By Adam Brady
NEW YORK – The Ducks visited Madison Square Garden for the first time since October of 2003, and after a convincing win over the New York Rangers, it’s a place they might like to see more often.
Goals by Mathieu Schneider, Corey Perry and Chris Kunitz, and a huge insurance marker by Todd Bertuzzi in the third period paced Anaheim to a 4-1 victory in front of a crowd of more than 18,000 at historic Madison Square Garden.
It was the second straight win for the Ducks on the fifth stop of their eight-game, 15-day road trip, helping wipe out the memory of the six straight they lost beforehand.
|Former Ranger Mathieu Schneider scored the first of the Ducks' four goals.
"It was exciting," said Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf. "It was great for us to come out the way we did and everybody contributed. The guys were fighting and the guys were hitting and doing all the right things."
After a scoring slump in which they went eight straight periods without a goal, the Ducks' four-goal output came on the heels of a 3-0 win over the New York Islanders two nights ago.
Ducks netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere was excellent for the third straight game, making several huge saves among his 32 for the game. His only black mark was a Ryan Callahan goal in the second period that tied the score 1-1. But the Ducks charged back with three unanswered over the final two periods to push their record to 29-22-7 and temporarily cruise into the fourth spot in the Western Conference.
The Rangers dominated the opening 10 minutes of the game, getting several chances and holding Anaheim without a shot for the first 6 1/2 minutes. But the second part of the stanza belonged to Anaheim. Former Ranger and New York native Mathieu Schneider put the Ducks on top with his fourth goal 10:36 into the period. Schneider’s slap shot from the point flew through the legs of George Parros and under the pad of New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
The Rangers got back into it when Callahan found the net with 12:18 left in the second period. Callahan’s slap shot off a Sean Avery feed flew over Giguere and hit the post at the top right corner before caroming in.
The Ducks only put four shots on goal through the first 13 1/2 minutes of the middle session, but two of them found the net to help Anaheim pull away. At 12:05, Perry notched his team-leading 28th of the year, heading down the right wing on a rush and firing a slap shot that hit Lundqvist’s arm and trickled behind him over the stripe.
Just 1:27 later, with the Ducks on the power play, Chris Pronger ripped a shot from the point that bounced softly off Lundqvist to a waiting Kunitz. His putback try hit the right post, but bounced off the back of a diving Lundqvist and went in. Teemu Selanne also got an assist, his second in the two games since he returned to the lineup.
|J.S. Giguere was excellent in net again, stopping 32 of 33 shots.
The second was also marked by two fights early in the period that occurred within 16 seconds of each other. Anaheim’s Brian Sutherby and New York’s Brandon Dubinsky dropped the gloves with Dubinsky getting the slight edge. Then Ducks enforcer George Parros tangled with Colton Orr, with Orr scoring the takedown after a couple of landed punches.
The Ducks looked in danger of letting the Rangers back into the game on a power play midway through the third that followed a Mathieu Schneider holding minor. Several Rangers shots on goal were either saved by Giguere or somehow slid along the ice wide of the net.
Anaheim drastically turned the tables seconds after narrowly killing that penalty. A Corey Perry hit took the puck away from Rangers forward Jaromir Jagr, setting up Ryan Getzlaf on a 2 on 1 rush. His pass to Todd Bertuzzi on his left wing was one-timed past a sprawling Lundqvist.
The Ducks make the short trip to Newark to take on the New Jersey Devils tomorrow night at the new Prudential Center. It’s Scott Niedermayer’s first trip to New Jersey since signing with the Ducks in 2005 after spending 13 seasons in New Jersey. It’s also the Ducks’ first trip there since losing Game 7 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Final to the Devils.
"We need to get as many points as we can off this trip," Getzlaf said. "We've got to play like that every night. We were getting it from different lines tonight, and that's what we need down the stretch."
20:00 - END OF GAME - The Ducks dominate over the final two periods and take a resounding 4-1 victory over the Rangers at MSG.
19:46 - Beauchemin clears from deep in the zone and nearly finds the empty net.
19:10 - Robbie Niedermayer desperately wants that empty-netter.
18:10 - Rangers empty the net. Why?
18:08 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf
, 2 min. tripping. The Rangers get a chance at a late one, and take a timeout.
16:26 - A Pronger slap shot is redirected by Carter off the post.
16:06 - Gomez tries a pass to the middle that's deflected, and the bouncing puck lands in the glove of Giguere.
A few Rangers fans have left the building. Now it looks more like Nassau Coliseum in here.
12:13 - ANAHEIM GOAL - TODD BERTUZZI - After Perry puts a hit on Jagr to take the puck away, Getzlaf heads up ice on a 2 on 1 rush. He feeds Bertuzzi to his left and Bertuzzi's one-timer flies past a sprawling Lundqvist. HUGE turn of events for the Ducks after dodging a bullet on the penalty kill then taking it the other way for the score. This thing is over.
11:58 - The crowd gets antsy as the Rangers can't get off a shot over the final 30 seconds of the power play, as the Ducks finally kill it to boos.
10:38 - The Rangers get several chances in front of open nets, but nothing can find the mark. The crowd has yelled "Awwww!" about five times in a minute.
9:58 - ANA Penalty - Mathieu Schneider, 2 min. holding. After the whistle, Ryan Getzlaf
hooks his stick into Colton Orr and then gets into it with a couple of Rangers. This thing has been physical.
9:37 - Ryan Carter
takes a hit near mid-ice from Ryan Hollweg, then shoves Hollweg hard. A fight ensues, much to the delight of the MSG crowd, who get even louder when Hollweg lands a few punches on Carter and then takes him down. Ducks lead this game 3-1, but they might be 0 for 3 on fights tonight. Carter heads to the locker room with blood on his face and jersey.
9:05 - Straka is all alone in front of Giguere, after a nice feed, but he can't control it right away. When he finally goes, he takes a shot that Giguere charges at and blocks.
7:41 - The puck is loose in front of Giguere, but he kick saves a rebound attempt nicely.
7:33 - Gomez makes a nifty move to get loose in the Ducks zone, but his shot goes wide.
7:01 - Perry gets slammed into the boards and is slow to recover.
6:18 - Dubinsky speeds down right wing and takes a point-blank shot right at Giguere, who keeps it in front of him before putting it on ice.
5:25 - Jagr spins a takes a shot that bounces lightly off Giguere, but he dives on it before a Ranger can touch it.
4:14 - A Callahan shot from the slot is stopped by Giguere, as he lunges forward past a screening Avery.
0:27 - NYR Penalty - Blair Betts, 2 min. holding.
0:00 - Here we go in the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks erupt for two goals despite taking just seven shots in the period. Perry and Kunitz give Anaheim a 3-1 lead.
19:40 - Perry breaks his stick on a one-timer, and it bounces to Kunitz, who nearly scores it from the slot but Lundqvist lunges to stop it.
18:05 - Parros and Orr get face to face once again, but skate away before anything happens.
16:29 - With just seconds to go on the power play, Marc Staal takes a wrist shot that Giguere stops with the glove, but he has to reach behind himself to smother it.
14:31 - ANA Penalty - Mathieu Schneider, 2 min. holding.
13:32 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - CHRIS KUNITZ - Pronger takes a slap shot that rebounds softly off Lundqvist to a waiting Kunitz. He kicks it to his stick and shoots it off the right post, where it hits a diving Lundqvist and slides over the line. Third Ducks goal on just 12 shots. It's 3-1. Second assist goes to Teemu Selanne, his second in as many games since his return.
13:19 - NYR Penalty - Fedor Tyutin, 2 min. hooking. Tyutin hooks Bertuzzi as Todd heads to the net. Crowd does not like it.
12:05 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Schneider makes a great play to clear the puck behind him in the Ducks zone to Perry, who heads down right wing on a rush. Perry never gives up the puck, ripping a slap shot on the move that hits Lundqvist's arm and trickles behind him just inside the left post. It's Perry's team-leading 28th and it's 2-1 Anaheim.
11:51 - Dubinsky hops on a loose puck near the post with an open net, but can't find the handle.
According to the video board, Sean Avery listens to Linkin Park before games. Well, whoopedy doo.
I just got an email from a Ducks fan informing me that the Rangers radio guys keep calling them the "Mighty Ducks." Geez, they just can't figure it out here, can they? Old habits die hard, I guess.
7:42 - NEW YORK GOAL - RYAN CALLAHAN - Off a feed from behind the net by Sean Avery, Callahan lets go of a slap shot from the top of the right circle that flies over Giguere, hits the post at the top right corner and then the net. Betts, who had been knocked into the net was literally sitting on the goal line behind Giguere when the puck goes in. It's 1-1.
7:32 - Betts gets it with room in front of Giguere, but the save is made.
5:59 - Given the choice between toe drag and pass, Perry again chooses toe drag -- and loses the puck.
4:50 - Giguere makes another seemingly easy stop.
2:44 - Now Parros and Colton Orr drop the glove, neither landing anything severe before Parros tries a tackle, but can't get him down. Then Orr tags Parros with a couple and takes him down, throwing a punch to the back of the head after Parros is on the ground. They get 5 too and Parros goes to the locker room for an apparent equipment problem.
2:28 - Doug Weight has limped off into the locker room.
2:28 - Sutherby and Brandon Dubinsky get wrapped up away from the puck, and here we go...They both throw several punches, with Dubinsky getting the edge on a mini-takedown. They're both tagged with 5.
2:15 - Off a Selanne feed, Schneider again rips a shot,b ut it's over the net.
1:11 - Gomez tries to punch in a bouncing puck in front of Giguere, but the goalie smothers it. Close call.
0:33 - Giguere again thwarts a Rangers chance in front of him.
Good GOD it is cold in here. One of the disadvantages of sitting this close to the ice. But I'm too proud to put my coat on.
0:00 - We're off and running.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks lead it 1-0 as the old-time buzzer sounds to end the period. The Rangers own the first part of the period, but the Ducks get the end in the second part, where they get the only goal.
17:37 - Sutherby's shot is knocked away with the glove by Lundqvist, who also denies Sutherby's rebound try.
16:40 - Kent Huskins accidentally tries to clear it from the corner right in front of Giguere, who is able to knock it away as Betts pokes at it.
15:36 - ANA Penalty - Francois Beauchemin, 2 min. holding and NYR Penalty - Scott Gomez, 2 min. roughing. Beauchemin and Scott Gomez tangle with each other a bit away from the puck. I like how the PA announcer says "Ladies and gentlemen..." before announcing a penalty or goal.
13:54 - ANA Penalty - Chris Pronger, 2 min. slashing. Pronger gets a little aggressive trying to stop the Rangers effort.
13:50 - Prucha makes a sweet move and feed to Chris Drury, but Giguere stonewalls Drury.
Willie O'Ree, the first black player in the NHL is in attendance and is introduced. Dude looks sharp in a black overcoat and black hat.
10:36 - ANAHEIM GOAL - MATHIEU SCHNEIDER - After picking up the puck in the corner, Brian Sutherby sends it to Schneider at the blueline. Schneider's slap shot flies low to the ice and goes through the legs of a screening George Parros and under Lundqvist's pad. If you were to bet on who would score first in this one after the first 10 minutes, you wouldn't have likely picked Anaheim, but it's 1-0 Ducks. Eighth of the year for Schneider.
10:05 - The Rangers get caught on a change, and Marchant skates into the slot before wristing on that Lundqvist kicks away.
8:08 - After a great takeaway by Perry, Getzlaf skates down the wing and feeds Kunitz, who whiffs on the one-timer.
We're at the first timeout and the ice is tilted heavily in the Rangers' favor.
6:28 - A Marchant backhand is the first shot for the Ducks.
6:10 - Straka's shot is deflected by an Anaheim player, but Giguere is still there to stop it.
5:00 - Petr Prucha slaps one room the slot and Giguere barely saves it, then the rebound is just batted away before a Blueshirt can touch it.
4:30 - Betts rips a shot from the slot that Giguere kicks away. Five shots on goal for the Rangers; zero for the Ducks.
This place is definitely at or near a sellout. Refreshing change from Tuesday night.
3:20 - Martin Straka rips a slap shot from the right side over the cage.
The theme from "Rescue Me" is blared in the arena. Great song.
2:13 - Jagr gets the puck in the slot, turns and fires, but Giguere is ready for it.
1:40 - Selanne, Weight and Bertuzzi together again.
0:00 - And we're underway at Madison Square Garden. Feels kind of cool to write that.
7:08 p.m. - Unbelievable energy in this building during the anthem, even though it apparently wasn't the normal guy who sings it, but a woman filling in. It's already louder in here than Long Island.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere; NYR Henrik Lundqvist
Starting Skaters: ANA Corey Perry
, Chris Kunitz, Ryan Getzlaf
, Francois Beauchemin, Scott Niedermayer; NYR Michal Rozsival, Blair Betts, Marc Staal, Colton Orr, Ryan Hollweg
Scratches: ANA Brandon Bochenski, Travis Moen, Joe DiPenta; NYR Brendan Shanahan, Marek Malik, Marcel Hosssa, Greg Moore