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NEW YORK (AP) - Jaromir Jagr had a three-point night in his home debut for the New York Rangers, setting up Brian Leetch's tiebreaking score and adding a third-period goal and assist in a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Monday.

Jagr, acquired Friday from Washington, enjoyed his home debut much more than his first game with the Rangers - a 9-1 drubbing in Ottawa on Saturday that he called embarrassing. At least for a while, he changed the negative energy that filled Madison Square Garden. He brought fans out of their seats to cheer his first Rangers goal, 17th of the season, that made it 3-1 just 33 seconds into the third.

Jagr got to a rebound of Eric Lindros' shot and smoothly backhanded the puck in from the edge of the crease. He also assisted on Matthew Barnaby's empty-net goal.

Byron Ritchie pulled Florida within one 80 seconds after Jagr scored, but the Rangers held on to earn their eighth victory in 10 against the Panthers (8-1-1).

Petr Nedved and Mark Messier also scored for New York, which stopped a four-game losing streak and six-game winless streak (0-4-2) and moved two points ahead of Florida for 10th place in the Eastern Conference.

That disappointing standing and the anticipation of a seventh straight non-playoff season had fans booing before the first puck was dropped.

The Rangers scored three straight against Florida goalie Roberto Luongo, the all-star who was coming off a 43-save effort Saturday in a victory at Boston. Luongo made 33 saves.

Jussi Markkanen rebounded from allowing six goals on 19 shots against Ottawa to make 38 saves in his second straight start for Rangers regular Mike Dunham, sidelined by a concussion.

Kristian Huselius gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead 9:03 into the second, but Messier tied it with his 14th goal - off an assist by Leetch - 1:19 later.

Huselius' goal was set up after Darcy Hordichuk landed a hard hit on Jagr in the Florida zone, separating him from the puck.

Jed Ortmeyer was instrumental in getting the Rangers even when he beat the Panthers down ice to negate an icing call and then found Messier in front with a nice pass.

Leetch made it 2-1 when he ripped a shot in, after the Rangers kept the pressure on 2:20 after a power play ended. Nedved made it 4-2 with 3:26 left.
Hmmm. Since i hate the rangers and their "hi im going to buy the cup ways", i think ill call this a lucky night. When they play a team with some talent, and he's on fire, then ill start to worry.

the new york ringers are the one team i absolutely always want to see miss the playoffs. Not because i think they have a chance, but because they are a disgrace the way they throw money around. They are among the biggest reasons a salary cap and lockout are looming around the corner.
 

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Sorry jOe I felt that this story belonged in the New York section.
 

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hockeyman? it must be tough being a ranger fan right now. The team needs goaltending and D. They get jagr. They have all the money in the world to get a goaltender(cujo) and they should give up some of the offensive talent or young talent(lundmark) to the wings for Cujo.. It only makes sense. Whenever D men are on the block, you never hear the rangers are interested, except for Greg De Vries in the summer. That really has to be annoying? Me as a leaf fan thought i had worries, when i started thinking about the rangers, i just thought, trainreck. highest payroll, sucky team.
 

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i have been a ranger fan for about 25 years..... there have been many bad years. this year is fustrating as in past years because they have the talent. just no chemistry right now. they have to go on a big winning streak. they have not won three games in a row this year.

once the D gets healthly and if they start to play as a team they will make the playoffs. if not bye bye sather.
 

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Your right. No chemistry with this team at all. They need a long away stretch so they can gel together and maybe that would carry over onto the ice?
 

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hockeyman said:
once the D gets healthly and if they start to play as a team they will make the playoffs. if not bye bye sather.
Who even knows for sure about that. Dolan gave Sather a vote of confidence for this year and (barring lockout) it seems next year also. Although that could change if the Rangers fall out of serious contention. Personally, its about time Sather fired himself as coach, stayed as fulltime GM and gave someone else the reins to try and build this Ranger rotisserie team into an actual TEAM.
 

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syxball said:
hockeyman said:
once the D gets healthly and if they start to play as a team they will make the playoffs. if not bye bye sather.
Who even knows for sure about that. Dolan gave Sather a vote of confidence for this year and (barring lockout) it seems next year also. Although that could change if the Rangers fall out of serious contention. Personally, its about time Sather fired himself as coach, stayed as fulltime GM and gave someone else the reins to try and build this Ranger rotisserie team into an actual TEAM.
i would have to agree, but he passed on all the good coaches so he could hire trottier. being mid season he mind as well stay on as both coach and gm. if they don't make the playoffs he should resign totally.
 
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