The New York Rangers still are not playing well by any stretch of the imagination, but a Ryan Callahan power play goal at 8:41 of the third period and 27 saves from Martin Biron were enough to give them a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. The Rangers wrapped up a seven-game road trip with a solid 3-2-2 record including a 3-1 trip to Western Canada. We can focus on how the team has yet to play a good game, but to have those results on the board is something you have to be happy with, even if the level has to rise massively in the future. Take the points and worry about fixing things as they go.
Martin Biron came up huge repeatedly tonight, with no bigger sequence than the one before the Callahan winning goal. The Jets pinned the Rangers in their own end for nearly two straight minutes, but Biron was able to keep the puck out of the net and the Rangers were actually able to get a power play out of it when Ruslan Fedotenko was taken down on the other end of the ice. During the ensuing power play the Rangers got some more luck when Ryan Callahan’s “shot” deflected off the skate of Zach Bogosian behind Chris Mason into the net. Callahan drove into the Winnipeg zone down the right wing and fired the puck towards the front of the net looking for Fedotenko to finish it off, but Bogosian did the work for New York.
The Callahan goal was the Rangers second of the night with the man advantage. Ruslan Fedotenko had the other tally when he re-directed a Dan Girardi shot-pass from the high slot past Mason to give the Rangers the 1-0 lead in the second period. After entering the game one for their first 23 on the power play they converted two of five opportunities on the night.
The Jets lone goal on the night came from former Ranger Nik Antropov. Dan Girardi’s clearing attempt ended up in the skates of Brandon Prust and after the failed clear it would end up with Antropov at the left circle.
- Martin Biron showed again that resting Henrik Lundqvist does not necessarily mean a drop in the quality of the man between the pipes.
- Ryan Callahan played much more like Ryan Callahan tonight with his battle level, blocking shots like a monster and looking to shoot the puck as well.
- Ruslan Fedotenko was the Rangers best forward tonight. He was all over the ice, scored the opening goal and was rewarded with time on the top line late in the game.
- Marian Gaborik was a threat all night, even though he didn’t end up on the score sheet and saw limited action in the final period.
- Dan Girardi continued to be a beast playing at an All-Star level right now.
- Rangers managed to stay out of the box much better tonight only taking one penalty.