The New York Rangers snapped their two game losing streak at the last possible moment when Brad Richards scored with .1 seconds left on the clock in regulation. Richards took a Ryan McDonagh backhand pass and fired a backhander from the left circle towards the net and it beat goaltender Mike Smith to send the Rangers home winners. This was the type of play that Richards was brought in for and he continues to deliver some huge goals for the Rangers thus far.
Marian Gaborik provided the rest of the offense on the night with two goals, including his 300th career NHL goal. Gaborik scored his first taking a beautiful pass from Michael Del Zotto and streaking between the Phoenix defense and scoring five-hole on Mike Smith. Gaborik’s second was after a Keith Yandle turnover giving Gaborik two opportunities alone in front of Smith and after being stopped the first time Gaborik capitalized.
The two Phoenix goals were both scored in the final minute of the first two periods. Lauri Koprikoski beat Erik Christensen cleanly on a faceoff while shorthanded and then scored on Martin Biron with just nine seconds left in the first period. Cal O’Reilly scored with 51 seconds left in the second when Shane Doan prevented Biron from covering the puck, instead kicking it over to O’Reilly for the empty-net chance.
- The Rangers continued to take a beating in the health department with Steve Eminger going down with a shoulder injury in the second period, which will likely lead to Tim Erixon being recalled for Tuesday. Hagelin, Fedotenko and Mike Rupp all needed stitches during the course of the game.
- Rangers must stop giving up so many goals late in periods.
- Anton Stralman’s play the last couple of games should make the Rangers feel a little better about their defense, but you can only go so long and deal with so much before it takes a toll.