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Bure Scores Goal in Rangers Debut

Updated:
NEW YORK (AP) _ Todd Bertuzzi ruined Pavel Bure's night in every way.

Bertuzzi scored all three Vancouver goals to spoil Bure's debut with the Rangers as the Canucks beat New York 3-1 Tuesday night.

With the score tied, Bertuzzi made a swift move off the boards and passed the puck to himself around Bure before backhanding in his 27th goal at 3:14 of the third period.

``I walked out and didn't really know what to do,'' Bertuzzi said. ``I slid the puck through him and tried to get it on net. I'm lucky it went through.''

Bure, who scored New York's only goal, admitted: ``He came out of the corner and went around me.''

Bertuzzi's final goal was scored into an empty net with 8.2 seconds left, giving the Canucks their fifth straight win _ all on the road. Vancouver moved into a tie with St. Louis for seventh in the Western Conference.

Ed Jovanovski, who played a solid and physical game against Bure's linemate, Eric Lindros, also took note of the occasion.

``There was a lot of excitement in the air before the game with Pavel coming to play for New York,'' he said. ``He can really raise the emotional level for the crowd and the team. We came in there and played a calm game. We weathered the storm.''

Bure gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead, but New York flubbed the chance to tie idle Montreal for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. The Rangers are tied with Buffalo for ninth place with 11 games remaining _ all against Eastern Conference foes.

``I felt pretty good although, obviously, I'm not satisfied with the loss,'' Pavel said. ``We had lots of chances, we just didn't finish them. Sometimes that happens.''

Bure, acquired from Florida on Monday, scored at 10:41 of the second after a nifty back pass from Lindros.

Defenseman Vladimir Malakhov snared the puck in the Rangers' end and passed to Theo Fleury along the boards. Fleury found Lindros with a centering pass' and Lindros left the puck for Bure, who rifled it through the legs of Dan Cloutier.

In celebration, Bure lifted his stick before collapsing into an ecstatic embrace with Fleury as the Madison Square Garden crowd roared.

``There was a great amount of emotion _ my first game as a Ranger and scoring my first goal,'' Bure said. ``I felt really great.''

Dan Blackburn, starting in place of an ill Mike Richter, was screened as Bertuzzi scored his 26th goal of the season to tie the game at 1 at 14:34 of the second. Bertuzzi has 10 points on the Canucks' road trip.

Notes: The Sedin twins _ Henrik and Daniel _ assisted on Bertuzzi's first goal. Daniel assisted on his second goal. ... Tom Poti and Rem Murray, acquired by the Rangers from Edmonton just before the 3 p.m. deadline, were expected to join the team in Ottawa for Thursday's game. ... Rangers captain Mark Messier (shoulder surgery) skated for the second day in a row. He expects to be back by the start of the playoffs if New York qualifies.

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