News from April 2002

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V. Bure remains upbeat
Injury, brother's trade doesn't diminish season
by By David J. Neal - - Miami Herald
April 1, 2002

It wasn't only Pavel Bure who made his first public appearance at National Car Rental Center since the Mar. 18 trade from Panthers to Rangers. Saturday, in the press box, was also the first Valeri Bure sighting by anybody outside the locker room.

The day after his brother's trade, it was announced Valeri would be out for the season with a recurrence of the knee problems that took him out of 37 games earlier this season. He had more cartilage-repair surgery on March 21 that ended his season with only 31 games played.

Still, he doesn't consider it a lost season nor does he figure he will have a tough time going back into a locker room that has shown public discontent with his brother.

''It's obviously not the year I was hoping for,'' Bure said. ``But I can get a lot of things out of it. I got a chance to play with my brother. I got to assist on his 400th goal. That's big for me. And I got the chance to play in the Olympic Games.''

The number of Panthers games with both Bures in the lineup was only 26 -- with some strange symmetry. The game before Valeri came back from his knee injury, Pavel suffered a broken hand against Dallas. Both played their last game of the season as Panthers on March 17 against Ottawa -- Valeri was injured that evening, and Pavel was traded the next day.

''I was disappointed, of course,'' Valeri said. ``I didn't want to see my brother leave under any circumstances. I know he wanted to stay here and he loved this city, but that's the way it goes.''

Bure's right knee was bothering him coming out of training camp and early in the season. The Panthers have insisted that the cartilage injury Bure got Oct. 16 in Vancouver had nothing to do with the previous problems. That would be easier to swallow if Bure hadn't been limping badly the night before the Vancouver game.

Bure just started bike riding in his current rehabilitation. Even if he can get back on the ice by the April 26 start of the World Championships, he said he won't play. He wants to give his knee time to fully recover.

''I think we'll stay here for a little bit,'' he said. ``My kids are still in school. We like it here. Then, we'll do a little traveling.''

What also might take time to recover is the relationship between Bure and the teammates who criticized his older brother after the trade. The brothers lead very different lives, but their familial bond is strong.

''I have a slim chance of playing this year, and there are going to be so many changes in the summer, it'll be a completely different team,'' Valeri Bure said.

''There's nothing you can do about it,'' Bure said. ``The guys can say whatever they want. Obviously, they have a right to say whatever they want. That's the way they handle themselves. If you ask me if I think it's right, no.

``I know what kind of person my brother is. His friends know what kind of person he is and what kind of player. He's the best player the Panthers ever had and probably will ever have. He's a legend.''

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Bure speaks up for brother
by By Michael Russo - - Sun-Sentinel
April 1, 2002

Valeri Bure knows his brother better than pretty much anyone. But he's not about to keep explaining that no matter what you've heard, Pavel really is a good person.

"I know my brother well. His friends know him well. We know what kind of guy he is, and that's all that matters," Bure said during the Rangers' 4-2 win over the Panthers on Saturday, a game in which his older brother scored a goal and assisted on two.

Bure, who is recovering from season-ending knee surgery, said he wasn't bothered by the criticism a few teammates placed on his brother after he was traded to New York on March 18.

"I don't really care what everybody else says because I'm the same kind of person like my brother," Bure said. "I don't like to go and explain to everybody what kind of guy I am. You either like me or you don't. I think my brother's the same kind of guy."

Bure said Pavel wasn't bothered either by what teammates said. "He's private," Bure said. "He's not going to let you into his world. People do respect that. I don't want to explain he's a great guy. I don't think I have to. I love my brother, and I know what he's like and his friends do too.

"This is what you get when you have such a high-profile person. He's one of the best players in the NHL and he deserves to be talked about. He's been through everything. I've been through it many times when somebody said something, and he's been through it more than me. This isn't the first and it's not going to be the last."

Bure said he cherishes the short time he got to play with Pavel. Because an earlier knee injury had cost him 37 games, he played in only 26 games with Pavel. The team went 5-14-5-2, but the two combined for 18 goals and 20 assists.

Bure's best memory was when he assisted on Pavel's 400th goal in Boston.

"The Florida Panthers traded for me to get me here to play with my brother," Bure said. "I couldn't have enjoyed it more. I think he's the best player that the Panthers had and maybe will ever have. Looking back, it was nothing but positive for me."

Despite what some teammates had said about Pavel, "I don't think it'll be such a hard thing for me going back [into the locker room]," Bure said. "First of all, I won't be playing again this season, and then who knows what's going to happen in the summer? I still think there's going to be a lot of changes, and it'll be a completely different team next season. So we'll see what happens."

In the meantime, Bure is recuperating from surgery. His right knee didn't respond properly from his first surgery, so this time he went to Birmingham, Ala., where he was operated on by orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who had reconstructed Pavel's right knee for the second time in 1999.

"My knee just never healed the first time," Valeri said. "We just didn't know which way it would go. Sometimes you just play with it and it doesn't bother you. For me, it was just getting worse and worse and I said I can't go anymore."

Bure was playing his best hockey for two or three weeks before the injury ended his season.

"I was starting to enjoy playing again and then I was like, What else could go wrong this year?" Bure said.

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Bure Celebrates With a Wink and a Nod
by By Jason Diamos - - The New York Times
April 1, 2002

Pavel Bure celebrated his 31st birthday a day early and with flair on Saturday night against his most recent ex-teammates, the Florida Panthers.

He scored a goal, his fifth in six games since joining the Rangers. That was not unusual for Bure, the purest goal scorer in the game. But the way he celebrated raised some eyebrows. Without a sound, he raised his stick with his right arm in a pose reminiscent of the Statue of Liberty. As half of a rare sellout crowd at the National Car Rental Center booed and the other half cheered, Bure winked at a section behind the goal.

"I have a lot of friends here," Bure said after assisting on two other goals in a 4-2 victory, the Rangers' second in nine games. "I was winking at my friends."

Bure might as well have been winking at his critics, including some of his former teammates on the Panthers. Bure was bored in South Florida on a young team that was attempting to rebuild.

As Panthers Coach Mike Keenan said before sending him to the Rangers, Bure never had an All-Star center who could bring out his best.

That is certainly not the case with the Rangers. Bure joined a star-studded, if perennially underachieving, cast.

"That's the difference," he said today. "When you are playing with great players like Mark Messier and Eric Lindros, it's much easier. I played one year with Mark in Vancouver, and I scored 51 goals right away."

Rangers General Manager Glen Sather must be wondering how many goals Bure could score playing a full season on Lindros's right wing.

In a bid to strengthen the Rangers' push for a playoff berth — an effort that now seems doomed — and to bolster his offense for at least the next two seasons, Sather acquired Bure for a song from Florida. The Panthers mostly wanted to rid themselves of Bure's attitude, not to mention the two guaranteed seasons at $10 million each remaining on his contract.

Should the Rangers not pick up Bure's $11 million option in 2004-5, the Panthers are obligated to pick up his buyout. That is a long way off, however. Sather wanted to trade for Bure now because he hoped that Bure's blazing skating ability and shot, which earned him the nickname the Russian Rocket, would open up room on the ice for Lindros.

Bure has done nothing to disappoint.

"He's opened up the ice," Lindros said today.

In six games with Bure on his right, Lindros, like Bure, has scored five goals. Lindros blasted home the Rangers' final two goals on Saturday night, including the game-winner, giving him a team-leading 33 goals.

Lindros, Bure and their newest linemate, Martin Rucinsky, scored all four Rangers goals Saturday.

The Rangers will most likely find themselves without a playoff berth for the fifth consecutive season. With six games to play, they trail Montreal and Washington for the eighth Eastern Conference playoff spot. If the Canadiens go 3-4 in their final seven games, or if the Capitals go 3-3 in their final six games, the Rangers will need to win every game to qualify.

After Saturday's much-needed victory, Lindros was asked if he wished that the Rangers had had more time to integrate Bure and their other recent acquisitions — Rucinsky, Tom Poti and Rem Murray — into the lineup.

"We don't," he said. "You can't alter time. You can't go back and repeat some things or do things differently or ask for a two-week window where you could just practice. The situation is where we're at."

And that is in dire straits. But Bure has already done enough in six games with the Rangers to provide one reason to look forward to next season.

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Game Preview: Rangers versus Lightning
Rangers (32-36-4-4) at Tampa Bay Lightning (25-35-10-4) Ice Palace (7:30 PM ET)
- - New York Rangers
April 1, 2002

TV: MSG Network (7:00 PM ET)
RADIO: WBBR 1130 AM or on-line at

The Rangers play their second of four consecutive road matches when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at the Ice Palace. The Rangers are tied with the Buffalo Sabres for 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 72 points, five behind eighth-place Washington and Montreal for the final playoff spot in the East.

"We have no choice but to keep winning because we need as many points as possible," center Eric Lindros said. "With any luck, maybe we'll be right there at the end."

After playing Tampa Bay, only one of the Rangers' last five games will be against a team under .500 - the Pittsburgh Penguins on April 8. The other games are against teams in contention for the top spot in the conference - the Boston Bruins, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Toronto Maple Leafs, who the Rangers will play twice.

The Rangers have dropped seven of nine, but they opened their four-game road trip with a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Lindros, who has 33 goals this season, scored twice within a three-minute span late in the game as the Rangers' ended a three-game losing streak. Pavel Bure added a goal and a pair of assists in his return to south Florida, where he spent 3 seasons with the Panthers before being traded to the Rangers on March 18.

Coming off a 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, the Lightning are looking to end their five-game winless streak (0-3-1-1). Sheldon Keefe scored Tampa Bay's lone goal in the loss.

"I thought in spurts, we played pretty well," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "But if we want to win, we have to play better - not in spurts."

SEASON SERIES: Lighting, 2-1. In the teams' first meeting on October 20, Ben Clymer recorded his first career two-goal game in the Lightning's 5-2 home victory. On December 2, Mike Richter stopped 20 shots for his second straight shutout to lead the Rangers to a 1-0 win at home.

LAST MEETING: January 28; Lightning, 1-0. At New York, in his seventh shutout of the season, Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 42 shots as the Lightning won at Madison Square Garden.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 14-18-2-3 on the road; Lightning - 15-14-5-3 at home.

LIFETIME SERIES: The two teams have met 43 times, with the Rangers holding a 21-17-5-0 edge. New York has posted a 9-9-3-0 mark in 21 career matches at the Ice Palace.

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Rangers-Lightning Scouting Report
by By Erik Erlendsson - - Tampa Bay Tribune
April 1, 2002

WHO: New York Rangers vs. Lightning

WHERE:WHEN: Ice Palace; 7:30 p.m. Monday

TV/RADIO: Sunshine Network; WDAE, 620 AM

SERIES: Final of four meetings this season. The Lightning lead the series 2-1. Tampa Bay won 5-2 Oct. 20 and 1-0 Jan. 28; Rangers won 1-0 Dec. 2.

WHO'S HURT: Lightning - C Brian Holzinger (shoulder), C Tim Taylor (groin), LW Fredrik Modin (wrist) and LW Gordie Dwyer (shoulder), out; LW Chris Dingman (back spasms) and RW Martin St. Louis (broken leg), day-to-day. Rangers - G Mike Richter (skull fracture), RW Radek Dvorak (knee), D Sylvain Lefebvre (knee) and C Mark Messier (shoulder), out.

THE SKINNY: LW Vinny Prospal has a four-game point scoring streak. ... New York is five points out of a playoff spot with six games remaining. ... RW Ben Clymer has four goals in seven games against New York. ... C Eric Lindros has 39 points in 32 games against Tampa Bay. ... G Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 42 shots in a 1-0 victory Jan. 28 against New York and is 4-6-1 lifetime against Rangers. ... Tampa Bay is winless in its past five. ... New York is 3-7 in its past 10 games. ... The Lightning are 5-2-2-1 in their past 10 at home. ... Rookie G Dan Blackburn is 8-14 with a 3.20 goals- against average and .899 save percentage.

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Rangers 6, Lightning 4
Pavel: Two shots on goal, two goals one assist, even
- - AP News
April 1, 2002

The New York Rangers' slim playoff hopes are still alive.

Petr Nedved scored twice to snap an 18-game goal drought as the New York Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-4 on Monday night.

``It's been a long time, so obviously it was good,'' Nedved said. ``I think the big thing was that it helped the team to win the game.''

New York trails Montreal by five points for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Canadiens beat Pittsburgh 3-0.

The Rangers have five games left.

``They're all really important,'' said New York's Pavel Bure, who had two goals and an assist. ``We have to try and win as many games as we can.''

Nedved gave New York a 5-4 lead with 5:19 left when he took a pass from Matthew Barnaby and put a back-hander past Nikolai Khabibulin.

Bure added an empty-netter.

``If Petr starts putting the puck into the net, he's streaky,'' New York coach Ron Low said. ``He can get hot. It's a positive.''

Tampa Bay had tied the game at 4 just 52 seconds earlier on Vaclav Prospal's goal. Prospal also had an assist and has a five-game point-streak (five goals and seven points).

``I thought we played well,'' Lightning coach John Tortorella said. ``We made some mistakes, and they all went into our net.''

Late first-period goals by Rem Murray and Bure -- coming 82 seconds apart -- gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead.

Bure has seven goals and 12 points in seven games since being acquired from Florida on March 18.

Dale Purinton assisted on Murray's goal for his first point in 21 games.

Pavel Kubina had the first-period goal for the Lightning.

Vincent Lecavalier got Tampa Bay even at 2 early in the second period.

The teams traded goals midway through the second period. Nedved made it 3-2 before Tampa Bay's Dave Andreychuk countered with a short-handed goal. Andreychuk needs two goals for his 17th 20-goal season.

New York took a 4-3 lead at 25 seconds of the third on Martin Rucinsky's goal.

Tampa Bay's Andre Roy received two game misconducts after fighting Sandy McCarthy in the third period. One was for leaving the penalty box, which could result in the NHL handing down a suspension.

Roy was restrained by the linesmen while skating toward the penalty box where McCarthy was seated.

Lecavalier and Mikael Samuelsson also fought in the third period. Lecavalier had some scratch marks on his forehead after the game.

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Game Recap: NY Rangers versus Tampa Bay Lightning
- - New York Rangers
April 1, 2002

Petr Nedved scored twice as the New York Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-4 on Monday night.

Nedved gave New York a 5-4 lead with 5:19 left when he took a pass from Matthew Barnaby and put a backhander past Nikolai Khabibulin.

Tampa Bay had tied the game at 4 just 52 seconds earlier on Vaclav Prospal's goal. Prospal also had an assist and has a five-game point-streak (five goals and seven points).

Pavel Bure had two goals, including an empty-netter, and an assist for New York.

Late first-period goals by Rem Murray and Bure, coming 82 seconds apart, gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead.

Bure has seven goals and 12 points in seven games since being acquired from Florida on March 18.

Dale Purinton assisted on Murray's goal for his first point in 21 games.

Pavel Kubina had the first-period goal for the Lightning.

Vincent Lecavalier got Tampa Bay even at 2 early in the second period.

The teams traded goals midway through the second period. Nedved made it 3-2 before Tampa Bay's Dave Andreychuk countered with a short-handed goal.

Andreychuk needs two goals for his 17th 20-goal season.

New York took a 4-3 at 25 seconds of the third on Martin Rucinsky's goal.

Tampa Bay's Andre Roy received a game misconduct after fighting Sandy McCarthy in the third period. After the fight was broken up, Roy was restrained by the linesmen while skating toward the penalty box where McCarthy was seated.

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Post-Game Notes: NY Rangers versus Tampa Bay
- - New York Rangers
April 1, 2002

With only five games remaining in the regular season and the Rangers five points out of a playoff spot, all the Blueshirts can do is take one game at a time. That is exactly what they did Monday night as Pavel Bure tallied a pair of goals and added an assist and Petr Nedved chipped in a pair of goals to lead New York to a 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Ice Palace.

Rem Murray and Martin Rucinsky also added goals for the Blueshirts, who swept their two-game Florida road trip. Dan Blackburn turned aside 26 of 30 shots in earning his second consecutive win.

Pavel Kubina, Vincent Lecavalier, Dave Andreychuk and Vincent Prospal scored for Tampa Bay. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 15 of 20 Rangers attempts in the loss.

The Rangers have now posted a 4-1-1-0 mark in their last six trips to the Ice Palace. The Blueshirts will return to New York for practice on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs on Thursday (7:00 PM ET - MSG Network, WFAN 660 AM).

Despite the Rangers' win, they failed to gain ground on Montreal, who blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-0. The Blueshirts trail the Canadiens by five points and the idle Washington Capitals by three. The Buffalo Sabres, who skated past the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1, remain in a tie with New York with 74 points.


Bure has now tallied seven goals and five assists for 12 points in his first seven games as a Ranger.


"All of these games are really important. We have to try and win as many games as we can."

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Bure, Nedved Lead Rangers, 6-4
- - New York Rangers
April 1, 2002

Pavel Bure tallied a pair of goals and added an assist and Petr Nedved chipped in a pair of goals, including the game-winner, to lead New York to a 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Ice Palace on Monday.

Rem Murray and Martin Rucinsky also added goals for the Blueshirts, who swept their two-game Florida road trip. Dan Blackburn turned aside 26 of 30 shots in earning his second consecutive win.

Pavel Kubina, Vincent Lecavalier, Dave Andreychuk and Vincent Prospal scored for Tampa Bay. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 15 of 20 Rangers attempts in the loss.

The Rangers have now posted a 4-1-1-0 mark in their last six trips to the Ice Palace. The Blueshirts will return to New York for practice on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs on Thursday (7:00 PM ET - MSG Network, WFAN 660 AM).

Despite the Rangers' win, they failed to gain ground on Montreal, who blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-0. The Blueshirts still trail the Canadiens by five points and the idle Washington Capitals by three. The Buffalo Sabres, who skated past the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1, remain in a tie with New York with 74 points.

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by Stan Fischler - - MSG Network
April 2, 2002

  • Now that he's experienced the Islanders-Rangers rivalry, Pavel Bure tells us it's more intense than the best he faced in the former Soviet Union -- between his club, Red Army and Dynamo Riga.
  • Pavel's dad, Vladimir, lives on the other side of the Hudson River, where he's the Devils' fitness consultant.
  • And don't forget that Pavel already has whispered he'd like kid-brother Val to join him as a Ranger. That might be arranged this Summer. Petr Nedved for Val Bure?

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Game Preview: Rangers versus Maple Leafs
Rangers (33-36-4-4) at Toronto Maple Leafs (39-24-9-4) Air Canada Centre (7:30 PM ET)
- - New York Rangers
April 4, 2002

TV: MSG Network (7:00 PM ET)
RADIO: WFAN 660 AM or on-line at

The Rangers look to make it three consecutive wins for the first time since January 22-26 as they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre tonight. The Blueshirts remain five points behind Montreal and Washington for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Toronto currently sits in fourth spot in the East with 91 points.

The Blueshirts are coming off a pair of wins in the 'Sunshine State' - a 4-2 win over the Panthers on Saturday and a 6-4 victory on Monday vs. Tampa Bay.

Petr Nedved notched a pair of goals in Monday's win, snapping an 18-game scoreless drought, while Pavel Bure added a pair as well. Bure has collected seven goals and five assists in his first seven games with New York since the March 18 trade. Dan Blackburn, who is looking to make his fifth consecutive start in goal, turned aside 26 of 30 shots in the win.

Mats Sundin scored with 86 seconds left in overtime as the Maple Leafs squandered a two-goal lead before nailing down a postseason spot with a 5-4 OT win over the Detroit Red Wings on Monday. Defenseman Bryan McCabe set up Sundin's goal for one of his three assists and Jonas Hoglund ended a 15-game scoring drought for Toronto, which was coming off consecutive home losses. Corey Schwab turned 31 of 35 shots in the win.

SEASON SERIES: Toronto, 2-0. The Maple Leafs skated past the Rangers in consecutive games back in December - 6-3 on December 6 at Madison Square Garden and 4-3 on December 8 at the Air Canada Centre. Following Thursday's game, the two teams will meet for the final time on April 10 at MSG.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 15-18-2-3 on the road; Maple Leafs - 23-10-5-0 at home.

LIFETIME SERIES: The two teams have met 555 times, with the Leafs holding a 260-200-95-1 edge. Toronto has posted a 156-82-39-1 mark in 277 career matches at the Air Canada Centre.

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New York Rangers 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 2
Pavel: 2 shots on goal, two goals (30 & 31st goals), plus three.
- - AP News
April 4, 2002

The New York Rangers' three-game winning streak likely is too late.

Pavel Bure scored twice, including the go-ahead goal with 9:05 remaining, lifting the Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Rangers have won three straight for the first time since late January, but they likely will miss the playoffs for the fifth straight season. New York is five points behind Montreal for the East's final playoff spot with four games remaining.

The Rangers have not missed the playoffs in five consecutive seasons since 1950-55.

Bure and Eric Lindros scored in the first period before the Leafs battled back to tie it early in the third.

But Bure scored his 31st goal just past the midway point of the third, snapping a 2-2 tie.

Rangers rookie goaltender Dan Blackburn finished with 35 saves.

Blackburn had 19 saves in the second period, when New York's defense collapsed on numerous occasions.

Prior to Alexander Mogilny's sharp angle goal, Blackburn robbed Alyn McCauley with a glove save. McCauley had broken free in the neutral zone and with New York defenseman Tom Poti trying to stay with him, he fired a hard shot that Blackburn stopped.

Blackburn has started every game since impending free agent Mike Richter went down with a fractured skull on March 22.

"We got a great job by Danny in net," Lindros said. "There were times where we really got outplayed. That second period we got outplayed. But if it wasn't for Danny we wouldn't be walking out of here with two points."

"We kind of fell apart a little bit," Poti added. "I thought we might have had the game won a bit. We kind of took it a bit easy. But Danny bailed us out and we came out and had a strong third."

Bure teamed with Lindros to give New York a 1-0 lead 54 seconds into the contest. Lindros stole the puck from Cory Cross from behind the net and fed Bure, who batted the puck out of mid-air past goaltender Corey Schwab.

Lindros made it 2-0 at 10:14 of the first, re-directing Poti's centering pass behind Schwab.

Less than three minutes into the second, the Leafs finally got some momentum and halved the deficit when Mogiliny beat Blackburn off a 2-on-1.

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Post-Game Notes: NY Rangers versus Toronto Maple Leafs
- - New York Rangers
April 4, 2002

Dan Blackburn made 35 saves and the Pavel Bure-Eric Lindros-Martin Rucinsky trio collected seven points as the Rangers skated past the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-2, at the Air Canada Centre.

The win marks New York's third in a row and first in their last eight games vs. the Leafs. Bure collected his eighth and ninth goals in his eighth game as a Ranger and has now reached the 30 goal plateau for the seventh time in his 11 NHL seasons. Lindros collected a goal and a pair of assists, while Rucinsky chipped in with two assists in the win.

Matthew Barnaby added the other Rangers goal, while Tom Poti and Petr Nedved collected assists on the night.

The Blueshirts remain five points behind the Montreal Canadiens for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference as the Habs skated past the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1, on Thursday. The Rangers now head to Boston where they'll face the Bruins on Saturday (1:00 PM ET - MSG Network, WFAN 660 AM).

* The Blueshirts' last win in Toronto came on January 8, 2000.
* Bure has now collected nine goals and five assists for 14 points in eight games with the Rangers since the March 18 trade.
* Poti has now notched six points (one goal, five assists) in seven games with the Rangers.
* Jamie Lundmark, who joined the team prior to the game after being recalled from Hartford (AHL) was a healthy scratch ... Lundmark is looking to make his NHL debut.
* Alexander Mogilny collected a goal and an assist in the loss and has now tallied five goals in his last seven games.
* With Mikael Renberg's third period tally, the Maple Leafs have now scored at least one power play goal in each of their last nine games vs. New York.

"I wasn't expected anything, but I'm very excited to be here. I've improved on a lot of things this season in Hartford and I've tried to get better every day. This year has been important to me and my development. It's been a good season."

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Bure Propels Rangers
by Jason Diamos - - The New York Times
April 5, 2002

Pavel Bure has been far and away the Rangers' best player since Glen Sather, the Rangers' president and general manager, acquired him from the Florida Panthers on March 18, on the eve of the trading deadline.

But Bure's nightly accomplishments will probably serve as little more than a preview of things to come next season.

Even though the Rangers won their third consecutive game tonight, a 4-2 decision over the Toronto Maple Leafs, behind two goals from Bure, they moved one step closer to missing out on the playoffs again.

Montreal, which holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, beat the slumping Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1. Now with any combination of two Montreal victories or Rangers defeats, the Rangers will equal the franchise record for futility with their fifth straight spring without playoffs. The Rangers have four games left, the Canadiens five.

"If we keep winning games, at least we keep pressing them," Rangers Coach Ron Low said.

The Rangers may wonder what would have happened if they had been able to acquire the 31-year-old Bure a few weeks earlier. In eight games with the Rangers, Bure has nine goals and five assists.

"All I know is that pretty much every time he touches the puck, it's in the net," said Dan Blackburn, the Rangers' 18-year-old goaltender, who stopped 35 shots tonight and kept the Rangers in the game during the second period, when they were outshot, 20-5.

"Except," Blackburn said with a smile, "when there's no one in front of the net."

Blackburn was referring to the empty net that Bure missed in the final minute, after Toronto had pulled goaltender Corey Schwab. Bure said he was caught by surprise by Martin Rucinsky's unselfish attempt to get Bure his first hat trick with the Rangers.

"That's O.K.," Bure said. "We didn't need it."

The Rangers obviously needed Bure's presence earlier this season, however.

"He's having fun," Bure's new center, Eric Lindros, said at this morning's skate. "He wants to be in New York. And that's a big advantage for us."

Lately, it seems as if Bure and Lindros have made up the offense. Tonight Bure opened the scoring 54 seconds into the game with his 30th goal of the season, a goal that put his tremendous hand-eye coordination on display when he batted Lindros's centering pass out of midair.

Not to be outdone, Lindros gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead at 10:14 of the first period with his team-leading 34th goal of the season. It came from just off the right wing post on a backhanded deflection of a pretty Tom Poti centering pass.

Lindros's score gave the Rangers an 8-3 advantage in shots on goal. For the next period and a half, the Leafs rattled off 28 of the next 33 shots while tying the score at 2-2 early in the third period.

Bure's old Soviet-era linemate, Alexander Mogilny, was able to cut the Rangers' lead to 2-1 at 2:26 of the second period with his 22nd goal of the season. Then, with Theo Fleury in the penalty box to start the third period, Mogilny set up Mikael Renberg for the tying goal at 43 seconds of the third period.

But Lindros and Bure kept working. At 10:55, Bure gave the Rangers the lead at 3-2 with his 31st goal of the season, after Lindros knocked the rebound of his own shot from the slot over to the uncovered Bure just off the right post. Matthew Barnaby finished the scoring at 14:15.

Lindros now has six goals and six assists for 12 points in eight games with Bure. Together, the two have combined for 15 goals and 11 assists and 26 points.

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Leafs Blackburned
by Terry Koshan - - Toronto Sun
April 5, 2002

 The Maple Leafs discovered what Pavel Bure has meant to the New York Rangers since the Russian Rocket was acquired from the Florida Panthers on the eve of the trade deadline last month.

 But thanks to the superior netminding of Rangers rookie Daniel Blackburn, the Leafs couldn't properly return fire last night at the Air Canada Centre.

 Bure scored two goals and Blackburn made 35 saves as the Rangers beat the Leafs 4-2 to maintain their tiny playoff hopes. Bure's linemate, Eric Lindros, had a goal and two assists. Bure has nine goals and 14 points in eight games as a member of the Broadway Blueshirts.

 "You can put (Bure) in a chair in front of the net and he will score a couple," said Leafs forward Alex Mogilny, who had another dazzling night with a goal and an assist. "There were a couple of gifts out there. What can you do? It was a bad game from us. He had a great game."

 So did the 18-year-old Blackburn, who stopped 19 shots in the second period. Among his stops during the evening were a glove save on Karel Pilar near the end of the first period, a save in which he did the splits to stone Aki Berg and point-blank rebuttals of shots by Bryan McCabe and Wade Belak.

 "This was a lot of fun," said Blackburn, who was cheered in the Rangers dressing room after he was named second star. "We kept the Leafs to the outside, so it was easier to get in a flow."

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Bure, Big E potent 1-2 punch
by Mike Zeisberger - - Toronto Sun
April 5, 2002

 Goalies quiver and bankers drool at the mere mention of their names.

 Eric Lindros and Pavel Bure. Two of the highest-paid, highest-scoring snipers in the National Hockey League playing on the same line. Scary.

 Just ask Corey Schwab, who was fishing a puck out of his net 54 seconds after the opening faceoff last night after the dynamic duo of the New York Rangers combined to open the scoring. The goal came off a centring pass by Lindros that Bure swatted out of mid-air past the Maple Leafs goaltender.

 At 10:14 of the first period, it was Lindros' turn to score, giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead.

 Lindros then set up Bure for the Rangers' third goal, breaking a 2-2 tie.

 Their success last night is nothing new. The Lindros-Bure combination has been lethal since the Rangers acquired the Bure on March 18.


 In the six games leading up to last night's encounter against the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre, Bure had seven goals and five assists, Lindros five goals and four assists.

 "It was kind of an unexpected trade, but he has really helped us," Lindros said. "Not only is he scoring but he has really contributed in terms of penalty killing and defence.

 "It has been fun. I've been excited about it. And a big thing is, Pavel wants to be in New York, and that helps big time."

 At the time of the deal, Bure was accused of being a selfish, non-team player by former Florida Panthers teammates Bill Lindsay and Trevor Kidd.

 "Who are those critics? Two guys in Florida among all the guys down there. Who cares about them?" Bure said.

 "I'm very comfortable here. This is a really good team with a lot of great players."

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Rangers: Going strong, but it's getting late
by Bridget Wentworth - - NJ Star-Ledger
April 5, 2002

The Rangers are clicking. The top line of Martin Rucinsky, Eric Lindros and Pavel Bure is finding chemistry and scoring goals. Dan Blackburn is holding his own in net. The team is on a three-game winning streak.

And it doesn't matter, because Montreal keeps winning, too.

The Rangers picked up their third victory in a row last night with a 4-2 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre, establishing their first three-game winning streak since late January. In doing so, they jumped over Buffalo into 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 76 points.

But they got no closer to their target, the final playoff spot held by the eighth-place Canadiens. Montreal beat Philadelphia, 3-1, to remain five points ahead of the Rangers, who have just four games left to Montreal's five. By the time the first period was over in Toronto, the out-of-town scoreboard showed Montreal ahead, 2-0, on the Flyers, and the Rangers knew it.

"The guys came in and talked about it in the dressing room," head coach Ron Low said. "We said it didn't matter. We have to win our games. If they (the Canadiens) don't falter, then we don't catch them. But if we keep winning games, then at least we keep pressing them."

The Rangers are as loose as they've been this year. They have nothing to lose. The temptation is there, though, to wonder where they'd be had this occurred when there was still a chance to hold onto a playoff spot. Matthew Barnaby, who scored the Rangers' fourth goal, was asked if part of him wishes his team had gone on a run weeks and weeks ago, and he cut off the question.

"Months and months ago, yeah," Barnaby said. "On the other hand, you can't control what happened in the past. You've got to control what's happening now. You're only human with the 'what ifs,' but now we're doing what we want to and hopefully we get a little help."

The Rucinsky-Lindros-Bure line is doing its part. Bure scored twice against Toronto, giving him nine goals in eight games with the Rangers. Lindros added a goal and two assists while Rucinsky had two assists.

They are combining for some pretty goals -- Bure batted a pass from Lindros out of the air for his first tally on the night.

"That was one of my patented saucers," Lindros joked. "He's done that before, knocked one out of the air. He's real good with his hand-eye coordination, and he's intense around that net. He doesn't often miss."

Lindros grew serious when the topic turned to the standings. If the Rangers lose in Boston tomorrow, and Montreal wins at home against Columbus, the Rangers will be mathematically eliminated from the race.

"At the end of the year, you look back at what's gone on, you look back at the points you've let go," Lindros said. "But that's not going to help us win our remaining games. We'll just keep going."

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Bure can't survive as solo act
by Jay Greenberg - - The Hockey News
April 5, 2002

The search for the true Pavel Bure has been ongoing for 11 seasons.

A succession of mediocre centers has failed to locate him to full advantage in the offensive zone. When Bure looks the other way in his own zone, a line of coaches has necessarily done the same thing. A large number of disapproving teammates have rolled eyes at Bure's absences in the dressing room.

"If they spent five minutes in the dressing room they wouldn't be speaking negatively about the trade," said Panthers goalie Trevor Kidd, who was happy to become Bure's ex-teammate on March 18. "Everyone that has been around him knows what he brings to the table. Goals and that's it."

Bill Lindsay said that for $10 million a year, Bure could show up earlier. But a tough coach who has unabashedly showed up stars and made a career of early size-ups has nothing but good things to say, even after trading Bure to the Rangers.

"I never had a problem with the way he played defense," Mike Keenan said. "He cheats like great goal-scorers should cheat, but he would pick up his guy when he could."

"Pavel is an artist like Wayne Gretzky was an artist and Wayne was misunderstood at first, too. Difference was, he had Mark Messier and Kevin Lowe with him, which enabled him to have free reign and nobody understood the importance of giving it to him better than Glen Sather."

"So Pavel doesn't sit in the dressing room between periods. Big deal, Wayne didn't, either. Pavel is a good person and an interesting person. He goes to the ballet, does a lot of reading."

"He works out constantly, is in phenomenal shape. He did what the Panthers got him to do, won two Rocket Richard Trophies and last year the team still had only 66 points. That's his fault?"

Well, yeah say the critics who see the Russian Rocket firing into a desert for all the good he has done any team since getting the 1994 Canucks to the final, never mind those teams have not been any good.

If you watched Bure debuting on Broadway with a goal, then a sloppy third period stick-checking that Todd Bertuzi converted into another Ranger loss, you saw what you have always seen. And if you also noticed Theoren Fleury and Petr Nedved giving the Rangers nothing and the team's defense throwing the puck away like Madison Square Gardens dollars, you understand the only thing changed for Bure was his uniform. He still was failing to lift a bad team.

If the bomb in Eric Lindros' head stays dormant and his sporadic orthopedic woes abate, perhaps finally Bure will have a center who sees the ice well enough to take down the dressing-room time clock that has obsessed the sluggos with which he has played.

They would give their right leg to have the talent the five-time 50-plus goal scorer has in his middle finger. And they think Bure is flashing it at them with his nonchalance.

It doesn't take genius to understand why they feel the way they do and also that genius is hard for hard workers to understand. We're not pretending to be so smart, either, only experienced enough to know what time Bure shows up will cease to be an issue in a New York minute if, on the ice, he shows up in the right places at the right times for an improved team. Bure is a goal-scorer. What he needs is the opportunity to score goals that count, preferably for a team that has someone else to deliver it's speeches.

"What's missing from Pavel's game has been a situation where the game means something," Mark Messier said.

"I spent a lot of time with him in Vancouver and my experience is he is a quiet kid and a good guy. Just because you don't spend a lot of time with a lot of guys on the team doesn't mean you are not a good team guy. What has to happen is that when you come into a dressing room we all conform to a common goal and I haven't seen any problem with Pavel doing that."

The real problem will be if Bure has joined a team that doesn't soon become better than the one he departed. Sure, a true superstar is supposed to make the players around him better. It helps a superstar do that if there are better players around him.

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Game Preview: Rangers versus Boston Bruins
Rangers (34-36-4-4) at Boston Bruins (42-22-5-8) - FleetCenter (1:00 PM ET)
- - New York Rangers
April 6, 2002

TV: MSG Network (12:30 PM ET)
RADIO: WFAN 660 AM or on-line at

The Rangers visit the FleetCenter as they take on the Boston Bruins in a Saturday matinee match. The Blueshirts are winners of their last three games, including Thursday's 4-2 road victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

Dan Blackburn made 35 saves and the Pavel Bure-Eric Lindros-Martin Rucinsky trio collected seven points in the win. Bure collected his eighth and ninth goals in his eighth game as a Ranger and has now reached the 30 goal plateau for the seventh time in his 11 NHL seasons. Lindros collected a goal and a pair of assists, while Rucinsky chipped in with two assists. Matthew Barnaby added the other Rangers goal, while Tom Poti and Petr Nedved collected assists on the night.

The Blueshirts remain five points behind the Montreal Canadiens for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference as the Habs skated past the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1, on Thursday.

The Bruins fell to the New York Islanders, 2-1 in OT, on Thursday at the FleetCenter. Despite the loss, the Bruins picked up a point for the regulation tie, moving three points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers atop the Eastern Conference with 97. Glen Murrays game-tying goal with 2:16 to play in regulation sent the game into overtime.

SEASON SERIES: Rangers 2-1. The Rangers skated past the Bruins in the first two meetings this season - 2-1 in OT on October 27 in Boston and 8-4 on January 23 at MSG. The B's captured the last match, a 3-1 decision at MSG on March 13.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 16-18-2-3 on the road; Bruins - 22-10-1-5 at home.

LIFETIME SERIES: The two teams have met 591 times, with Boston holding a 271-223-97-0 edge. The Bruins have posted a 157-94-42-0 mark in 293 career matches in Boston.

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Rangers 6, Boston Bruins 4
Pavel: Three shots on goal, two assists, plus three
- - AP News
April 6, 2002

The New York Rangers kept their flickering playoff hopes alive with yet another unlikely road win, this one at the expense of the top team in the Eastern Conference.

Petr Nedved scored his 19th and 20th goals and Matthew Barnaby had a goal and two assists as the Rangers posted a 6-4 victory over the Boston Bruins.

The win was the fourth straight -- all on the road -- for the Rangers, who beat playoff-bound Toronto on Thursday night and pulled within three points of the Montreal Canadiens for the eighth and final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference.

However, the Rangers have just three games left and the Canadiens host the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night and have five games remaining. The Washington Capitals are two points ahead of the Rangers with four games left.

The Nedved-Matthew Barnaby-Sandy McCarthy line staked the Rangers to a 3-0 lead in the first 13:53. Nedved had the first goals of the game off passes from Barnaby and McCarthy scored off a deflection.

The Rangers' top line of Eric Lindros-Pavel Bure-Martin Rucinsky accounted for the next two goals, giving the Rangers a 5-2 advantage. Lindros took a pass from Rucinsky in front and scored his 35th goal of the season in the second period and Rucinsky fired a wrist shot from the top of the left circle past goaltender Byron Dafoe in the third period. Bure assisted on both goals.

But Boston, which leads Philadelphia by five points in the battle for the top spot in the East, pulled within 5-4 on goals by Bill Guerin and Sergei Samsonov.

But Barnaby scored into an empty net with 39 seconds left to seal the win.

The Rangers are in danger of missing the playoffs for the fifth straight year, a run of failure unmatched in franchise history since 1951-55. But they managed to win the season series from the Bruins, 3-1, with Saturday's victory.

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Post-Game Notes: NY Rangers versus Boston Bruins
- - New York Rangers
April 6, 2002

The Rangers picked up their fourth consecutive win, sweeping their four-game road trip, as they skated past the Boston Bruins, 6-4, on Saturday at the FleetCenter.

Matthew Barnaby collected a goal and two assists, while Petr Nedved (two goals), Sandy McCarthy (one goal, one assist), Pavel Bure (one goal, one assist), Eric Lindros (one goal, one assist), Martin Rucinsky (one goal, one assist) and Bryan Berard (two assists) added two points apiece to lead the Blueshirts. Dan Blackburn stopped 34 of 38 shots in the win.

Brian Rolston, Glen Murray, Bill Guerin and Sergei Samsonov scored for Boston. Byron Dafoe turned aside 19 of 24 shots in the loss.

New York took three of four games vs. the Bruins, capturing the season series for the first time since the 1996-97 campaign. The Rangers return home to host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday at MSG (7:00 PM ET, MSG Network, WFAN 660 AM).

* Barnaby also led all Rangers skaters with six shots on goal.
* Lindros and Bure continue their torrid scoring pace in the last nine games ... Lindros has notched seven goals and seven assists, while Bure has tallied nine goals and eight assists.
* Bure was held scoreless for only the second time since joining the Rangers on March 18.
* Nedved collected his 19th and 20th goals of the season in the first period, marking the seventh time he has reached the 20-goal plateau in his NHL career ... Nedved has collected four goals in the last three games.
* The Rangers have tallied at least four goals in each of their last four games, outscoring their opponents 20-12 over the span.
* Goaltender Johan Holmqvist was recalled from Hartford (AHL) prior to the game ... Holmqvist turned aside 27 of 29 shots on Friday as the Wolf Pack defeated Boston's AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins, 4-2.
* Guerin assisted on Murray's second period goal for his 500th NHL point.
* Boston's Joe Thornton collected a pair of assists in returning to the line-up after missing the previous 16 games due to injury (shoulder) and suspension.
* Rolston netted his 30th goal of the season, including six on the power play and an NHL-leading nine shorthanded tallies.

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NY Rangers eliminated from playoffs
Canadiens 3, Senators 1
- - AP News
April 7, 2002

The Montreal Canadiens know who has brought them to the doorstep of the playoffs -- goalie Jose Theodore.

``I just can't put it into words how great he's played,'' Canadiens center Shaun Van Allen said after Theodore made 34 saves in a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night.

The win moved Montreal to within one win of securing a playoff berth.

``I think he's got to be the MVP -- he's definitely the MVP on our team, and he's definitely got a shot in the league,'' said Van Allen, who had his fifth career two-goal game as the Canadiens extended their winning streak to a season-high six games.

Theodore has allowed five goals over the course of the streak.

``He makes unbelievable saves,'' Van Allen said. ``He gives us a chance every night, and it gives you a lot of confidence knowing you can make a mistake up front or something and Jose's going to be there to stop it.''

With 85 points, Montreal increased its lead over Washington to five points and Buffalo to six in its bid to make the playoffs for the first time in four seasons.

Each team has three games left to play, but the Canadiens can clinch their first playoff appearance since 1997-98 with a win, two points or a Capitals loss in any of those games. Montreal just needs one point to eliminate Buffalo.

The Canadiens' win also eliminated the New York Rangers.

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It's Official: Rangers out!
by Larry Brooks - - New York Post
April 8, 2002

This was the morning of April 4, 2002, at the Garden, and the Rangers had just finished posing for their team picture. Dave Checketts was talking to The Post about the disappointment of missing the playoffs again when Glen Sather moseyed by.

"This is the last time," the GM interjected. "The last time."

It was the last time - until this time. The last year - until this year.

The inevitable arrived, as, by definition, it always does. It arrived last night when the Canadiens defeated the Senators 3-1 in Ottawa for their sixth straight victory, and thus eliminated the Rangers from postseason play for the fifth straight year.

And so Game 80 of the season tonight at the Garden against the Penguins becomes an exercise in excess. That's what going 9-22-1-2 from Dec. 31 through March 27 brings with it. That's what losing four of five immediately after the trade deadline does. That's what having the league's second-worst defensive record earns.

Missing the NHL playoffs five straight years isn't merely as bad as it sounds, it's worse. A little historical perspective:

? The Rangers now have the third-longest current tournament drought in the league, trailing only fellow laughingstocks Calgary and Tampa Bay, each of whom have been out since 1997. The Flames, by the way, have established the remarkable record of going 13 straight years without winning a single playoff round since their 1989 Stanley Cup championship.

? This marks only the 20th time in NHL history that a team has missed five straight years. Among franchises in the league long enough to qualify, 15 never accomplished the dubious feat: Anaheim; Buffalo; Minnesota/Dallas; Edmonton; Florida; Los Angeles; Montreal Canadiens; Montreal Maroons; Ottawa (old); Ottawa (new); Winnipeg/Phoenix; St. Louis; San Jose; Toronto; Vancouver.

? The Rangers are the only franchise in league history to miss at least five straight years on three different occasions. The Blueshirts previously missed from 1943-47 and from 1951-55. Overall, the Rangers have missed the playoffs 28 times in their 76-year history, more than any other of the Original Six.

? Among teams missing at least five straight, the Penguins and Bruins got to the Stanley Cup quickest by winning three years after ending their respective droughts, Pittsburgh in 1991 after being out from 1983-88, Boston in 1970 after missing from 1960-67. Other post-expansion winners: Colorado in 1996, four years after the Nordiques missed from 1988-92; and New Jersey in 1995, eight years after the Rockies and Devils had missed from 1979-87.

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It's Official: Rangers out!
by Arthur Staple - -
April 8, 2002

The Rangers had a nice little run over the past week, but the inevitable end to their playoff hopes arrived around 10 p.m. last night. That's when the Canadiens beat the Senators for their sixth straight victory and officially eliminated the Rangers. It is the fifth straight season the Rangers will miss the playoffs.

No one was ready to throw in the towel before last night's game, but general manager Glen Sather has a mountain of choices to sift through and evaluations to wrap up during the final three games, beginning tonight.

Does Sather re-sign unrestricted free agent Mike Richter? How about Mark Messier? Or late-season acquisition Martin Rucinsky, suddenly on a hot streak. Those three alone earned nearly $15 million this season - money that could go to a less-expensive veteran goaltender (Ed Belfour, Tom Barrasso) and a front-line free agent (Bill Guerin, Bobby Holik, Tony Amonte).

Then there are Theo Fleury and Bryan Berard, two players whose return to action this season was admirable though their play was spotty. The Rangers hold an option on Fleury for next year at $7 million; picking up Berard's option means the Rangers are on the hook for $9.75 million over three years.

Those only are the big-name, high-priced Rangers - of the upper tax-bracket earners, only Eric Lindros and the highest-paid Ranger, Pavel Bure, acquitted themselves well. And Brian Leetch, with one year left on his contract, suffered a post-Olympics malaise. The fate of coach Ron Low is in doubt, though few believe he will return.

The players who have raised few doubts about their abilities over the last two months are the unsung ones, chief among that group are a pair of passionate players who come cheaply in Matthew Barnaby and Sandy McCarthy. Between them, they make just over $2.5 million, or less than nine of their teammates; the efforts of these two tough guys has been without question.

"I get a reputation because I fight a lot, and that's always going to precede me," said Barnaby, who had a goal, two assists and a fight in Saturday's 6-4 win over the Bruins. Since being rescued from playing less than a minute a night with the Tampa Bay Lightning in a Dec. 12 trade, Barnaby has 8 goals, 13 assists and 137 penalty minutes in 45 games.

"I'll always be known as an instigator, a tough guy, a blockhead," the 28-year-old said. "But I feel I can play on a couple different levels and I'm showing that."

McCarthy, who with 10 goals this season has 21 of his 62 career goals in two seasons as a Ranger, has been perhaps the team's most well-rounded forward since the Olympic break. At 29, he fits into a mold of modestly paid, veteran Rangers (Rem Murray, Andreas Johansson, Barnaby) who can slot into almost any forward spot.

The few young players given minutes this season have ranged from solid (Mikael Samuelsson) to surprising (who knew anything about Roman Lyashenko?) to mouth-watering (18-year-old goaltender Dan Blackburn, potential future Vezina Trophy winner).

There is reason once again to hope. But as usual, hope will wait for next season.



At Rangers

7 p.m.


Radio: WFAN (660)

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Rangers: Playoff hopes finished
by Rick Carpieniello - - NJ Home News Tribune
April 8, 2002

What every reasonable person has known for quite some time, and what has been abundantly certain since that dreadful 5-2 home-ice loss to Atlanta on March 22, became official last night.

The Rangers, for a fifth season in a row, are not going to the playoffs.

They were mathematically eliminated when the streaking Montreal Canadiens won their sixth game in a row last night, 3-1 over the Senators in Ottawa.

Had Montreal tied or lost, the Rangers would still be barely alive with three games remaining. But the Canadiens' victory over Columbus on Saturday had placed the Rangers on the brink, despite a four-game winning streak of their own. With the Saturday win, Montreal needed just two more points, or one Rangers loss.

The Rangers, who had cut the Habs' lead to three points with their 6-4 win in Boston Saturday afternoon, saw their tragic number of four points disappear without even playing another game.

So the Rangers' season is ending minus playoffs for a fifth year in a row -- a streak the franchise hasn't seen since the five-year drought from 1950-51 through 1954-55. It also marks the first time in 25 years that both Madison Square Garden residents, the Knicks and the Rangers, have missed the playoffs in the same season.

Most Rangers watchers have seen this coming for half a season now, despite the mirage of a four-game winning streak this past week.

In December, the Rangers were in first place not only in their division, but also in the Eastern Conference, largely thanks to the goaltending of Mike Richter, playing behind a porous defense and a hideous penalty-killing unit; and to the FLY line of Theo Fleury, Eric Lindros and Mike York.

On Dec. 28 in San Jose, in the first game of what promised to be a difficult six-game trip, Lindros suffered the seventh concussion of his career and Fleury received a game misconduct and had an alleged altercation with the Sharks' mascot. The Rangers, starting on New Year's Eve, won nine of 34 games.

Lindros, who also suffered knee and foot injuries, wasn't the same dominant player until the last two weeks. Fleury's personal family problems, and his short temper, became issues for the team, and he has fallen off sharply offensively in the second half (he'll probably be asked back for the option year of his contract). And York was ultimately traded to Edmonton for Tom Poti and Rem Murray, two players who have had almost no impact to date.

Also during that trip, Mark Messier's shoulder injury proved to be more serious than originally thought, virtually ending his season.

Then Richter suffered a fractured skull, which ended his season, early in that Atlanta disaster at the Garden, a must game in which the Rangers never competed, against a watered-down, 30th-place team starting a goalie who had never started an NHL game.

So the Rangers will finish the season starting tonight against Pittsburgh, undoubtedly with the "Low Must Go" chant ringing for coach Ron Low's job (he has never had a winning season); with booing for Petr Nedved, who suffered through an awful season; and with general disdain over the team's five straight non-playoff seasons, with little hope for the immediate future.

Oh, yes, the Rangers have lost five in a row and 10 of their last 13 at the Garden.

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Game Preview: NY Rangers versus Pittsburgh Penguins
Rangers (35-36-4-4) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (28-38-7-5) - Madison Square Garden (7:00 PM ET)
- - New York Rangers
April 8, 2002

TV: MSG Network (6:30 PM ET)
RADIO: WFAN 660 AM or on-line at

Having been eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday, the red-hot Rangers will try to push their winning streak to five games as they meet the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden tonight.

The Rangers, who are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, were eliminated from the postseason for the fifth straight season when eighth-place Montreal won its sixth in a row, 3-1, over Ottawa on Sunday.

The Canadiens moved seven points ahead of the Rangers, who have just three games remaining.

Lost in the disappointment of another failed season is one of the newest Rangers has been unstoppable of late. Pavel Bure has been nothing short of sensational since coming over from Florida before the trade deadline, registering nine goals and 17 points in nine games.

Bure's play has inspired Eric Lindros, as the big center has seven goals and 14 points in the same span.

Matthew Barnaby set up a pair of first period goals by Petr Nedved and added an empty-net score, and Lindros, Sandy McCarthy and Martin Rucinsky also scored as New York completed a stellar four-game road trip with a 6-4 win in Boston on Saturday.

The Rangers have tallied at least four goals in each of their last four games, outscoring their opponents 20-12.

The slumping Penguins have lost a season-high six in a row, including Saturday's 3-1 setback in Philadelphia.

Shean Donovan netted the lone goal for the Penguins, who have been outscored 19-9 during their slide.

ALL-TIME SERIES: The two teams have met 189 times with the Rangers holding an 88-76-23-2 edge. The Blueshirts have posted a 48-37-9-0 in 94 career matches at MSG.

SEASON SERIES: Penguins, 3-1. Jan Hrdina scored with 19 seconds left in overtime, lifting the Pens to a 1-0 home victory on November 17. Alexei Kovalev notched his third hat trick of the season in Pittsburgh's 4-1 home win on January 5. Matthew Barnaby scored with 21.1 seconds left as the Rangers halted a nine-game winless streak against the Penguins with a 4-3 win on February 10 at Madison Square Garden.

LAST MEETING: March 9; Penguins, 3-2 (OT). Hrdina scored 37 seconds into overtime for the Penguins. Milan Kraft and Kris Beech also scored for the Penguins. Andreas Johansson and McCarthy scored for the Rangers.

HOME/ROAD RECORDS: Rangers - 18-18-2-1 at home; Penguins - 12-19-4-4 on the road.

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NY Rangers 3, Pittsburgh 2
Pavel: Five shots on goal, two goals, even
- - AP News
April 8, 2002

Rookie Dan Blackburn stopped 20 shots for an historic fifth straight win and Pavel Bure scored twice as the New York Rangers held on for a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Still just 18, Blackburn became the third teenager in NHL history to record five straight wins, joining Allan Bester and Tom Barrasso.

One night after the Rangers were eliminated from postseason contention for the fifth year in a row, Bure opened the scoring 3:22 into the second period. He took a pass in front from defenseman Tom Poti and flipped the puck past goaltender Johan Hedberg for his 32nd goal.

With 5:01 left in the third period, Bure got a pass from Martin Rucinsky in the left faceoff circle, moved right and beat Hedberg with a backhander for his 11th goal in 10 games with the Rangers. Bure was acquired from Florida on March 18.

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Post-Game Notes: NY Rangers versus Pittsburgh Penguins
- - New York Rangers
April 8, 2002

Pavel Bure tallied a pair of goals and Eric Lindros notched the game-winner with 3:21 remaining in the third period to propel the Rangers past the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-2, on Monday at MSG. The win extended the Blueshirts' winning streak to five games, marking their second longest streak of the season.

Dan Blackburn turned aside 26 of 28 shots in becoming only the second goalie in NHL history under the age of 19 to post a five-game winning streak. Tom Barasso posted a five and six game winning streak as a rookie with the Buffalo Sabres in 1983-84.

Bure extended his scoring streak to six games and has now collected 18 points (11 goals, seven assists) in 10 games since joining the Rangers on March 18. Lindros has now notched points in 10 of the last 11 games, posting nine goals and seven assists over the span. Martin Rucinsky, who collected a pair of assists in the win, has now tallied three goals and six assists in the last five games.

Jan Hrdina and Brad Ference scored for Pittsburgh, who have now lost seven consecutive games. Johan Hedberg stopped 18 of 21 shots in the loss.

The Blueshirts conclude their 2001-02 home schedule on Wednesday as they host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Fan Appreciation Night (7:00 PM ET - MSG Network, WFAN 660 AM).


Q: On the Lindros, Bure and Rucinsky line ... "Well, I thought their line was good. For Rucinsky, it was maybe his best game. A couple of passes he made were outstanding. Their line played solid, solid hockey for us."

Q: On Lindros ... "I think hes been a force since Pavels been here. Hes been taking the body and when he does that hes a really effective guy. Hes also been driving to the net and hes got three goals like that. The other thing is that the puck is coming to him when he is driving to the net. A lot of these things go hand and hand but his confidence level is up a lot and theyre playing really well as a line right now."

Q: On Bure ... "Hes as pure a scorer as Ive seen and Ive seen some good ones. If you give him a chance, hell put it in the net. The thing about it now is that hes worked really hard for his chances too. Hes been going up and down the ice and giving it up and getting it back. They worked some pretty nice give and gos."

Q: Your feeling of winning the game despite missing the playoffs? "I think its a better feeling any time you win a game regardless of the circumstances. Its also a little disappointing today that we arent playing for a little bit more than just the win tonight instead of a playoff spot."

Q: On the five-game winning streak ... "Thats exciting. I have had a lot of help here. Its just been some of our best games of the season and we have really come together even though its a little too late. I think I have played some good games here, but tonight we were able to play real solid 'D' and we scored a couple of more goals than we have in the past."

Q: Here it is -- the game doesnt mean anything and the Garden is as loud as its been in a long time. How does that feel for you? "It means a lot. Obviously, we still have a lot of fans who believe in us. We tried to show our fans that we were capable of winning this type of hockey game."

Q: Very disappointing playing so well of late, but no playoffs? "It was a really strange atmosphere in the dressing room this morning. Guys were really down and it was pretty hard to play tonight."

Q: You and Bure seem to really be clicking out there ... "I think you are omitting a big player when you dont mention Martins name. He made a great feed to me in the slot, right in the crease area there on the last goal. We just played well, real well. Pavel was hot again tonight. Im looking forward to Wednesday. If youve got to play them, you might as well win them."

Q: How do you feel about winning the Steven McDonald Award? "I am honored to win it. It just goes to show that people really see what you do out there. Its always been one part of my game, working hard and its good to see its noticed like that."

Q: Is it that important to finish up strong even though you are out of the playoffs? "Definitely. You want to win every game you play. We dont have the playoffs to play for anymore, but we have next year to think about. So, we want to finish this year with a good note and try to bring it into next year."

Q: On joining Lindros and Bure over the last five games ... "Its been just a boost. Like I said, Ive had a rough season ever since I got traded from Montreal its been a downside for me. Just coming here and having new life and a new energy to join those two guys its been a big plus. For me, mentally, to know that I can play in key situations - thats what I needed."

Q: Will you try to watch Saku Koivu's return tomorrow? "Yeah, of course. Im his close friend and we were together for almost seven years in Montreal. Were very close friends off the ice and Im just amazed at what hes gone through in his life. Nevermind the comeback, just to beat that disease and to be able to live again its just amazing. Of course Im going to watch tomorrow and Im going to cheer for him. Hopefully hes going to have a good time and Im happy for him."

Q: Have you spoken with Saku recently? "Ive talked to him a couple times on the phone and he says he feels pretty well. Hes been under a program to get his strength back and he feels good. Hes a fighter and he always overcomes his injuries so Im sure hell be great tomorrow."

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Pavel Bure timepiece sells for $1250 at charity auction
April 9, 2002

A timepiece, donated by Pavel Bure was auctioned off for $1250 at the "Gala Dinner and Auction" on Sunday, April 7 in Vancouver. It came with a came with a signed Certificate of Authenticity.

The funds raised were for the benefit of the B.C. Lions Society for Children with Diabilities.

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Bure's Contributions Keep Rangers Upbeat
by Arthur Staple - -
April 10, 2002

Pavel Bure has that radiant smile, and he's been showing it often in his first three weeks as a Ranger. He smiled again after practice yesterday when someone wondered aloud what the Rangers' fate would be had Bure joined the team two weeks earlier than March 18.

With 11 goals in 10 games after 22 in 56 games with the Panthers, Bure has been the catalyst behind the five-game winning streak the Rangers carry into tonight's final home game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Perhaps another five games of Bure's incredible scoring touch and ability to open up the ice for his teammates and tonight's game might have meant something. Now, it has meaning only for the visiting Leafs, still jockeying for playoff position.

"You never can know about that," Bure said, flashing his big grin.

"You don't necessarily score so many goals all the time. It does not work this way. You can't change the past anyway." Bure's future is looking more promising than it has in years. He's played just four playoff games since 1994-95 and, while that number won't grow this season, the 31-year-old has a good feeling about the seasons to come in New York.

"Just look around the room - there are at least 10 superstars in here," he said. "This team was in first place in the Eastern Conference before Christmas. I think it's a good team and I really believe we have a good future." The current Rangers regime has, quite obviously, gushed about Bure since his arrival. Since he, Eric Lindros and Martin Rucinsky were joined as a top forward line, the Rangers haven't lost and each looks like a keeper - even Rucinsky, who looked like nothing more than a late-season rental when he arrived but has three goals and six assists playing with Bure and Lindros.

"He's back to the guy we knew a couple years ago," Ron Low said of Rucinsky. "He's showed he has something left ... [As for Bure], he's as pure a scorer as I've seen. And he's worked awfully hard at both ends of the rink." Bure will head back to Moscow shortly after the end of the season Saturday, but he is already talking about New York as a second home.

"You walk down the street, you hear English, Russian, everything," he said. "There are so many people here from other places, other cities ... It has everything."

Notes & Quotes: Several Rangers will be invited to play in the World Championships, which begin at the end of the month in Sweden. Coach Ron Low said yesterday that defensemen Tom Poti and Bryan Berard may play for the United States, Roman Lyashenko has been asked to play for Russia and Andreas Johansson will play for Sweden.

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Game Preview: Rangers versus Toronto Maple Leafs
- - New York Rangers
April 10, 2002

The Rangers will play their final home game of the 2001-2002 season tonight as they meet the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Rangers will try to even the season series with the Leafs tonight as Toronto captured back-to-back matches on December 6th at MSG (6-3) and on December 8th at the Air Canada Centre (4-3). New York won in Toronto last Thursday, registering a 4-2 win. On the season, the Rangers have gone 19-18-2-1 at The Garden heading into tonight and are 36-36-4-4 for 80 points through 80 matches overall. Toronto has posted a 40-25-10-4 and 94 points in 79 games this season and hold a two point lead over Ottawa for the fourth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Following tonight's contest New York will wrap up the season on Saturday afternoon at the First Union Center vs. the Philadelphia Flyers (3:00 p.m.).

The Rangers have faced the Maple Leafs 556 times in the regular season, going 201-260-95-1 over those matches ... They have met 278 times at Madison Square Garden with New York posting a record of 118-104-56-0.

Rangers vs. Maple Leafs at MSG: 118-104-56-0
Rangers vs. Maple Leafs at TOR: 83-156-39-1

2001-2002 RANGERS vs. MAPLE LEAFS:
December 6 Rangers 3, vs. Maple Leafs 6 at MSG
December 8 Rangers 3, vs. Maple Leafs 4 at Air Canada Centre
April 4 Rangers 4, vs. Maple Leafs 2 at Air Canada Centre
April 10 Rangers vs. Maple Leafs at MSG

* The Rangers are 19-18-2-1 in 40 games at MSG; The Maple Leafs have posted a 16-14-4-4 mark in 38 road matches.
* Dan Blackburn, currently on a career-high five-game winning streak, is just the second goaltender in NHL history under the age of 19 to post a five-game winning streak (Tom Barrasso posted five and six-game streaks in 1983-84).
* Blackburn has posted 6-1-0 mark, along with a 2.34 goals against average and a .931 save percentage in seven matches vs. the Northeast Division this season.
* Pavel Bure and Eric Lindros are both on six-game point scoring streaks. Bure has registered 13 points during the run (eight goals, five assists), while Lindros has tallied 11 points (six goals, five assists).
* Lindros is tied for ninth in the NHL with 36 goals and has recorded a point in 10 of his last 11 matches (nine goals, seven assists over the span).
* Martin Rucinsky extended his point scoring streak to five games Monday night vs. Pittsburgh and has now collected three goals and six assists for nine points over the span.
* Sandy McCarthy captured his second consecutive Steven McDonald "Extra Effort" Award on Monday, recognizing the Rangers player who, as voted by the fans, has performed "above and beyond the call of duty."
* Mats Sundin and Alexander Mogilny have both tallied six points vs. the Rangers this season, collecting two goals and four assists each.
* The Maple Leafs have one former Ranger on their current roster: Tie Domi (1990-91 - 1992-93). The Rangers have two former Maple Leafs on their roster: Bryan Berard (1998-99 - 1999-00); Sylvain Lefebvre (1992-93 - 1993-94)

Last 5 NYR games: 5 - 0 - 0 - 0
Last 10 NYR games: 6 - 4 - 0 - 0

April 8, 2002: Rangers 3, Penguins 2: The Rangers are now on their second longest win streak of the season after Monday night's 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at MSG. Pavel Bure (two goals) and Eric Lindros (one goal) accounted for each of New York's tallies as both extended their point scoring steaks to six games. Martin Rucinsky collected two assists to puck his own scoring streak to five games. Brian Leetch and Tom Poti both registered helpers in the match as well, as did Vladimir Malakhov. In the nets, Dan Blackburn became just the second goaltender in NHL history under the age of 19 to post a five-game winning streak as he stopped 26 of 28 shots in the win.

April 6, 2002: Rangers 6, Bruins 4: Another spectacular outing for goaltender Dan Blackburn Saturday afternoon at Boston allowed the Rangers to sweep a four-game road trip and extend his own personal winning streak to a career-high four games. The rookie netmonder stopped 34 of 38 shots in goal while the line of Eric Lindros (one goal, one assist), Pavel Bure (two assists) and Martin Rucinsky (one goal, one assist) continued to reek havoc with the opposition, combining for six points. Lindros and Bure are now each on five-game point scoring streaks while Rucinsky's has now reached four. Matthew Barnaby grabbed first star of the game honors with a goal and two assists and Petr Nedved tallied a pair of goals in the first period.

April 4, 2002: Rangers 4, Maple Leafs 2: Eric Lindros put on another brilliant performance Thursday night, collecting a goal and a pair of assists to help the Rangers win their third consecutive match in a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. He also extended his point scoring streak to four games. Pavel Bure also continued his impressive start to this Ranger career with a pair of goals, including the game-winner in the third period. Linemate Martin Rucinsky chipped in with two assists as well to give him five points in his last three games. In the nets, rookie Dan Blackburn is now enjoying the first three-game winning of his career after stopping 35 of 37 shots.

April 1, 2002: Rangers 6, Lightning 4: The Rangers made it back-to-back wins on their Florida swing after a 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 1st at the Ice Palace. Petr Nedved was named first star of the game, recording a pair of goals, including the game-winner. The combination of Eric Lindros with Pavel Bure and Martin Rucinsky paid big dividends again as Bure continued to pile up the points, netting another two goals and an assist to give him 12 points in his first seven games with New York. Lindros also added an assist in the match to give him a point in seven of the last eight matches while Rucinsky netted a goal and an assist. Dan Blackburn posted his second consecutive win as well, turning aside 26 of 30 Tampa shots.

March 30, 2002: Rangers 4, Panthers 2: A pair of third period goals from Eric Lindros halted a three-game losing streak for the Rangers as they defeated the Florida Panthers 4-2 on March 30th at the National Car Rental Center. Brian Leetch chipped in with three assists while Pavel Bure continued his torrid scoring pace since joining the Rangers by netting a goal and adding two assists in the match. Vladimir Malakhov recorded a pair of assists as well, including the 300th point of his NHL career. Meanwhile, Martin Rucinsky collected his first goal as a Ranger. In the nets, Dan Blackburn stopped 31 of 33 shots.

April 10, 2002: NYR vs. Toronto (7:00 p.m.)
April 13, 2002: NYR at Philadelphia (3:00 p.m.)

* Sylvain Lefebvre suffered a torn PCL in his left knee on March 27 and will be sidelined two weeks.
* Mike Richter is out of the line-up indefinitely due to a linear fracture of the Temporal Bone suffered on March 22 vs. Atlanta.
* Radek Dvorak will be sidelined for the remainder of the season due to a right knee injury suffered on March 13 vs. Boston.
* Mark Messier is sidelined indefinitely after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder on March 1.

The Rangers have lost 134 manpower games due to injury/illness this season.

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Toronto 7, NY Rangers 2
Pavel: Six shots on goal, one goal and one assist, plus one
- - AP News
April 10, 2002

Mats Sundin scored his 40th goal and Darcy Tucker and Cory Cross each added a pair as the Toronto Maple Leafs clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a 7-2 rout of the New York Rangers.

Sundin reached the 40-goal plateau for the third time in his career and needs one goal to match his Toronto high set two years ago. He notched a career-high 47 goals for the Quebec Nordiques in the 1992-93 campaign.

The Maple Leafs clinched fourth place in the Eastern Conference and will host the extra game in a possible first-round playoff series.

"We've been focused on that the last couple of weeks and Ottawa has been playing well and the Islanders have been playing really well behind us, so we want to make sure we can start the playoffs at home," Sundin said.

"There are two games left until a new season, and stats and all that other stuff goes out the window in a hurry," Tucker added.

Toronto also kept alive its slim hopes of winning the Northeast Division, pulling within three points of idle Boston with two games to play.

With the Rangers trailing, 4-2, Theo Fleury appeared to be taken down by Cross on a breakaway, but no penalty was called.

The Rangers collapsed after that as Sundin scored six minutes into the third before Mikael Renberg and Cross tacked on goals, chasing rookie goaltender Dan Blackburn. The Rangers thought Fleury should have been awarded a penalty shot.

"I'm not sure if there should have been or could have been a call on that play," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "We've had five or six penalty shots against us this year and four of them should not have been called, so I don't even know if there should have been a penalty. We know (Fleury) goes down a lot, so he may have felt a tug and just fell to the ice."

The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Rangers, who need to win Saturday's finale at Philadelphia to finish the season at .500.

"I thought there were times during the season where we played real solid hockey," New York center Eric Lindros said. "It's real disappointing. We were treated really well by our fans and then our last game (at home), we fall apart like that in the third period."

After Tucker got the first of his two goals 6:09 into the game, the Rangers tied it on Pavel Bure's power-play tally with 8:44 left in the opening period. It was his 12th goal in 11 games since being acquired from Florida before the March 19 trade deadline.

But Cross and Tucker scored second-period goals that caromed off opposing players to give the Maple Leafs a 3-1 lead with 5:02 left.

Lindros responded 79 seconds later, pulling the Rangers within 3-2, but Toronto broke it open with four unanswered goals in the third period.

"The Rangers are out of the playoffs and we're preparing for the playoffs," Sundin said. "It's one of those games where it's nice to get it over with, and we have to move on."

Cross recorded his first career two-goal game, while Tucker set a personal best with his 22nd goal.

"It's nice to get goals," Tucker said. "I'm more excited about the year I had. My overall game improved from that of last year and that's what I'm most proud of."

Shayne Corson started the barrage in the third just 73 seconds into the period before Sundin made it 5-2 at 6:25.

Still just 18, Blackburn was trying to become the first teenager in NHL history to win six straight starts. He joined Tom Barrasso and Allan Bester as the only teens to win five in a row.

"Danny battled hard tonight," New York coach Ron Low said. "I didn't want to see him in there anymore. You can't blame him for everything that happened tonight."

Johan Holmqvist replaced Blackburn and stopped both shots he faced in his season debut.

Corey Schwab made 21 saves for the Maple Leafs.

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Post-Game Notes: NY Rangers versus Toronto Maple Leafs
- - New York Rangers
April 10, 2002

"Shirt off our backs" presentation prior to the game

In their final home game of the 2001-02 season, the Rangers five-game winning streak came to an end as the Toronto Maple Leafs skated past the Blueshirts, 7-2. Leading 3-2 after two periods of play, the Leafs erupted for four unanswered goals in the third for their 41st win of the season, moving into sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference.

Cory Cross scored his second and third goals of the season, Darcy Tucker netted a pair and Mats Sundin tallied his 40th to lead the Leafs. Shayne Corson, Mikael Renberg rounded out the scoring for Toronto.

Pavel Bure and Eric Lindros scored for New York in the loss.

The Rangers finished with a 19-19-2-1 mark at Madison Square Garden on the season. The Blueshirts conclude the 2001-02 campaign as they travel to Philadelphia on Saturday (3:00 PM ET - MSG Network, WFAN 660 AM).

* In tribute to the many New York heroes that have emerged since September 11the Rangers introduced the Home town Heroes section on opening night and through the generosity of Blueshirt players who purchased 80 seats per game, the Rangers have been honored to host over 3,000 members of the World Trade Center recovery efforts including NYPD, FDNY, Port Authority, rescue and emergency medical departments. The Rangers were proud to host these heroes throughout the season and again on Wednesday night.

PAVEL BURE: Tallied his 34th goal of the season and 12th as a Ranger, and added an assist, extending his current point scoring streak to seven games His current seven-game point scoring streak matches the team-high for the season (nine goals, five assists over the span) ... Has registered 12 goals and 20 points in his first 12 games as a Ranger (12 goals, eight assists) ... Has collected a goal in six of the last seven games (nine goals over the span) Has registered six consecutive multi-point games (eight goals, five assists over the span).

ERIC LINDROS: Collected his team-leading 37th goal of the season, extending his current point scoring streak to seven games (seven goals, five assists over the span) ... Is also on a four-game goal scoring streak (four goals over the span) Both of his current scoring streaks match the team highs for the season Has registered a point in 11 of his last 12 games (10 goals, seven assists over the span) Ranks first on the team and is tied for 14th in the NHL with 73 points (37 goals, 36 assists) Ranks first on the team and is tied for sixth in the NHL with 37 goals.

Q: Your thoughts on the season ... "I thought there were times during this year we played real solid hockey. Its real disappointing, we were treated really well by our fans and in our last game we fall apart like that in the third period."

Q: Would you almost want training camp to start right away and get going again? " Well, training camp will begin again in September. But we have one (game) left here and we have to go out with some pride. We will wait and see what happens in the off season."

Q: Talk about the post-game ceremony ... "Well, we know that Ranger fans are behind the hockey club with everything. I think thats been proven through the years and history has shown that. Everybody is disappointed right now - the fans, the Rangers organization, the players and everybody that is involved with the Rangers is disappointed but I also want to make it clear that our goal is not to make the playoffs. Our goal is to win the Stanley Cup. Were disappointed we dont have a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. Our goal isnt as simple as making the playoffs. We have loftier expectations of ourselves and of the team and as we all know winning is a process. Weve improved the hockey club dramatically over the last two years and we felt this year we are a good enough team to be competing for the Stanley Cup, but again its a process. Players alone and individuals alone dont make championship teams and you have to become a team and unfortunately, that takes time and commitment. It tales time to build and thats what were doing right now."

Q: Do you expect to be part of this team next year? "I dont really have anything to offer you in that regards other than what I did at the start of the year. All decisions and all those things and those decisions will be talked about this summer."

Q: Has dedicating the season to the people from September 11 crossed your mind lately? "Sure. There are a lot of reasons to be disappointed when youre not successful but we wouldnt be happy unless we won the Stanley Cup. Obviously were disappointed that we dont have a chance to play for it but like I said, we have loftier goals than making the playoffs and anything short of that, youre disappointed. When things happened in September and dedicating the season happened, all those things come into play when you dont achieve your ultimate goal, but like I said, its a process and building a team and becoming a team and having the commitment and responsibility to win for the City and the fans and the organization takes time. Unfortunately, were seeing that now again. Well just have to keep moving forward."

Q: How has the team moved forward this year? "Nobody is going to dispute that were a better team than we were at the end of last season. I think that is very evident. I think that we have players here that are part of a nucleus and it has been getting stronger than it has been."

Q: On the post game ceremony and the fans in New York? "As Ive said, Ive been very lucky to spend my career here. The building is full every night, and the people have always been very supportive of anything that the Rangers have done off the ice. The people are always there; its the same as when they come to the games. Its a nice thing that the organization sets up and its certainly emotional."

Q: Is it frustrating that this latest stretch of wins was not enough? "The first 40 games or so we were looking to finish at the top of our division, then we let it slide and that was the disappointing part because we couldnt get anything positive going again. We let our position slip out of our hands and out of our control, during the last few games rather than get ourselves ready for the postseason."

Q: On players the Rangers have acquired? "Eric and Pavel are certainly top players in the league. To have those two guys play together, its been real exciting since Pavels come here. It is certainly a bright spot for Rangers fans and even myself to see those guys together."

TOM POTI: Recorded an assist on Pavel Bures power play goal, giving him a point in three of his last four matches Has registered a point in seven of his 10 matches as a Ranger (one goal, seven assists over the span).

DAVE KARPA: Collected an assist on Eric Lindros goal Has registered one goal and 10 assists for 11 points on the season, giving him his highest point total since tallying 12 points in 1997-98.

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Game Preview: NY Rangers versus Philadelphia Flyers
Rangers (36-37-4-4) at Philadelphia Flyers (41-26-10-3) - First Union Center (3:00 PM ET)
- - New York Rangers
April 13, 2002

TV: MSG Network (2:30 PM ET)
RADIO: WBBR 1130 AM or on-line at

The Rangers close out their 2001-02 season on Saturday when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers at the First Union Center. With a win, the Rangers will finish with a .500 record for the first time since the 1996-97 season when the Blueshirts posted a 38-34-10 mark and advanced the the Eastern Conference Finals vs. Philly.

The Rangers' five-game winning streak was snapped as the Toronto Maple Leafs skated past the Blueshirts, 7-2, on Wednesday at MSG. The Flyers have struggled of late, dropping six of their last eight matches, posting a 1-6-1-0 record over the span. Philadelphia closes out their season on Sunday as they visit the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.

This marks the fifth and final game between the two clubs on the season, with each team posting a pair of wins.

ALL-TIME SERIES: The two teams have met 207 times with the Flyers holding an 83-87-37-0 edge. Philadelphia has posted a 51-37-14-0 record in 102 career matches at home

SEASON SERIES: Tied, 2-2. Three of the games were decided by 4-2 scores, and the other contest was a 6-5 Rangers win in a closely played series. Eric Lindros has five goals and an assist against his former team, while Brian Leetch has five assists. Simon Gagne leads the Flyers with three goals and two assists in the series.

LAST MEETING: March 27; Flyers, 4-2. At New York, Eric Desjardins and Keith Primeau each had a goal and an assist to lead Philadelphia.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 17-18-2-3 on the road; Flyers - 19-13-5-3 at home.

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Philadelphia Flyers 2, NY Rangers 1
Pavel: Three shots on goal, even, slashing and tripping penalties
- - AP News
April 13, 2002

Mark Recchi couldn't have picked a better time to record his 500th point as a Philadelphia Flyer.

Recchi's goal 2:02 into the third period gave the Flyers a two-goal lead as they hung on and edged the New York Rangers, 2-1, to clinch their second Atlantic Division title in three years.

And it was a costly error by Rangers defenseman Tom Poti that led to the eventual game-winner.

Poti coughed the puck up to Adam Oates in the left corner of his own zone, and Oates dished it to John LeClair in the left faceoff circle. LeClair found Recchi alone in the slot and after forcing goaltender Dan Blackburn to the ice with a deke, Recchi backhanded the puck into an open net for his 22nd goal of the season.

Recchi, who also had an assist, has three goals in his last five games after scoring just once in the previous 23.

"No one quits in this dressing room," Recchi said. "We always compete and work hard every night. We weren't doing a lot of the proper things, but it wasn't because we didn't want to do the right things, we were just trying too hard. Now we're letting each other help each other, we trust each other and we are continuing to get better. This is a step."

Oates opened the scoring midway through the first period with a breakaway goal.

After receiving a pass from Recchi in the neutral zone, Oates split between New York defensemen Poti and David Karpa and skated in alone on Blackburn. While being hooked from behind by Poti, Oates slid the puck under Blackburn for a 1-0 lead.

The Rangers nearly tied the game early in the second. Mikael Samuelsson fired a slap shot from just outside the blue line that goalie Roman Cechmanek leaped to block, but it deflected off his left shoulder and bounced off the crossbar and into the stands.

Philadelphia now has captured 14 division titles, including four since the Atlantic Division was formed. They still can capture the top seed in the Eastern Conference with Boston and Toronto losses Saturday night and a victory against the New York Islanders on Sunday.

"This team is not done yet," Flyers center Jeremy Roenick said. "Just because we won this game, nobody is going to sit back. We have to continue to get better. We need to use this game as a building block. I know those are all the cliches, and we use them time and time again, but we do have to continue to get better as a team. We have to be ready to play playoff hockey, because playoff hockey is three or four steps faster."

"Tonight was a big game for us, obviously," Philadelphia coach Bill Barber said. "The guys did a great job. We had tons of opportunities, a lot of scoring chances, so this was another step that we made in the right direction as a team."

Petr Nedved scored a shorthanded goal for the Rangers, who have missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.

With Philadelphia on their seventh power play of the game, Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch led a rush into the offensive zone. After firing a shot that Cechmanek blocked, Leetch prevented him from covering it by poking it away. Nedved grabbed the loose puck and deposited it into an open net for his 21st goal of the season. The assist by Leetch was the 700th of his career.

Blackburn was sensational in a losing effort, making 34 saves in the final two periods and 43 overall.

"Dan made some unbelievable saves," Rangers coach Ron Low said. "He was in full control of everything and did a great job. For someone who is not 19 yet, it was a pretty sound display of goaltending."

"We got a good goaltender," New York center Eric Lindros said. "It could have been 6-0 after the first period and he held the fort down. He played all the way through down the stretch."

New York managed just two shots on goal in the first period, a season low. They finished the season with a 36-38-4-4 mark.

"I think the biggest thing is that the last half (of the season) was terrible," Low said. "We didn't defend very well and didn't score enough goals in games when we were down. A lot of times we did not put the puck in the net when we had scoring chances. The first half was pretty sound for our hockey club and the last half was not sound."

The Flyers won the season series, three games to two, and extended their home winning streak against New York to five.

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Post-Game Notes: NY Rangers versus Philadelphia Flyers
- - New York Rangers
April 13, 2002

Dan Blackburn's 43 saves weren't enough to guide the Rangers to their first .500 season since 1996-97 as the Philadelphia Flyers escaped with a 2-1 win on Saturday at the First Union Center.

Adam Oates and Mark Recchi scored for Philly, who clinched the Atlantic Division and secured the second seed in the Eastern Conference with the win.

Petr Nedved tallied his first shorthanded goal of the season in the third period for the Blueshirts. Brian Leetch collected an assist on Nedved's goal, marking his 700th NHL assist. The Rangers close the season at 36-38-4-4.

GOALS: Eric Lindros (37)
ASSISTS: Brian Leetch (45)
POINTS: Eric Lindros (73)
PENALTY MINUTES: Theoren Fleury (216)
SHOTS ON GOAL Pavel Bure (287)
POWER PLAY GOALS: Pavel Bure, Eric Lindros (12)
GAME-WINNING GOALS: Theoren Fleury (5)
PLUS/MINUS Eric Lindros (+19)

* With the win, the Flyers captured the season series, 3-2.
* Eric Lindros' 72 games played are the second-most in his nine seasons ... He played 73 matches for the Flyers in 1995-96.
* New York's two shots on goal in the first period are its fewest total in any period on the season.
* The Flyers have won five straight over the Rangers at home dating back to March 18, 2000.
* Recchi's goal was his third in the last five games and his 500th as a Flyer ... He also added an assist on Oates' first period tally.

"We aren't at all proud of the season. We have a good team here, but at times we haven't pulled it together."

"It was a heck of a year for Eric Lindros. Most nights, he was back to star status."

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Rangers Rewind
Another long offseason begins
By Arthur Staple - -
April 15, 2002

The Rangers were just coming out of their second major slide of the second half of the season, a seven-of-eight losing skid that cemented their fifth straight season without making the playoffs. One of the players scanned the dressing room at Rye Playland not too long ago and sighed.

"Look at this team," he said. "How the -- are we missing the playoffs?"

Although many Rangers observers thought this year's fade was inevitable, this fifth straight failure differed from the previous four in one regard: The Rangers showed promise for the first 41 games. They showed grit, they showed clutch play. But they also showed some major flaws that came back to haunt them during a 14-23-2-2 second half.

The surface signs point to Eric Lindros' seventh concussion, on Dec. 28, and Mark Messier's season-ending shoulder injury on Jan. 2 as the beginning of the end. The Rangers lost their on-ice leader, Lindros, who wasn't the same player until just recently, and their off-ice leader in a matter of days.

But the seeds already were planted: Poor special teams, including a league-worst penalty kill, combined with undisciplined play; shaky defense that gave up more than 250 goals, and the lack of any consistent scoring punch other than Lindros.

"We really had a good feeling about ourselves," captain Brian Leetch said. "Eric got off to a good start, Mike [Richter] was playing great. We certainly never expected to be here now."

This offseason doesn't hold as much promise for major changes as recent ones did, but there still is quite a bit of room to improve.

"We have to do a few more things to get there," general manager Glen Sather said, referring to the postseason.

There are a handful of big-name free agents available - Bill Guerin, Bobby Holik, Tony Amonte and Teemu Selanne among them - but precious few reliable names in the area where the Rangers need the biggest upgrade, on defense.

Sather signed what he thought were two "character" defensemen last July, lavishing $9.5 million on Igor Ulanov and Dave Karpa. Karpa has been shaky at times and at his best is a sixth defenseman; Ulanov's awful play was nonstop and he was shipped out in the Bure deal. Sather also gave Bryan Berard $2 million this season but is not likely to pick up the remaining three years at $9.75 million.

Theo Fleury, whose on-ice antics overshadowed any contributions he made, might not return either, despite his stated desire to come back and play for less than the $7 million his option calls for. Richter, an unrestricted free agent, also wants to return. Messier, 42 next January, will decide this summer whether he wants to come back for his 24th season.

"We're trying to take a team that's missed the playoffs five straight years and turn it into a championship team," Messier said. "Money alone doesn't make it happen. The nucleus is getting stronger than it has been in a while . . . "

Aside from the marquee names, there were some bright spots among the glue guys. Matthew Barnaby proved to be the ultimate team player and perfect complement to Sandy McCarthy as two of the Rangers' most determined forwards. Andreas Johansson scored 14 goals. And Sylvain Lefebvre, unwanted through the first half of the season, provided some measure of defensive stability before he too went down with a season-ending injury two weeks ago.

Coach Ron Low said yesterday that he assumes he'll know by the end of the week whether he will be back for a third season as coach. "I'm not sure if it's a possibility or not," he said. "You look at the overall atmosphere, the way things went the last 20 games. I'm a realist."

Sather said there is no timeline for a decision on Low, or on any of the players (Richter, Fleury and Berard chief among them) who await offers from the team.

If there was anything to be read into yesterday's breakup day attitude, though, it was that Low spoke to reporters while Sather met individually with each player. The coach was not part of the meetings.

5 Questions for the Summer

1. Will Ron Low return as coach? If not, who's running the show? The answer is no to Low returning - he may have been unable to motivate a group of veterans who should not need such motivation, but Low and his staff never did fix the special teams or avoid numerous first-period letdowns. Options for a replacement include former Stars coach Ken Hitchcock, coach-for-hire Pat Burns, Hartford Wolfpack head man John Paddock and U.S. Olympic coach Herb Brooks. Hitchcock has a prior relationship with Glen Sather, but his hard-edged style may not be best-suited to this team.

2. Will the Rangers bring back Theo Fleury, Mike Richter or Bryan Berard?

Maybe, maybe and probably not. Fleury has a $7-million option for next season that won't be picked up; he says he'll play for less or move to Finland. If he put an end to the nonsense, he still could help. Richter would be the right man to team with Dan Blackburn in more of a platoon situation than in years past and he's got the ringing endorsement of Mark Messier. Berard, a great story in returning from nearly losing his right eye, would be a better fit on a club with stronger defense.

3. Which free agents are coming in? Sather has all the blank checks he needs from boss Jim Dolan, but must spend more wisely than last summer. Bill Guerin would look great on a line with Eric Lindros, and Bobby Holik might be the second-line center the Rangers covet, but perhaps their cash is better thrown at a stay-at-home defenseman - and there's barely any of those available, save 40-year-old Chris Chelios.

4. Will Mark Messier return? He sounds like he doesn't want his incredible career to end having played half a season, but he always sounds like a man ready for more. If his shoulder holds up, he is willing to accept a checking-center's role - and the Rangers didn't have enough of those this season.

5. Is Sather on the hot seat? Not yet, but a slow start next season and the "Glen Must Go!" chant will be the most popular call at the Garden.

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New York Rangers fire coach Ron Low
By Ursula Reel - - AP News
April 15, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Rangers' NHL-high payroll no longer includes coach Ron Low.

The Rangers fired Low on Monday after two losing seasons and zero postseason appearances despite base salaries totaling about $70 million in 2001-02.

The team went 36-38-4-3 this season and finished 11th in the Eastern Conference. It was the fifth straight year New York failed to make the playoffs.

``I don't think it's just the coach's responsibility in a situation like this. We all share equally in this,'' Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather said. ``But in every situation, someone ends up taking the blame and it's generally the coach. It's unfortunate, but it's the way it has to be.''

Sather would not say what, specifically, Low did wrong.

``I'm not going to get into anything negative,'' the GM said. ``Ron is a hard-working guy.''

Sather is holding a position in the organization for Low in case he's not hired by another team before next season.

``There's a job for him if he's looking for one,'' he said.

The Rangers led the conference standings in early December and were atop the Atlantic Division as late as Jan. 5. But the team went 3-11-1 from Dec. 31-Feb. 6, sinking its season.

The roster featured seven players who were at the Salt Lake City Olympics, including stars such as goaltender Mike Richter, defenseman Brian Leetch and forward Eric Lindros.

Sather added high-scoring forward Pavel Bure at the trading deadline, but the Rangers still fell short of the playoffs despite his late flurry of goals.

Low's record in New York was 69-81-9-4. He missed one game this season to attend the funeral of his brother, who died of cancer.

In seven NHL seasons, including five with the Edmonton Oilers, Low is 208-243-49-4.

``We had to do something,'' Sather said. ``We wanted to go into next year with a fresh start and fresh ideas. That's what we're doing.''

Ken Hitchcock, who coached the Dallas Stars to the 1999 Stanley Cup title, is a candidate to replace Low, Sather said. The Stars fired Hitchcock in January and didn't qualify for the playoffs.

``I've spoken to Dallas and I've received permission'' to talk to Hitchcock, Sather said.

Asked what he likes about Hitchcock, Sather said: ``Just his history.''

Rangers captain Mark Messier has said he's not interested in coaching the team.

Low, a former NHL goaltender, was liked by his players but was sometimes perceived to be under pressure to cater to Sather's wishes. On Sunday, Sather strongly denied reports he gave advice during games to Low via a walkie-talkie.

When the Rangers were eliminated from playoff contention, Low said he thought the Rangers had played hard for him. He blamed the team's problems on injuries to Lindros and Messier and poor special teams play.

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Pavel was NHL's leading Russian born goal scorer for the season
April 15, 2002

                   --- INDIVIDUAL SCORING LEADERS ---

PLAYER                    TEAM GP   G   A PTS +/-  PIM PP SH GW GT   S  PCTG
------------------------- ---- -- --- --- --- ---  --- -- -- -- -- ---  ----
Jarome Iginla             CGY  82  52  44  96 27    75 16  1  7  2 311  16.7
Markus Naslund            VAN  81  40  50  90 23    50  8  0  6  3 302  13.2
Todd Bertuzzi             VAN  72  36  49  85 21   110 14  0  3  0 203  17.7
Mats Sundin               TOR  82  41  39  80  7    94 10  2  9  2 263  15.6
Jaromir Jagr              WAS  69  31  48  79  1-   30 10  0  3  0 197  15.7
Joe Sakic                 COL  82  26  53  79 13    18  9  1  4  1 260  10.0
Pavol Demitra             STL  82  35  43  78 14    46 11  0 10  1 212  16.5
Adam Oates                PHI  80  14  64  78  4-   26  3  0  1  0 102  13.7
Mike Modano               DAL  78  34  43  77 15    38  6  2  5  0 219  15.5
Ron Francis               CAR  80  27  50  77  4    18 14  0  5  2 165  16.4
Keith Tkachuk             STL  73  38  37  75 21   117 13  0  7  1 244  15.6
Alexei Yashin             NYI  79  32  43  75  3-   25 15  0  5  0 239  13.4
Alexei Kovalev            PIT  67  32  43  75  3    76  8  1  3  2 266  12.0
Brendan Shanahan          DET  80  37  37  74 23   106 12  3  7  4 277  13.4
Miroslav Satan            BUF  82  37  36  73 15    33 15  5  5  0 267  13.9
Craig Conroy              CGY  81  27  46  73 24    32  7  2  4  1 146  18.5
Jason Allison             LOS  73  19  54  73  1    68  5  0  2  2 139  13.7
Eric Lindros              NYR  72  37  35  72 19   134 12  1  4  0 196  18.9
Glen Murray               BOS  82  41  30  71 31    40  9  0  9  1 246  16.7
Daniel Alfredsson         OTT  78  37  34  71  3    45  9  1  4  2 243  15.2
Peter Bondra              WAS  77  39  31  70  2-   80 17  1  8  1 333  11.7
Eric Daze                 CHI  82  38  32  70 17    32 12  0  5  2 264  14.4
Sergei Samsonov           BOS  74  29  41  70 21    25  3  0  4  0 192  15.1
Pavel Bure                NYR  68  34  35  69  5-   62 12  1  2  1 287  11.8
Sami Kapanen              CAR  77  27  42  69  9    23 11  0  4  1 248  10.9
Radek Bonk                OTT  82  25  44  69  3    52  6  2  5  0 170  14.7
Andrew Brunette           MIN  81  21  48  69  6-   18 10  0  3  1 106  19.8
                       --- INDIVIDUAL LEADERS ---

       -- GOAL SCORING --                          -- ASSISTS --

NAME                      TEAM GP   G  NAME                      TEAM GP   A
------------------------- ---- -- ---  ------------------------- ---- -- ---
Jarome Iginla             CGY  82  52  Adam Oates                PHI  80  64
Bill Guerin               BOS  78  41  Jason Allison             LOS  73  54
Glen Murray               BOS  82  41  Joe Sakic                 COL  82  53
Mats Sundin               TOR  82  41  Nicklas Lidstrom          DET  78  51
Markus Naslund            VAN  81  40  Ron Francis               CAR  80  50
Peter Bondra              WAS  77  39  Markus Naslund            VAN  81  50
Keith Tkachuk             STL  73  38  Todd Bertuzzi             VAN  72  49
Eric Daze                 CHI  82  38  Jozef Stumpel             BOS  81  49
Eric Lindros              NYR  72  37  Jaromir Jagr              WAS  69  48
Daniel Alfredsson         OTT  78  37  Andrew Brunette           MIN  81  48
Brendan Shanahan          DET  80  37  Joe Thornton              BOS  66  46
Miroslav Satan            BUF  82  37  Jeremy Roenick            PHI  75  46
Todd Bertuzzi             VAN  72  36  Craig Conroy              CGY  81  46
Pavol Demitra             STL  82  35  Michael Nylander          CHI  82  46
Pavel Bure                NYR  68  34  Alexei Zhamnov            CHI  77  45
Mike Modano               DAL  78  34  Brian Leetch              NYR  82  45
     -- POWER PLAY GOALS --                  -- SHORT HANDED GOALS --

NAME                      TEAM GP  PP  NAME                      TEAM GP  SH
------------------------- ---- -- ---  ------------------------- ---- -- ---
Peter Bondra              WAS  77  17  Brian Rolston             BOS  82   9
Jarome Iginla             CGY  82  16  Michael Peca              NYI  80   6
Zigmund Palffy            LOS  63  15  Miroslav Satan            BUF  82   5
Alexei Yashin             NYI  79  15  Stacy Roest               MIN  58   4
Miroslav Satan            BUF  82  15  Shawn Bates               NYI  71   4
Todd Bertuzzi             VAN  72  14  Mike Fisher               OTT  58   3
Ron Francis               CAR  80  14  Radek Dvorak              NYR  65   3
Keith Tkachuk             STL  73  13  Vitali Yachmenev          NAS  75   3
Luc Robitaille            DET  81  13  Marco Sturm               SAN  77   3
Pavel Bure                NYR  68  12  Andreas Dackell           MON  79   3
Eric Lindros              NYR  72  12  Dallas Drake              STL  80   3
Adam Deadmarsh            LOS  76  12  Daymond Langkow           PHO  80   3
Daniel Briere             PHO  78  12  Claude Lapointe           NYI  80   3
Brendan Shanahan          DET  80  12  Brendan Shanahan          DET  80   3
Anson Carter              EDM  82  12  Adam Graves               SAN  81   3
Eric Daze                 CHI  82  12  Todd Marchant             EDM  82   3
    -- GAME WINNING GOALS --                 -- OVERTIME GOALS --

NAME                      TEAM GP  GW  NAME                      TEAM GP GOT
------------------------- ---- -- ---  ------------------------- ---- -- ---
Pavol Demitra             STL  82  10  Scott Niedermayer         NJD  76   4
Glen Murray               BOS  82   9  Zigmund Palffy            LOS  63   2
Mats Sundin               TOR  82   9  Joe Thornton              BOS  66   2
Peter Bondra              WAS  77   8  Stu Barnes                BUF  68   2
Steve Sullivan            CHI  78   8  Keith Tkachuk             STL  73   2
Paul Kariya               ANA  82   8  Vincent Lecavalier        TAM  76   2
Teemu Selanne             SAN  82   8  Peter Bondra              WAS  77   2
Keith Tkachuk             STL  73   7  Bill Guerin               BOS  78   2
Patrik Elias              NJD  75   7  Jan Hrdina                PIT  79   2
Bill Guerin               BOS  78   7  Michael Peca              NYI  80   2
Simon Gagne               PHI  79   7  Brendan Shanahan          DET  80   2
Brendan Shanahan          DET  80   7  Denis Arkhipov            NAS  82   2
Jarome Iginla             CGY  82   7  Eric Daze                 CHI  82   2
Yanic Perreault           MON  82   7  Pavol Demitra             STL  82   2
Brian Rolston             BOS  82   7  Theoren Fleury            NYR  82   2
                                       Dany Heatley              ATL  82   2
                                       Brett Hull                DET  82   2
                                       Brian Leetch              NYR  82   2
                                       Glen Murray               BOS  82   2
                                       Mats Sundin               TOR  82   2
          -- SHOTS --                          -- FIRST GOALS --

NAME                      TEAM GP   S  NAME                      TEAM GP  FG
------------------------- ---- -- ---  ------------------------- ---- -- ---
Bill Guerin               BOS  78 355  Alexei Yashin             NYI  79  12
Peter Bondra              WAS  77 333  Keith Tkachuk             STL  73  11
Brian Rolston             BOS  82 331  Zigmund Palffy            LOS  63  10
Jarome Iginla             CGY  82 311  Daniel Briere             PHO  78  10
Markus Naslund            VAN  81 302  Craig Conroy              CGY  81   9
Paul Kariya               ANA  82 289  Jarome Iginla             CGY  82   9
Pavel Bure                NYR  68 287  Iliya Kovalchuk           ATL  65   8
Marian Hossa              OTT  81 278  Martin Havlat             OTT  72   8
Brendan Shanahan          DET  80 277  Mike Modano               DAL  78   8
Jeff O'Neill              CAR  76 272  Kristian Huselius         FLA  79   8
                                       Sergei Fedorov            DET  81   8
                                       Eric Daze                 CHI  82   8

NAME                      TEAM GP    G   S  PCTG                                
------------------------- ---- --  --- ---  ----
Daniel Briere             PHO  78   32 149  21.5
Adam Deadmarsh            LOS  76   29 139  20.9
Jan Hrdina                PIT  79   24 115  20.9
Zigmund Palffy            LOS  63   32 161  19.9
Andrew Brunette           MIN  81   21 106  19.8
Mike Comrie               EDM  82   33 170  19.4
Darcy Tucker              TOR  77   24 124  19.4
Eric Lindros              NYR  72   37 196  18.9
Mark Parrish              NYI  78   30 162  18.5
Craig Conroy              CGY  81   27 146  18.5
Scott Thornton            SAN  77   26 144  18.1
Andreas Dackell           MON  79   15  83  18.1
Tony Hrkac                ATL  80   18 101  17.8
Todd Bertuzzi             VAN  72   36 203  17.7
Gary Roberts              TOR  69   21 120  17.5
Patrick Marleau           SAN  79   21 121  17.4
Yanic Perreault           MON  82   27 156  17.3
Steven Reinprecht         COL  67   19 111  17.1
Denis Arkhipov            NAS  82   20 118  16.9
Jarome Iginla             CGY  82   52 311  16.7
Glen Murray               BOS  82   41 246  16.7
Brenden Morrow            DAL  72   17 102  16.7
Simon Gagne               PHI  79   33 199  16.6
Pavol Demitra             STL  82   35 212  16.5
Mike Ricci                SAN  79   19 115  16.5
         -- PLUS/MINUS --

NAME                      TEAM GP +/-
------------------------- ---- -- ---
Chris Chelios             DET  79  39
Jeremy Roenick            PHI  75  32
Glen Murray               BOS  82  31
Simon Gagne               PHI  79  31
Zdeno Chara               OTT  75  30
Kris Draper               DET  82  27
Jarome Iginla             CGY  82  27
Michael Nylander          CHI  82  27
Sean O'Donnell            BOS  80  27
Eric Weinrich             PHI  80  27
Magnus Arvedson           OTT  74  27

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Linden's back where he belongs
Former captain is the Canucks' all-time leader in playoff scoring
By Elliot Pap - - Vancouver Sun
April 16, 2002

From the dreadful Vancouver Canucks to the dismal New York Islanders to the disappointing Montreal Canadiens, Trevor Linden reeled from one bad scene to another, wondering whether he would ever again skate in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Four seasons went by without a sniff and a fifth seemed likely. Then last spring, Linden was surprisingly dispatched by Montreal to the Washington Capitals as a possible Caps' missing piece. Alas, his stay in the U.S. capital was brief and unproductive.

The Canucks brought him home Nov. 10 for a first-round pick.

"Obviously this means a lot to me," Linden said Monday as the Canucks continued preparations for Wednesday's playoff opener against the Detroit Red Wings. "Getting kind of airlifted into Washington last year didn't have the same feel as this, with what we've been through the last three or four months.

"So this has been pretty special for me. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be fun to be in the playoffs with Vancouver again."

Lest anyone forget their Canuck history, Linden left Vancouver as the greatest playoff performer in team annals -- with 80 points in 79 games. He was still No. 1 upon his return.

He is also No. 1 in post-season games played and post-season assists (50). He has 30 playoff goals and needs five more to claim that title from Pavel Bure.

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Pavel thanks the New York Rangers fans video
- - New York Rangers
April 17, 2002

The New York Rangers have made a video of Pavel thanking the fans for supporting his new team.

You will need Real Video installed on your computer to see this video.

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Visit Rangers dressing room
- - MSG Network
April 17, 2002

There is an All Access Tour now through April 30.

Madison Square Garden's All Access Tour allows fans to get an insider's view of the inner-workings of the World's Most Famous Arena, providing them with little-known information and rarely seen viewpoints on the legendary showplace. Visitors taking part in the "All Access" one hour tour become a part of one of the busiest and most exciting sports and entertainment facilities in the world and are treated to a host of unique experiences. Visit the Knicks, Rangers and Liberty locker rooms; tour backstage of the Theater at Madison Square Garden; go inside the Star dressing rooms; learn how a basketball court becomes a sheet of ice; meet one of the famed Knicks City Dancers; see the MSG Network studio; witness all the seldom seen build-up to a live event - players practicing, performers in production, casts in rehearsal or crews staging events! You'll never know what you'll see on the All Access Tour.

Tours run on the hour from Monday through Saturday 10AM - 3PM. Tickets are priced at $15.00 for adults and $12.00 for children and can be purchased directly at the MSG box office. Group and student rates are available. Madison Square Garden is centrally located in New York City at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue and can be reached by car, train, bus or foot.

One may also book ahead by Ticketmaster.

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29 , 2002

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