74° Good Afternoon
74° Good Afternoon

Tortorella laments Rangers' poor overtime record

New York Rangers coach John Tortorella works behind

New York Rangers coach John Tortorella works behind the bench. (March 28, 2009) Photo Credit: AP

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Stat of the day: 3-9.

Should the Rangers fail to make the playoffs for the first time since the lockout in 2004-05, a determining factor could be how poorly the Blueshirts have played beyond the 60-minute mark.

"We've had 12 extra points on the board and we've only picked up three," coach John Tortorella explained Tuesday. "We're 3-9 and those are points that come back and bite you. We're 2-3 in the shootout and 1-6 in 4-on-4 [overtime]," including Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Sabres.

Tortorella has long lamented that the Rangers cannot complete plays with goals. "In the 4-on-4 you have to have the mentality to try and win, but you can't be sloppy about it," he said. "We do have a pretty good goalie as far as shootouts. That's the frustrating part in losing games 4-on-4. Not even getting them to the shootout."

One of the shootouts, a 1-0 loss on Jan. 12, came against the Devils, who host the Rangers in Newark Wednesday.

The No. 1 line of Vinny Prospal, Erik Christensen and Marian Gaborik will get "another whack," said Tortorella. "I thought [Gaborik] was more engaged . . . but they weren't on the scoresheet. I hope they at least get some offensive chances."

Ryan Callahan, Chris Drury and Brandon Dubinsky skated together and Tortorella, who was pleased with the second-half performance of the trio of Sean Avery-Artem Anisimov-Olli Jokinen against Buffalo, will start with that unit. "I thought Sean and Joks did a really good job underneath the hashmarks, forechecking, holding on to pucks," he said.

Gaborik, the team's leading scorer who has not skated at full strength the last two games after a suspected groin pull in the Olympics, said: "I have to play every game starting tomorrow. There's no easy game down the stretch."


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

New York Sports