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Saturday, April 16, 2011
Rangers 'not discouraged' by Game 2 loss

By Scott Burnside

We like to cite Ken Hitchcock in this matter, but there are certainly others who have echoed the sentiment. The wisdom is that it's not a playoff series until a team wins on the road.

And New York Rangers coach John Tortorella said he remains optimistic even though his team is down 2-0 in its Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the top-seeded Washington Capitals.

"I'm not discouraged," he said.

Captain Chris Drury, who played just 7:26, fewest of any player on either team, said the Rangers can't be content with just being close.

Rangers
"No moral victories in the playoffs," Chris Drury said. "You got to find ways to win. We regroup and get one big win in our belly, things have a way of shifting."
"No moral victories in the playoffs," he said. "You got to find ways to win. We regroup and get one big win in our belly, things have a way of shifting."

The one lineup change the Rangers made for Game 2 -- the insertion of Sean Avery for rookie Mats Zuccarello -- didn't produce any goals, but Tortorella was pleased with the energy Avery brought to the proceedings.

By the end, the trio of Avery, Brandon Prust and Brian Boyle was keeping the Caps off balance with a strong forecheck.

Avery, a healthy scratch for the Rangers' last regular-season game and Game 1, ended up playing 10:22 and had three shots on goal.

He also was involved in a number of scrums toward the end of the game.

"That's how he plays," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I thought we did a good job of staying out of it."

Washington captain Alex Ovechkin's goal in Game 1 gave him 21 playoff goals for his career to go with 20 assists in 29 postseason games. His points per game average of 1.41 puts him fourth behind Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Barry Pederson. He added an assist in Game 2.

One of the best lines on the ice for either team in Game 2 was the trio of Brooks Laich, Jason Chimera and rookie center Marcus Johansson. They scored the game's first goal and had a number of other good opportunities.

"Well, they can all skate," Boudreau said. "They put pressure on. And when they get a goal, it lifts the team. And they got a great goal."