by Patrick Hoffman on 12/30/10 at 12:41 AM ET
You know the saying “A win is a win”? Well, this saying definitely describes the New York Rangers as they beat the New Jersey Devils 3-1 at the Prudential Center to close out 2010.
For one of the worst offenses in the National Hockey League, the Devils certainly did not seem that way against the Blueshirts tonight. In fact, in the second period alone, the Devils outshot the Rangers by a 20-12 margin.
That was not even the worst statistic in tonight’s tilt when it comes to shots against for the Blueshirts. They were also outshot badly in the first period as the Devils fired 16 shots while the Rangers only put five on goaltender Martin Brodeur.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog today, this was definitely a trap game for the Rangers. They were playing the worst team in the NHL and yet, the Devils threw everything they had at them but failed to get the victory. Sounds like the Devils’ story of the season, eh?
Luckily for the Rangers, they got goals from Brian Boyle (14th of the season…no, you did not read that wrong) Michal Rozsival and Brandon Dubinsky. That was all the Blueshirts would need to get by in a victory over the Devils.
Another Ranger that got job done tonight was rookie Derek Stepan. Stepan picked up his 12th assist of the season on Rozsival’s goal, giving him a solid 18 points in 22 games this season.
Obviously, the big story of the night was the play of Blueshirts netminder Henrik Lundqvist. En route to his 16th victory of the season, Lundqvist made 43 saves on an astounding 44 shots from the Devils. Again, this Devils’ has struggled offensively all season long and yet, manages to put a ton of shots on Lundqvist tonight. Luckily for the Blueshirts, Lundqvist was a brick wall for most of the evening.
With this game behind them and with two points in their pockets, the Rangers next hit the ice on Saturday night to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning for their first game in 2011. If the Devils can manage 46 shots against the Blueshirts, could you imagine how many an offensively-talented team like the Lightning can throw at the Rangers if the Rangers play defense like they did tonight in New Jersey?
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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.