(The Sports Xchange) - Goaltender Antti Raanta stopped 22 shots in his team debut as the New York Rangers beat the San Jose Sharks 4-0 at Madison Square Garden on Monday to snap a three-game losing streak.
Defenseman Marc Staal, left winger Viktor Stalberg and right wingers Mats Zuccarello and Jesper Fast scored for the Rangers one day after losing at home to the New Jersey Devils and drawing the ire of coach Alain Vigneault.
“Everyone in the room knew the level we were playing at wasn’t acceptable,” said Staal. “It was something we wanted to take care of. We were playing a good team in San Jose.
“It was a good test for us. We had a good effort.”
Raanta, who was signed as Henrik Lundqvist’s understudy, benefited from playing behind a Rangers team with a new-found dedication to playing a 60-minute game.
“Our guys defended so well today,” Raanta said. “We haven’t been doing that, but we did the whole game today.
“There were a couple good chances, but our d-men blocked the guys out of my way. I could see all the shots.”
Sharks goaltender Martin Jones suffered his first loss of the season as he allowed four goals on 28 shots.
A snap shot by Staal gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 10:36 of the first period before Zuccarello extended the lead in the second when his shot bounced off the post, then off Jones’ catching glove and into the net.
Fast registered his first goal of the season at 3:47 of the third period when he slipped behind the Sharks defense and, despite losing control of the puck, saw it slide under a sprawling Jones.
Stalberg scored his first goal for New York when he cut to the middle and beat Jones between the legs to make it 4-0.
“We pretty much lost every facet of the game,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said.
“We lost races to pucks, lost battles, lost the special teams battle.
“There’s a price to pay to win and the other team was more willing to pay that price than us so we got what we deserved.”
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury