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Fleury, Rangers Ice Carolina

The New York Rangers are beginning to cash in on their investment in free agent Theoren Fleury.

After going without a goal in the first three games, Fleury finally jump-started the offense Friday night when he set up a pair of goals and scored another in a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Fleury was all over the ice, feeding crisp cross-ice passes and buzzing around the net.

"It was time to have a big game," Fleury said. "I felt good in the warmups, my legs were going good. Our line is moving the puck well. All three goals were perfect examples of that."

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  • Fleury and linemates Petr Nedved and Adam Graves accounted for 13 shots and Nedved assisted on all three goals.

    "Theo and Petr are really reading well off each other," said Rangers coach John Muckler. "I don't know how many times Theo dished the puck out. He really saw everybody on the ice, he opened up the ice for everybody, made some great plays."

    The Rangers played an aggressive game, limiting Carolina to 17 shots and peppering goaltender Arturs Irbe with 37.

    "They caught us standing around right in the neutral zone and we had a hard time with that," said Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice. "We were slow moving in the neutral zone and couldn't get a forecheck going."

    The Rangers took a 1-0 lead at 17:28 of the the first period on Stephane Quintal's first goal of the season. Quintal took a cross-ice pass from Fleury in the righcircle and flipped the puck over Irbe's left shoulder.

    Adam Graves extended the New York lead to 2-0 at 13:36 of the second period with a power-play goal. Fleury fed him with a crisp pass in the slot and Graves one-timed a low shot just inside the left post for his first goal of the season.

    Fleury added his first goal at 10:43 of the third. After Irbe stopped Nedved and Graves on close-in shots, Fleury swooped in and chipped the loose puck high into the net.

    "Arturs went to poke at it and it kind of deflected off his stick and went in," Fleury said.

    Glen Wesley spoiled Kirk McLean's shutout bid with his first goal of the season at 14:29 of the third period. McLean started his second consecutive game replacing Mike Richter, who is sidelined seven to 10 days with a protruding disc in his lower back.

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