The Hartford Wolf Pack, the Rangers' AHL affiliate, got their Calder Cup playoff run off to a rousing start on Thursday night with a 2-0 shutout victory over the visiting Worcester Sharks.
|Matt Zaba |
The Pack, who lead the Atlantic Division semifinal series 1-0 after winning the division's regular-season crown, scored even-strength goals in the second and third periods.
Goaltender Matt Zaba, who signed with the Rangers as an undrafted free agent out of college two years ago, starred in net for the Pack, making 38 saves for his first AHL playoff shutout.
Rangers 2006 second-round draft pick Artem Anisimov
, the Pack's leading scorer with 81 points this season, got the eventual game-winning goal to snap a scoreless tie at 4:19 of the second period. Dane Byers, who missed much of this season with injury, added the insurance goal at 7:20 of the third.
Both Anisimov and Byers have seen action with the Rangers, with Anisimov making his NHL debut in 2008-09 and Byers having played in the NHL in 2007-08.
Anisimov's goal was assisted by 2008 Rangers draft pick Dale Weise and defenseman Corey Potter, who had several NHL stints with the Rangers this season.
Byers' goal was set up by a pair of players under AHL contracts with the Pack, Jordan Owens and Mike Ouellette.
The series resumes with Game 2 on Saturday evening in Hartford.