The Rangers clipped the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in overtime tonight at the Garden on the strength of a Brad Richards goal on a beautiful feed from Artem Anisimov. After a tough offensive night against Jersey, the Blueshirts got back to their game and were able to outlast a pesky Lightning team. On to the bullets…
- The first half or so of this game lacked any flow whatsoever. It seemed as the two teams were trying to get a read on the other’s forechecking scheme. Tampa didn’t appear to be running a full 1-3-1 but there was a hybrid trap thing going on that gave the Rangers trouble in the neutral zone.
- The Rangers only allowed 17 shots tonight (season low) and managed 31 of their own. Defensively, the Rangers were very solid with the exception of a couple costly breakdowns.
- Artem Anisimov played a much better game tonight than we have seen in recent weeks. He was contributing on each shift and going to work in the dirty areas. Hopefully this will be a sign of things to come.
- The powerplay actually looked a little better tonight. The new emphasis on getting pucks to the net from the perimeter can only bring better results. While they didn’t live up to Dave’s lofty goal of two PP goals (actually, Dave just said two PP goals…didn’t specify it could only be the Rangers) but I invite everyone to check out the comments of the Game Thread to Chris C’s crazy prediction about that PP goal.
- Prust’s line looked great all game.
- Outside of the one penalty he took, I barely noticed Steve Eminger out there. This is not necessarily a bad thing. For a 5/6 type defenseman to go unnoticed, it means he’s chewing up minutes without giving up too much.
- Carl Hagelin with another strong game.
- While I am psyched Brad Richards scored the clutch game winner in OT, I was more impressed with the shoulder fake Anisimov pulled off drawing two defensemen and a goalie right to him.
- Steven Stamkos is a force out there.
- Marty Biron played a quality game tonight. Exactly what a good backup should do. I’m curious to see if Torts plays Hank back to back this weekend or if Marty will see another start.
- Mathieu Garon played great in net for Tampa. He made a number of tough saves on Rangers’ chances and kept this game from getting out of hand.
- Good to see the Giants supporting New York solidarity at the game tonight.
- The Rangers have done a remarkable job this year coming back after losses and tonight followed the trend. The next few days will be another big test of this team’s resolve. With Philly, Washington, Boston and Chicago coming up, the Rangers can really start to position themselves to make a deep run into the post season by beating some of the NHL’s best teams.
Off tomorrow and then into enemy territory at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly for a Saturday matinee.
One last shameless plug, remember to be here on 2/10 at noon where I’ll be hosting a BSB Live Chat.