In his pre-game interview, John Tortorella was asked “what will it take to win this game?”. His response was that sometimes you can outplay the other guys and still not win. That’s exactly what happened tonight as the Rangers were able to escape Long Island with two points after being outplayed by a ridiculously fast Islander team. The 1-0 overtime win came on the back of Henrik Lundqvist’s first shutout of the season, and an absolute beauty of a snipe by Dan Girardi. Only one goal to break down in this one…
Rangers 1, Islanders 0
During the final minutes of overtime, the Rangers recovered the puck in the top of their defensive zone. Two quick breakout passes later and Derick Brassard carried the puck across the Islander blue line. Dan Girardi intelligently read the defense converging on Brassard and snuck in behind undetected. Brassard sauced a beauty between the D, and Girardi carried the puck toward the near side of the goal. He saw some open real estate above Nabokov’s right shoulder, and sniped it top corner, right off the elbow.
Since there was only one goal to break down, I figured I’d share some thoughts.
- While this wasn’t the best game the Rangers have played by any stretch, man was it entertaining. The pace was breakneck for 60 minutes and the atmosphere in the Coliseum was electric.
- Man, the posts got a workout, probably about half a dozen clanked off the iron.
- Hank was absolutely on fire in this game. Sure, he got some help from the posts, but he had massive saves and made up for several defensive miscues. I’m starting to get on the Vezina bandwagon for The King.
- I thought Ryan Callahan didn’t look like himself in this one. He was slow to react to the play, and didn’t seem to have his normal intensity level. Hopefully just an off night.
- Brad Richards and Brian Boyle looked real solid out there. Boyle was noticeable on almost every shift, and Richards made several key defensive plays and looked more dangerous in the offensive zone.
- Aside from the first period, I expected a more physically charged tilt. Not that this game wasn’t physical, but the teams seemed to want to out work each other, rather than physically punish.
- Although it’s disappointing to let the Islanders get a point in this one, the two points was huge. Puts a little distance between them and the Jets, and it seems like the playoffs are the least of the Devil’s concern at this point.
- Good for Danny Girardi tonight. Nice to see a good guy get rewarded for all the sacrifice he puts in for this team. And wow, was that a shot.
The Rangers head to Philadelphia to face the sad sack Flyers on Tuesday night. Hopefully this team is in full on playoff mode at this point and they can feast on the 7 remaining games, all against non-playoff teams.