Rangers Rip Blackhawks

Pro Football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw poses for photographers with his daughter Rachel at the world premiere of "Failure to Launch" in New York on Wednesday, March 8, 2006. Bradshaw plays Matthew McConaughey's father in the romantic comedy, which also stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Bates.
AP Photo/Stuart Ramson

Things were finally different for goaltender Kirk McLean and the New York Rangers.

McLean, who has struggled against Chicago throughout his career, helped end the Rangers seven-game winless streak with a 3-1 victory over the Blackhawks on Sunday night.

Entering Sunday night's game at the United Center, McLean was 1-7-1 with a lifetime goals-against average of 4.99 against Chicago.

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  • And the Rangers hadn't posted a victory since Oct. 17 versus Atlanta.

    But Sunday, McLean stopped 23 shots and enjoyed strong defensive support from his teammates.

    "This was the best 60 minute effort we had all year, I think," said McLean, who had previously faced the Blackhawks while with Vancouver and Florida. "We worked hard and got the timely goals. Now we just have to snowball it." .

    Mike York, Petr Nedved and Adam Graves each scored for the Rangers, who according to coach John Muckler, were more enthusiastic than in recent games.

    "There was a lot of some noise in the dressing room tonight and the bench was loud," Muckler said. "We can be happy and enjoy the win tonight, but we have to put a bunch of wins together."

    Meanwhile, Chicago has yet to win at home this season. The Blackhawks, who got their lone goal in the third period from Wendel Clark, dropped to 0-5-3 at the United Center.

    "We have to establish something at home if we're going to do something this season" said Chicago's Tony Amonte. "There's no ifs, ands or buts about it."

    "We're all guilty o trying to do too much and make the perfect play. But hockey isn't a perfect game."

    Nonetheless, McLean and the Rangers also benefited from sloppy Blackhawks passing and offensive execution Sunday.

    New York took a 2-0 lead midway through the first period on goals by York and Nedved. York chipped a soft shot past Chicago goaltender Steve Passmore from the left circle at 5:09. Nedved sprinted in alone down the slot and beat Passmore with a high backhander at 8:58.

    After a scoreless second period, Clark got the Blackhawks on the board at 3:45 of the third period when he deflected Anders Eriksson's shot from the left point between McLean's pads. Set up by Fleury, Graves made it 3-1 from the edge of the crease with 8:43 left in regulation.

    After the game, the Rangers announced that 32-year-old free agent forward Joe Murphy has been invited for a tryout. Murphy had 25 goals and 23 assists in 76 games last season for the San Jose Sharks, who elected not to re-sign Murphy this season.

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