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Thrashers spoil prospects' comeback, win 5-4

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers


Atlanta prospect Jim Sharrow scored on a power play at 10:06 of the third period on Saturday, lifting the Thrashers to a 5-4 win over the New York Rangers prospects in the second game of the Traverse City Prospects Tournament at Centre ICE Arena in Traverse City, Mich.

Sharrow's game-winner spoiled a remarkable comeback by the Rangers prospects, who overcame a 4-0 first-period deficit and eventually tied the game on a goal by Rick Kozak at 3:02 of the third.

Kozak had scored on a delayed penalty call against the Thrashers, beating Atlanta goalie Ondrej Pavelec off a slick pass from defenseman Hannu Pikkarainen for the fourth straight Blueshirts tally. But seven minutes later, with Trevor Koverko in the penalty box, Massachusetts native Sharrow, a defenseman picked by Atlanta in the fourth round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, beat Rangers backup goalie John Murray, playing in relief of Chris Holt, on a shot from just inside the blue line.

Despite their slow start and 4-0 hole after one period, the Rangers stormed back in the second on goals by Tomas Zaborsky, Brodie Dupont and David Kveton - all scored within the period's first 11 minutes.

With less than six minutes remaining in the first, the arena lights went out, and the game was delayed for 30 minutes. When the lights came back on, Murray, who is playing for the Rangers on a tryout basis, replaced Holt in goal.

Zaborsky, a 2006 draft pick from Slovakia, got the Rangers on the board with an unassisted goal at 4:01 of the second period when he picked up a loose puck and beat Pavelec to make it 4-1. Less than a minute later, Dupont scored his first goal of the tournament on assists from Tom Pyatt and Koverko at 4:53. The goal capped off a 3-on-2 rush for the Rangers, making it 4-2 at 4:53.

Kveton, also a 2006 draftee, cut the deficit to just one goal at 10:50 of the middle period when he completed a give-and-go with defenseman Marvin Degon. Dupont also assisted on the play to finish the game with a team-high two points.

Atlanta had taken their commanding 4-0 lead in the first period on goals by defenseman Chad Denny, Jordan LaVallee, Bryan Dobek and Joey Crabb. The Thrashers scored on four of their nine shots in the opening period, with Denny tallying on a power play just one minute into the game and LaVallee scoring 30 seconds later.

The Rangers outshot the Thrashers 27-17 and dominated the game's final 40 minutes. The Rangers played much of the game without center Bruce Graham, who left in the first period after injuring his hip. Graham's absence forced the Blueshirts to juggle lines the rest of the way.

The prospects will have a day off Sunday before playing their final round-robin game on Monday against the host Detroit Red Wings prospects at 6:30 p.m.

The tournament is not being televised locally, but in-depth highlights can be seen Sunday night at 10 p.m. on MSG Network's MSG SportsDesk. A listing of broadcast times for MSG SportsDesk is available at MSGNetwork.com.

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECTS' LINEUP VS. ATLANTA
FORWARD LINES
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Brodie Dupont Ryan Russell David Kveton
Zdenek Bahensky Tomas Zaborsky Lukas Zeliska
Lauri Korpikoski Bruce Graham Rick Kozak
Ryan Callahan Tom Pyatt Greg Moore
DEFENSE PAIRINGS
Left Defense Right Defense
Marvin Degon Bobby Sanguinetti
Hannu Pikkarainen Ryan Constant
Trevor Koverko Philippe Furrer
Goaltenders: Chris Holt, John Murray
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