Marian Gaborik snapped a third-period tie with the first of his two goals and then the victory with an empty-netter as the New York Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 4-1 on Tuesday night. Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves for his 13th win of the season.
Gaborik would also have a hand – as would Derek Stepan – in Artem Anisimov’s second period goal that would tie the game at one. Rookie Carl Hagelin beat future Hall-of-Famer Martin Brodeur short-side while shorthanded at 14:42 of the third period for the game-winning goal. Hagelin’s fourth goal of the season has come in only 13 games.
With the win, the Rangers snapped the Devils four-game winning streak and move just two points away from the Atlantic Division lead – and second in the Eastern Conference – with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Post-game thoughts are after the jump.
- For me, this was a tale of two games. The Rangers were flat through the first two periods, letting the Devils win puck battles and dominate play. Once they broke though for their first goal, it was all Rangers after that, including a dominating 3rd period.
- A team decimated with injuries on defense must be pleased with what they saw in a rookie 3rd D pairing of Stu Bickel and Tim Erixon. Both played 11:40 and 9:36 of ice-time, respectively, but were steady throughout. Kudos to Tortorella for putting them together, they play as a pair for the Whale. Takes some of the anxiousness away if you play with someone you’re familiar/comfortable with.
- Henrik Lundqvist stopped 30 shots and was every bit as dominant as his 23-9-5 career record against the Devils would indicate. He was the difference-maker when the Rangers were sluggish most of the game.
- The G.A.S. had a resurgence tonight, netting eight points while Gaborik and Anisimov scored goals. Derek Stepan had some excellent patience before setting up a streaking Anisimov for the team’s first goal and finished with three assists. Congrats to Gaborik for getting 600th NHL point.
- Tortorella’s growing trust in Car Hagelin can only mean good things. During the game, the young Swede saw time with Richards and Callahan and was the man who scored shorthanded – his 2nd of the season – late in the 3rd to give the Rangers a two-goal lead. Hagelin continues to develop, which is a great sign. He’s showing each game he belongs in the NHL.
- At this point, I feel bad for Brandon Dubinsky. The man cannot do a single thing right offensively. Whether it’s shanking shots, passing instead of shooting, or selecting the wrong shot altogether, Dubinsky’s confidence has to be ultra low. The one thing he can still do, however, is defend and make plays shorthanded. So he has that going for him…
- Del Zotto with another steady game, finishing +2 and 21:21 of ice time. He wasn’t mentioned much during the game and that’s a good thing; it means he wasn’t making mistakes.
- The one thing you wanted to see the Rangers improve on in the offseason was faceoffs and – early in the season – it looked as if it did. Lately, you’ve seen some players lose faceoffs cleanly and directly lead to goals. It’s something that has to be improved upon going forward.
Make sure to check out Puck and Pitchforks for their thought’s on tonight’s game.
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