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Rangers win in shootout on anniversary of Malik’s unlikely goal

The Czech defenseman backhanded the puck through his skates and scored in the 15th round in 2005.

The Rangers' Marek Malik scores a shootout goal

The Rangers' Marek Malik scores a shootout goal against the Washington Capitals on Nov. 26, 2005, at Madison Square Garden. Photo Credit: Paul J. Bereswill

Sunday’s Rangers-Canucks shootout at the Garden, which lasted seven rounds, came on the 12th anniversary of the Rangers’ longest shootout in history, when Marek Malik — an unlikely hero — scored against Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig in the 15th round for a 3-2 win.

Malik, a Czech defenseman in his first season with the Blueshirts who hadn’t scored a goal to that point of the 2005-06 season, backhanded the puck through his skates and scored over Kolzig’s shoulder as the Garden crowd went wild.

Henrik Lundqvist, then a rookie, said: “I started to think it would never end.” On Sunday, he remembered: “That one went much, much longer.”

Kevin Shattenkirk, who scored in the Rangers’ 4-3 shootout win Sunday, said defenseman Marc Staal said he “was getting a little nervous that he was going to have to go [in the shootout] and I told him, if he had, he would have had to pull a ‘Malik.’ That would’ve been nice.”

Mats Zuccarello, Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich and J.T. Miller failed to score on their attempts. Lundqvist said with a grin: “I remember the good old days when I was really good at shootouts, but I’m working on it.”

Skjei getting more time

Defenseman Brady Skjei, getting more ice time because Ryan McDonagh was sidelined for the third game with an abdominal strain, led all skaters with a career-high 27:49 in ice time . . . Michael Grabner leads the Rangers in even-strength goals with 10. Eight have come in third periods . . . David Desharnais, playing because Boo Nieves is injured (hip pointer), was on ice for only 6:46 and was benched in the third period. Paul Carey played only 8:07 . . . Zuccarello, who scored in overtime against Detroit on Friday, assisted on Grabner’s goal and has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his past seven games.

New York Sports