by Patrick Hoffman on 12/05/11 at 02:29 PM ET
That is what the New York Rangers will be looking to do tonight as they aim for their sixth straight win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden.
The Blueshirts come into tonight’s tilt on a 5-game winning streak after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 4-2 on Saturday night. On the other side, the Lightning have not been the same team they were last season due to inconsistent goaltending and inconsistent hockey in general.
The Rangers are clicking on all cylinders right now. The Rangers are currently 16-5-3, second in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference. There are several reasons why the Rangers have been successful this season so far. For starters, they have shown some offensive depth this season.
While Marian Gaborik (12-9-21) and Richards (10-12-22) are leading the club in scoring, other players have stepped up for the team to provide offense this season. Team captain Ryan Callahan (10-8-18), Artem Anisimov (3-12-15), and Derek Stepan (5-10-15) have done their share of the offensive work to give the Blueshirts some balanced scoring.
Secondly, the team is also getting a great performance out of their blue line without injured defenseman Marc Staal. Dan Girardi (3-9-12) leads the league in average ice time per game (27:43) while providing his usual steady play. Ryan McDonagh (4-9-13) has also stepped up his game in a big way for his hockey club with a plus-12 rating.
As always, the team is also getting great goaltending from both Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Biron.
Lundqvist is once again showing that he is one of the best netminders in the National Hockey League with a 11-4-3 record, a 2.10 goals against average, a .932save percentage and two shutouts. Biron, the club’s back-up netminder, has been just as good for the Blueshirts this season. Biron is 4-1 with a 1.94 goals against average, a .930 save percentage and one shutout.
Should the Rangers use all the above in their game tonight against the Leafs, there is no reason why the team cannot make it six straight victories.
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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.