Brandon Prust hadn’t scored a goal since October 20 in Calgary, a span of 48 games, before notching a crucial, third period shorthanded goal to give the New York Rangers a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals. New York was able to hold off the Capitals’ third-period onslaught to improve their record to 6-1-1 in their last eight games. They are 19-5-1 in their past 25 games and 33-10-3 since starting the season 3-3-2.
Ryan McDonagh, who appeared to suffer a knee injury on his goal but was able to return to finish the game, and Ryan Callahan were the other scorers for the Blueshirts. Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves for his 26th win of the season and his eighth win in his last ten starts. Before tonight’s Red Wings/Flyers matchup, the Rangers sit number one in the NHL at 77 points.
Thoughts on the game after the jump.
- At what point do the Rangers come down from the ultimate high their magical season has given them? The answer may be never. This team is ready to compete each and every game and can withstand adversity in all forms. I would say the Boston Bruins are the best in the East, but even this team has defeated them once this season.
- When does the Garden faithful start to give Henrik Lundqvist the Amar’e Stoudemire treatment and chant “MVP” at nearly every opportunity? All kidding aside, this team isn’t going anywhere without Lundqvist, who continues to make crucial saves and rack up wins in his quest for a Stanley Cup and his first Vezina.
- Everyone held their collective breath when Ryan McDonagh appeared to hurt himself on his brilliant, toe-drag goal. After Dan Girardi, McD is a crucial element to the Rangers defense and the team can ill afford to have him out of the lineup for an extended period of time. A team-high 25:23 ice-time, team-high five blocked shots and a well-deserved win.
- It’s nice to see Brandon Prust’s hard work get rewarded every now and then as he and Brandon Dubinsky hooked up for a neat shorthanded goal early in the third that proved to be the game-winner. Prust may not be 100 percent healthy, but his effort level and heart are way above that.
- Two assists for Brandon Dubinsky, but no goals. He’s awful, let’s ship him out. How about to Columbus for Rick Nash?
- Ryan Callahan has had a stellar weekend, notching four goals in two games and, if not for a post in the first period, could have had five goals. Nice to see from one of the best captains in the NHL today in just his first year with that distinction.
- The power play (0-2) went back to being powerless. Cue the hysteria.
- Another assist for Brad Richards today as he looked like he’s coming out of his mid-season funk. Perhaps there’s a new lady in his life?
- Good to see Marc Staal get on the board with his first assist of the season. His ice-time has increased lately and he’s shown no ill effects from it. The hope is Staal is back to his A-game by the time the playoffs start.
- Artem Anisimov had another strong effort and, while he didn’t tally any points, his game has come back around full circle. It’s a matter of consistency with Anisimov and, right now, he’s hitting his stride.
** Make sure to head over to Capitals Outsider for their thoughts on today’s game.
2 straight games with 5 blocked shots for Ryan McDonagh. Oh, and he scored too. Anyone notice he’s 2nd in NHL in defensive pt shares? #NYR
— Mark Simon (@msimonespn) February 12, 2012