Dubinsky, Rangers topple reeling Coyotes - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Dubinsky, Rangers topple reeling Coyotes

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By Larry Fleisher

PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Brandon Dubinsky came tantalizing close to

ending his lengthy scoring slump in the first period. When he

had another opportunity in the second, he finally ended it.

Dubinsky scored 75 seconds into the session and added an assist

as the New York Rangers handed the Phoenix Coyotes their sixth

straight loss with a 4-1 triumph on Monday.

Nikolai Zherdev also had a season-high three assists as the

Rangers avoided their first three-game losing streak of the

season. Defenseman Dan Girardi scored a power-play goal midway

through the third and penalty-killer Blair Betts tallied in the

first.

"The effort was good," Rangers coach Tom Renney said. "The

intentions was good. The outcome was great."

After missing the last five games with an ankle injury, Scott

Gomez added an empty-net goal with 28 seconds remaining to seal

the win.

Henrik Lundqvist made 35 saves for the Rangers, who had allowed

10 goals in their previous two contests. It was Lundqvist's

first start since allowing five goals on 16 shots to Vancouver

and it marked the 17th time in 20 games he allowed two goals or

less.

Enver Lisin scored the lone goal for Phoenix, which fell to

0-4-2 its last six games. The Coyotes, who have scored 48 goals

have been outscored 23-10, during this skid.

"I can see they are getting a little bit frustrated," Phoenix

coach Wayne Gretzky said. "We can't seem to find ways to score

goals right now."

"We had than enough opportunities to do that (score) in the

first period," Coyotes captain Shane Doan added. "We played

really well and we had some opportunities to be up two or three

(goals)."

Dubinsky had not scored in exactly a month when he recorded the

game-winner at Columbus. That was 14 games ago and entering

Monday, he had just four points in that span.

In this one, he posted his fourth multi-point game of the season

but first since collecting two assists at Detroit on October 18.

Dubinsky's frustration continued 86 seconds into the contest

when he hit the left post despite having a point-blank

opportunity. Just over a minute later, he fought Phoenix

enforcer Daniel Carcillo and while he was in the penalty box,

the Coyotes took a 1-0 lead when Lisin tapped in his own

re-direction attempt of Olli Jokinen's at 4:08 of the first.

"I don't want to make it a habit," Dubinsky said. "It seems

like there's been a couple the last little while. Sometimes

when the puck's not going in for you and you're squeezing your

stick a little bit, you want to mix it up a little bit and do

some other things."

After Betts tied it with 6:27 remaining in the first, Dubinsky

ended his lengthy drought by working a give-and-go with Zherdev.

After passing to Zherdev, he skated around the net and scored on

a wraparound, squirting the puck through Ilya Bryzgalov's pads

for his fifth goal of the season.

"It feels good," Girardi said. "We were tied and then we didn't

look back after that one."

Dubinsky also had a little help on his goal as defenseman Ed

Jovanovski put it in while trying to clear it off the goal line.

"I felt good from the start," Dubinsky said. "It was certainly

nice to get the goal. I think maybe the hockey gods helped me

out a little bit after I had a few chances there. It went

through the goalie and the guy (Jovanovski) knocked it in with

the tip of his stick. It's nice and hopefully this is a sign to

keep going.

Unlike several of their previous games in the last two weeks,

the Rangers did not wait until they faced a two-goal deficit to

start a comeback.

"We played a very solid second and third," Lundqvist said. "The

first period was better than usual. The goal was very

important. We established momentum after that goal."

They started it when Betts deked Bryzgalov for New York's first

goal in the opening 20 minutes in eight games.

The Rangers sealed it at 7:57 of the third when Dubinsky

screened Bryzgalov, allowing Girardi to blast a shot from the

right point.

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