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Backup goaltender gives Rangers a boost

NEW YORK — The Rangers were running out of time to get anything out of the longest homestand in team history.

The first seven games of the nine-game Madison Square Garden stay produced one win and four of a possible 14 points for New York, which seemingly lost its way in front of goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

Enter backup Cam Talbot, who got the rare start and kept all but one puck out.

Carl Hagelin and Mats Zuccarello scored second-period goals, and Talbot made 24 saves in the Rangers' 4-1 victory over the Wild on Sunday night.

Talbot allowed the first goal but was steady the rest of the way in relief of the struggling Lundqvist, who started the previous eight games and allowed at least three goals in the past seven.

"We owed the fans this one," Talbot said. "They've been supporting us quite a bit lately, and we haven't really produced for them."

Benoit Pouliot tied it in the first period, Chris Kreider added a goal in the third and Derick Brassard had two assists. Kreider made it 4-1 with 7:14 remaining.

"Probably our best game all year when it comes to playing a full 60 minutes and everyone contributing," Hagelin said. "We definitely needed one of these just to feel good about ourselves."

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Defenseman Chris Tanev broke a tie in the third period and the host Canucks beat the Jets 2-1 after losing goalie Roberto Luongo early with an injury.

at Rangers 1 2 1 4
Wild 1 0 0 1

First Period1, Minnesota, Pominville 17 (Suter, Granlund), 4:08. 2, N.Y. Rangers, Pouliot 5 (McDonagh, Brassard), 16:08 (pp). PenaltiesKoivu, Min (tripping), 11:15; Ballard, Min (tripping), 15:46; Brodziak, Min (unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:48; J.Moore, NYR (roughing), 18:48.

Second Period3, N.Y. Rangers, Hagelin 8 (Dorsett, Boyle), 11:26. 4, N.Y. Rangers, Zuccarello 8 (Brassard), 18:35. PenaltiesBoyle, NYR (holding), 9:17.

Third Period5, N.Y. Rangers, Kreider 9 (Nash), 12:46. PenaltiesD.Moore, NYR (slashing), 7:32. Shots on GoalMinnesota 11-5-9—25. N.Y. Rangers 12-17-7—36. Power-play opportunitiesMinnesota 0 of 2; N.Y. Rangers 1 of 2. GoaliesMinnesota, Backstrom 2-7-2 (36 shots-32 saves). N.Y. Rangers, Talbot 7-2-0 (25-24). A18,006 (18,006). T2:24. Referees—Dave Jackson, Dan O'Halloran. LinesmenDerek Amell, Matt MacPherson.

at Canucks 1 0 1 2
Jets 0 1 0 1

First Period1, Vancouver, Richardson 7 (Hamhuis), 10:09 (pp). PenaltiesScheifele, Wpg (hooking), 3:16; Kane, Wpg (holding), 8:10; Peluso, Wpg, major (fighting), 16:30; Sestito, Van, major (fighting), 16:30.

Second Period2, Winnipeg, Kane 10 (Wheeler, Scheifele), 11:22 (pp). PenaltiesO'Dell, Wpg (holding stick), 5:22; D.Sedin, Van (holding), 9:38.

Third Period3, Vancouver, Tanev 4 (Kassian, Booth), 10:23. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalWinnipeg 7-8-7—22. Vancouver 8-8-9—25. Power-play opportunitiesWinnipeg 1 of 1; Vancouver 1 of 3. GoaliesWinnipeg, Pavelec 11-15-4 (25 shots-23 saves). Vancouver, Luongo (6-6), Lack 6-2-0 (16:30 first, 16-15). A18,910 (18,910). T2:27. Referees—Kyle Rehman, Ian Walsh. LinesmenKiel Murchison, Lonnie Cameron.

Backup goaltender gives Rangers a boost 12/22/13 [Last modified: Monday, December 23, 2013 12:24am]
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