Sean Avery rapidly has become a fan favorite in New York, and it's easy to see why.

In his first six games with the Rangers, he had four goals, five points and 10 penalty minutes.

He didn't score last night in New York's 4-3 shoot-out win at Montreal, but the team did what it usually does with Avery on the ice - it won.

Success has seemed to follow Avery in New York. In 93 games with the Rangers spread across three seasons, the club is 55-22-16 with him in the lineup, and 9-13-3 without him.

The Rangers are 5-2-0 in Avery's second run on Broadway.

"The energy he brings when he's playing his style of going up and down, there's probably no one in the League faster," line mate Scott Gomez said. "When Sean is skating, he opens it up for me. We want to create on every shift; that's been our goal."


Alex Ovechkin, held without a point for the first time in 11 games on Monday, had an assist last night against Florida, but it was the first time in a month that he has had back-to-back games without netting a goal.

Ovechkin remains one goal away from his third consecutive 50-goal season.

McCabe returns

Panthers defenseman Bryan McCabe, who had missed three straight games with a broken orbital bone in his face, returned to the lineup last night against the Capitals.

- Inquirer wire services