Gomez scores to lift Rangers in OT

December 10, 2008 7:25:17 PM PST
Scott Gomez scored 15 seconds into overtime and the New York Rangers snapped a two-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the struggling Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday night. Gomez took advantage of goaltender Johan Hedberg's mishandling of the puck, and put in a backhander for his third winning goal this season and his fifth tally overall this season.

The Thrashers have lost five straight at home and have just two victories in 11 games.

Despite eight victories in their last 13, the Rangers have only one win in regulation. They led 2-1 on Ryan Callahan's short-handed goal with 18:40 remaining in regulation.

Ilya Kovalchuk, who was trailing Callahan on his goal, redeemed himself 1:29 later by scoring his 10th of the season and second in two games. Skating through the right side of the slot, Kovalchuk redirected Boris Valabik' shot from the left boards for a 2-all tie.

Allowing the first goal for the eighth time in nine games, the Thrashers trailed 1-0 when Hedberg dropped his stick 6:05 into the second and gave up Colton Orr's first goal of the season and first in 83 games.

Atlanta rookie Joey Crabb forced a 1-all tie 6:05 into the second when he scored on a breakaway for his first career goal.

Rangers backup goalie Stephen Valiquette, who stretched left to make a difficult glove save on Jason Williams' wrister with 1:31 remaining, stopped 27 shots to improve to 3-2. In the final minute of the first, Valiquette reached up to catch Colby Armstrong's wrister from the left circle.

Hedberg fell to 5-5-1 after making 30 saves.