Sean Avery Finds Retribution, New York Rangers Find Secondary Scoring

Tonight's Healthy ScratchesCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2010

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 30: Brooks Orpik #44 of the Pittsburgh Penguins propels Sean Avery #16 of the New York Rangers over goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury #29 at Madison Square Garden on November 30, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

There's that old saying, "Don't get mad, get even." Well, last night, Sean Avery got both.

Avery played a marvelous game against his former club, the Dallas Stars, as he helped the Rangers earn their second victory in a row at the Garden, a 5-2 win.

Avery, who finished the night with a goal and three assists, played arguably his best game of the season.

"Two teams were paying me," Avery joked, when asked what was different against the Stars.

It was the malignant relationship with the Stars that opened the door for Avery to return to Broadway, after he wore out his welcome in Big D.

Avery, who signed a four-year, $15.5 million contract two summers ago, only played 23 games for Dallas before his tenure came to an abrupt end.

After the infamous comments made about former girlfriend, Elisha Cuthbert, Avery was suspended indefinitely, thus ending his underwhelming stay in the Lone Star State, which paved the way for his return to New York. 

"I want Sean Avery on edge, no handcuffs, no leash," said coach John Tortorella.

There was no "leash" on Avery tonight, as he was in the ear of just about every Stars player—during and after play.

"When he crosses the line, it is my job to try and bring him back," Tortorella added. "That's a deal Sean and I have."

Avery, who took two back-to-back penalties, an unwarranted 10-minute misconduct and a cross-checking penalty, midway through the second period and early in the third, respectively, played right on that line tonight.

This marked the first time since Nov. 1 the Rangers have had consecutive victories on home ice.

The Rangers continued to find secondary scoring, an area that has eluded them the majority of the season.

Ryan Callahan, Chris Drury, and Ales Kotalik all scored en route to last night's victory.

If the Rangers are going to make any move up the standings ladder, secondary scoring is going to be something in which the Rangers must consistently excel.

Kotalik has now scored goals in back-to-back games, while Callahan, who will be representing Team USA during the Olympics, has scored 10 points in the previous 10 games.

The primary scoring—Marian Gaborik—also pitched in his 28th goal of the season.