned to face the net, he stickhandled around Artem Chubarov, and rifled
in a long shot with just 13.9 seconds left in the period. It was also his first
goal in nine games.
Jagr atoned for an earlier error and scored his 18th of the season and
second in five games since joining the Rangers. He carried the puck through
neutral ice and then found Martin Rucinsky with a backhand pass. Rucinsky
carried the puck down and slid a pass in front that Jagr redirected in at 10:13
of the first to tie it 1-1.
Just over four minutes in, Jagr shot wide while Cloutier was diving back
into position in an attempt to cover the open side of the net.
Morrison staked the Canucks to a 1-0 lead at 8:15 when Naslund chipped a
loose puck into the slot to Morrison, who ripped a shot past Dunham.