Sat, Feb 28, 2004 - Page 18 News List

Renney marks debut with victory

SLAM The new Rangers coach completed a sweep of the city rivals that was started by Glen Sather, but it probably won't be enough to get them to the playoffs

AP , UNIONDALE, NEW YORK

Goaltender Dan Cloutier, right, of the Vancouver Canucks makes a save off the shot of Vincent Damphousse, left, of the San Jose Sharks as Canucks Mattias Ohlund keeps him in check during the first period of their NHL game at General Motors Place on Thursday in Vancouver.

PHOTO: AFP

Tom Renney's debut as Rangers coach Thursday night couldn't have gone better in a 6-3 victory over the Islanders.

Glen Sather stepped down Wednesday as Rangers coach after a 90-game stint over two seasons. He kept his jobs of team president and general manager.

The Rangers completed their second six-game season series sweep over the Islanders in a campaign that will likely see them miss the playoffs for a seventh straight season. They are 8-0-2 in their last 10 against the Islanders.

"It's a vision. It's a ways out there, but we have our eye on it," Renney said of the distant playoff hopes with 19 games remaining.

The Islanders hadn't lost at home since Jan. 10, the last time the Rangers visited.

"We're not worried about the Rangers," Islanders defenseman Adrian Aucoin said. "I don't think the Rangers are going to catch anybody. They have our number."

Jaromir Jagr had two goals and an assist, and Chris Simon added two goals.

Canucks 3, Sharks 2, OT

In Vancouver, British Columbia, defenseman Brent Sopel scored his second power-play goal of the game 2:14 into overtime to lead Vancouver past San Jose.

The Sharks were whistled for too many men on the ice 35 seconds into overtime. The rebound of Markus Naslund's shot from the left circle bounced straight to Sopel on the other side, leaving him with an unguarded net.

Mattias Ohlund tied the game with 3:06 left in regulation.

Naslund, Vancouver's captain and scoring leader, had one assist in his first game since suffering a concussion 10 days earlier.

The Sharks lost center Mike Ricci and defenseman Kyle McLaren to injuries in the first period. Neither player returned.

Canadiens 3, Bruins 2

In Boston, Craig Rivet scored with one minute left in overtime and Jose Theodore made 37 saves as Montreal edged Boston. Montreal is 4-1 in its last five games.

Rivet scored the winner when he skated past the Boston defense and put a shot from the slot past goalie Andrew Raycroft.

Lightning 4, Maple Leafs 3

In Tampa, Florida, Brad Richards had two goals and an assist, Pavel Kubina and Vincent Lecavalier had the other goals as Tampa bay beat Toronto.

The Lightning have an 18-point lead over second-place Florida in the Southeast.

Tampa Bay goalie Nikolai Khabibulin made 19 saves for his 200th career win (200-183-57).

Alex Mogilny, Mats Sundin and Joe Nieuwendyk scored for Toronto, which has lost three straight.

Predators 4, Wild 0

In Nashville, Tennessee, Dan Hamhuis and Steve Sullivan each scored early power-play goals, and Tomas Vokoun stopped 27 shots as Nashville thrashed Minnesota.

Vladimir Orszagh added a goal and an assist, Andreas Johansson had a short-handed goal and Martin Erat had two assists for Nashville, which has won four of five.

In other NHL games: Flyers 1, Senators 1; Blues 2, Avalanche 2; Red Wings 2, Flames 1

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