by Patrick Hoffman on 12/24/10 at 12:14 PM ET
While the New York Rangers did lose 4-3 in a shootout last night at Madison Square Garden to the Tampa Bay Lightning, it was a game in which the Blueshirts worked hard, brought a lot of energy and had plenty of chances to win the hockey game.
This is a loss that the Blueshirts should be able to deal with. They battled back to tie the game with less than nine minutes to go in the game when Derek Stepan scored a great goal, they generated plenty of scoring opportunities throughout the game and for the most part, played solid defensively.
With that said, however, it was two giveaways that cost the Rangers’ on two goals. In the first period, the Blueshirts’ Michal Rozsival coughed up the puck to Lightning superstar Martin St. Louis and St. Louis beat Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead. After the Rangers went up 2-1 on goals by Ruslan Fedotenko and Alex Frolov, St. Louis victimized the Rangers’ again on a turnover and the Rangers’ once again gave away the puck to St. Louis who this time made a between the legs pass to sniper Steven Stamkos and Stamkos buried it to tie the game up at 2-2.
One of the stories of this game was the play of Rangers’ rookie Mats Zuccarello Aasen. Zuccarello played a solid game, brought a lot of creativity to the offense and looked good playing with Stepan and Brandon Dubinsky. Even Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella had positive things to say about the Rangers’ youngster.
“I give the kid high marks,” Tortorella said of Zuccarello’s much-anticipated NHL debut. “You can see his creativity and you can see his skill. And skill is something this team needs as we continue to build it. He is an interesting one for us. He was really good.”
Zuccarello also scored one of the team’s goals in the shootout in the third round to keep the team alive. Unfortunately, Zuccarello was told after the game that he was being sent back down to the team’s fram team, the Connecticut Whale, because the Rangers’ brass wants him to play in the Whale’s game on Sunday.
“I just talked to him and told him that he played a really good game, did a really good job, but you’re going down because we want you playing on the 26th, and he wants to play,” Tortorella explained after the game. “It’s up to me and (Glen Sather) and (Jim Schoenfeld) to sit down and figure out what we do.”
All in all, it was a well earned point for the Blueshirts and one would hope that they take it into their next game on Monday night at MSG against the visiting New York Islanders.
NOTE: I just wanted to take this time and wish everyone a happy holiday season. Thank you for coming to Kukla’s Korner as words cannot express how much you readers mean to us.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: alex+frolov, derek+stepan, glen+sather, henrik+lundqvist, jim+schoenfeld, john+tortorella, martin+st.+louis, mats+zuccarello+aase, michal+rozsival, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ruslan+fedotenko, steven+stamkos, tampa+bay+lightning
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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.