It was a great Saturday for the Rangers organization.
|Bobby Sanguinetti |
On the same day the Blueshirts took a 2-0 series lead in their Stanley Cup quarterfinal-round series vs. Washington, the Hartford Wolf Pack also went up 2-0 in their first-round AHL playoff series vs. the Worcester Sharks.
The Pack scored three times in the first period and then twice more in the third for a 5-3 victory at home. Worcester did manage to tie the game at 3-3 with 5:20 left in the middle period, but a third-period goal by Mike Ouellette, plus a shorthanded empty-netter by Mark Bell, gave Hartford the Calder Cup playoff victory.
Ouellette broke the 3-3 tie at 2:23 of the third period, and goaltender Matt Zaba, a 2007 Rangers signee, held on with six of his 44 saves in the third.
Zaba was particularly remarkable in the opening period, making 22 saves in a game where the Sharks outshot their hosts 47-19.
Defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti and forward Artem Anisimov
, the Rangers' first two picks in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, both scored for Hartford in the opening 20 minutes. Anisimov got the Pack off to a 1-0 lead with a power-play tally at 3:40 of the first. Jordan Owens stretched it to 2-0 at 7:08, and Sanguinetti made it 3-0 at 12:01 of the first.
Anisimov, who also scored in the series-opening win on Thursday, now leads Hartford with two goals in two playoff games. Sanguinetti, who assisted on Bell's goal to finish the night plus-2, and Owens led the Pack with two points on Saturday night
The key to the win was Hartford's penalty-killing, which limited the Sharks to just 1-for-13 on the power play.