EDMONTON, Alberta — Ales Kotalik
had a goal and two assists, and the New York Rangers halted a
four-game, road losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers
on Thursday night.
Marian Gaborik, Christopher Higgins
and Ryan Callahan also scored for the Rangers (10-6-1), who had won
only two of their previous eight games.
Lubomir Visnovsky and Mike Comrie had
goals for Edmonton (7-8-1), which has lost three in a row and six of
seven. New Oilers associate coach Tom Renney faced the Rangers for the
first time since he was fired as the club's head coach in February.
After a slow start by both teams, the
Rangers broke the scoreless deadlock with just under 5 minutes left in
the first period. Matt Gilroy made a nice feed trough traffic to
Higgins, who put his second of the season past goalie Nikolai
Khabibulin. Higgins has scored in consecutive games.
The Rangers outshot Edmonton 14-8 in the first.
New York went up 2-0 midway through
the second on a power-play goal as defenseman Michael Del Zotto send
the puck toward the net, and Callahan deflected it over Khabibulin's
Edmonton got within 2-1 with 5
minutes to play in the second period as Ales Hemsky deftly slipped the
puck to Visnovsky at the point. Visnovsky he charged in and put a
backhander between backup goalie Steve Valiquette and the post.
It didn't take the Rangers long to
restore the two-goal cushion, as they scored another power-play goal
less than 2 minutes later. Gaborik fed Kotalik at the point for a hard
slap shot that produced his second point of the night.
New York made it 4-1 seven minutes
into the third with Fernando Pisani in the box serving a double minor
for high-sticking Del Zotto. Kotalik's screen shot from the point
squirted past Khabibulin, and Gaborik guided it in from the side of the
net for his 12th goal.
Edmonton cut its deficit back to two
goals 3 minutes later as Comrie, in his first game back following a
bout with the flu, spun around and took a shot that snuck between
Oilers forward Shawn Horcoff
missed the game because of a shoulder injury and is expected to be out
7-10 days. … Edmonton defenseman Steve Staios re-entered the lineup after
missing 12 games due to a concussion. … Edmonton defenseman Sheldon Souray
(concussion) has been cleared to play and might return soon. …
Valiquette started in place of No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist (stiff
right thigh). … Rangers right winger Enver Lisin returned from a one-game
absence caused by a foot injury. New York was without forwards Donald
Brashear (upper body) and Dane Byers (suspension).