Rangers Notebook: Will try to crash the net more often today
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In their five-game series win against New Jersey in the first round, the New York Rangers often turned Martin Brodeur's crease into a welcome mat.
In a 5-4 loss in Game 1 of the second round against the Penguins Friday night, the Rangers weren't on as much of a first-name basis with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. They hope to change that today in Game 2.
"It might have just been the game," New York center Brandon Dubinsky said. "We want to put pressure on Fleury. We want to continue to go to the net hard -- within the rules; we don't want to run him over and take penalties -- but we want to go to the net and be ready for second and third opportunities."
Fleury said he had less traffic around him in Game 1 than in the Penguins' four-game sweep of Ottawa in the first round.
"[The Rangers] have a skilled team. They can work around it, can make plays," Fleury said. "They don't have to just crash the net. And I think our defensemen did a good job of backing them off."
The Rangers will be working to change that, too.
New York coach Tom Renney insisted the Rangers are over any hard feelings about the penalty that led to the Penguins' winning goal.
Marty Straka was called for interference after Sidney Crosby ended up on the ice, and Crosby's shot during the resulting power play glanced off teammate Evgeni Malkin and into the net. There was one lingering emotion over the chain of events.
"I think we certainly felt for Marty Straka," veteran winger Brendan Shanahan said.
Count Shanahan among those who don't buy accusations Crosby dives or embellishes to draw penalties, although he apparently thinks referees might be quick with a whistle on Crosby's behalf.
"I think all the guys on this team -- and in the league, for that matter -- have a lot of respect for Sidney and the work ethic he brings," Shanahan said.
"I certainly think there were a couple times, not through his fault, where he went down, not diving but he went down where [there shouldn't have been a penalty]. That's not to blame Sidney. It's ice hockey. We fall."
First Published April 27, 2008 12:00 am