The New York Rangers won their fifth straight game 3-0 over the New York Islanders and took over first place in the Eastern Conference. Carl Hagelin provided much of the offense with two goals while Henrik Lundqvist took care of all 28 shots that managed to get through for his third shutout of the season.
Both of Hagelin’s goals had Michael Del Zotto and Ryan Callahan involved with Del Zotto being the key player on each showing his confidence is flying right now. The first goal was created by Del Zotto making a phenomenal stick-handling move to dance around Frans Nielsen and fire the puck on net. Callahan was denied but the puck got moved over to Hagelin for the easy finish.
The second goal was Del Zotto bring the puck into the zone, feeding Callahan and continuing down low where Callahan gave it back before the feed to Hagelin in the slot for the finish. Gaborik finished it off with the empty-netter for his league leading 22nd goal.
New York did a great job of maintaining their focus after the two day break to finish off an impressive week defeating the rival Devils and Flyers once and the Islanders twice. In past years the Rangers get too high off the win against Philly which gave them first place and tank a game like this, but not right now.
The first period was not pretty, but the Rangers got better as the game went along with lots of players contributing in their roles to put the team where it is right now. The work of a line like Dubinsky-Boyle-Mitchell is the perfect example of that because they are dominating with their defense and forechecking whether they ever hit the scoresheet.
Bickel continues to emerge as a fan favorite.