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Reeling Rangers winless in homestand

10/25/2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- Just nine games in, this current version of the
New York Rangers looks a lot like the clubs that missed the
playoffs the past five years.

Adam Deadmarsh had his second career three-goal game for the Los Angeles Kings, who built an early lead and beat the struggling
Rangers 6-2 Friday night in front of fans clearly frustrated with
the home team.

Bryan Smolinski had a goal and an assist, and Jason Allison
assisted on two of Los Angeles' three first-period scores as the
Kings chased New York goalie Mike Richter and had the crowd
screaming "Refund.''

The Rangers finished a four-game homestand 0-3-1, and they are
winless in five games with two ties.

"We got soundly beat,'' captain Mark Messier said. "There's no
beating around the bush there. We got it handed to us tonight
pretty good. I think it was a little bit of an eye-opener for
everybody.''

The Rangers again spent large free-agent dollars in the
offseason and brought in new coach Bryan Trottier to help return
the team to the playoffs for the first time since 1997.

"I'm not saying we don't have the effort or we don't have the
intentions but you just have to maybe put it together better. All
of us,'' said Bobby Holik, the biggest acquisition this season.
"Players like myself and three or four other guys here, we have to
show the way and everybody else will follow. That's the bottom
line. There's no other way.''

But New York fell to 2-5-2 this season and 1-4-1 at home. The
Rangers were outscored 14-7.

"We didn't play well tonight and we've dug ourselves a doozy
here that we've got to climb out of,'' said forward Eric Lindros,
who only has two goals this season. "We are having trouble
scoring. We're fighting the puck when we get into our chances.''

Deadmarsh, Smolinski and Alexander Frolov all scored in the
first 11:08 of the game, sending Rangers goalie Mike Richter to the
bench in favor of Daniel Blackburn. The public-address announcer
finally gave fans something to cheer about when he said only 1
minute remained in the first period.

Richter left after Frolov's goal, having stopped only five of
Los Angeles' eight shots. Blackburn stopped the only shot that came
his way in the final 8:52 of the period.

"We lost, we deserved to lose, that's the bad news,'' Richter
said. "The good news is I think we have an excellent team and I
have faith that we'll come back, play the way we're capable and get
the wins that'll come from playing that way.''

Derek Armstrong scored his second of the season at 7:20 of the
second to give the Kings a 4-0 lead. The Rangers spoiled Felix
Potvin's hopes for a shutout at 10:10 when Matthew Barnaby scored
his third goal and second in as many games.

The Kings were 2-for-6 on the power play, converting when
Deadmarsh made it 1-0 at 5:26 of the first and on Smolinski's
second of the game to make it 5-1 just 2:33 into the third period.

"We've been playing well lately,'' Deadmarsh said. "We've been
playing a patient, focused game, making turnovers and finding
holes. Pucks have been going in for us.''

Ronald Petrovicky brought New York within 5-2 with his first
goal as a Rangers player at 4:30.

Smolinski added an assist on Deadmarsh's second goal that made
it 5-1 at 2:33 of the third. Deadmarsh's final goal came with 6:59
remaining.

"You never feel comfortable when you play a team with this much
individual talent, even when you are up 5-1,'' Kings coach Andy
Murray said. "We just wanted to play the way we wanted to play
tonight -- play hard, pressure the puck and use our speed.''

New York lost forward Radek Dvorak to a left knee injury in the
second period after he got his skate caught in the ice. Dvorak, who
had reconstructive surgery on his right knee last season, didn't
return and was to be evaluated on Saturday.

He didn't go with the team to Toronto after the game.

Game notes
The Kings entered only 5-for-39 this season on the power
play. ... Los Angeles is 1-0-1 on its five-game road trip. ... The
Rangers were beaten 4-0 at home by Los Angeles last season. ...
Richter remained stuck on 298 career victories. He sustained his
256th loss. ... Potvin stopped 18 Rangers shots. Blackburn finished
with 17 saves. ... Deadmarsh's last hat trick was Jan. 5, 2000,
against Edmonton.