|Punchless Rangers drop second straight 1-0 decision, this time to Penguins|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 24 October 2007 00:58|
Not from the New York Rangers' defensemen in front of him, but from the high-powered players up front who can't seem to find the back of the net at the other end of the ice.
Adding Chris Drury and Scott Gomez to a talented group of forwards that already included 600-goal scorers Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan figured to make the Rangers an offensive force, yet through eight games this season they have only two wins, five points, and a measly 13 goals.
The Rangers are not scoring at an unprecedented pace.
New York lost 1-0 at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, marking the first time in the 82 seasons of the Original Six franchise that the Rangers lost by that score in consecutive games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
On the heels of a 1-0 shootout loss at Boston on Saturday, captain Jagr - off to the slowest start of his 17-season career with just one goal - started to show some frustration as the Rangers fell to 2-5-1.
``It's going to come. You've got to believe,'' he said. ``There's nothing else to do; you can't do anything else.
``Everybody says that you have to shoot more. I don't think that's the answer. It's not 1980. You can't score from the red line. To score in this league, you have to have very good chances. Goaltenders are too good and defenses now aren't going to give you chances.''
In other NHL games Tuesday night, it was: Atlanta 5, Toronto 4 in a shootout; St. Louis 4, Anaheim 2; Columbus 7, Chicago 4; Colorado 4, Edmonton 2; and Los Angeles 6, Nashville 0.
Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 36 shots in another strong start and the Penguins won their third in a row.
``They've got so many skilled players, you never know what's coming on the next shot,'' Fleury said of the Rangers. ``You've always got to stay ready.''
Evgeni Malkin scored on a power play early in the second period to ruin a good night by Lundqvist, who made a succession of excellent saves while stopping 21 shots. The biggest save came on Jordan Staal's penalty shot less than a minute after Malkin scored.
Pitching a shutout isn't even enough for a win for Lundqvist, who has allowed only 16 goals in playing all eight games.
``Your heart just goes out to him,'' Drury said. ``Hopefully he hangs in there and keeps making saves for us. We owe him a lot of goals.''
Thrashers 5, Maple Leafs 4, SO
Ilya Kovalchuk scored the winner in a shootout to give visiting Atlanta a victory over the hometown Maple Leafs, who forced overtime with a goal in the closing seconds of regulation.
Kovalchuk, Tobias Enstrom, with his first NHL goal, Eric Perrin and Todd White scored in regulation for the Thrashers (2-7), who are 2-1 since general manager Don Waddell took over as coach.
Mats Sundin, Hal Gill, Nik Antropov and Alex Ponikarovsky scored for Toronto (3-4-3).
Blue Jackets 7, Blackhawks 4
Rick Nash had two goals and an assist, and Jiri Novotny scored twice to lift visiting Columbus.
Sergei Fedorov, Nikolai Zherdev and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen also scored for the Blue Jackets, who earned their fourth victory of the season but first not by shutout. Nash extended his goal streak to four games. Fredrik Norrena made 24 saves in recording his first victory of the season.
Chicago's Patrick Kane, the first overall pick in this year's draft, had two goals and two assists to record his third straight multipoint game. James Wisniewski and rookie Jonathan Toews scored the other goals for Chicago.
Blues 4, Ducks 2
Paul Kariya had a goal and three assists, and Brad Boyes scored twice as St. Louis kept Anaheim winless on the road.
Keith Tkachuk also had a goal and two assists for the Blues, who got 14 saves from Manny Legace. He improved to 9-1-1 against Anaheim and hasn't lost to the Ducks since Nov. 16, 1998
Andy McDonald and Mark Mowers scored for the Ducks, 0-5-1 on the road.
Avalanche 4, Oilers 2
Tyler Arnason had a goal and assist, and Colorado made Ryan Smyth's return to Edmonton successful with a victory over the Oilers.
Jaroslav Hlinka, Wojtek Wolski and Brett Clark also scored for the Avalanche, who signed Smyth to a five-year, $31.25 million free-agent deal this summer.
Smyth had spent his entire career with Edmonton before dealt by the Oilers to the New York Islanders just before the March trade deadline.
It was the first road victory in five tries this season for the Avalanche (5-4).
Dustin Penner and Tom Gilbert scored for the Oilers (3-6), who have lost six of seven and are winless in five games against Northwest Division rivals.
Kings 6, Predators 0
Jason LaBarbera made 17 saves to notch his second career shutout, Michael Cammalleri scored twice for an NHL-leading 10 goals, and Los Angeles handed visiting Nashville its sixth consecutive loss.
The Predators were shut out for the second game in a row and have been outscored 28-9 during the losing streak, their longest since they dropped six straight March 10-21, 2002. They have scored only one goal in three games.
Ladislav Nagy had his first goal for the Kings, at 9:23 of the third, after assisting on two earlier scores.
Raitis Ivanans and Alexander Frolov each scored in the second period to give Los Angeles a 4-0 lead, prompting Nashville coach Barry Trotz to replace goalie Chris Mason with Dan Ellis.