by Patrick Hoffman on 01/27/13 at 02:41 PM ET
For the first time this season, that is exactly what the New York Rangers played in their 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden last night.
The team dominated in all facets of the game and did all the little things to win a hockey game. This style of hockey is what made the Blueshirts so successful last season and last night against the Leafs, it was the perfect blueprint for a win.
The Rangers once again got another great performance from Marian Gaborik. With two goals and two assists for four points, Gaborik is now fifth in the league in scoring with nine points (5 goals and 4 assists) and has eight points in his last three games.
The team also got some offense from its blue line last night. Marc Staal scored the game-tying goal in the third period for his first goal of the season and took the shot from the point that was deflected by Gaborik for the game winning goal while defenseman Michael Del Zotto added two assists.
This was a game in which the Rangers paid attention to all areas of the game. On defense, the team allowed just 17 shots and were able to get involved in the offense by jumping into plays, going to the net and not being afraid to put the puck on net from the point.
On offense, the Blueshirts were able to go to the open areas to score and were not afraid to put the puck on net as they fired 41 shots on Leafs' netminder James Reimer. On the team's first goal of the game, Rangers' forward Brad Richards was in the right place at the right time to put a rebound goal into an empty net and on the other goals, the players were able to find the holes in the Leafs' defense below the hashmarks to score goals.
Rangers' forward Rick Nash also had another good game for his hockey club. He picked-up two assists, played a physical brand of hockey and had eight shots on goal.
It was a well played, 60-minute effort that helped give the Blueshirts their second victory of the season to put them at 2-3 on the year. If they can play this way again when they get back on the ice at the Garden on Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Rangers can get back to .500 on the season.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.