The Rangers came home early Sunday afternoon looking to build on their win in Carolina on Friday. With an original six team in the building, the Rangers forgot about the struggle of daylight savings and worked towards a streak. Rangers who have been relatively silent woke up to produce, and we saw yet another goal based off of the hard work of the fourth line. Having been at the game, I’m not able to give a Dave-like goal breakdown, but let’s go over some of the main points of the game.
- The first goal was certainly not pretty, with John Moore breaking his stick and Boyle using his body in the front area of the net. Moore’s pass found its way to Boyle, whose wrist shot beat Howard. The goal was an effect of physical play.
- The Rangers had the edge in the first period, despite a bit of sloppy play by both teams that we can only assume is due to the (feels like) 11:30am start time. Unfortunately, the game looked like both teams were exhausted, probably fueled by the silence in the stands. The Rangers won 3-0, but it felt like a snoozefest.
- Chris Kreider came back to life and scored two goals yesterday, both from McDonagh and Stepan. If the Rangers’ season ended today, they’d have second place in the Metropolitan Division and a playoff spot locked down. They’re going to need Kreider to be hot and all of their lines to be productive. This was certainly encouraging.
- Another encouraging note: the Rangers completed a season sweep of the Red Wings, who are now an Eastern contender. It still feels weird to consider them in the same Conference, so for the Rangers to shut out a former Western team (and playoff lock for as long as I can remember) this season bodes well for them in the playoffs.
- This win was Henrik Lundqvist’s 300th career win and 49th career shutout. Huge statistics when you consider that Henrik just turned 32 and signed a lovely extension to keep him in Rangers blue for years to come. His 49th shutout ties him with Eddie Giacomin for the Rangers’ all-time list, and his 300th win puts him one behind Mike Richter for wins by Rangers goalies. Again, this is a great time for him to have a boost to solidify his confidence coming into the home stretch.
- On the Red Wings side, things don’t seem so copacetic; Jimmy Howard looked extremely upset after the Brassard breakaway in the first period and Coach Mike Babcock didn’t seem pleased with his team’s efforts in the post game presser. If they don’t make the playoffs, it’ll be very interesting to see if and how changes are made in Detroit.
The Rangers head back to Carolina on Tuesday night to try to go streaking. With the home stretch upon us, let’s see if the boys can keep up these winning ways.