Rangers score first for the 7th straight game, a growing trend under Torts. Rangers start very strong, and seem to get weaker and weaker as the game goes on. (+9 goal differential in first, +4 in second, -4 in third period) I think it's a product of the fact that Renney had a defense first mindset with less forechecking, and most of these guys have done that for the last 2+ seasons with the rangers. Torts is full steam ahead all the time.
Hank gets the win with 18 saves (but it felt like he saw maybe ten shots. Only maybe 3 real hard ones all game, and Hank was there for all of them). Now 8-2 2.20 GAA his last 10 games.
Strong games again for Avery, Zherdev, Gomez, and Callahan. Marc Staal also rebounded nicely with a strong defensive game, coming off an AWFUL performance last game. He delivered a couple of bone crushing checks, and most importantly, was not out of position all game, a big reason why Hank wasn't really tested at all.
You knew coming into this it was going to be a low scoring afair (both rangers and wild in top 6 in NHL in GAA), but this could have been a very different game if the rangers power play showed up at all. The Rangers outshot the Wild 30-19, They dominated the faceoffs winning by almost 2-1 margin (35-19), they just couldn't take advantage of the power play. Back to back low scoring games where the rangers got absolutely nothing out of their power play.
Anyway, Rangers move into tie with the penguins for 6th place in the east, and are a point behind the Canes (with a game in hand), for 5th.
My player of the game Stars for the rangers go as follows:
1st Star - Zherdev
2nd Star - Avery
3rd Star - Gomez
4th Star - Hank
5th Star - Callahan
(Also worth noting, another strong game from Morris. This guy would be lighting up the scoreboard with points if the rangers could get ANYONE to consistently get infront of the net on the powerplay for Morris' shots)
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