by Patrick Hoffman on 03/14/12 at 12:06 AM ET
When it comes to the National Hockey League, there have been many get trios when it comes to offensive lines.
While they may not be considered great right now, the New York Rangers’ line of Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, and Carl Hagelin sure got it done for their hockey club tonight in the team’s 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden.
The trio combined for a terrific 9 points. Richards, who looks like a brand new player out there, had two goals and three assists. After tonight’s tilt, Richards has 23 goals and 30 assists for 53 points, good for second on the club.
Gaborik, who continues to contribute to the Rangers’ offense on a nightly basis, had a goal and two assists. With his three point performance, Gaborik now has 34 goals (3rd in the league) and 30 assists for 64 points, good for tops on the team.
Hagelin, the rookie, is showing just what kind of offensive ability he has by playing with two of the team’s top two forwards. Hagelin picked up a goal and two assists and now has 32 points (13 goals and 20 assists).
It felt like the line controlled the puck every time they were out on the ice. They were able to control the puck along the boards, win battles, generate many good scoring opportunities, put pucks on the net and more importantly, produce. The line threw 15 pucks on Hurricanes’ netminder Cam Ward during the game with Gaborik firing 6, Richards taking 4 and Hagelin taking 5.
The key now will be to see how the line plays in their next game together. Too often do fans see one line have success for one or two games in a row before going onto struggle after the first two games together. If team head coach John Tortorella can give this line an opportunity to grow, it could help balance the team’s offense even more.
In other notes, Rangers’ back-up goaltender Martin Biron was solid tonight for his hockey club. After filling in for Henrik Lundqvist, who sat out with the flu, Biron went on to make 27 saves for his 12th victory of the season. Besides the two goals he allowed in a span of 32 seconds in the second period, Biron was solid.
With the win, the Rangers’ magic number to clinch the playoffs is four points. The team now has 95 points and is six points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins for both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference lead.
Speaking of the Penguins, the Rangers can go ahead and shift their focus to Thursday night’s tilt with a team that has won nine games in a row. Oh yeah, Penguins’ team captain and NHL superstar Sidney Crosby will making his return to the lineup that night as well.
The Rangers just need to go out and do what they have done all season long and that is find a way to win a hockey game.
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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.