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Flames 4, Rangers 1

December 11, 1997

NEW YORK (AP) _ Rick Tabaracci made 30 saves Wednesday night to pace the Calgary Flames to a 4-1 victory over the struggling New York Rangers.

The Rangers gave up the first goal at home for the 16th time in 18 games this season as they dropped to 5-7-6 at Madison Square Garden. They are 1-5-4 overall in their last 10 games.

Calgary took a 1-0 lead 2:16 into the game with an unassisted goal by Jonas Hoglund.

Wayne Gretzky won a faceoff in the Calgary zone and sent the puck back to Jeff Beukeboom at the point, but Beukeboom mishandled it and Hoglund raced off on a breakaway. Hoglund beat Rangers goaltender Mike Richter with a wrist shot for his fourth goal of the season.

Calgary went ahead 2-0 at 4:40 of the second period on a fluke goal by Theoren Fleury. The Flames’ forward ended up scoring into an empty net after his point shot hit Rangers defenseman Alexander Karpovtsev and took a weird bounce to Michael Nylander, who passed it back to the unguarded Fleury.

The Rangers, who had played a lackluster game up until the second Calgary goal, applied offensive pressure but Tabaracci took over from there, stopping Adam Graves on a pair of close-in stuff attempts on the power play and making difficult saves on point shots by Alex Kovalev and Brian Leetch.

After Calgary took a 3-0 lead at 6:03 of the third on only their 13th shot of the game, a wraparound by Ed Ward for his third of the season, Rangers fans left in droves.

Tabaracci was brilliant the rest of the way, stopping Graves on three consecutive stuff-in attempts during a power play. Graves finally ruined the shutout with a power-play goal at 19:06 of the third. Fleury added an empty-net goal at 19:22.

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