Work in Sports
Rangers strangers to net
N.Y. scoreless drought grows as Canucks win 3-0
Posted: Monday October 25, 1999 12:17 AM
"I've never seen anything like this," Rangers coach John Muckler said after his team was shut out for the third straight game.
The last time the Rangers were shut out three games in a row was in the 1950-51 season when they lost twice and were involved in a scoreless tie. They have not scored for 234:31.
Messier, meanwhile, tied Mario Lemieux for sixth place on the all-time goal list with his 613th. The empty-net goal in the final minute was set up by Peter Schaefer, who scored two himself.
Messier downplayed his achievement.
"It was an important win for us, and I was happy with that," Messier said. "I think the goal was an extension of our team so far this year."
Messier's goal equaled the entire offensive output for the Rangers over their last four games, all losses. New York has been blanked since Valeri Kamensky scored a power-play goal in a 2-1 loss to San Jose on Oct. 19.
The Rangers' power-play continued to suffer. The league's worst power-play team went scoreless in four chances, and has only four goals in 55 opportunities. To make matters worse, Vancouver scored the winning goal at 16:50 while killing a penalty.
"Yorkie made a great pass," Schaefer said. "I was debating whether to shoot or to pass back to him, but I saw [Rangers defenseman [Brian] Leetch moving in, so I let it go."
New York's troubles continued in the second period. The Rangers totaled four shots on Weekes, only one in the first 15 minutes.
With the Canucks clinging to a one-goal lead, Weekes made the save of the game when he made a rising glove stop on Theoren Fleury as he was falling on his belly at 6:53 of the third period.
"Kevin made that highlight-film save on Theo," Canucks coach Marc Crawford said. "I'm sure [Fleury] will see that one in his dreams."
Fleury didn't have to wait until bedtime to wonder.
"Surely, I would have tied the game," Fleury said, "and who knows what would have happened after that."
Schaefer finished off a give-and-go with York at 14:35 with a wrist shot past Richter for a 2-0 lead. Messier then scored with 8.5 seconds left and Richter out for an extra attacker.
Schaefer will never forget his first game at Madison Square Garden.
"It was just unbelievable for me," Schaefer said. "To be here with Mess in this building was just wild. And with Mess here, it was more exciting than intimidating."