by Patrick Hoffman on 11/06/11 at 01:09 PM ET
The New York Rangers used a 3-goal first period to defeat the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 5-3 at Madison Square Garden last night.
Knowing that the Canadiens had played on Friday night against the Ottawa Senators, the Blueshirts came out and took advantage of a tired Canadiens’ team. The team got goals from Erik Christensen, Dan Girardi and a terrific goal from Michael Del Zotto to go up 3-0.
After that, the Canadiens found their legs and made it an interesting hockey game by cutting the lead to 3-2. However, instead of giving up the lead entirely, Rangers’ center Brad Richards came through and scored to make it 4-2 off a great shot from the slot, a place he has scored all his goals from this season.
While the Canadiens did end up cutting the lead to 4-3 late in the third period, Ryan Callahan sealed the game with an empty net goal. For the Rangers, it was there third straight win and more importantly, third straight win on Garden ice as the team improved its home record to 3-1-1.
The team also got a solid performance from pest Sean Avery. He kept his nose clean, stayed out of scrums, did a great job forechecking and played within himself. If he can continue to do that, there is no reason why he should not be able to stay in the lineup.
While those are all good things for the Blueshirts, the team still needs to do a better job of keeping leads. A 3-0 lead almost vanished just as quickly as they built the lead and the Canadiens almost ended up tying the game in the third period.
To do that, the club will have to avoid taking bad penalties and also tighten up in front of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist ended up making a lot of big saves in the third period and was one of the reasons the club came out of the game unscathed.
The Blueshirts will be back in action tonight at MSG to take on the Winnipeg Jets, who are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils. If I were Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella, I would go with goaltender Martin Biron to one, give Lundqvist a breather and two, give him a chance to go 2-0 against the Jets this season.
Should the Rangers win tonight, they would extend both their home unbeaten and in general unbeaten streak to four games to give them a record of 7-3-1. Not bad, eh?
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: brad+richards, dan+girardi, erik+christensen, john+tortorella, martin+biron, michael+del+zotto, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, sean+avery, 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.