Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Rangers Win 4-0 After Shake-Up

The Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 Tuesday night when Jaromir Jagr’s line scored three goals and had two assists after being shaken up before the game.

For most of this season Jagr has skated with a rookie centerman, Brandon Dubinsky, despite the Rangers spending over $85 million on a pair of all-star pivots. Jagr was paired with him after brief experiments with Scott Gomez and Chris Drury failed to achieve immediate results.

Since Jagr’s immediate positive reaction to Dubinsky head coach Tom Renney has been reluctant to split the pair, but both players have been slumping lately and it was obvious to everyone that something needed to change. Now Jagr is back to being pair with Gomez and is flanked by Martin Straka.

That was just one of the moves the Rangers have made this week in an attempt to shake things up after going 1-4-1 over the past six games. Drury has been moved on a line with Brendan Shanahan and rookie Nigel Dawes, who was just called up this week. Dubinsky replaced Drury on the third-line and skated with wingers Petr Prucha and Ryan Callahan, who returned to the Rangers after a non-trip to Hartford.

Also goalie Al Montoya was recalled from the Hartford Wolf Pack, but that may be a move which is only temporary because the status of Henrik Lundqvist was uncertain this week after coming down with the flu. Lundqvist appeared healthy and rested Tuesday night as he shutout the Pittsburgh Penguins. It is the second time in two weeks Lundqvist has posted a shutout after being rested the previous game.

Sean Avery will go with the Rangers out west to Minnesota and Colorado according to Steve Zipay’s Newday blog, but there is little expectation that he will get into a game. The Rangers are 4-4-1 since Avery’s wrist surgery.

Go to Hot Stove New York for more sports news and rumors.

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