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Upshall's goal gives winless Predators a tie

10/20/2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- Scottie Upshall will never forget his first game
at Madison Square Garden.

The 19-year-old rookie scored a breakaway goal late in the
second period Saturday night to lift the winless Nashville
Predators into a 2-2 tie with the New York Rangers.

''It was a great feeling to do it in a building with so much
history in front such an amazing crowd,'' said Upshall, who had 74
goals in two seasons with Kamloops in the Western Hockey League.

Nashville (0-2-1-2), which lost in overtime to the New York
Islanders on Tuesday and again in New Jersey on Friday, also got a
goal from Kimmo Timonen. The Predators didn't lose an overtime game
last season, going 5-0-13.

''It's an uphill battle for our team,'' Upshall said. ''It's our
goal to make the playoffs and we're off to a slow start. It's tough
but I think we're coming together as a team.''

Pavel Bure scored on a penalty shot, and Dale Purinton added his
first career NHL goal for New York.

Nashville defenseman Bill Houlder was whistled for closing his
hand on the puck in the crease, setting up Bure's penalty shot at
4:25 of the first period.

Bure put a beautiful shoulder fake on Tomas Vokoun skated toward
the Nashville goal. Once the goalie reacted to the deke, Bure sped
around him to tuck the puck into the net.

''The puck was rolling a little bit at the blue line,'' Bure
said. ''I didn't have too much time. I was changing my mind about
exactly what I wanted to do.''

In the second period, Nashville pulled even on Timonen's
power-play goal at 3:49. Timonen intercepted a clearing attempt and
flipped a knuckler through a maze of players that eluded goalie
Mike Richter.

Purinton, playing in his 88th game, put the Rangers back in
front at 2-1 at 4:57.

Upshall skated through three zones for a breakaway score at
14:21 that pulled Nashville even at 2-2. Upshall rifled a shot past
Richter's right shoulder for his first NHL goal.

Nashville had the best chances in overtime with Richter making a
chest save on Clarke Wilm, and David Legwand hitting the post with
the net wide open.

''We were all over them,'' Predators coach Barry Trotz said.
''The Rangers were hanging on in that game.''

Game notes
Legwand scored the first overtime penalty-shot goal in NHL
history when the Predators beat the Rangers at Madison Square
Garden on Dec. 23, 2000. ... Nashville RW Scott Walker missed a
second straight game with torn rib cartilage. ... Bure has scored
at least one goal in 12 of his 15 games with the Rangers. ... The
game started a four-game homestand for New York. ... The Predators
and Atlanta Thrashers, who also lost Saturday, are the NHL's only
remaining winless teams.