Monday, March 31, 2014
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Rangers Dominate Oilers In 5-0 Rout

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[March 31, 2014]  EDMONTON, Alberta  The New York Rangers were spectacular in a 5-0 road victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday at Rexall Place.

The Oilers were spectacularly bad.

The Rangers (42-30-4) scored one goal in the first period, three in the second and another in the third. They scored twice while short-handed and held the hosts to just three shots in the first period.

"On some nights you need some bounces, and we got a couple tonight," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "Our penalty-killing gave us two big goals tonight, which was good to see. We hadn't played as well as we would have liked defensively in (a 4-3 loss) to Calgary on Friday. We were better tonight."

The Oilers (26-40-9) were worse. They were booed off their own ice after being shut out for the ninth time this season. They pulled out an overtime win against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday despite being terribly outshot, but they didn't come close to an upset this time.

They were down 4-0 after 33 minutes.

"We just have to get better," said Edmonton dejected center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. "All season we've been saying the same thing, 'It's there, it's just being able to find it every night.'

"Short-handed goals are always tough to give up, and we've given up too many of them this year. The power play is supposed to be doing the opposite, we're supposed to get momentum. And you can't win games without scoring goals, that's the bottom line."


The Rangers, on the second game of a four-game Western road swing, hope to get another roll going after seeing a five-game winning streak end two days earlier in Calgary. They are dueling with the division-rival Philadelphia Flyers for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, so the points were crucial. New York holds a two-point edge.

"We have kind of a mini-playoffs right now just to get in," said Rangers left winger Rick Nash. "We are looking at every game as a much-win right now. You look at the teams that have success in the playoffs, and it is usually ones that are playing well going in.

"It was a huge bounce-back. Our defensive play in Calgary wasn't good, and we left (Henrik Lundqvist) out to dry in net. This game was totally different. We played tight around our net."

The Oilers were lucky to escape with a 1-0 deficit after one period. Edmonton goalie Ben Scrivens stopped Nash on a breakaway, and the Rangers had a goal disallowed in the first frame before center Mats Zuccarello's deflection made it 1-0 at 16:30.

Edmonton spent the second period on its heels, as well. The Oilers did not get their 10th shot of the game until the 30-minute mark, and they fell behind 4-0 on goals from center Derick Brassard at 4:38 on the power play, Nash at even strength at 9:07 and Nash again, with a short-handed goal at 13:26.

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Zuccarello added another short-handed goal in the third period, the league-leading 13th the Oilers allowed this season.

"You can run all different kind of setups. Those guys (on Edmonton's power-play unit) are out there for a reason, they're able to see one play ahead," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "They have the skill set and the hands and the heads to do it. Those guys should be able to do the job."

Goalie Cam Talbot had a pretty easy 26-save shutout for the Rangers.

"He brings saves," Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said. "He is calm and he doesn't allow a lot of rebounds, he swallows those up or controls it. He is nice and calm. He has been solid back there, and he had another good one tonight."

NOTES: Oilers G Viktor Fasth, who was out of commission since being run over in practice last week, backed up Ben Scrivens on Sunday. Fasth's return to health meant that G Laurent Brossoit was re-assigned to the AHL. ... Oilers LW Ryan Jones is out for the season with a knee injury after colliding with an Anaheim player Friday night. ... The experiment of playing Rangers stars LW Rick Nash and RW Martin St. Louis on the same line lasted two games. Coach Alain Vigneault split them up in Edmonton. The Rangers were trying to find the right spot for St. Louis, who is in a miserable slump since joining the Rangers at the trade deadline. ... Oilers D Andrew Ference is out with a torn pectoral muscle. He is being listed as week-to-week. ... The Rangers won for the 22nd time in their past 30 road games.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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