Feb. 28, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers End Skid: Defeat Lightning 4-1

My apologies for being M.I.A. lately, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been following the Blueshirts! The New York Rangers came into tonight’s game on a four game losing streak, but bounced back in a big way at home satisfying the MSG crowd with a 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Some quick hits on tonight’s victory…

What I liked:

-What a difference a couple days makes. The Rangers got Rick Nash, Michael Del Zotto and Ryan McDonagh back in the line up and boy did they need it. McDonagh and Nash had two points each, and both played like the stars they are. Simply put Nash is a dominant physical presence. He controlled the game, the offense lit up around him. The Rangers are a different team with him. The same can be said for Ryan McDonagh. He is a star. I’ve heard some nonsense lately about him being left out the US Olympic team, or not being in the first 6, that’s crazy talk. McDonagh can shut down the other team’s best player and turn around and make great plays on the offensive side of the puck. Del Zotto added a solid 20+ minutes of ice time and showed how much they need him. All respect to Stu Bickel and Matt Gilroy, they are just not good enough to play consistently in this league.

-Henrik Lundqvist really made some key saves in the second half of the game. His stat line was a solid 24 of 25, and things were somewhat quiet early on but he turned it on when the Lightning pushed back. Hank will be the first to tell you it hasn’t been his best season, but I look for him to step up in a big way in the second half. He’s too good not too. Obviously his success translates to team success.

-Marc Staal is looking like his old self. He threw his big body in front and found the puck with a long reach for the third goal. He was a little banged up last year, but he is coming around at the right time. At over 26 minutes he played the most of any Ranger. Dan Girardi is solid, and had a great year last year, but when Staal is on his game,  its him and McDonagh as the Rangers’ top two defensemen.

What I didn’t:

-Hard to find fault in such a solid bounce back effort, but if you’re looking for something it might be Marian Gaborik. He was -1 for second time in 3 games and has only had one point in the last 5.  It’s a little nit-picky, but he will have to step it up for the Rangers to have continued success…


What did you think about tonight’s effort? Let us know in the comments below, like us on facebook and be sure to follow me @jeffgonewild

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