by Patrick Hoffman on 04/23/12 at 11:48 PM ET
When the New York Rangers play within themselves and play their style of hockey, they are an extremely tough team to beat.
The Blueshirts proved that tonight by beating the Ottawa Senators by a score of 3-2 in Game 6 to tie the series up at three apiece. The two teams will have two days off before meeting on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden for a Game 7.
The Rangers played the game the right way tonight and the way that they played all season long. They were able to capitalize on their power play opportunities, got good performances from the likes of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider and were able to hold onto a two-goal third period lead. These are the things that made the Rangers successful in the regular season and proved tonight by playing this style of hockey, they can win games when they need to and when it counts.
There is a lot to be said about the play of Kreider. Kreider came to the Blueshirts after winning a National Championship with Boston College and has done nothing but stay in the lineup and show that he can play in the NHL.
Tonight, Kreider picked-up his first career Stanley Cup Playoff goal, a game-winning goal, in an extremely meaningful game. For the Blueshirts, tonight’s tilt was a do or die situation and Kreider came through looking like a veteran rather thank a rookie playing in just his fourth NHL/playoff game.
Stepan also picked-up his game in a big way for his hockey club tonight. After struggling to produce in his team’s first five games of the series, Stepan picked-up a goal and an assist for his first two points in the series and played with a lot more confidence after finally getting on the board.
Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist also had himself another solid game in this series. Finally getting some goal support, Lundqvist made 25 saves to help extend the series to the seventh game.
Taking a trip down memory lane, the last time the Rangers’ played a Game 7 at MSG was on June 14, 1994, against the Vancouver Canucks. While Thursday night’s Game 7 will not decide who wins the Cup, it will certainly decided who gets a chance to play another round to try and get to hockey’s ultimate goal.
If the Rangers can play their game like they did tonight, taking the series on Thursday night is a possibility. With that said, if these playoffs or playoff history has shown us anything, it is that anything can happen when it comes to postseason hockey.
For now, the team can enjoy the fact that they were able to force a Game 7 before shifting their focus to Thursday night’s deciding game against the Senators.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, chris+kreider, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, vancouver+canucks
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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.