Apologies for two things on this breakdown. First, the tardiness. Second, my DVR (seriously, I need a new one) didn’t record the full game due to the Sam Rosen ceremony. I set the DVR to record until an hour after the game, but it didn’t. I only got the first three goals, so the last Ranger goal –not including the empty netter– didn’t record.
Anyway, the Rangers ended January with a 4-1 win over the Isles, capping a 10-4-1 January that catapulted them into second place in the Metropolitan Division. Henrik Lundqvist was brilliant, stopping 38 shots and really keeping the Rangers in the game until they generated enough offense to pull away. The scoring was balanced, with three different lines and a defenseman getting the goals and nine different Rangers registering points. It was a game that the Rangers needed to whether the second period storm that came from the Isles, but they did and came away with the two points.
On to the goals:
Rangers 1, Islanders 0
The fourth line created this goal with a solid cycle and board work. It was started when Dan Carcillo beat the defense to Dominic Moore’s dump in. The puck eventually worked to Marc Staal at the point while Brian Boyle cut to the front of the net. Staal’s shot was sent wide purposely, and Boyle provided a perfect deflection to beat Evgeni Nabokov.
Isles 1, Rangers 1
The Rangers ran into a very good Isles powerplay that did not allow Staal or Dan Girardi to get off the ice for the full two minutes. Naturally the pair was dead tired when the penalty to Ryan McDonagh expired. The Isles kept working, and neither Girardi nor Dom Moore could get to Kyle Okposo on the door step after Calvin de Haan’s shot.
Rangers 2, Isles 1
With both sides at four skaters a piece, Mats Zuccarello gained the zone and drew two Isles to him before dishing the biscuit to Staal across the ice. Staal found Derick Brassard on the weak side face off dot. Neither Cal Clutterbuck nor Frans Nielsen could get to the wide open Brassard, who beat Nabokov for the eventual game winner.
Brad Richards gave the Rangers a cushion later in the third, and McDonagh collected the empty netter with one second remaining. Again, sorry about the DVR issues.
This win gave the Rangers their third three game win streak of the month. It also gave them a 10-4-1 record in January and a 14-5-1 record in their last 20 games. You can say it’s a streak if you want, but the Rangers have taken 72.5% of possible points in their last 20 games. We knew the Rangers wouldn’t be terrible all season, and it’s good to finally see everything clicking. They have three games remaining before the Olympic break.