Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Three In a Row for the Blueshirts

With starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist given the night off, and team captain Ryan Callahan, out day-to-day with a bruised foot, back-up goaltender Martin Biron needed to give the New York Rangers a strong start against the Carolina Hurricanes, especially considering the way he had played in his last few starts.

As it turned out, Biron came up big for the Blueshirts in a 3-2 victory in Carolina. After allowing the Hurricanes’ only goal of the game in the second period, Biron really shut the door and played a solid game in making 21 saves.

For Biron, it was his 11th win of the season. In 17 games, Biron is now 11-3-2 and continues to show team head coach John Tortorella that it is okay to rest Lundqvist.

The team also got a solid performance out of the Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov line. Gaborik picked-up his 30th goal of the season as well as an assist for points 54 and 55 on the season. Stepan also had a strong game in adding two assists while Anisimov scored his 12th goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1 in the second period.

As always, the Rangers got great defensive games from Daniel Girardi, Ryan McDonagh and Marc Staal. Girardi and McDonagh have been the team’s top two defensemen all season long and Staal is slowly but surely starting to regain his all-star form of last season prior to the injury he sustained against the Hurricanes last year.

What was troubling was the play of Brandon Dubinsky. Dubinsky was benched for the second and third periods after taking an unsportmanlike penalty at 19:10 of the first period.

This really makes one wonder what happened to the Dubinsky of old? The Dubinsky of old could score goals, be creative with the puck, create scoring chances and not take bad penalties. Where has he gone?

The Blueshirts have now won three straight games and continue to stay on top of both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference with 88 points. The Rangers are seven points in front of the second place Boston Bruins and are nine points ahead of both the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins in the division.

The team will be back in action tomorrow night to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Steve Stamkos continues to put the puck in the net while the rest of the team is making it tough on opponents to win hockey games.

If the Rangers come out with the same effort tomorrow night that they did tonight, picking up four wins in a row is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: artem+anisimov, boston+bruins, brandon+dubinsky, carolina+hurricanes, daniel+girardi, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh, steven+stamkos, tampa+bay+lightning

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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.