The New York Rangers signed Brad Richards this summer to help take the team to the next level. Tonight he paid dividends in that regard scoring with 4:55 left in regulation to give the Rangers their seventh consecutive win. The goal was a beautiful slap shot past Evgeni Nabokov, but do not lose sight of the play by Brandon Dubinsky to create Richards’ opportunity. Dubinsky gloved down Josh Bailey’s horrendous clear and found Richards with a pass in rhythm for the ripper.
While Richards is the star for the game-winner, without the incredible work of Henrik Lundqvist the Rangers are not even in a position to get the two points. Lundqvist made 31 saves on the night, including some incredible ones during the second period, most notably on P.A. Parenteau. While praising Lundqvist we do have to wonder what he was thinking when he slid out mid-way through the first period, but thankfully Michael Sauer bailed him out with a skate save.
Sean Avery got the Rangers on the board late in the first after an excellent shift with Boyle and Fedotenko. Boyle took the initial shot, Avery deflected it and while Nabokov made the save he kicked the rebound right to Avery who beat him far side. The Rangers could not sustain that as Frans Nielsen tied it at 17:06 on a shot that Lundqvist got a piece of, but couldn’t keep out.
Steve Eminger became yet another defender to get in on the goal scoring this season when he pinched in from the point and finished a Ryan Callahan pass to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. Matt Moulson finally made the Rangers pay for their penalties when he tied it up 6:58 into the third off a feed from John Tavares.
Richards gave the Rangers the lead and while the Islanders had chances, they could not beat Lundqvist before Ryan Callahan got the empty netter with less than one second remaining.
- Getting 10 goals from the defense already is a huge bonus for the Rangers offensively.
- Dubinsky was all over the ice in the third period and critical to the final outcome
- Avery-Boyle-Fedotenko line was just as good tonight as they were together during the playoffs last year
- Gaborik could not buy a goal tonight, but that line continues to generate chances at a ridiculous rate.