Well, that was fun. 11 forwards and five defensemen? No problem. Your undermanned New York Rangers prove their ability as they overcome a Philadelphia Flyers roster that led this game twice in the extra frame as the second newest right-winger on the roster came up big time tonight. With the newest Ranger still on the shelf, it was a big performance from the Blueshirts to get the two points from the City of Brotherly Love.
Vladimir Tarasenko really picked a good time to step forward in his Rangers career as his three-point night (one goal, two helpers) included the eventual game-winner for the Russian winger. This was where he was needed and the winger showed why the Blueshirts splashed out to bring him to New York with this performance. One of his best performances in a Ranger uniform, undoubtedly. You cannot understate how well he played tonight for the Rangers.
Despite only having 11 forwards and 5 D men, the Rangers seemed to cope well with the issues that an overused group can give you. There was a success in the teams’ ability to play together despite most of the team not having the people around them that will be there when we start the playoff run in a few weeks’ time. Chemistry being built will give options for the playoffs so it is hard to see this as anything but good.
This leaves the Rangers in a good position. With the Hurricanes in a tailspin, the Blueshirts are now just 8 points back of the division leaders. While the Canes have 2 extra games to play, the Rangers are within screaming distance of the once-runaway leaders of the Metropolitan Division. Carolina and the Rangers will meet a couple more times before the end of the season too, so there will be chances for the Blueshirts to catch the Canes.