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Jagr, Lundqvist lead Rangers past Senators

NEW YORK (AP) -- Rookie goalie Henrik Lundqvist and the
surprising New York Rangers keep earning respect all over the NHL.

Lundqvist made 24 saves to easily outplay Dominik Hasek, and
Jaromir Jagr had a goal and two assists in New York's 5-1 victory
over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.

"They scored two lucky goals, but overall I think they were a
lot better team," Hasek said. "The huge difference is the
goaltender. Lundqvist is probably the hottest goalie in the NHL
right now."

Jagr's 36th goal gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the second
period and moved him into a tie with Mike Bossy for 16th place on
the NHL's career list with 573. With his three points, Jagr passed
Luc Robitaille and Brett Hull for 18th place with 1,392.

Marek Malik and Jason Ward also scored in the middle frame as
New York, the top team in the Atlantic Division, snapped a
four-game losing streak to Northeast Division-leading Ottawa.
Michael Nylander and Petr Sykora added goals in the third period
for the Rangers, who delivered one of their best performances in an
unexpectedly successful season. They have won four straight and
five of six.

"I hope we're developing a reputation as a team that's tough to
beat, whether at home or on the road," New York coach Tom Renney
said. "I hope that we're being identified as a team that plays a
responsible game without the puck, that we are solid from the
goaltender out."

Chris Kelly scored with 2:04 left in the second period to bring
Ottawa to 3-1.

But Lundqvist won the matchup of Olympic goalies, topping the
Czech Republic's Hasek, who entered in a tie for the NHL's best
goals-against average. Lundqvist of Sweden came in with the
third-lowest GAA. He improved to 24-7-6.

"He made some huge saves at key times," Ottawa's Bryan
Smolinski said. "We couldn't finish and we couldn't raise our
level. We knew they were going to play well. We did the same thing
to them in Ottawa."

Hasek (27-9-4) stopped 18 shots.

After a scoreless first period, New York had three goals on its
first four second-period shots. Jagr started things during the
Rangers' 5-on-3 power play just 49 seconds in. The NHL's scoring
leader, with 83 points, one-timed a pass from Martin Rucinsky in
the slot and beat Hasek high to the glove side.

New York made it 2-0 at 6:19 on an unassisted goal by Malik, who
intercepted a clearing pass at the right point. Malik scored his
second goal of the season when his shot deflected off the skate of
an Ottawa player.

The lead grew to three goals on Ward's short-handed goal at
14:06. Ville Nieminen led a 3-on-none break up the right wing
boards and sent a backhanded drop pass from the right circle to
Ward in the slot. Ward's wrist shot beat Hasek to the stick side
for his ninth goal.

"I got a nice pass from Nieminen on the penalty kill," Ward
said. "Our special teams were working tonight, and that was a big
key."

Nylander made it 4-1 with his 14th goal at 7:56 of the third
period. He finished a textbook, tic-tac-toe play that started with
Jagr's cross-ice pass to Martin Straka, who slid the puck across
the goal mouth for Nylander to redirect in.

"It just comes down to positioning and really hard work, and I
think the guys did that for most of the game tonight," Rangers
center Steve Rucchin said. "They did a good job killing the
penalty tonight, which can be a tough situation to deal with."

Jagr also assisted on Sykora's 13th goal with 6:09 left. Sykora
banked a shot in off an Ottawa player from behind the Senators'
net.

"They worked hard, they pressured us every time we got the
puck," Senators coach Bryan Murray said. "We were real slow
moving the puck out of our end."

Game notes
Rucinsky and Sykora were shaken up when they collided early
in the game. Both returned before the end of the first period. ...
The Rangers hadn't beaten Ottawa since Nov. 23, 2003. ... Actor
Liam Neeson and Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows were in
attendance. ... The Rangers held a pregame tribute to Dennis
"Chief" Ryan, the team's longtime security representative who
died on Monday.