by Patrick Hoffman on 03/12/12 at 10:03 AM ET
That is exactly what can be said of last night’s 4-3 overtime win by the New York Rangers over the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden.
While the Rangers were/are on top of both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, last night’s game was one that the Rangers needed to get two points in order to distance themselves from the Pittsburgh Penguins, who visit the Rangers and MSG on Thursday. The team was able to do so by getting big performances from their two big offensive players in Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.
Richards had three points last night on two goals (his 20th and 21st of the season) and an assist. His goals are the perfect example of what happens when you put the puck on net and what he can do with the puck.
Gaborik’s 33rd goal of the season came when the Rangers needed it the most and that was in overtime. It was his seventh game winning goal of the season and one that helped the Blueshirts get back on the winning track.
The Rangers outplayed the Islanders all game long and really should have won this game in regulation. However, some spotty defensive play and even up and down goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist (16 saves) helped keep the Islanders in the hockey game.
The Rangers are one 1/1 to begin their 7-game homestand. The homestand continues tomorrow night with a game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
With another two points under their belt, the Rangers will look to keep pushing forward and keep picking up two points as that it all that matters at this point in 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.