Ranger fans can release their fingers off the panic button…for now.
The Rangers have three straight wins after defeating the struggling New Jersey Devils 3-1 at the Garden.
After a string of injuries (Prospal, Christensen, Gaborik, Drury) and three straight losses, the season was quickly looking grim for the Blueshirts. But with some defensive adjustments, strong goaltending and a gritty first line of Brandon Dubinsky, strong handed Artem Anisimov and hard workin’ Ryan Callahan, the Rangers look revived and turned their fortunes around.
Thirty blocked shots in Toronto, three fights in Boston and three goals against New Jersey. Not a bad weekend.
Michal Rozsival had a goal and an assist in their latest tightly contested win. The defenseman who plays hefty ice time has scored four points in his last three games.
Henrik Lundqvist looked sharp with 27 saves after playing two games in two nights. He kept his calm late in the third period after the $100 million scratched and scorned man Ilya Kovalchuk slipped one by to make it 2-1. But Brian Boyle and Co. made sure Lundqvist had support as the Blueshirts hung on for dear life.
Callahan bounced in his first goal of the year (long overdue after his many offensive chances) after a redirection off a patient pass to the net by Dubinsky on the powerplay. Dubinsky batted the puck home to the empty net with a second left to play in the third to make it 3-2.
Homegrown Cally and Dubi are looking like born leaders and stepping into their roles nicely. Dubinsky leads the team with seven points and four goals. Callahan does it all: kills penalties, blocks shots, throws hits and gets to the net to make something happen.
The team is showing more discipline, energy and grit. If they can keep their act together, expect them to roll the streak on a few games more.
Notable Mention: Martin Biron had an impressive debut in net in their 2-1 win against the Maple Leafs with 24 saves. A good dose of competition between goalies may be just what the doctor ordered.
Decisions: Steve Eminger and Matt Gilroy were the third defensive pair tonight. Tortorella has been rotating the last pair throwing Michael Sauer in and out of the mix. Gilroy is seeing time on the powerplay of late, but is still ranked on the lower end of the playing time spectrum.
Jeremy Williams was called up from Hartford to slip into Todd White’s roster spot for the night to potentially generate some more spark on the quiet fourth line.
Injury Update: Forward Vinny Prospal underwent successful knee surgery last week and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
A New Leader: Defenseman Marc Staal was named an alternate captain last week.
Dubinsky Anisimov Callahan
Avery Stepan Fedotenko
Frolov Christensen Prust
Boogaard Boyle Williams
Del Zotto Girardi
About the Author
Written by Margaret DeJesus
I'm a recent college graduate looking for a dream job covering hockey. I've been watching the New York Rangers since my grade school days of VHS and Gordon Bombay's "ducks fly together" speech. While studying journalism at Boston University (COM '10), I wrote for the Daily Free Press, the student newspaper. I worked two summers at the Staten Island Advance, my hometown newspaper, writing city news and features. I've also written CD reviews for Music-Reviewer.com. One of my favorite gigs was interning for hockey analyst extraordinaire Stan Fischler covering the Boston Bruins and attending all their home games in the 2009-2010 season. (Yes, including the crushing defeat against the Flyers in the Eastern Conference playoffs.)