Derek Stepan scored the game-winning goal at 7:39 of the third period to lead the New
York Rangers over the Boston Bruins by a 4-3 score. With the victory, the Blueshirts
extend their Eastern Conference lead to 12 points and hold a 10-point lead for the
Atlantic Division over the Pittsburgh Penguins
Boston dominated most of this contest, outshooting New York 33-17, but couldn’t hold
off the Rangers who, along with Stepan, had Marian Gaborik break a 2-2 tie 3:14 into
the third. David Krejci would tie the contest at 11:42 but would relinquish the lead 39
Anton Stralman and Carl Hagelin were the other goal scorers for New York, who have
now defeated the Bruins five straight times dating back to last season.
Full post-game analysis after the jump.
• The Rangers had no business winning today’s game. They were outplayed most
of the day, including being dominated for the entire 2nd period. But, give them
credit as they hung around all game long, readjusting to score two goals in the
third against the best third-period team in the NHL.
• Most of that credit has to go to Henrik Lundqvist. Helped by a crossbar and apost, Hank gave his team a chance to win, stopping 30 shots. Lundqvist continues to be the difference between excellence and mediocrity despite not having his best performance this afternoon.
• You can call him whatever term of endearment you want—Michael Del Zotto is a good NHL defenseman. Two more assists, including finding Derek Stepan, the best forward in the third period, for the game-winning goal.
• Dan Girardi saw only 21:56 of ice-time and, along with Anton Stralman, tried forcing passes up the middle that directly lead to goals against. Its uncharacteristic of Girardi (-2 today), who is as steady as they come, but it looks like the rigors of averaging 26:48 a night is finally getting to him.
• Marc Staal played 24:28 and was +3. Looks like he’s responding to getting more ice time.
• Hats off to not only DZ but Ruslan Fedotenko, both suffering through injuries, to come back and participate in a war with Boston. Captain Callahan hopefully on the horizon.
• Fifth goal in six games for Marian Gaborik, who now has 32 on the season. Any
chance he can get to 40? He keeps this pace up, it’ll be the second time in three
seasons he does so.
• Brad Richards quietly had two assists today, and has four points in his last four games. When he puts up points, the Rangers have a better chance of winning against any opponent.
• John Scott, John Mitchell, and Mike Rupp made a very effective fourth line combo. They gave the Blueshirts energy shifts when needed and kept the puck away from the Bruins in their zone.