The New York Rangers (16-7-2) defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning (6-8-7) by the score of 3-2 in a shootout, tonight. For a full recap and box score go to newyorkrangers.com.
...you could get upset that it took a shootout for the Rangers to dispose of the lowly Lightning tonight, but I think we probably saw one of the Lightning's best efforts of the year and to still come out of the game with two points and sweep the season series is a great accomplishment.
...not sure what the stats say, but it seems like every goal Naslund scores either gives us the lead or ties the game. He's really come in here and filled a goal scoring void we had by not re-signing Jaromir Jagr. He has such great hands as evidenced on all three (shootout included) goals tonight.
...welcome to the season Michal Rozsival. He was looking to shoot tonight, had two key assists and his play to keep the puck in at the blueline moments before Naslund's second goal was a huge play in the game. Defensively he seemed much more sound. I wonder if knowing he's playing with a better defensive partner (Staal) is having a calming influence on him.
...now to Rozsival's former defensive partner Wade Redden. This guy is awful right now. He fumbles the puck on the power play, he can't get a shot on goal and to top it off he takes a terrible tripping penalty in a big spot late in the game. When I watch the Rangers power play I can't tell if Redden or Girardi is the high priced free agent defenseman. How many more years on this contract?
...i thought a key play in this game was when Orr jumped Artyukhin in the first period. Tampa seemed like they were on the verge of physically running us out of the building until Orr sent a message that they would have to go through him to do it. Tampa never got back to that level of physicality, allowing the Rangers to play their game.
...was it me or did Zherdev actually get into a scrap with Steve Stamkos. Man, that was a weird scene.
...speaking of Zherdev he now has five assists in the last two games. You think Naslund is enjoying playing with him?
...it's amazing I can get this far in my recap and not even mention the nightly heroics of Lundqvist. I almost take his performances for granted at this point. His ability to shut down the opponent during a shootout is stunning. The Ranger players must have so much confidence knowing with Lundqvist back there they'll probably only need to score once to win in the shootout. It's almost not fair.
...a day off to enjoy some turkey then on to Miami to take on the Panthers on Friday.