NEW YORK (AP) -- Anaheim coach Mike Babcock insists there is no
goalie controversy brewing for the Mighty Ducks.
There is no denying that the Western Conference champions have
one fine backup.
"The best player in the game was Gerber, no doubt about it,"
Sergei Fedorov assisted on power-play goals by Niclas Havelid
and Rob Niedermayer, and Sandis Ozolinsh also scored for Anaheim,
which snapped New York's four-game unbeaten streak -- all at home
Gerber, playing his second straight game in place of struggling
goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, fell just short of his second
shutout of the season when Alex Kovalev scored with 3:51 left.
"I didn't expect to start here, but this is a great honor, the
confidence the coaches trust in me," Gerber said.
It was the second consecutive start for Gerber over Giguere, the
MVP of last season's playoffs. Babcock said after the game that
Gerber will start again Wednesday at Washington.
"Let's not kid ourselves, there's no controversy here,"
Babcock said. "Gerbs is hot and Jiggy's trying to get his game
back so Gerbs is going to run with it for a bit. We're real
fortunate that we've got unbelievable goaltending."
When told of his next assignment by reporters, Gerber responded
Gerber (2-1-1) has allowed only five goals this season in four
games, while Giguere has yielded 19 in six games. Since opening
0-4, Anaheim is 3-1-1-1.
"We haven't done anything really, just finally proved to
ourselves we can play and play well," Fedorov said. "We have to
work on the next step, being consistent and be like that every
The Rangers lost for the first time this season at Madison
Square Garden in the fifth game of a six-game homestand. As good as
they looked in a 3-1 win Saturday over Detroit, that's how inept
this performance was.
"We got down two goals ... and we didn't stay methodical,"
Rangers forward Bobby Holik said. "We didn't keep playing the way
we need to play to win."
New York went 0-for-4 on the power play, falling to 0-for-30
this season. The Rangers are the only NHL club without a
Anaheim entered with the third-worst power-play unit in the
league, but connected twice on its first three chances against the
Rangers, who had killed 22 of 23 penalties on the homestand.
"It's frustrating. The chances are there," said Petr Nedved,
who assisted on Kovalev's goal. "We're hitting posts. We've got to
keep working on it and keep shooting. Sooner or later something is
going to go in.
"It's frustrating because special teams, they win or lose you
games. Our PK, other than tonight, has been great, but our power
play has been horrible."
Seconds after Anaheim's Stanislav Chistov was leveled by Holik,
the Mighty Ducks forward got up in the corner and moved the puck to
Fedorov at the left point. He slid a pass to the right point for
Havelid, who sent a shot through traffic that beat Mike Dunham at
14:42 of the first period and gave the Ducks a 2-0 lead.
It became a three-goal advantage during a second-period power
play when Fedorov's shot from above the left circle was deflected
in by Niedermayer at 9:34.
Ozolinsh gave Anaheim a 1-0 lead at 9:51 of the first when his
shot beat Dunham, who was screened. Samuel Pahlsson earned an
Gerber, in his second NHL season, has eight career wins.
... Dunham allowed only four goals in the first four games of the
homestand. ... Kovalev scored his first goal of the season, one day
after injuring his knee in practice. ... Ducks rookie Joffrey
Lupul, who assisted on Ozolinsh's goal, has points in four of his
last five games. ... Rangers C Pascal Rheaume sprained a ligament
in his left knee and will be out two to four weeks. New York
recalled C Chad Wiseman from Hartford of the AHL.