Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rangers beat Hurricane with 4 goals by the top line

The Carolina Hurricane is not one of the NHL's better teams. They're not, in all probability - a playoff team. And to the New York Rangers - they were a team we needed to beat to try and hold off the. surging Penguins for first place in the East.

There were some dangerous signs. Henrik Lundqvist came down with a king-sized flu and the recently-unsteady backup Marty Biron was pressed into service. In the game itself we were outshot 29-28 and the hits (usually our advantage) were even at 20.

But in what could have been a classic trap game (with the Penguins next up on Thursday) the Rangers were 4-2 winners at home.

The best development is the sudden success of Tortorella's new top line Gaborik - Richards - and Hagelin. The trio has been on fire for the 3 games they've been together - combining last night for 4 goals and 9 points.

The first - in the first - came off a Girardi shot the was wide right (I still like hearing that phrase) and ricocheted to the left of the goal directly to an unguarded Gaborik. Marian had an impossible angle - but he quickly and easily roofed the puck to get the Rangers started.

In the 2nd it was Richards who scored a pair to give New York the dangerous 3 goal lead. And sure enough - the Hurricane came storming back (pun intended - and instantly regretted) with a pair of goals in 36 seconds to make it 3-2.

But Marty and the Rangers hung tough after that - shutting Carolina out the rest of the way. Carl Hagelin added the clincher to make it 4-2 - the eventual final score.

Richards notched 2 goals and an assist. And Gabs and Hags had a goal and 2 assists each. Additional assists for Girardi (whose bad shot became a great pass) and Mitchell.

Marty B had a rough minute in the 2nd - but finished with a .931 save percentage - the best goalie performance the Rangers have had - from Marty or Hank(!) In quite a while.

So the Rangers have a 6 point cushion as they wait for Pittsburgh - and the return of Concussion CryBaby Sidney Crosby's to the NHL on Thursday.

Can't wait.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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