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The Wrap: A 6-0 wipeout; Avery: "No compete"; Gomez: How we reversed fortunes



                    When the Rangers wake up Sunday morning, licking their wounds and resting just four points out of 12th place in the Eastern Conference, they might consider the reaction of the Canadiens, who were kayoed by the Rangers 6-2 last weekend at Madison Square Garden.

                     “After that game, we came in the next morning and it was like, not rock bottom, but close,” Scott Gomez told Newsday after the Flying Frenchmen brought the Blueshirts to their knees with a four-goal second period on Saturday at Bell Center.

                     “We looked at the standings and we had fallen to like close to 12th or something and said, ‘boys, we’ve gotta get going,’ ” said the ex-Ranger who scored the opening goal last night. “There were a couple fights in practice and then yesterday we went into Jersey, where it’s never easy and played well there (a 3-1 win). I think we found our game there and it carried over to here.”

                    The 6-0 win was “just one of those games,” said Gomez. “They can be explosive and Halak (one goal allowed in back-to-back games)  stopped them on some chances early. Last Saturday, they capitalized on every mistake. Tonight, they made the mistakes and we made them pay for them.”        

                     Mike Cammalleri’s four points (two goals, 25 and 26, and two assists 19, 20) powered the Canadiens, who have 55 points and one more victory than the Rangers (also at 55 points), but have played an extra game.


                    Next up for the Rangers: Sid, Malkin, Gonchar, Fleury on Monday at MSG.


                     Here’s some more from Montreal, post-game:


                 The Rangers surrendered the first two goals to the Canadiens last Saturday at the Garden, then scored the next six.

                 Quite a difference in a week.

                 At Bell Center tonight, the Canadiens put in the first two and didn’t stop there, building a 4-0 lead by 6:17 of the second period and chasing Henrik Lundqvist as the Rangers imploded midway through the game en route to a 6-0 drubbing.

                 “No compete,” said Sean Avery. “It’s not about Xs and Os. You’ve gotta play 60 minutes. We’re not working hard enough, not being competitive, not representing your teammates.”

                   After scoring 14 goals in two games, the schizoid Rangers have been blanked in the next two, a total of 123.28, with Jaroslav Halak doing the honors last night, stopping 32 shots.                               

                    Sharpshooter Mike Cammalleri, who has 26 goals on the season, has six against the Rangers, including two tonight, was left open far too often and might have 70 if the Habs faced the Blueshirts more. He also had an assist on Benoit Pouliot’s deflection on a power play in the second that upped the lead to 5-0 against goaltender Matt Zaba, who made his NHL debut and another on Tomas Plekanec’s final tally.

                 After a solid first period, the Rangers (24-21-7) made it far too easy for the Canadiens, who breezed past the forwards and dozing defensemen and owned the crease. Michael Del Zotto, Marc Staal, Michal Rozsival, Dan Girardi, the list goes on:  More fumbles than a Pop Warner football game.  

                    Penalties to Aaron Voros and Marian Gaborik, negated two power plays and the Canadiens scored on the ensuing 4 on 4s. Staal and Del Zotto turned over the puck in the neutral zone on those and Girardi couldn’t get his stick on the puck on a delayed icing while being chased by Maxim Lapierre, who came back and knocked the puck past Lundqvist. “It came up low and he hit my stick,” said Girardi. “But I’ve got to get that puck no matter what happens.”                    

                  Asked about the teams compete level, coach John Tortorella said bluntly: “At times it was decent, other times it wasn’t there. We beat ourselves a couple times, our spinning in front of our net hurt us. I’m not gonna dissect it.”

                     Lundqvist, who left the locker room quickly, had to be happy to leave this city. He had allowed 14 goals in his last three appearances here at Bell Center and after tonight it was 18 after 26:17.                                     

                      At 9:05 of the first period, five seconds after the first 4 on 4, Chris Drury lost a faceoff and Scott Gomez, standing in front when Lundqvist kicked out his right pad to stop a Jaroslav Spacek slapper, quickly put the rebound between the goalie’s skate and left post as Rozsival tapped at his stick. Cammaleri ripped in his first from the left circle at 2:35 of the second and the Canadiens poured it on.

                     Zaba, 26, who has been shuttling back and forth as a backup with Chad Johnson, made 14 saves on 16 shots and couldn’t stop the Pouliot goal, although he made several big stops in the period, including two on odd-man rushes. Plekanec flipped a backhander over Zaba in the third on a 5 on 3.

                 “I wasn’t nervous,” said Zaba. “I just wanted to go in and not be scared to make mistakes, just try to give the guys a boost and give the coaches a look. It was kind of like a job interview for me.”

                After any repeats of tonight, plenty of Rangers might be looking for new employment.




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