by Patrick Hoffman on 03/03/13 at 01:03 PM ET
On Thursday night in their 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Rangers fired 42 shots on goal and created offense by not being afraid to go to the net, by not being afraid to put pucks on net and lastly, by following the lead of one of their own players.
That player was power forward Rick Nash. Besides getting on the scoresheet with two points on one goal and one assist, Nash had a game-high 12 shots on goal and was a force all over the ice.
Nash created offense by driving through the Lightning defense, by going to the dirty areas where goals are scored, by using his quick and smooth stickhandling skills and by using his size. The rest of the team followed suit and it resulted in a victory.
While the team also has the likes of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Carl Hagelin, and Ryan Callahan, it is Nash's offense that the team needs to follow. Nash creates scoring opportunities by not getting too fancy and by keeping the game simple, something the Rangers have struggled with this season.
Tonight at Madison Square Garden, Nash will look to lead his team and their offense in a matchup against the Buffalo Sabres. While the Sabres are currently 12th in the Eastern Conference with 19 points, the team has won three straight and is just one point behind the Rangers.
With four games on tap for the Blueshirts after tonight's tilt with the Sabres, the time is now to start picking-up two points on a nightly basis. On Thursday night, the Rangers made that seem like an easy task with a great offensive effort led by Nash.
If Nash can stay healthy and play every game like he did against the Lightning a few nights ago, the Rangers' offense might just start clicking and the team as a whole might just start winning more hockey games.
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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.