2006_02_srucchin.jpgKevin Weekes had not started in goal since the middle of January and figured to be rusty last night, but the Rangers picked up their defense and didn’t allow an Islander shot in the first eleven minutes of their 5-2 victory. With the upcoming Olympic Break, the Rangers will need to rely on Weekes more to get through the compressed schedule in March and April.

While Weeeks was given a chance to warm up, the Rangers blitzed Islanders’ goalie Rick DiPietro. Fedor Tyutin and Steve Rucchin both had power-play goals in the first period with Martin Rucinsky and Martin Straka adding goals in the second to give the Rangers a 4-0 lead. The Islanders struck back with two goals from Mark Parrish in the third, but Jaromir Jagr iced it with his 34th goal of the year.

The win, coupled with a Flyers loss, brought the Rangers into a tie for first. New York heads to Philadelphia for a game on Saturday and the chance to get back on top of the Atlantic Division for the first time since December.

Photo by AP/Julie Jacobson via ESPN