First Period Goal Frenzy Lifts Rangers Over Canadiens

Marc Staal & Mats Zuccarrello celebrate Dan Girardi's 4th goal of the season. New York would not relinquish the lead the rest of the game (rangers.nhl.com).

The New York Rangers blitzed the Montreal Canadiens in the first period for 5 goals and turned out to be all the offense they needed to come away with a 6-3 victory and 2 much needed points in the standings. The game showcased a lot of elements that make die-hard hockey fans enjoy their sport. Let’s get right to it and see what went down…

The Good:

With the victory tonight, Henrik Lundqvist becomes the first goalie in NHL history to record 6 straight 30-win seasons to start a career. Its also the first 3-game win streak for him this season. Lundqvist made some great saves at critical times in the game. Does that sound familiar to anyone?

FACT TIME: Last time the Rangers had at least a 5-goal period was St. Patrick’s Day 2007 against Boston, when New York scored 6 in the 2nd period. Last time that happened in the 1st period? December 15th, 1999 against the L.A. Kings, when the Rangers potted 6. Last time it occurred against Montreal? January 10th 1986, my birth year, when it also occurred in the 2nd period.

The 3-goal blitz in 1:07 by New York in the first the fastest span of goals by the Rangers since November of 2001 against the New York Islanders. In that game, New York had Theo Fleury, Brain Leetch, and Sandy McCarthy score in a 1:05. Check out those names from the past!

Brandon Prust can be singled out as the main catalyst tonight with his fight with Travis Moen 1 second into the game. Whether it was strategic by Tortorella, or brought on by banter between the two, the fight seemed to charge up the Rangers and the fans. And, in a close bout, I think Prust walks out of it with the slight advantage.

Nice to see Dan Girardi score a goal. For a guy who leaves it out on the ice every single game & a league leader in blocked shots, Girardi certainly deserves it. It’s his first goal since December 16th.

Artem Anisimov had a very solid game. His defensive positioning directly lead to offense, something the coach preaches, by blocking a shot & springing himself to a breakaway. His deke on Carey Price was nice to watch, but his celebration was even better, resembling something from NHL 11.

Did anyone else know that Vinny Prospal had an 8-game point streak (2 goals, 8 assists) with his power play goal? I had no idea. Seriously. I had to look it up.

The Bad:

P.K. Subban had a goal in tonight's contest and drew negative attention to himself (hockeyindependant.com).

P.K. Subban continues to solidify his reputation in the NHL as a dirty player. Not only does he run Lundqvist, but runs away from Michael Sauer who challenged him to fight and then had the audacity to drop his gloves when the referees intervened. The kid had serious skill and has some serious growing up to do.

Henrik Lundqvist was bumped a few times (what Rangers game this season hasn’t had that happen). But, none harder than Beniot Pouliot’s run-in with Hank with less than 5 minutes to go in the game. Lundqvist appeared to hurt his neck and credit trainer Jim Ramsay for getting out there right away to diagnose the situation. The injury isn’t viewed as serious, but the Rangers an ill afford to lose their star goaltender for any amount of time.

Bryan McCabe arguably had his worst game as a member of the Rangers. It looked like Montreal’s speed & quickness gave him trouble. However, McCabe is a gamer and will come back in the next game.

Where They Stand:

With their 5th win in 6 games, the Blueshirts have 80 points and sit in 7th place in the Eastern Conference, 4 points ahead of the idle 8th place Buffalo Sabres. New York received no help from their cross-town rivals the New York Islanders, who lost in overtime to the Carolina Hurricanes. The win for Carolina puts them in a tie with the Sabres for 8th. However, Buffalo has the advantage of having 2 games in hand on the Rangers.

Next Game:

Will be another 12:30 PM Sunday matinee  in Pittsburgh to face the Crosby-less, Malkin-less yet still 4th in the East Penguins, who continue to play well without their stars.

Topics: Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Brandon Prust, Bryan McCabe, Canadiens, Dan Girardi, Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, PK Subban, Rangers

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