NEW YORK (AP) -- Tom Renney was already coaching the New York
Rangers against the Minnesota Wild hours before the first puck was
During a Monday morning video session, Renney instructed his
players to be prepared for the Wild and their trapping system and
to be ready for a dogfight at the end.
Petr Prucha scored a career-high two power-play goals, including
the tiebreaker with 8:29 remaining, and the New York Rangers got
back on the winning track with a 3-1 victory over Minnesota on
"I said, 'Don't be surprised if it's 1-1 going into the third
period," Renney said.
He was right and the Rangers responded.
Prucha jumped on a rebound of Martin Straka's shot and chipped
it over sprawled-out goalie Dwayne Roloson for his ninth goal.
Prucha also gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves to improve to 8-1-1 at home, two
nights after allowing five goals on 21 shots in a loss at
Washington that snapped New York's six-game winning streak. Martin
Straka scored an empty-net goal with 19 seconds left for the
Rangers, who held a 19-4 shots advantage in the third period.
Martin Rucinsky, playing for only the second time in 17 games
because of a knee sprain, had three assists.
New York has won five straight at home.
The really surprising thing is that the Rangers generated 40
shots, 37 of which were stopped by Roloson.
"We knew they were going to sit back and wait for their
chances," Straka said. "After 40 minutes, Coach Renney told us to
be patient and hopefully we would get our chances."
That's where Prucha came in. He cleaned up in front twice,
giving himself four goals in five games and nine in his rookie
"The first goal, I didn't touch the puck. I was just standing
there. I don't know why they called my name," Prucha said. "The
second one, I was just lucky."
Pascal Dupuis scored late in the second period for the Wild, who
entered with the NHL's best penalty-killing unit. Minnesota allowed
more than one power-play goal in a game for only the third time
The Wild are 0-2-1 on their five-game trip.
The first period was very un-Wild like as the Rangers grabbed
the lead with a power-play goal on a shot Roloson should've kept
Jaromir Jagr worked a two-man game with Prucha and let a shot go
from the right circle that Roloson appeared to gobble up in his
midsection. But before he could secure the puck, it dropped into
the crook of his right arm and fell into the crease. Prucha swooped
in and knocked it in before Roloson could cover.
New York converted on its first man advantage, snapping a streak
of 12 straight penalty kills by the Wild. Minnesota, 4-for-6 while
short-handed, entered with a 89.5 percent kill rate.
"We got in trouble early," said defenseman Willie Mitchell,
who was whistled for two second-period penalties. "We were in the
box a lot."
The soft goal was also rare for Roloson, who came in with the
league's fourth-best save percentage. He and partner Manny
Fernandez, who alternate games, are the NHL's best goaltending duo.
Fernandez's .931 save percentage leads the league.
Roloson, who made 44 saves in his last start Thursday -- a 2-1
loss at Nashville -- seemed to fight the puck all night but got away
with only two goals against.
"They're very creative," he said of the Rangers. "They don't
blow many chances."
Minnesota came out of its defensive shell late in the second
period and put lots of pressure on Lundqvist in the final minute.
After nearly putting a shot in, the Wild finally got on the board
with 27.6 seconds remaining.
With Roloson out of the Wild net during a delayed penalty call,
Dupuis got a knuckling shot over Lundqvist to tie it at 1 with his
Former Rangers captain Mark Messier, who retired before the
season, received a rousing ovation when he was introduced on the
ice as an assistant coach of the Pee Wee Rangers, who will compete
in a tournament in Quebec. Messier's jersey will be raised to the
rafters on Jan. 12. ... Wild C Mikko Koivu, who played 11 straight
games after missing the first 14 because of injury, was a healthy
scratch. ... Minnesota was 0-for-5 on the power play. ... New York
played its first interconference game. Minnesota played its second,
after falling at New Jersey in a shootout Saturday.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Madison Square Garden Location: New York, New York
Referees: Eric Furlatt, Tom Kowal Linesmen: David Brisebois, Tim Nowak
Attendance: 18,200 (101.1% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Petr Prucha (8)
(Power Play) Assists: Jaromir Jagr, Martin Rucinsky