by Patrick Hoffman on 04/18/13 at 08:42 PM ET
That is exactly what the New York Rangers did tonight in their 6-1 victory over the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden.
Coming into tonight's tilt, the Panthers were the worst team in the league. Tonight, the Rangers took advantage of that and pounded the Panthers with six goals and got strong offensive efforts from several of their players.
For starters, Mats Zuccarello is continuing to show how he has improved his game. He goes hard to the net, knows how to use his speed, gets his nose dirty and tonight, he was able to score two goals.
The club also got a strong offensive performance from Derick Brassard. Brassard had two goals and gave the team an early lead when he scored the games first goal just over three minutes into the tilt.
Rick Nash did his part in this game by picking up three points with a goal and two assists. It will be important for Nash to continue to produce as the team needs him to score in this last stretch of the season.
Believe it or not, Brad Richards had himself a nice game tonight. He scored a nice wraparound goal in the third period and finished the game with two points. This has to be a huge relief for the Rangers' nine-year man as he was quite distraught after Tuesday night's loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Of course, one cannot forget about the play of netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist stopped 34 of 35 shots for his 20th win of the season.
It was nice to see the team explode offensively in the third period. Up until the final period, the Rangers' offense, despite having already scored three goals, had been punchless. That all changed in the third as the team scored three goals in a span of 3:25.
Simply put, this was an absolute must win for the Blueshirts. It was a home game against the league's worst club and with both the Winnipeg Jets and New York Islanders playing some of their best hockey, the Rangers needed to make sure they came out of tonight's game with two points.
With that mission accomplished, the Rangers will now turn to tomorrow night's game against the Buffalo Sabres. After being the one of the league's worst teams for the first half of the shortened season, the Sabres have turned their game right around under new head coach Ron Rolston and now find themselves four points behind the Blueshirts for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Hopefully, the Rangers will be able to put in a strong 60-minute effort tomorrow night and come away with what matters most at this time of the season - two points.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: brad+richards, buffalo+sabres, derick+brassard, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, rick+nash, ron+rolston, winnipeg+jets
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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.