Friday, January 9, 2015

Rangers rally to stun Kings 4-3

Okay – I’ll say it. I have been watching the Rangers since Jean Ratelle centered the GAG line – and I have NEVER seen the Rangers play as well as they have these last 13 games. 

Last night the Rangers playing for the 2nd consecutive night on the road threw their back up goaltender on the road against the world champion LA Kings and beat them 4-3 to capture their 12 win in 13 games.

You know – I see it over and over again but I can’t understand it.  When a team is tired from playing two games back to back – they never run out of gas in the 2nd game.  It’s the start of game two where their exhaustion shows – not the end.  And so it was with the Rangers – who fell into a 2-0 hole in the first six minutes – resting Henrik after he had defeated the NHL leading Ducks 21 hours earlier.

Yes it was 2-0 Kings after 6 minutes – but then the New York Rangers took over the game.

Dan Boyle – who is looking like a great acquisition – cashed in on the Rangers red hot power play unit -  Sam Rosen said correctly that the Rangers haven’t played so well with the extra skater in YEARS – and the lead was halved to 2-1.  (Editor is “halved” a word?)  (Dave Pucks – yes – and I used it correctly and I’m as surprised as you are).

The first period ended that way – but the 2nd is where the Rangers dominated and took over the game.  In a 19 second span in the period's third minute – the Rangers stunned the Kings with two goals:

The first was the 8th of the year for (career year) Kevin Klein.  Kevin has found the scorer’s touch this year – once again fired the puck untouched and on net through traffic.  And right after that - the Rangers worked the puck deep – and Lee Stempniak weaved his way through traffic and beat Mike (not so) Quick for a 3-2 lead.  19 seconds and the deficit was now a lead.  And the LA Kings never recovered.

Then at 8:17 – again on the powerplay 0 the Ranger struck again.  Marty St. Louis took his favorite spot at the side of the net and when a puck bounced his way he ripped one by Quick and Rangers were up 4-2.

That’s how it stayed until late in the third when Justin Williams got just enough of the puck from close range to flip it up and over Cam Talbot to bring the Kings within one.  But then – despite some scrambling and a Ranger penalty that allowed the Kings a 6-4 skater advantage with Quick on the bench – the Rangers held on and the final buzzer sounded on a 4-3 Ranger victory and their unlikely 12th win in 13 contests.

Assists for Brassard (a pair) and Girardi, Miller, Hayes, Boyle and Nash.  Cam saved .903% of the shots he faced to Quick’s .846%.  The Rangers were outshot 31-26 but made their shots count.  And this game was one they really needed – the last time we played here… Well – it was good to get a win here.

Did Special Teams Determine The Outcome Of This Game?  Absolutely.  The Rangers were 2-4 on the Powerplay and killed off all 4 of their own penalties.  That’s your difference right there.

Where Do They Stand?  Well, the Can’t Lose Capitals actually lost a hockey game – in OT of course so they salvage a point.  And the half-stumble enabled the Rangers to catch them at 50 points with two games at hand – leap frogging them in to 3rd place once again in the Metro – 5 points above the Line-Of-Death – which is the highest point above that line they have been all season.  And we’re just 3 points back of the hated Islanders tonight with 2 games at hand. 

What In Heaven’s Name Will Happen Next?  Our heroes get a much needed day of rest before continuing their western swing to San Jose and the Sharks on Saturday Night.
Another night - another great Ranger win – and the mighty Red Pants nation rolls on.  Dave Pucks out and thanks for reading 


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