The New York Rangers (19-15-4) defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs (15-16-8) by a score of 6-1. Petr Prucha scored 2 goals, his first goals in 17 games, to lead an outstanding Ranger effort. Jaromir Jagr had a goal and three assists, linemate Martin Straka had one of each, Brendan Shanahan added a power-play tally, and Blair Betts scored for the first time in 12 games -- New York's only even-strength goal. Darcy Tucker ended Stephen Valiquette's (27 saves) shutout bid with 11:40 left. For a full recap go to Yahoo! Sports.
...absolutely great game by the Rangers tonight. Haven't seen a laugher from the Rangers in a while. They were by far the hungrier team tonight. I was very surprised with how flat the Leafs looked tonight considering all the drama surrounding the game.
...big relief for Prucha tonight. The guy's name has been mentioned in just about every trade rumor and to be able to get off the schneid by scoring twice tonight is awesome. Plus it enhances his trade value. Just kidding Pruchs.
...quick stat: 28-10 with Avery in the lineup and 8-10 without since being traded to the Rangers last year.
...I think Valiquette solidified himself as the official starter for any game played in Toronto for the rest of the year. Too bad Valiquette can't have games like this on a more consistent basis.
...looks like all Jagr needs is Avery in the lineup to succeed. In the 3 games since Avery's return from wrist surgery Jagr has 3 goals and 4 assists. And they're not even on the same line.
...before the Rangers headed out to Minnesota a week ago I said they had a grueling 9 game stretch coming up. Through the first 5 games they are 2-2-1. Not bad, especially considering they started the stretch 0-2-1.
...another tough test against the Canadiens tomorrow night at MSG. A win pulls the Rangers within 1 point of first place in the Atlantic Division.