NEW YORK, Reuters
With a chance to move over .500 for the first time in its brief history, the Atlanta Thrashers humbled the NHL’s highest-paid team on the way to a 4-1 victory on Thursday.
Damian Rhodes made 30 saves for the Thrashers, whose mixture of youth and well-traveled veterans have won 10 times in the last 13 games.
“We’ve gotten great goaltending and we’re getting a lot of offensive contributions from a lot of different people,” said Ray Ferraro, who had a goal and two assists. “That’s the thing we didn’t have last year. It’s been a fun run.”
Goaltender Mike Richter returned to help the NHL’s worst defense but New York suffered its fourth straight loss (0-3-0-1) and fell to 1-6-1-1 in its last nine games.
Theo Fleury scored his 23rd goal for the Rangers, giving him a share of the league lead with Boston’s Bill Guerin and extending the NHL’s longest points streak this season to 13 games.
In Nashville, Tennessee, rookie Petr Tenkrat scored with 1104 left as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim avoided their fifth straight loss, skating to a 2-2 tie with the Nashville Predators.
Tenkrat beat Mike Dunham with a slap shot from the right side for his third goal of the season, helping Anaheim erase its second deficit of the night.
“He’s one of the more powerful skaters we have,” Matt Cullen said of Tenkrat. “He has a real hard shot and he shot a bomb on the last goal.”
The ailing Mighty Ducks were unable to score again,
Anaheim again was without two-thirds of its top line as star left wing Paul Kariya and center Steve Rucchin sat out with injuries. Selanne returned from a two-game absence but was not a factor.
Cullen had a goal and an assist for the Mighty Ducks, who are 5-0-2 in the last seven meetings with the Predators.
Patric Kjellberg and Randy Robitaille scored for Nashville, which is unbeaten in its last three games (2-0-1).
In San Jose, Daniel Cleary scored the tying goal with 62 seconds remaining in regulation as the Edmonton Oilers rallied for a 2-2 tie against the San Jose Sharks in one of the most physical games of the season.
San Jose tied the game late in the second period on Mike Ricci’s power-play goal before former Oiler Scott Thornton gave the Sharks their first lead 4 1/2 minutes into the third.
In St. Louis, The Los Angeles Kings, taking advantage of a rare defensive breakdown by the league’s stingiest team, scored four unanswered goals and halted the St Louis Blues’ 12-game unbeaten run with a 5-2 victory.
Los Angeles relied on its role players to end a five-game losing streak and six-game winless drought. Brad Chartrand snapped a 2-2 tie with his first goal of the season 908 into the second period before journeyman Scott Thomas recorded his first goal in just over seven years with 7:03 left to cap the impressive victory.
In Tampa, Florida, Fredrik Modin scored twice and Kevin Weekes made 32 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3.
Mark Recchi had a goal and an assist for Philadelphia.
Modin gave the Lightning a 3-1 advantage when he took a pass from Vincent Lecavalier and beat goaltender Brian Boucher from the slot for his team-leading 18th goal with 3:06 left in the opening period.
Modin put the Lightning ahead, 4-2, when he took a cross-ice pass from rookie Brad Richards and tapped the puck by Boucher fromn the top left crease with 202 left in the second.