Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Rangers Ice Devils in Jersey
King Henrik Outplays Marty Brodeur Yet Again
Despite being depleted by injuries on defense, the Rangers used grit and determination (and Lundqvist) to keep the game close going into the 3rd period when their offense kicked in. As Hank kicked out pucks and took some of the Devils' best chances from Kovalchuk, Parise and Zajac, the Rangers heated up with the G.A.S. line providing the fuel. Once Anisimov tapped in a great centering feed from Step, it seemed like the trio was on the ice at all time, jumping on loose pucks and churning scoring chances in the offensive zone. Gaborik's tap in rebound on a strong Anisimov play gave him 600 career goals, and his empty netter (19) later in the game put him one tally behind the league leader, Steve Stamkos (20).
Carl Hagelin continued to find chemistry with Brian Boyle due to their combination of speed and strength as well as both having a knack for the net. An aggressive penalty kill and an Ilya Kovalchuk misplay at the blueline led to a 2 on 1 where Hagelin looked off Boyle then snipped shortside on Marty, who continued his streak of never missing a Ranger game; though at what point do they forget posterity? The aging goaltender had trouble keeping up with some pucks, especially McDonagh's rocket one-timer that dinged off the crossbar, and would've put the game out of reach in the 2nd period.
I liked the Rupp fight at the beginning of the game but I give Jansen a lot of credit for hanging in there against a bigger guy and actually thought he was coming on when the refs broke it up. I feel like Rupp, with his size and strength, is hungry to get involved physically and wants to be a contributor on the team. He skates around with a chip on his shoulder, which is a good thing, and while not a goon he definitely works an intimidation angle on younger players. I think his return to the lineup will help Prust's game stay sharper better rested.
Nice to see Stu Bickel get some quality minutes in his first game. Kind of a bummer that Giannone overshot the interview with his parents and as it extended beyond the tv timeout the Devils scored. Good to see their son get on the board with a helper though.
All in all good W for the Rangers with the Richards/Cally line having a fairly quiet night. Was it because they were emotionally drained from the final tenth of a second win in Phoenix or because Dubi jinxed them? Time will tell. I still thought Dubi played well down low and in front of the net but he just can't seem to put it together. With a Rangers win I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and hope he breaks out against the Islanders and Flyers Thursday and Friday.
Lets Go Blue!