Rangers shut out Panthers
Published: Sunday, January 8, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 8, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
NEW YORK - Henrik Lundqvist and Petr Prucha are far off the rookie of the year radar, and that is just how their superstar teammate wants it.
"I'm glad about it because they don't get a big head," Jaromir Jagr said after his two-goal performance and the efforts of his young teammates helped the New York Rangers to a 4-0 victory Saturday over the Florida Panthers.
While debate rages whether Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby or Washington's Alexander Ovechkin is the NHL's best first-year player, the tandem of Lundqvist and Prucha is quietly aiding the Rangers in their quest for the team's first playoff appearance since 1997.
Lundqvist made a career-high 38 saves in his second career shutout - both against Florida - and Prucha scored his 20th goal as New York snapped a three-game losing streak.
"There are so many good rookies in the league, I just have to keep focusing on my game," Lundqvist said. "There are so many young guys coming up all the time, you need to establish yourself."
Jagr, the NHL points leader with 65, boosted his goal total to 27 with two, and Ville Nieminen added one for the Rangers, who snapped a three-game losing streak for the fourth time this season.
Michael Nylander had three assists.
Alex Tanguay and Marek Svatos scored shootout goals for host Colorado.
Tanguay and Svatos also accounted for both Colorado goals in regulation, and the Avalanche won their fourth straight.
Radek Bonk and Mathieu Dandenault ended lengthy goal droughts and the host Canadiens scored four times in the first period.
Bonk hadn't scored in 44 games, and Dandenault ended a 46-game goal drought.
Martin Gerber made 30 saves for his sixth career shutout, and visiting Carolina scored three goals in a 6:14 span in the second period to beat the New York Islanders for a home-and-home sweep.
Marc Savard broke a tie with a power-play goal with 3:25 to play, and Ilya Kovalchuk had two more goals to help visiting Atlanta beat Pittsburgh.
Backup goalie Mikael Tellqvist made 36 saves and Chad Kilger scored the winning goal early in the third period for visiting Toronto.
Brian Rafalski had a goal and an assist, and Martin Brodeur made 26 saves for New Jersey.
Manny Fernandez made 22 saves for host Minnesota and matched his career high with his sixth straight victory.
Eric Godard of the New York Islanders was suspended for two games by the NHL for punching Carolina Hurricanes forward Justin Williams.
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