by Patrick Hoffman on 02/23/11 at 12:23 AM ET
There was no question that the New York Rangers needed to come out of Carolina with two points tonight.
The team was able to do just that with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Carolina Hurricanes after Wojtek Wolski tied the game with less than two minutes to go and then scored the game winner in the shootout to give the Blueshirts two big points in the Eastern Conference Standings. With the win, the team now has 68 points and is just one point behind the sixth place Montreal Canadiens.
This was a game that reminded me a lot of how the team was getting all those wins in the first half of the season. They worked extremely hard, threw pucks at the net (43 shots for the game), forechecked, got timely offense, solid goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist (30 saves) and ultimately, were able to get two big points.
The game had a playoff-like feel to it and the Blueshirts treated it as such. The team is going to have to do this for the rest of the season as the games are only going to get tougher as we get closer to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
One player who treates every game with this kind of importance is Rangers’ defenseman Marc Staal. Staal left the game early after twisting his knee.
Staal also took a big hit from his big brother, Hurricanes’ captain Eric Staal, in the second period. I do not want to get into whether the hit was dirty or not. Stuff like this happens all of the time and while it is unfortunate, it’s hockey.
The team does not play again until Friday night against the Washington Capitals so they’ll have a few days to lick their wounds before getting ready for two big games tis weekend against the Capitals in Washington and then at home on Sunday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Lightning. If the team plays the way they did tonight on both Friday and Saturday, there is no reason that they should not be able to pick up four big points to head into the month of March.
What are your thoughts, folks?
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals, wojtek+wolski
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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.