The Rangers jumped on the board early tonight with Carl Hagelin deflecting a shot past Scott Clemmensen with the game not even one minute old. Brad Richards was able to get out of his scoring slump by putting a snapshot past Clemmensen to put the Rangers up 2-0. Things were going great for the Rangers that first period. They were playing great hockey. Michael Del Zotto off a great cross ice pass from Richards, took a slapshot that deflected off a Panther and in. This put the Rangers up 3-0, and Clemmensen’s night was done. Then the second period came. Brandon Dubinsky put a nice back hand by Jose Theodore to give the Rangers their final goal of the night. Matt Bradley was able to put in a rebound past Lundqvist and the Panthers were finally able to generate some good chances. But Henrik Lundqvist stood tall and the Rangers held on to their lead. Lundqvist deservingly got the Broadway hat again.
Read more to hear my closing thoughts on the game.
- Henrik Lundqvist once again showed why he is the highest paid goalie in the league. When the Rangers went soft he was able to stop everything.
- The only problem with jumping out to early leads in hockey is sometimes teams go soft. The Rangers went soft but were still able to hang on. I hope they learn they can’t take their foot off the gas.
- Brandon Dubinsky looked great tonight. Probably his best game all year. He was physical, always on the puck, and notched another goal. He’s starting to turn it around with 3 goals in his last 5 games.
- The Gas line got the night off as they weren’t needed but that’s not saying they weren’t noticeable. They still created some good opportunities and nearly scored a few times.
- Carl Hagelin. The guy is this years Ryan Mcdonagh. Spent some time in Hartford and now is lighting it up in the NHL. This kid has really added some serious secondary scoring for the Rangers. He had a goal and an assist tonight.
- The Rangers can really use Marc Staal back. Eventually our third paring is going to be burned bad but hopefully Marc will be back before that happens. Also, Dan Girardi will be happy to sacrifice some minutes.
- I thought this was a good tune up game for the Winter Classic and I’m sure the Rangers are anxious to just get down to Philly and settle in.
- With this win the Rangers move back in to first place in the east with 50 points.