Dubinsky helps Rangers to third straight win

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By Larry Fleisher

PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- A year ago, the New York Rangers were

unsure of what they had in Brandon Dubinsky. Now, they have a

player who seems to have a knack for scoring clutch goals.

Dubinsky scored the game-winning goal and collected two assists

as the Rangers posted a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks

on Friday night.

Defenseman Wade Redden and Nikolai Zherdev also tallied in their

home debuts with the Rangers, who are 3-0-0 for the first time

since 1989-90. The Rangers have won their last four opening

games at Madison Square Garden.

Aaron Voros chipped in with a goal and an assist and Henrik

Lundqvist made 30 saves for New York, which began the campaign

last weekend in Prague, Czech Republic with a pair of 2-1 wins

over Tampa Bay.

"It feels good to get in here and get some confidence with new

teammates," Lundqvist said. "So far, it's going good."

Patrick Kane and defenseman Duncan Keith scored for Chicago,

which fell to 15-21-6 in season openers on the road.

"We knew our assignments, but we just didn't do it," Blackhawks

coach Denis Savard said. "We had about 30 shots and we probably

missed the net 10 to a dozen times. We had good chances where

we could have buried some of them. We had enough chances to

win."

Voros snapped a 1-1 tie 5:15 into the second period with his

first goal in 37 games dating to December 26 while a member of

the Minnesota Wild. After setting up Voros' tally, Dubinsky

gave the Rangers some breathing room by scoring on a breakaway

with 4:35 remaining in the session.

It turned out to be Dubinsky's second career winning goal. His

first came last Saturday, when he tallied on the power play in

the third period vs. the Lightning.

"What I see now is a kid that does not want to let this

opportunity go," New York coach Tom Renney said. "That bodes

well for us."

Dubinsky's goal gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead, but they struggled

to clear their own zone and saw the advantage shrink to one when

Keith beat Lundqvist from the slot at 7:13 of the third period.

Dubinsky, who scored 14 goals in his rookie season, helped seal

the win by picking up an assist on a goal by Zherdev, who beat

goaltender Cristobal Huet to the glove side with a wrist shot

from the top of the slot at 9:33.

After registering one shot on goal in 9 1/2 minutes of action in

the home opener last season, Dubinsky tied a career high with

three points in this one.

"The home opener for me last year, I was scared," he said. "I

got out there and I was really nervous. I think I might have

fallen like three times in my first four shifts. But it doesn't

really change too much either.

"Obviously, you build up all summer and all training camp to

have this night. It's a nerve-racking night and you want to

show your fans what you can do."

Huet turned aside 25 shots for the Blackhawks, who fell to

15-21-6 in season openers on the road.

"It's not the end result we wanted," said Huet, who signed a

lucrative four-year contract over the summer. "It's

disappointing to lose the first one."

Redden opened the scoring by burying the rebound of captain

Chris Drury's shot from the right faceoff circle at 6:47 of the

first. Lundqvist made several big saves to preserve the lead,

including one on a shot by Patrick Sharp during a 2-on-1 rush

midway through the period, but allowed the equalizer late.

Defenseman Brian Campbell carried the puck down the left wing

and banked it off the side of the net. The puck went directly

to Kane, who fired it past Lundqvist from the bottom of the left

circle with 2:42 remaining to forge a 1-1 tie.

Voros put New York back in front at 5:15 of the second.

Dubinsky stole the puck from Dave Bolland in the offensive zone

and dished it to Voros, who beat Huet with a one-timer from one

knee.

"I saw (Voros) right away," Dubinsky said. "It was rolling on

me. A puck like that is not easy to shoot. He made a real nice

shot and scored a big goal for us."

Voros was impressed with his linemate's performance.

"He's got a lot of confidence," Voros said. "He played with a

couple of phenomenal players (in Jaromir Jagr and Scott Gomez

last season), and it was the biggest thing for him."

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