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Sharks' flurry, penalty shot can't stop Rangers

11/12/2002

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- On a night when rookie coach Bryan
Trottier was banned from the bench, the New York Rangers finally
showed some of the offensive flair and third-period grit he's tried
to coax from his high-priced roster.

Rem Murray had two goals and an assist as the Rangers excelled
without their suspended coach, beating the San Jose Sharks 5-4
Monday night for their third win in four games.

Brian Leetch, Ted Donato and Ronald Petrovicky also scored as
New York repeatedly dusted the Sharks' patchwork defense. The
Rangers then showed defensive toughness in the final minutes,
hanging on despite a successful penalty shot by Patrick Marleau.

Assistants Jim Schoenfeld and Terry O'Reilly ran the show in the
absence of Trottier, who will miss two games for sending several
enforcers onto the ice in the final seconds of Saturday's loss at
Columbus.

"We missed Bryan, but we tried to adhere to his game plan,''
said Schoenfeld, a longtime head coach. "Hopefully, he's pleased
with the way we pulled it off.''

The struggling Sharks trailed by three goals entering the third,
but Marleau's penalty shot with 9:58 to play cut New York's lead to
one.

Dan Blackburn made 33 saves in his third straight start for the
Rangers, who were outshot 17-5 in the third period but managed to
hang on. Mike Richter, who got kicked in the head during a game
last week, didn't even suit up.

"I'm just trying to be ready for each game, because I didn't
know I was playing today until I got here,'' Blackburn said. "The
third period was tough. It seemed like we didn't win a draw in the
whole period, and they were just standing back at the blue line and
blasting shots.''

Murray got his second goal midway through a 7-minute power play
in the second period. With six goals this season, he's making the
most of his time on the Rangers' top line.

"Bryan told me not to change anything about my game just
because of who I'm playing with,'' Murray said. "We got an
encouraging result. I don't think we've been paying the price like
we need to.''

Marco Sturm, Teemu Selanne and Mike Ricci also scored for the
Sharks, who were winless in the final three games of their
homestand despite the surprise return of Scott Thornton, their
high-scoring forward who's been out all season after shoulder
surgery.

"The emotions are lower than last year,'' Thornton said. "We
need our cockiness back. We're missing something, and it shows.''

San Jose, in last place in the Pacific Division, won't play at
the Shark Tank again until Nov. 30 -- after an eight-game road trip.

Miikka Kiprusoff made 22 saves in his first start for San Jose
since Oct. 25. Evgeni Nabokov had played seven straight games since
ending his contract holdout.

New York went up 2-0 when San Jose defenseman Jeff Jillson made
perhaps his worst blunder yet in a season that's already put him in
coach Darryl Sutter's doghouse.

From the Sharks' end, Jillson foolishly attempted a long
cross-ice pass that was intercepted by Matthew Barnaby. He fed
Murray, who easily beat Kiprusoff for his fifth goal of the season.

"It's a play that they have to make, and they're not making it,
and it's costing us hockey games,'' Sutter said without
specifically mentioning Jillson. "I can't understand it when you
have all the time in the world, and you pass the hockey puck right
to the opponent's stick for goals.''

Sturm scored with an exceptional deflection of Mike Rathje's
shot from the point on a power play just 10 seconds into the
second, but Leetch wired a long wrist shot through three players
and into the top left corner of the net 5 minutes later.

The Sharks were down 4-2 late in the second period when Todd
Harvey, playing in his 500th NHL game, gave New York a 7-minute
power play by jumping Barnaby and throwing several haymakers before
Barnaby could even get his gloves off.

"Barnaby asked me to fight. He slashed me in the back of the
leg,'' Harvey said. "He suckered me. What can I say?''

Game notes
Richter said he'll practice with the Rangers on Wednesday
in Calgary. Minor leaguer Johan Holmqvist backed up Blackburn. ...
Marleau got the fifth successful penalty shot in Sharks history.
... Krzysztof Oliwa, the Rangers' leader in penalty minutes, also
began serving a five-game suspension.