Defenseman Marek Malik ended an improbable 15-round shootout — the longest in NHL history — with a magical move on Washington goaltender Olaf Kolzig to give the Rangers a dramatic 3-2 win over the Capitals on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
With Kolzig moving to his left to stop what looked like a backhand attempt, Malik, who had not scored during the 2005-06 season, shot a forehand through his own legs — placing it just wide of Kolzig and into the net.
Since the early 1990s, the National Hockey League has undergone a major transformation: rapid expansion, two nasty labor wars and teams relocating from Canada to the southern United States.
Result: huge losses and falling television ratings. After canceling the 2004-05 season, the owners enter this year armed with control of player salaries, and the league’s best players can more fully showcase their talents, thanks to new rules designed to remove player interference and speed up the game.