Rangers back on track after heavy defeat

Victory over Hurricanes a tonic for NY as Dubinsky gets the winner against Carolina the night after his 'worst game' in the NHL.

New York Rangers player Erik Christensen (C) interferes with goaltender Cam Ward (L) as the Hurricanes' Tim Gleason (R) watches during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Raleigh, North Carolina December 31, 2009. REUTERS/Ellen Ozier (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY) *** Local Caption ***  RAL03_NHL-_0101_11.JPG

Erik Christensen figured there was only one way for the New York Rangers to atone for their most embarrassing loss of the season. Go hard for three periods and win. Christensen, claimed off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks on December 2, had a goal and an assist as the Rangers beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 on Thursday night.

The Rangers, who lost 6-0 at home to Philadelphia on Wednesday, outshot the Hurricanes 35-18. "We had to come back and play well," Christensen said. "It was a tough night [against Philadelphia] and for whatever reason we weren't ready to play and I don't know why. I don't think it was the turkey. "The thing [coach John Tortorella] was saying was that we had a good stretch and it's okay to maybe come down a bit, but you can't just plummet and have no effort at all. The sign of a good team is that we came back and showed some character."

Brandon Dubinsky, who called Wednesday's loss "the worst game" he had played in the NHL, scored the winning goal midway through the third period, on the second assist of the night from Marian Gaborik. Gaborik, who has 26 goals, became the fourth NHL player to reach 50 points this season. "It's obvious we competed harder," Tortorella said. "It was important not to lose two in a row, and I thought we answered well in all aspects of the game."

Elsewhere, the San Jose Sharks' rookie Thomas Greiss made his first NHL shoot-out look easy. Greiss stopped all six shots he faced in the tie-breaker, and Ryane Clowe scored the lone goal in the sixth round to lift the Sharks to their seventh straight win, 3-2 over the Phoenix Coyotes, who saw their 10-game winning streak come to an end. "I was used to the shoot-out from the AHL," said Greiss, who was making his eighth appearance of the season. "I just tried to focus in the same way."

"We were fortunate to get out of the game with a point," the Coyotes' coach, Dave Tippett, said. "We had a good burst of energy early, had shots but not a lot of quality. Then they started competing at a level where we didn't get to." Ryan Shannon was the hero for the Ottawa Senators with the decisive goal in a shoot-out win over the New York Islanders. Shannon netted Ottawa's third straight goal after Alex Kovalev and Mike Fisher also beat Dwayne Roloson in the shoot-out to secure a 3-2 victory.

There was also drama in Ohio as David Legwand scored 28 seconds into overtime to give the Nashville Predators a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Detroit Red Wings finally found their scoring touch with a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche. The Montreal Canadiens made it six wins out of seven on their long road trip, beating the Florida Panthers 5-4.

Alexander Frolov scored twice as the Los Angeles Kings eased to a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. Christian Ehrhoff scored a power-play goal in overtime as the Vancouver Canucks came from three goals down to beat the St Louis Blues 4-3. Loui Eriksson scored a hat-trick as the Dallas Stars beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-3 and the Chicago Blackhawks cruised to an easy 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.

Craig Conroy and Curtis Glencross grabbed the goals as the Calgary Flames beat the Edmonton Oilers 2-1. * With agencies