New York Rangers escape with 3-2 shootout victory over Sharks

San Jose Sharks

SAN JOSE
– San Jose, the lone Pacific Division team in action Saturday,
came away with a 3-2 shootout loss to the visiting New York Rangers
to cap a six-game home stand with eight out of 12 possible
points.
SAN JOSE – San Jose, the lone Pacific Division team in action Saturday, came away with a 3-2 shootout loss to the visiting New York Rangers to cap a six-game home stand with eight out of 12 possible points.

Two nights after a 5-4 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks, San Jose rallied for a 2-2 tie in the second period before falling 2-1 in the shootout when Brandon Dubinsky, the Rangers’ leading scorer, netted the game-winner in the sixth round.

Dan Boyle, back from a six-game absence from the line-up because of an upper body injury, produced a goal in the second round of the shootout. New York stayed alive when Wojtek Wolski converted in the shootout’s third round.

San Jose opened the scoring by converting 19 seconds into its first power play opportunity of the game.

After Ranger Matt Gilroy was whistled for hooking Torrey Mitchell at 12:19 of the first period, Ryane Clowe scored off a shot from the top of the right circle at 12:30. Ranger defenseman Marc Staal had been knocked down by an inadvertent stick off the face-off. As Clowe set up at the right point, Staal was back on his skates. Clowe’s following hard shot skimmed off the shoulder of Staal and past Ranger goaltender Henrik Lundqvist for the 1-0 lead.

New York was able to pull even with an even-strength goal at 16:57 of the first period.

The Rangers turned an effective cycling play deep in the San Jose zone to come away with the equalizer. Vinny Prospal controlled the puck behind the net before finding Erik Christensen in the low slot behind Logan Couture for the one-timer inside the left post. Prospal leads the Rangers with 11 assists in 23 career regular season games against San Jose.

The Rangers came back with another strong cycling play early in the second period to take a 2-1 lead.

Clowe played defense for 15 seconds without a stick, broken while stopping a Ranger shot on net from close range. Clowe stayed close to Ranger Michael Sauer in the high slot, but Sauer was able to shake loose and whip a shot under goaltender Antti Niemi at 1:16. Ruslan Fedotenko earned the primary assist. Sauer has two career NHL goals in 67 games.

San Jose rookie defenseman Justin Braun prevented the Rangers from extending the lead at 8:10 of the second when he swooped behind Niemi to pull the puck away from the goal. Derek Stepan’s wrister from 20 feet out had dipped under Niemi’s pads, setting up the Braun heroics.

San Jose pulled even with Ben Eager’s fifth goal of the season.

Boyle ignited the scoring play by pulling a pass back to the left point to Mitchell. The hard shot from the point by Mitchell dipped near the front of the crease and was deflected by Eager and then by Lundqvist.

Niemi, making his 24th consecutive start, finished with 20 saves.

San Jose goes on the road for games Monday in Chicago and Tuesday in Dallas before playing Minnesota Thursday at HP Pavilion.

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