Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rangers Just Find A Way To Pull Off Fifth Straight Win

The New York Ranges are finding different ways to win and different players to step each game as they extended their winning streak to five in a 4-2 win over Tampa Bay tonight.  The hero this time was Derek Stepan who scored the game-winner with 3:19 left in the game and added an assist after being unsure if he would even play this morning.  Another game where it was not pretty, but the Rangers are battling through constantly and when the final buzzer sounds the result has them netting two points in the standings.

For the second straight game the Rangers gave up an early goal to the opposition and building a hole they would have to dig out of.  Tonight it was Steve Downie giving the Lightning the 1-0 lead just 1:24 into the game. Downie was left all alone for a slap shot that with the help of a Derek Stepan screen beat Henrik Lundqvist upstairs.

Marian Gaborik had a breakaway mid-way through the first period, but he lost control of the puck and made Garon’s job easy to cancel the golden opportunity.

After the Lightning did everything but score the Rangers came the other way and after a Callahan shot, Brad Richards picked up the rebound and found Ruslan Fedotenko in front for the tying goal 6:38 into the second.

The Rangers would be tested again as they gave up another late period goal when Tom Pyatt scored with just 2:18 left in the second period.  This is one that Henrik Lundqvist would love to have back as he was beaten five-hole from the left circle.

New York answered the bell in the third period scoring three times to turn the 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 win.  Artem Anisimov got it started 6:16 into the third when he made Ryan Callahan’s forechecking pressure and a Derek Stepan pass pay off with the tying goal.  Stepan’s winner was a result of Anisimov’s work leaving Stepan with an empty net to shoot at.  Richards empty netter with to finish it off.
  • The resiliency of the club continues to shine through on a nightly basis as they are finding ways to win and sticking with the system no matter what goes on during any moment of the game.
  • Rangers need to stop giving up goes early and late in periods as eventually it will bite them.
  • Anisimov was excellent all night, effective in all three zones
  • Gaborik continues to skate like a man possessed and when he is skating there are few more dangerous in the game
  • Michael Sauer needs more credit for just how well he is playing.  Always understated in what he does, but so effective every night.
  • Hagelin-Boyle-Mitchell continues to show well even without getting on the board tonight.

Stepan Will Play Tonight, Staal Increases Intensity of Skating

According to Andrew Gross at Rangers Rants, Derek Stepan told the media he will play tonight against the Lightning.  Stepan participated in the morning morning skate today after sitting out yesterday following taking a puck to the ankle on Thursday.  After apparently skating gingerly early in practice, Stepan was able to get up to speed.  Stepan will not wear anything extra in his equipment to protect the ankle.

Also according to Gross, Marc Staal and Mike Rupp skated significantly more intensely today in comparison with Thursday in Carolina.  The fact that both are increasing the intensity is another positive sign that they are without setbacks to this point.