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Shanahan scores league-leading seventh goal as Rangers down Devils 4-2

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Shanahan scores league-leading seventh goal as Rangers down Devils 4-2

The Canadian Press
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He is doing that along with taking faceoffs, killing penalties and playing tough defence.

Shanahan scored his NHL-leading seventh goal of the young season, and the Rangers outlasted the New Jersey Devils 4-2 Monday night.

New York coach Tom Renney is maximizing what he has in the seven-time all-star, who despite 605 NHL goals is way more than just a point grabber.

"My scoring is getting a lot of attention but I really go out and concentrate on playing a complete game," Shanahan said. "I get just as much of a rush out of making defensive plays or killing off a penalty. I just feel very involved."

New York entered having allowed six power-play goals in two games. The Devils sported a man-advantage resume of six goals in 24 chances. There was no reason to think the Rangers would kill off all seven Devils opportunities Monday, score a short-handed goal, and cash in on their only power play.

"It's nice when you appreciate your opponent because they will either bring out the best or the worst in you," said Renney, who called the disparity in penalty calls "brutal."

"We seem to be able to rise to the occasion against these guys," he said.

From Renney, to Shanahan to Henrik Lundqvist, who shined in making 34 saves, the Rangers claimed this was merely a needed win in October and not some measuring stick against the team that swept them in last season's playoffs.

Shanahan, who came to the Rangers after scoring 40 goals last season with Detroit, has a goal in all but one of New York's six games - including four power-play goals. Aaron Ward and Jason Ward also scored in the second period for the Rangers, who snapped a three-game losing streak in which they allowed 16 goals.

Martin Straka's third goal with 3:18 left sealed it. New Jersey rookie Travis Zajac had brought the Devils within 3-2 at 1:37 of the third period.

Scott Gomez also scored for New Jersey. Shanahan made the most of the Rangers' only power play, and Jason Ward scored while New York was short-handed. Lundqvist threw his stick into the crowd after being chosen as the game's first star.

"The whole team was on our toes, including me," said Lundqvist, who allowed 16 goals in his first four games. "It has been a tough week for us and we really wanted to get back to winning."

Aaron Ward broke the scoreless deadlock with his first goal since leaving the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes this summer. And he seemed as surprised as anyone to see the red light go on behind Martin Brodeur.

The defenceman fired a slap shot that whizzed by teammate Blair Betts and forced Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg to duck in front. It nestled into the net's top left corner to make it 1-0 at 8:24.

"Phil Niekro reared his ugly head from the point," Ward said of his seeing-eye knuckler that gave him 32 NHL goals and 100 points over 12 seasons. "When I get a call from my buddies back in Detroit asking how I scored, I'm telling them it was a laser top shelf - as usual."

The lead lasted 35 seconds before Gomez tied it. Brian Gionta, who scored four goals in two games, nearly had another but had to settle for an assist as Gomez swept in a rebound of his shot that slipped behind Lundqvist at 8:59.

"We were able to get to them a lot and get some quality chances," said Brodeur, who made 25 saves. "But we made some mistakes."

It took until only 3:09 was left in the second period before the Rangers received a power play. The crowd acknowledged it with a sarcastic standing ovation. Shanahan whistled a shot from above the left circle past Brodeur's glove at 18:29.

Jason Ward then followed up Matt Cullen's rebound to make it 3-1 with under 35 seconds remaining in the period.

Although they were sloppy, the Rangers managed to withstand the Devils' pressure - helped greatly by Lundqvist's play in the second period.

New York bounced back after showing few signs during the losing streak of the disciplined style Renney implemented last season during the team's unexpected run to the playoffs for the first time since 1997.

Notes: Rangers D Thomas Pock was scratched for the first time this season to make room for Darius Kasparaitis' season debut. ... New Jersey recalled 30-year-old defenceman Alex Brooks from Lowell of the AHL to make his NHL debut in place of Brad Lukowich (ankle). He assisted on Gomez's goal. ... Jagr has two goals and nine assists in a six-game point streak.

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Shanahan scores league-leading seventh goal as Rangers down Devils 4-2