Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wolski Goal, Lundqvist Shutout Lead Rangers Over Canucks

Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images
Tonight the New York Rangers made a statement that if they play their game they can beat anyone in this league with their 1-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks.  It takes an effort like the Rangers had tonight when you are trying to beat a team that has not lost in regulation since December 5 of last year, a stretch that lasted 17 games before tonight.
Anyone who says 1-0 hockey games cannot be exciting needs to watch this game and then claim that because it had everything.  There were scoring chances, great saves, wonderful penalty killing, huge hits and suspense to the final buzzer.  This was the best game of the season so far and the atmosphere in the Garden was tremendous as it reflected the effort given by their boys on the ice.
The only goal of the evening would come from the new guy as Wojtek Wolski would score 7:18 into the second period off a scramble in front where Marian Gaborik had hit the post and Wolski cleaned up the rebound for the power play tally.  What will not show up on the box score is the play by Ryan McDonagh that made the power play possible when he stepped up in the neutral zone to intercept a Vancouver pass and then played a beautiful chip pass down the boards to Artem Ansiimov who broke in and gots pulled down leading to a power play.
Other than that goal the story of the night was Henrik Lundqvist’s 31 saves for his sixth shutout this season and the defense the Rangers played.  The Brian Boyle, Ruslan Fedotenko, Brandon Prust line was phenomenal on both ends of the ice tonight and especially in shutting down the Sedin line.
The biggest moment of the game was when the Rangers killed off a 5-on-3 power play for the league’s number one power play unit during the second period.  The disadvantage started after Alex Burrows got away with spearing Marc Staal in the groin and on the retaliation slashed at Burrows skates and was called for a two minute tripping minor.  To make matters worse with Staal in the box Chris Drury would deflect the puck out of midair over the glass and be called for a delay of game penalty.  Both calls were bogus, but the Rangers did not let that impact them as they killed the 47 second 5-on-3 and then the 1:13 5-on-4 led by Brian Boyle first and foremost.
Henrik was at his best late in the game and finished off a tremendous win.
  • Fedotenko-Boyle-Prust by far the line of the night
  • Dubinsky with tremendous effort again
  • Gaborik had plenty of chances tonight but whether it be posts or failed breakaways he cannot finish for his life right now
  • Wolski gave great effort on both sides of the ice
  • All six defenders played tremendous especially McDonagh and Gilroy in their shifts against the Kesler line which was what many worried about coming in.  People assumed that Staal and Girardi would do what they do but worried about the lower lines hurting the Rangers and those two in particular were great in preventing that.