Late Goal by Dawes Leads Rangers past Ducks

Chris Drury and Nikolai Zherdev also lit the lamp for the Rangers

Although the ice was choppy, Nigel Dawes' smooth move lifted the New York Rangers over Anaheim.

Dawes stole a pass, deked defender Chris Pronger and beat Jonas Hiller between the pads for a tiebreaking goal with 3:16 remaining that sent New York to a 3-1 victory over the Ducks on Tuesday night.

Dawes grabbed a deflected pass by Anaheim's Kent Huskins and, when Pronger challenged him, slid the puck to Pronger's left, skated around him on the right, then picked it up behind him before scoring from close range for his fourth goal of the season.

"The ice was not the best -- the puck was bouncing all game," Dawes said, explaining how he got the puck. "It looked like it kind of rolled up on him (Huskins). I was able to step in and intercept the pass."

Then there was the slick move on Pronger, a former Norris Trophy winner and NHL MVP.

"I think the way it happened, he was kind of flat-footed. I was getting ready to shoot, but I saw he was stepping up so I was able to just chip it by him and then go and get it," Dawes said.

Pronger recounted his mistake.

"I obviously have to get a body on him. At that stage, I'm worried about taking a penalty and I guess we know what happens when you do that," he said. "Turnovers are killing us right now. It kills our momentum and our speed through the neutral zone. We've got to get through the neutral zone better and cleaner so that we can get in on the forecheck and get turnovers ourselves."

Nikolai Zherdev completed the scoring in the final second, when he was on a breakaway and Pronger tripped him. Because there was an empty net, Zherdev was awarded the goal.

Chris Drury had the Rangers' first goal, and Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves.

The Rangers' victory in a rare appearance in Anaheim snapped the Ducks' five-game home winning streak.

Hiller, who made 27 saves, started in place of Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Giguere's father, Claude, died in Canada on Monday, and Giguere was given the night off.

He recently visited his gravely ill father, and remained on the bench as the backup in this one. Giguere is expected to leave the team later this week for the funeral and probably will miss Friday night's game at Edmonton before returning.

Anaheim's Chris Kunitz tied it 1-all with his eighth goal at 18:30 of the second period. Lundqvist swatted away Ryan Carter's slap shot, then sprawled backward to bat away Bret Hedican's shot on the rebound, only to have Kunitz finally knock the puck past him.

Drury scored at 2:26 of the second after intercepting Scott Niedermayer's cross-ice pass inside the Ducks zone. Drury, all alone, got off a quick slap shot that sailed past Hiller.

"I thought I'd guess and get to the spot," Drury said of his steal. "I just got lucky and was able to get a good shot off."

Niedermayer, like Pronger a former Norris Trophy winner, said: "I just made a bad decision with the puck. You're not going to be able to make a cross-ice pass like that with their guy sitting in position waiting for it."

Drury's goal was his ninth of the season and his first in 12 games dating to Nov. 19. 

Notes: The Rangers have played in Anaheim only three times in the past eight years, most recently when they won 4-3 in overtime on Nov. 1, 2006. ... The Ducks are 8-2-3 in their last 13 games against the Rangers, but have not beaten New York in Anaheim (0-2-1) since Dec. 15, 2000.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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