The Rangers grinded out a gutsy win in Carolina tonight, beating the ‘Canes 3-2 behind a fantastic defensive effort and a very solid game by Marty Biron. Marian Gaborik scored to net his 30th of the year, and his 7th 30 goal season overall. Seems like the theme lately has been a period by period recap, so I’ll give it a try (let me know which format you guys prefer in the comments). To the bullets…
- 1st Period
- During the first period the Rangers had a solid forecheck going and were doing a nice job getting penetration into the offensive zone. The problem was they weren’t developing quality chances from that penetration. They were moving the puck well enough to evade pressure from the Hurricanes, but not well enough to put quality shots on Cam Ward.
- Defensively the Blueshirts did a fantastic job of getting sticks into passing lanes and forcing Carolina’s wingers to the outside on the rush. Ryan McDonagh was especially impressive early on.
- With :50 seconds remaining in the first, Brandon Dubinsky took what I will assume was a stupid penalty (I didn’t seem like any MSG camera actually caught Dubinsky throw Jiri Tlusty’s stick), which drew the ire of coach John Tortorella. Dubinsky wouldn’t see the ice the rest of the game.
- 2nd period
- What do you know? That penalty came back to the bite the Rangers as Jeff Skinner snuck a shot through Marty Biron’s arm on a point blank slap shot. As a goalie, those goals are absolutely infuriating. 1-0 Carolina.
- As Dubinsky continued to sit, the recipient of his minutes seemed to be John Mitchell. Mitchell played about 15 minutes and played a solid game. He seemed to have a nice chemistry with Richards/Hagelin as well.
- The Ranger’s continued to play excellent defense through the second period. Michael Del Zotto exited the game early with an apparent hip injury, which pressed Marc Staal into bigger minutes as the game went on.
- The Rangers would tie the game on a hard wrist shot from Artem Anismov off a nice little back pass from Marian Gaborik. The play wouldn’t have happened however, without some tremendous work by Derek Stepan in the neutral zone after blocking a shot. The shot seemed to handcuff Cam Ward a little bit, as he threw the puck in frustration after the puck bounced out. 1-1.
- I caught myself wondering at one point in the second…why would Carolina want to stir anything up with the Rupp/Scott combination?
- Gaborik would put the Rangers ahead later in the second when he banged in the rebound of a Derek Stepan shot. Gabby made a strong play in the slot to create a good chance and then didn’t give up on the play and was able to guide the rebound home. Very strong play for the Rangers leading goal scorer as he pocketed his 30th of the season. 2-1 Rangers.
- 3rd period
- The Rangers caught a break at the start of the third period when the puck ricocheted off the lines man and right onto the stick of Brian Boyle, who would make a beauty of a pass to Brandon Prust to give the Rangers some insurance. 3-1 Rangers.
- Jeff Skinner is absolutely filthy. Crazy how two of Carolina’s best players can’t legally drink yet. (Skinner and Falk)
- The last 10 or so minutes of the game, the Rangers killed 6 minutes worth of penalties. The bulk of which was assessed when John Mitchell accidentally clipped Jay Harrison with his stick. Blood was drawn, 4 minutes.
- The ensuing penalty kill was magnificent. Prust and Boyle were at their very best, while Staal continued to round into form with a strong effort on the PK. Also, Dan Girardi is a warrior.
- The ‘Canes drew within one goal with :39 seconds remaining after some slightly blown coverage from the aforementioned Girardi and Staal (not nearly enough impact to mar the fantastic game both played). Jay Harrison was there to tap it in on the doorstep. 3-2 Rangers.
- New York was able to hold on in regulation to win their 8th game in their last 11.
Obligatory Goaltending Notes
- I thought both goaltenders played terrific tonight. Neither one had a ton of work, but both made great saves at various points of the game.
- Cam Ward isn’t a flashy goalie, but despite the 3 goals, he continues to show why he is one of the game’s best despite a suspect blue line.
- Marty Biron had a nice bounce back game after a couple bumps in the road in the form of Chicago and the Islanders. He had a slight case of rebounditis in the first third of the game or so, but his confidence clearly grew as the game went on and ended up making several key saves.
- Torts might as well have put a dunce hat on the Dubi and made him sit facing the corner for the rest of the game. Torts was visibly irritated about that penalty in his presser.
- Brandon Prust was the 1st star of this game for me. Absolute monster out there.
- I’m going to say this with the assumption that DZ’s injury is nothing serious; I think it’s time to bump Staal up to the second pair. The coaching staff has done a tremendous job bringing him back slowly this year, but I think the training wheels are ready to come off. He played over 20 minutes tonight, and I don’t think any of us would be against demoting Anton Stralman to the third pair with Stu Bickel. Not that Stralman hasn’t played well, but clearly Staal is the better player.
- I’m not sure how many of you had the privilege of watching the MSG post game, but if you did you were able to behold that shirt that Ron Duguay was wearing. Just terrific Ron, terrific.
Right back at it tomorrow night in Tampa at 7pm, as the Rangers try to run their winning streak to 4 in a row. Don’t forget to be here tomorrow at noon for the BSB Live Chat!