Posted October 31, 2011 on AP on Fox
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Ryan Callahan scored twice in New York's three-goal second period, and New York shook of a blown lead and raced past the surging San Jose Sharks 5-2 on Monday night. The Rangers (4-3-3) led 2-0 in the first period but squandered it to the Sharks, who were trying to complete a sweep of a six-game road trip. Artem Anisimov also scored in the second after Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan had goals in the first. Martin Biron made 24 saves to improve to 2-0 as Henrik Lundqvist's backup. Callahan added an assist, and Dan Girardi, Erik Christensen and Brandon Dubinsky all had two assists. All that, and fan favorite Sean Avery could be back in the lineup Thursday if he clears waivers Tuesday. Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture had goals for the Sharks (6-4), and Antti Niemi stopped 26 shots. Callahan put New York ahead 3-2, just as a Rangers power play ended, and capped the second-period spurt by pushing the lead to three goals when he scored again with 47.7 seconds left. Callahan, in his first season as Rangers captain, also had the primary assist on McDonagh's opening goal. Stepan made it 2-0 later in the first, but just like in Saturday's 5-4 shootout loss to Ottawa, New York couldn't hold it. Pavelski started the Sharks' comeback when he cut the deficit to 2-1 with 2:10 left in the first, and San Jose used a dominant shift in the second to get even when Couture took advantage of exhausted defensemen. Just as Madison Square Garden was about to turn on the home team, the Rangers regained the lead and built on it uncharacteristically. The Rangers were 0-1-1 at home, and the pain of Saturday's loss in which New York blew a 4-1 lead in the third period was still fresh for the frustrated fans. Callahan took a crisp pass from Christensen and slammed a shot in from the left post with 6 minutes left in the second - just as Colin White's delay-of-game penalty ended. That was the beginning of the game-turning surge that brightened the costume-clad Halloween crowd yearning to see the Rangers win at home. Christensen struck again moments later when he nudged the puck ahead to Anisimov, who bounced back from being shaken up on Saturday and scored his first of the season with a nifty backhanded shot that seemed to fool Niemi at 16:42. Callahan finished things with 47.7 seconds left after he started the scoring play with a forced turnover back in the New York end. Callahan raced up ice, got the puck to Brad Richards and continued skating behind the net. Richards fired a shot as teammate Brandon Dubinsky was dumped in front. The rebound bounced free, and no one picked up Callahan as he came out from behind the net and swept a shot inside the left post to make it 5-2. There was some tension heading into the third period as San Jose was given a power play in the closing seconds of the middle frame, but New York killed it off and protected the lead. Pavelski had netted his sixth goal of the trip when he put in a rebound of Douglas Murray's drive that hit both posts behind Biron. The Rangers then got stuck in their zone for about two minutes, but managed to clear the puck to the neutral zone. It wasn't long enough for defensemen Steve Eminger and Jeff Woywitka to get off the ice. The puck came back in, and Pavelski sent it to the right circle to Couture, who fired in a one-timer at 11:03. NOTES: Rangers C Mike Rupp missed his third straight game because of a left knee injury. ... C Andre Deveaux made his Rangers debut. ... Pavelski also had five assists on the trip, giving him 11 points in six games. He started it with only two goals in four games. ... Niemi earn the win in the first four games of the trip. Thomas Greiss beat the Islanders in overtime on Saturday. ... The Rangers outshot an opponent for the first time this season.
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