Jagr Reaches 1,500 Points As Rangers Win

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By DAVID GINSBURG
The Associated Press
Saturday, February 10, 2007; 10:56 PM

WASHINGTON -- On a night in which he was booed every time he touched the puck, Jaromir Jagr appreciated the irony of reaching a significant milestone against his former team. Jagr became the 12th player in NHL history to score 1,500 points, earning three assists to help the New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 5-2 Saturday night.

The Rangers captain reached the mark by setting up power-play goals by Michal Rozsival in the first and third periods. He added another assist with 13:51 left, sending a centering pass that Martin Straka fired past Olie Kolzig to provide New York with a two-goal cushion.

Jagr has 612 goals and 889 assists in 1,165 career games. But he failed to fulfill high expectations in Washington before being traded to New York in 2004, and thus many in the sellout crowd let him know what they thought of him each time his stick met the puck.

"It's strange I did it here, in this arena," he said, grinning sheepishly.

Jagr amassed 217 points in 190 games with the Capitals, but the team never won a playoff series with him. Washington fans will never let him forget it, but their jeers did nothing to deter the pleasure Jagr derived from an important victory.

"That's OK. I don't really worry about it," he said. "As long as we win, it's good."

After dropping dangerously close to falling from playoff contention, the Rangers have won two straight. At this point, they can't afford another slump _ and are playing that way.

"It is our situation, our circumstance," coach Tom Renney said. "These last few games we've been in a position to put our foot down even farther and have done that. It just seems like we're on a mission, and the big thing here is to create some momentum."

Renney was focused on getting two points in the standings, but also took pleasure in seeing Jagr reach 1,500.

"I'm always honored to be a part of anything that these great players do," he said. "Anytime I can be on any bench, watching people like that do wonderful things, I'm grateful for it."

Jagr also appreciated the significance of his accomplishment.

"It's a big honor," he said. "How many years has the NHL been around, 100? The best players in the world play in this league. If I can be in the top 12, that's great."


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© 2007 The Associated Press

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