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NHL ROUNDUP

Rangers Heat Up to Beat Senators

November 24, 2003|From Associated Press

Mark Messier was perfectly warm in his regular uniform, and the New York Rangers looked just as comfortable even without any points from their captain.

Martin Rucinsky had a goal and three assists, and Brian Leetch a goal and assist for his first multipoint game this season, leading the Rangers to a 6-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night at New York. The victory ended a four-game winless streak.

Messier was back with his Ranger teammates after spending Saturday in Edmonton, Canada -- skating in an outdoor old-timers game with his former friends with the Oilers.

That game took place in subzero temperatures, where ski hats and long underwear were standard. He got back to New York around midnight Saturday, and felt fine Sunday.

"I didn't have my long johns on tonight," the 42-year-old Messier said. "It was the same as coming back from any game on the road."

The rest of the Rangers came back from a winless trip Thursday after losing at Colorado. Messier and Coach Glen Sather took a detour to Edmonton for Saturday's Heritage Classic.

Leetch scored his second goal of the season in the second period and set up Rucinsky in the first for the Rangers, who went 0-2-2 on the trip. Leetch was playing in only his 11th game this season after sitting out the first nine because of an ankle injury.

Alex Kovalev had a goal and two assists, and Bobby Holik, Jan Hlavac and Petr Nedved had goals for New York, which scored only seven on the trip.

"It was one of those games where everybody clicks," Rucinsky said.

*

Carolina 0, Tampa Bay 0 -- Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 37 shots, and the Tampa Bay Lightning ran its unbeaten streak to four by tying the Hurricanes at Raleigh, N.C.

Carolina had a goal disallowed 1:21 into overtime when officials ruled Rod Brind'Amour used a high stick to deflect the puck into the net.

Khabibulin recorded his 34th career shutout and 13th with Tampa Bay, moving him ahead of Daren Puppa for the most in franchise history.

Carolina's Kevin Weekes picked up his third shutout and 16th of his career, stopping 21 shots.

*

Atlanta 1, Phoenix 0 -- Marc Savard scored in his return from a nine-game layoff and led the Thrashers to a franchise-record four-game winning streak with a victory over the Coyotes at Atlanta.

Pasi Nurminen made 21 saves for his second shutout of the season, but his first shutout victory. His other one was a 0-0 tie at the New York Rangers on Oct. 16.

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