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Rangers Still Perfect Over Sharks

It wasn't exactly the way P.J. Stock dreamed it would happen, but he didn't mind.

Stock scored his first career goal as the New York Rangers continued their domination of the San Jose Sharks with a 3-2 victory Monday night.

The Rangers have never lost to the Sharks, going 11-0-1 against them in 12 games.

Mike Eastwood and Kevin Stevens each had a goal and an assist as the Rangers snapped a five-game winless streak (0-2-3).

New York's Wayne Gretzky extended his point streak to seven games with his 41st assist of the season. He has eight assists in his last seven games.

"We capitalized on our opportuities and minimized their chances," said Gretzky. "We played a solid defensive game and consequently that got us a win."

Bernie Nicholls and Owen Nolan scored for San Jose, which was 4-1-2 in its previous seven games.

Stock scored the Rangers' eventual winning goal at 2:57 of the third period.

"My dream is going end to end, with a couple of guys on my back, one hand on the stick, and put it top shelf," said Stock, who was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on Sept. 2, 1997 and was playing in his 20th NHL game.

"It didn't happen that way, but I'll take it."

Stevens had the puck just outside the crease on the left side. When San Jose goaltender Kelly Hrudey challenged, Stevens passed across in front of the net to Stock for a 3-0 Ranger lead.

"I'm just happy I got one, and it ended up being the game-winner," Stock said. "That's even better."

Eastwood, playing in his 300th career NHL game, scored the game's first goal with 4:40 left in the first period on a rebound.

Stevens scored a power-play goal with 9:51 remaining in the second period. It was the first goal in 15 games for Stevens.

"We played a solid game for 45 minutes," said Rangers coach Colin Campbell. "Some people who don't normally scored, scored on good counters. But it was a hang-on-for-dear-life the last seven or eight minutes."

Nicholls scored the Sharks' first goal at 5:29 of the third, slapping a shot from the left circle past New York goaltender Mike Richter.

"After the first period, we did battle back," said Nicholls. "But we have to set the tempo and show the emotion to start."

Nolan scored from 15 feet in front of the net after taking a pass from Jeff Friesen, beating Richter to the stick side.

The Sharks missed an opportunity to score late in the second period when they failed to convert with a two-man advantage, which they had for a full two minutes.

"If we get a goal there, it's a whole different game," Nicholls said. "We didn't create a thing. We have five guys throwing the puck around. We might as well have declined the two penalties."

The Rangers attempted 14 shots in the first period, the most the Sharks have allowed since Dallas had 18 in the first period on Jan. 12.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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