by Patrick Hoffman on 03/14/10 at 10:39 PM ET
The Blueshirts did just that on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden this afternoon as they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 3-1.
After being a healthy scratch on Friday night in Atlanta, Rangers’ pest Sean Avery came out and got the job done. He scored two goals, was engaged in the action and played on the right edge of the line. He was the Sean Avery of old and the Sean Avery that the Rangers need to have going forward if they want to make the playoffs.
The Rangers also got terrific play out of Chris Drury (2 assists) and Erik Christensen (2 assists). Since returning from the Olympic break, Drury has looked comfortable in his role and for him, that is exactly what he needs to succeed. Sure, the Rangers signed Drur at “first-line” money but this is a player who is a second or third line center who can win you face-offs, kill penalties, and score clutch goals. He may not be scoring clutch goals but he is certainly playing a heckuva lot better than he did prior to the break.
The team was also strong defensively as they only allowed the Flyers to take 18 shots. Henrik Lundqvist made the big saves when he needed to and Michael Del Zotto was especially strong. Del Zotto was not afraid to be physcial, something every team needs to be when taking on the Broadstreet Bullies.
With the victory, the Rangers’ (71) are now just one point behind the eighth place Boston Bruins (72), who they take on next Sunday afternoon in Boston. However, the team must now turn the focus to two home games this week against the Montreal Canadiens and St.Louis Blues.
These are going to be two hard fought games as both teams are doing everything they can to solidfy a playoff spot. Currently, the Habs’ are seventh in the Eastern Conference with 76 points while the St. Louis Blues are in the outside looking in in the Western Conference in 10th place with 73 points, five points out of the eighth and final spot.
As such, the Blueshirts are going to need to play the same way they did this afternoon against Philly. If they are able to do so, you could see the Blueshirts pick up four points heading into next Sunday’s matinee with Bruins.
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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.