I’m actually having difficulty coming up with witty openings for post-game entries. This team just keeps rolling and rolling. They lose one or two, they win three or four. The shock is starting to wear off, and many Rangers fans have now just become used to the success of the regular season. That, obviously, will change in about five weeks time when the playoffs start.
Tonight, the Rangers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2, behind second period goals by Artem Anisimov and Marian Gaborik, and a third period tally by Brandon Prust. For the Hurricanes, Jeff Skinner and Jay Harrison were able to beat Martin Biron over 60 minutes.
The Rangers improve to 41-15-6, lead both the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division
- Really solid effort from start to finish. The Rangers were the better team for 60 minutes and were just too much for the Canes to handle.
- When the Rangers got into penalty trouble — especially the four-minute double-minor in the third period — the penalty kill stepped up huge. This team prides itself on team defense, and it very rarely fails them.
- Speaking of penalties, Brandon Dubinsky‘s tossing the stick penalty late in the first period, which led to Skinner’s goal early in the second period, is just a bad penalty to take. Dubinsky didn’t have a shift in the second or third periods. Hopefully it sends the message. Coach John Tortorella called it a “dumb penalty.”
- The line of Anisimov, Gaborik and Derek Stepan continues to generate offense on a nightly basis. They’re developing into a legitimate first line threat. Gaborik’s tally was his 30th of the season, and he’s had over a point-per-game over the last 20.
- This was one of Biron’s most solid starts, and he needed it. He’s been lack-luster as of late, and he really bounced back and maintained the Rangers’ leads. Big win for him.
- Scary scene in the third period when Dan Girardi appeared to injure his arm blocking a shot. I understand the mentality of blocking shots, but sometimes I wish these guys would let the guy with the goalie pads block them.
- Michael Del Zotto left the match with a hip injury. It could be the same injury he suffered last weekend against Buffalo, but not a lot of information given tonight.
- No Ryan Callahan, no problem. The team didn’t skip a beat without the captain in the lineup. Obviously we don’t want to make that a regular story, but one night they survived.
- Ryan McDonagh is a great player.
- The Prust goal was something out of NHL 94 on the Sega Genesis. Picture perfect.
- I really hate when Marc Staal plays one of his brothers. MSG makes out like it’s the first time this happens, rather than a 10-time a season thing.
- Right back at it tomorrow night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia