Solid win. Always nice to have the team play well with your backup goalie in net. Some key players made strides in this 4-2 victory. Most notably Higgins (scoring for the second straight night and playing an excellent two-way game), Callahan (playing with the energy/forecheck we’re accustomed to and also scoring a goal on a superb pass from Del Zotto — who himself had a tremendous game), and Gilroy (nifty move/pass on Higgins goal and efficient in own end). The only bad parts, and this is nit-picking, were Voros’ two bad early penalties and some questionable goals let in by Valiquette — but understandably so since this is just his third game of the season.
Despite giving up 4 goals, Khabibulin actually played a sturdy game (35 saves). His team let him down. They failed to mark up with men in the slot, let the Rangers skate the puck into their zone, and turned the puck over too many times at the Rangers blue line. It actually looked like the Rangers of a few days ago.
Random Other Games Notes: The Rangers had 39 shots on goal…They were 3-7 on the PP…This was the first matchup against Renney, an Edmonton assistant coach, since he was let go by the Rangers. I always liked Renney as a person, and even as a coach…ESPN reports that Lundqvist missed this game with a stiff right thigh. Did I miss Sam and Joe saying this?