by Patrick Hoffman on 01/29/13 at 10:06 PM ET
The New York Rangers survived a frantic third period to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers tonight by a score of 2-1 at Madison Square Garden.
The way the Blueshirts played tonight is exactly the kind of style that won the team many games last season. They got some timely scoring from defenseman Michael Del Zotto and team captain Ryan Callahan before relying on their penalty killing and team defense to win a hockey game.
Last season, the Blueshirts frustrated many opponents by playing this way and it was evident tonight that the Flyers got frustrated in the latter half of the second period and throughout the third period. Late in the second period, the Rangers killed off a 5-on-3 advantage and in the third period, the team seemed to either get in the way of every Flyers' shot or pass or get the goaltending they needed from Henrik Lundqvist (26 saves on 27 shots).
Another positive for the Rangers was the play of Del Zotto. With a goal and an assist tonight, Del Zotto now has six points (2 goals and 4 assists) in six games. Yes, he still needs to work on his play in his own zone but Del Zotto is certainly taking steps in the right direction.
Rangers' speedster Carl Hagelin also had a great game for his hockey club. He forechecked, he created scoring opportunities with his speed and was all over the ice. He might not have any points yet but his efforts definitely have not gone unnoticed.
With the win, the Rangers now have two straight victories and are also now .500 for the season after going 1-3 after the team's first four games. However, winning comes with a price and for the Blueshirts, that could be an injury to Callahan.
In getting into a fight with Flyers' forward Max Talbot, Callahan hurt one of his shoulders in the process. Even Talbot noticed that something was wrong with Callahan and did not throw any punches in the tussle.
As of this writing, there has been no update on the team's captain but one can only hope that it is a day-to-day kind of thing. Callahan has played well to start the season and it would hurt the team to lose him to an injury for an extended period of time.
The Rangers will be back in action at MSG on Thursday night when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. If the Rangers can match what they did against the Flyers tonight and take it a step further with better play, we might be talking about a three game winning streak heading into the weekend.
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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 email@example.com.