by Patrick Hoffman on 03/22/11 at 11:40 PM ET
It certainly wasn’t the most exciting hockey game but the New York Rangers did what they needed to do in shutting out the Florida Panthers by a score of at Madsion Square Garden.
The win gives the Blueshirts points 83 and 84, is their fifth straight victory and also marks Henrik Lundqvist’s 10th shutout of the season as well as his 32nd win on the year. All big things happening for the Blueshirts right now and with the way the team is playing, it is certainly well deserved.
The Blueshirts had plenty of scoring chances throughout the game but Panthers’ netminder Tomas Vokoun was up to the task time and time again. That is, until Rangers’ forward Brandon Dubinsky put in a great pass from Ryan Callahan and gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead close to eight minutes into the third period.
The team also got strong performances from the line of Brandon Prust-Brian Boyle-Ruslan Fedotenko as that line peppered Vokoun all night long, forechecked hard, generated scoring chances and play well on both sides of the puck. Marian Gaborik also had another strong night as he had four shots on goal, showed a lot of speed and looked more and more like the Gaborik of last season.
In picking up his 10th shutout of the season, Lundqvist was strong when he had to be in making 22 saves. He may have not been under siege like Vokoun was but Lundqvist was able to come up with the big saves, especially late in the third period, and helped lead his team to victory.
The importance of this win cannot be understated, especially when looking at the standings. As of this writing, the Carolina Hurricanes have beaten the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres are up 1-0 on the Montreal Canadiens. The win keeps the Blueshirts moving forward and gaining points to help space themselves out from the bottom of the pack.
The Blueshirts will be back in action on Thursday night at the Garden when they take on the Ottawa Senators. It is certainly another “trap” game for the Rangers but if the team plays like they did tonight, coming out of it with another two points seems like a real possibility.
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Tags: brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, buffalo+sabres+and+montreal+canadiens, carolina+hurricanes, dan+boyle, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, tomas+vokoun
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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.