Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Staal Starts Big Late Rally for Rangers

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Staal Starts Big Late Rally for Rangers

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - This one would have been real troubling for the Rangers.

Instead, they successfully showed patience that their long stretches of puck possession would pay off despite a first period in which they outshot the Maple Leafs, 14-3, and still trailed by two.

It finally did with four third-period goals in a 5-2 win Saturday night to open a three-game homestand at Madison Square Garden.

"It's a different story to put that effort forward and lose the game," Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said. "You talk about how it's something good to build on. But, in reality, you don't get the win ..."

In reality, the Rangers, who gave a dismal effort in Thursday's 2- 1 loss at Philadelphia, couldn't afford to let the losses mount in a 48-game season.

Staal prevented the Rangers (2-3-0) from doing so, scoring the tying goal and setting up Marian Gaborik's winner.

Gaborik had two goals and two assists as the Rangers' top line with center Brad Richards and Rick Nash was dominant with 16 of the team's 42 shots, including a game-high eight by Nash.

"I think this is a great game in so many ways," said goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who allowed two goals on the first three shots he faced and finished with 15 saves. "We stuck to our game plan, and that's how we won a lot of games last year. It's important we got rewarded by playing the way we should play."

"I think that was the closest we've come to what we feel is our identity," added center Brian Boyle, who made it 4-2 at 17:08 of the third period by deflecting in Michael Del Zotto's shot.

James Reimer made 39 saves for the Maple Leafs (2-3-0) who also collapsed in the third period of their 7-4 loss to the Islanders on Thursday, being outscored 4-1.

"This was a huge win, especially to rally back," Gaborik said. …

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