<
>

Nylander, Jagr lift Rangers past Bruins in OT

BOSTON (AP) -- Playing on the same line with Jaromir Jagr has
gotten Michael Nylander to play like the superstar.

Nylander scored his second goal of the game 40 seconds into
overtime and Jagr set a club record with his 53rd goal of the
season, lifting the New York Rangers to a 4-3 win over the Boston
Bruins on Saturday.

Nylander, who centers a line with right winger Jagr on the
Rangers' high-scoring top unit, circled with the puck a few times
along the right boards before sending a pass across to defenseman
Tom Poti. Nylander then broke for the net, collected a return pass
and fired a rising shot under the cross bar for the game-winner.

It was a lot like Jagr looked many times during the game, often
circling around looking for either an opening or a breaking
teammate.

"I saw Poti on the far post, got him the puck, wanted him to
shoot but he didn't want to shoot so he passed back to me,"
Nylander said. "I was a little surprised. It hit my skate but I
shot it right away and it went in."

Jagr, the NHL's scoring leader, added his 64th and 65th assists.
Now he feels he can relax a bit and help the team toward a division
title after setting the club record.

The Rangers, 8-2-2 in their last 12 games, moved five points
ahead of second-place Philadelphia atop the Atlantic Division.

"It's a little bit of a relief. I don't think it's just for me,
it's for my linemates," he said. "I think they feel the pressure
too and sometimes they're giving me the puck too much. Maybe they
should shoot it and I go for the rebound, but now we can just play
hockey."

Jagr's goal eclipsed Adam Graves' club record of 52 set in
1993-94.

"It's exciting because obviously we see his brilliance and what
he's accomplished over the course of his career, and also it's
exciting because everybody in this locker room, to a man, has had
some type of a hand in helping him try to accomplish that," Kevin
Weekes said of Jagr's record.

The Bruins seemed to be chasing him all afternoon.

"He's a very difficult player to play against because of his
mobility and his awareness," Boston coach Mike Sullivan said.

Rookie defenseman Mark Stuart was one of the players that was
assigned to be on the ice when Jagr was there.

"When you zone in on him he knows that," Stuart said. "You've
got to think about other things too."

Jarkko Immonen had the Rangers' other goal. Brad Boyes had a
pair and Mariusz Czerkawski scored for Boston.

Boston tied it 3-3 early in the third period when Boyes fired a
wrist shot that squirted between the left arm and body of Weekes
and into the net at 3:51.

The Bruins had opened a 2-0 lead 10:55 into the game on goals by
Boyes and Czerkawski.

Jagr's goal cut it to 2-1 at 13:35 of the opening period when he
slipped a wrist shot between goaltender Tim Thomas' pads from the
left circle.

Jagr set up Nylander's tying goal 3:48 into the second. Jagr
used his size advantage to hold off Stuart and circled the net to
get a shot on Thomas before Nylander scored on the rebound.

Immonen, playing just his second career game, tipped Poti's shot
between Thomas' pads for a power-play goal that gave the Rangers a
3-2 lead with 59 seconds left in the second. The score came 6
seconds after Boston center Yan Stastny was whistled for hooking.

Immonen also scored against the Islanders in his first game
Thursday.

Game notes
Jagr's goal snapped a four-game drought, matching his
longest of the season. It happened three times previously. ...
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist wasn't in uniform for the third
straight game due to a hip injury. ... There were a number of
Rangers fans in the crowd and, at times, when Jagr was on the ice
chants of "MVP" echoed throughout the building. ... The game was
delayed for about 5 minutes in the first period due to a clock
malfunction. ...The Rangers, who reached 100 points with the win,
swept the four games versus the Bruins this season.