Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Stability and Consistency Lead Rangers to Victory

When it comes to winning a hockey game in the NHL, teams must be consistent in their play and have some stability whether it is with their offense, defense or goaltending.

Tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Rangers got the stability in goal they needed from back-up Martin Biron (30 saves) and consistently put pucks on net in a 3-2 victory in Tampa Bay for their first road victory of the season.. Considering that the Lightning were the best team in the Eastern Conference coming into this game and were putting pucks in the net left and right, it was an impressive victory for the Blueshirts.

In his first start of the season, Biron was exactly what he needed to be for the Rangers. He made the big saves when he needed to, slowed down the play when his team needed a breather and have the Rangers the kind of goaltending they needed against a very good Lightning hockey club.

On offense, Rangers' forward Derek Stepan scored his first goal of the season to knot the game up at 1-1 in the second period. For Stepan, it was a much needed goal as he had not scored since Game 6 against the Ottawa Senators in last year's first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The team also got an absolutely great goal from Rick Nash. On the play, Nash used his size and terrific puck-handling abilities to blow by Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman and beat Lightning netminder Mathieu Garon to give the team a 2-1 lead.

Also on offense, the rest of Stepan's line was solid. Stepan scored a goal, forward Carl Hagelin scored his first goal of the season and had an assist while Taylor Pyatt picked up two assists. This is the kind of secondary scoring that the team needs going forward if they want to have success in this compact season.

The team's defense also did what they needed to do. Coming into tonight;s tilt, the Lightning were the league's highest scoring team with 37 goals, average 5.29 goals for per game. Tonight, Biron and his Blueshirts' teammates held them to one.

With the win, the Rangers got themselves back to .500 and are now 4-4. The team has won three out of their last four games and has done so while not playing their best hockey.

The Rangers will be back in action on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center when they take on the New Jersey Devils. This game will mark the first time since Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals when a Adam Henrique overtime goal sent the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final. 

With every game meaning that much more, it should be a heated tilt between two clubs looking to find their way in this shortened season.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: adam+henrique, carl+hagelin, derek+stepan, martin+biron, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, rick+nash, tampa+bay+lightning, taylor+pyatt

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About Goal Line Report

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 patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.