Saturday, January 9, 2010

Postgame Reactions - Rangers vs. Bruins 1/9

Rangers 3, Bruins 1

  • This was the 2nd straight very strong defensive performance from the Rangers, and they seemed to build on their strong play from Thursday night in Atlanta.  All six defensemen played very well, took the body, and didn't give the Bruins much room to work with.  The forwards also had a strong back checking game today.
  • The first period was sloppy by both teams and the Rangers were lucky to come out of it with the lead.  Del Zotto's moves on the goal and Lundqvist's poise on the penalty shot provided for the 1-0 margin.
  • The second period was probably the 2nd best period I've seen the Rangers play this season (first period vs. Ducks was best).  They outshot the Bruins 21-3 in that frame, and the puck seemed to spend at least the entire 2nd half of the period in the Bruins end.  The 21 shots in a period were a season-high for the Rangers.  Overall, the Rangers outshot the Bruins 34-30, but that number was skewed by the Bruins' 16-6 third period advantage.
  • As a team the Rangers took only 2 minor penalties (3 if you count the penalty shot), and 2 of them looked like proficient acting jobs by Bruins forwards.  Also, they have yet to allow a power play goal in 2010.
  • The power play still looked dreadful in the first period, but improved a lot after that.  There was more movement, and they did a better job of keeping possession.
  • Brandon Dubinsky (1st), Henrik Lundqvist (2nd), and Erik Christensen (3rd) were the 3 stars of the game, and they all deserved it.
  • Dubinsky factored in on all 3 goals, posting 2 assists and the eventual game winning goal.
  • Lundqvist was very sharp in turning away 29 Boston shots, including 15 in the third period and Marco Sturm's first period penalty shot.  The only blunder was with less than 4 minutes to go in the game.
  • Christensen continued his strong play with a very nice assist on Dubinsky's game winner and a rocket of a wrist shot for the insurance goal in the 3rd.  He also had 3 other shots on goal and was credited with 4 hits.  He now has 7 points (3g, 4a) and is plus-7 in 6 games since Prospal has been out.  If it was up to me, he would stay in the top 6 forwards when Prospal returns.
  • Michael Del Zotto took advantage of last year's Norris and Vezina winners on his first period beauty.  He took the puck and skated around Chara, then drove to the net with the puck and got Thomas to open up the 5-hole before sliding the puck into the net.  Del Zotto was also especially strong in his own end today.
  • Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, and Michal Rozsival all continued their strong play.  Girardi in particular blocked 4 shots and was credited with 4 hits.  Staal led the team with over 25 minutes of ice time.
  • Chris Drury had another strong game and earned all of his 19:10 of ice time.  He was also 13-9 in the faceoff circle.
  • The fourth line of Lisin-Boyle-Brashear played very well and was rewarded with almost 10 minutes of ice time.
  • Sean Avery drew a roughing penalty in the second period during a post-whistle scuffle.  He had an otherwise quiet game.
  • The next game is Tuesday night when the Rangers host the Devils at 7pm.  In case you missed it, there was a lighting issue last night in Newark and the Devils-Lightning game was suspend with about 9 minutes left in the second period.  The rest of that game will be played tomorrow, so both teams should be pretty fresh for Tuesday's contest.

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