by Patrick Hoffman on 01/11/12 at 11:34 AM ET
No matter what the game is or who the team is playing, the New York Rangers always seem to find a way to win.
The team did just that last night in a 2-1 shootout win over the Phoenix Coyotes at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts probably could have won the game in regulation time if not for the outstanding goaltending from Coyotes’ netminder Mike Smith (31 saves) but since that did not happen, they won in the “skills competition”.
With the win, the Blueshirts improved to 27-9-4 along with picking up their fifth straight win and their 10th victory in their last 11 games. Not bad for a club that no one really knew how good they were going to be prior to the season starting, eh?
The Rangers really are playing to their identity. They work hard every night, they battle, they stick up for each other and because the team is doing all of this, they are finding ways to win hockey games.
The Blueshirts are simply being rewarded for their hard work and that is what happened last night. The Rangers could have won the game in regulation time or even in overtime but they did what they could to stay alive and not let go of a two point situation.
It was also nice to see Marian Gaborik come through when he needed to in the shootout. After Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist allowed the first goal of the shootout to Coyotes’ forward Radim Vrbata, many probably figured that the game was over.
However, Gaborik tied it up and then Derek Stepan scored after to give the team a 2-1 lead in the shootout. Lundqvist then did what he had to do to get the victory and helped the team come out on top once again.
The Blueshirts will be back in action on Thursday night at MSG to take on a very hot Ottawa Senators hockey club before going north of the border over the weekend to take on both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.
With six points on the line, the Rangers; will need to utilize every bit of their identity to stay on the winning track.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, mike+smith, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, phoenix+coyotes, radim+vrbata, toronto+maple+leafs
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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.