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Canadiens Stop Skid & Rangers

The Montreal Canadiens found their way out of a slump because the New York Rangers once again found it hard to score.

"We practiced with intensity (and) just brought that level of intensity into the game," Montreal forward Mark Recchi said after scoring the tie-breaking goal and assisting on another to lead the Canadiens to a 4-1 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night.

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  • The victory broke a four-game winless streak (0-3-1) for the Canadiens. The Rangers, meanwhile, continued to have offensive problems as they lost their second game in two nights.

    The Rangers have just 18 goals in 12 games this season -- second worst in the league to the Washington Capitals, who have 16 in 10 games. The Rangers' scoring problems have sparked rumors about a trade for a scorer.

    "We've been pressing all year," said New York forward Kevin Stevens. "We've all got a job to do and it's been frustrating trying to make things happen."

    The Rangers, who have scored only three goals in their last four games, were completely frustrated by the Canadiens, who held them to 20 shots while getting off 32 themselves. The Canadiens' special teams played a big part, killing off all four Ranger power plays and scoring one in four chances themselves.

    "If I'm not scoring, it's no one's fault but my own," said the Rangers' Wayne Gretzky, who has only one goal in 12 games this season.

    Shayne Corson, Martin Rucinsky and Vincent Damphousse also scored for the Canadiens, who have outscored the Rangers 11-2 in two victories over New York this season. John MacLean scored for the Rangers, 3-2-3 in their last eight.

    "We lost to Boston 9-2 (earlier in thseason) and came in here and beat New York," Damphousse said. "Sometimes you get hot against one team. We have been hot for both games we played them."

    Corson gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead at 3:41 of the first when his shot from the right circle glanced into the net off goaltender Mike Richter, who had come out high and only got a piece of the puck. The Rangers tied it at 7:36 on MacLean's shot from the left side that was nudged over the goal line by goaltender Jose Theodore's stick after he got tangled up with the Rangers' Stevens.

    With the Canadiens on a power play, Recchi beat a screened Richter from the right side at 9:33 to put Montreal up 2-1.

    The Canadiens went ahead 3-1 with 7:28 left in the game as Rucinsky scored coming across the slot 38 seconds after Montreal killed off a Rangers power play.

    Damphousse closed out the scoring with an empty-net goal in the final minute.

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