Blackburn once again stymies Flames

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- New York Rangers goalie Dan Blackburn seems to save his best for the Calgary Flames.

The 19-year-old backstop was brilliant Thursday night, making 35 saves to backstop the Rangers to a 2-1 victory over the Flames.

Last week, Blackburn made 26 saves for his first NHL shutout in
a 1-0 win over the Flames in New York.

"Each time I go out there, I feel a little bit better. Tonight's the best I've felt all season so I'm heading in the right direction,'' said Blackburn, who evened his record at 3-3-1.

Mikael Samuelsson set up Petr Nedved's tying goal early in the
second period and scored the winner 7 minutes later as the Rangers
won for the fourth time in five games.

With Mike Richter still sidelined with a concussion, Blackburn made his fourth start in a row.

"The guys let me see the shots and they cleared all the
rebounds and that makes my job a lot easier,'' said Blackburn, who
grew up in Canmore, a small town just outside of Calgary.

The only shot he couldn't stop was one from Jarome Iginla.

He scored in the first period for the Flames, who opened a
five-game homestand with their fourth straight loss.

"We don't face him again and that's a positive,'' Iginla said. "He's played well in both games against us making a lot of real good saves.''

Blackburn's best stop was a sprawling blocker stop on Iginla's
breakaway late in the first period. He was strong in the decisive
second period, too, when he turned aside all 15 shots he faced as
the Rangers made a 1-0 deficit a 2-1 lead.

"We're thrilled with Danny,'' Rangers assistant coach Jim Schoenfeld said. "He shut them out a week ago in New York and tonight, he had to make some big saves on some real point-blank shots.''

Iginla opened the scoring with 39 seconds remaining in the first
period, one-timing in a cross-ice pass from rookie Flames
defenseman Jordan Leopold.

The goal stopped a six-game drought for Iginla and was just his
fourth goal of the season. After 17 games last season, Iginla led
the NHL with 14 goals on his way to a league-high of 52.

Nedved tied it 1-1 at 4:09 of the second with a shorthanded
goal. Samuelsson jumped on a turnover deep in the Flames end.
Although Jamie McLennan was able to kick out the initial shot,
Nedved grabbed the long rebound and fired it in.

Samuelsson then put the Rangers into the lead with 9:38 to play
in the period.

Deep in the Flames zone, Vladimir Malakhov knocked the puck off
Craig Conroy's stick. The puck went right to Samuelsson, who sent a
quick snap shot between McLennan's pads.

The Flames pressed for the tying goal in the final minute with
McLennan pulled, but Blackburn made close-in stops off Chris Clark
and Rob Niedermayer.

"We have to find ways to score more than one goal,'' Iginla
said. "Jamie McLennan is playing well for us right now and we've
just got to battle through this and find ways to score more

Game notes
Two of the Rangers' top players continue to slump. C Eric
Lindros has just two assists in eight games and has no goals in 14.
RW Pavel Bure has gone eight games without a point. ... New York
head coach Bryan Trottier served the final game of the two-game
suspension he received for the conduct of the Rangers at the end of
a game Nov. 9 in Columbus. ... Calgary D Steve Montador played his
first game of the season. Montador was recalled from Saint John of
the AHL on Wednesday to replace D Bob Boughner, out one-to-two
weeks with a fractured thumb. ... Flames RW Steve Begin got back in
the lineup after missing nine games.