NHL Game Summary - Edmonton at NY Rangers
(Thursday, January 12th)
Final Score: NY Rangers 5, Edmonton 4 (OT)
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Jaromir Jagr scored 14 seconds into overtime to lift the New York Rangers to a 5-4 victory over Edmonton in an emotional evening at Madison Square Garden.
In a lengthy and lavish ceremony, the Rangers retired former New York and Edmonton great Mark Messier's number 11 jersey prior to the matchup.
Messier helped the Oilers' dynasty of the mid-to-late 1980s to five Stanley Cups, but is probably best remembered as the captain and hero of the Rangers' 1993-94 team that ended a 54-year drought between world titles.
Nearly the entire 1993-94 squad was on hand to honor the 16-time All-Star and NHL's second-leading all-time scorer, who broke into tears several times while thanking his former teammates and New York fans.
"I came here wanting to win the Stanley Cup and what I got was a life experience," Messier said. "I learned more about life coming here and seeing there were more important things than just playing hockey. That was sharing in the compassion and the overall care and sincerity of the people of New York. That changed not only my life, but the life of my whole family."
Jagr also recorded an assist in the win, the Rangers' third in a row, while Steve Rucchin, Petr Prucha and newly-acquired Petr Skyora also finished with a goal and an assist. The Rangers rallied from a 3-1 deficit.
"That guy, Mark Messier, he did so much for hockey," Jagr said. "He truly deserves it. People will never forget that. If you give 100 percent, people will love you."
Michael Peca netted a pair of goals for Edmonton, including a shorthanded tally in the third period which tied the game at 4-4. Ales Hemsky also had a shorthanded marker to go along with an assist, while Jarret Stoll recorded a pair of helpers in defeat.
The raising of Messier's number to the rafters pushed the game's beginning well over an hour past its initial 7 p.m. (et) start time. However, it didn't take long to decide things once the overtime began.
Shortly after Edmonton won the face off, Chris Pronger's pass was intercepted by New York's Michal Rozsival, who moved into the zone before finding Jagr open near the right circle. The All-Star wing then wristed a shot past Jussi Markkanen's glove side to end a memorable night.
The Oilers had silenced the energized Garden crowd by scoring three straight second-period goals to erase an early 1-0 deficit.
Edmonton tied it just 2:22 into the session with its first of two power-play tallies.
With the visitors on a 4-on-3, Ryan Smyth passed from behind the net to Stoll, who skated up the right side before sending a cross-ice feed to Peca for a one-timer that got past Henrik Lundqvist.
New York had a chance to move back in front with a 5-on-3 shortly afterward, but a lazy pass by Martin Rucinsky was turned into an Edmonton goal.
Shawn Horcoff picked off Rucinsky's attempt and immediately hit Hemsky, who had just left the penalty box, in stride. Hemsky skated in alone on Lundqvist, who stopped the initial shot but couldn't corral the rebound, to put Edmonton up 2-1 at the 8:31 mark.
Just over two minutes later, Marc-Andre Bergeron deposited a well-placed pass from Stoll into the net with the Oilers up a man to make it a 3-1 game.
"It was tough, the game was called really tight," Horcoff said. "There was a ton of penalities and those games are tough to play. I don't think anyone enjoys playing in those games."
The Rangers, however, managed to tie things before the second intermission.
While on the power play, Martin Straka beat Edmonton defenseman Cory Cross to the puck in the left corner and sent it out for Fedor Tyutin. The young blueliner ripped a shot past Markannen's glove with 3:31 to go in the period.
It took New York a little over two minutes to knot the score. Rucchin's long slap shot was blocked in front, but the rebound came right out to Sykora and the newest Ranger knocked it home for a 3-3 deadlock.
"You have to play the game to feel how well you're playing," Jagr said. "You know sooner or later you're going to come back. We were down two goals because we were making mistakes, not because we were playing poorly, and it almost cost us the game."
Prucha then sent New York back in front when the rookie skated all the way from his own end before beating Markannen glove-side with 2:14 gone by in the final period. But the Oilers later struck again while a man down to knot the contest.
Ethan Moreau moved in on Lundqvist and was stopped, but Peca dropped the loose puck into the net with the Rangers goaltender still down at 7:30 of the frame.
Rucchin scored off a backhanded behind-the-net delivery from Sykora 7:44 into the first period to put New York up 1-0.
Lundqvist ended with 26 saves, while Markkanen stopped 17 shots for the Oilers.
Edmonton head coach Craig MacTavish and general manager Kevin Lowe were also Messier's teammates with the Oilers and the '93-94 Rangers...Boston Bruins defenseman Brian Leetch, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner of the '93-94 playoffs, congratulated Messier in a videotaped segment during the ceremony. Boston hosted Phoenix on Thursday...Messier is the fourth Ranger to have his number retired, joining Rod Gilbert (1), Eddie Giacomin (7) and former teammate Mike Richter (35)...New York was 1-2 in games when a number was retired, with the lone victory coming on Gilbert's special night...Skyora also had a goal and an assist in his Rangers debut Tuesday against Calgary.
01/13 00:43:20 ET