Sunday, February 7, 2010

Postgame Reactions - Rangers vs. Devils 2/6

Rangers 3, Devils 1
  • Three Stars: #3 Marian Gaborik (1g), #2 Ryan Callahan (gwg, 1a), #1 Henrik Lundqvist (41 svs)
  • Henrik Lundqvist played his best game of the season tonight.  His rebound control was excellent, and his glove hand was even better.  He had at least 4 or 5 memorable glove saves in this game, including one where he committed highway robbery on Mike Mottau in the third period.
  • What is there not to like about Ryan Callahan??  Here's the line on him tonight...gorgeous pass to Gaborik that resulted in the game's first goal (on the power play), hard work to create a turnover by Kovalchuk in the offensive zone and fire the puck past Brodeur, 5 shots, 4 hits, 2 blocked shots, 22:22 of ice time (team-leading 4:32 shorthanded).
  • Jokinen seems to be starting to click with Dubinsky and Callahan.  There was one point in the third period where they spent 20 to 30 seconds just cycling the puck int he Devils end and created a few chances.
  • Marian Gaborik scored his 13th power play goal of the season.  He's now tied for the league lead in that category with Steven Stamkos of Tampa Bay, 4th in total goals, and 6th in points.
  • The much maligned Rangers defense corps played an outstanding game tonight, save for a few minutes in the third period.  Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, and Michal Rozsival were especially steady and deserve a lot of credit for shutting down Kovalchuk and Parise.  Girardi in particular was all over Kovalchuk all night, and tackled Parise to keep him away from his netminder during the dwindling minutes of the game.
  • Michael Del Zotto didn't get an assist on Callahan's eventual game-winner, but he certainly deserved one.  After an absolutely horrible pinch earlier in the game, he pinched effectively to keep the puck deep in the Devils' end, then got it to Callahan behind the net.
  • Great job by Sean Avery to get under Kovalchuk's skin with just over 2 minutes remaining in the game and take him off the ice for the remainder of the game.
  • Something random that I noticed during the game...the guys who clean the ice during TV timeouts were wearing Callahan, Drury, Gaborik, and Lundvist national team t-shirts instead of their normal warmups tonight.  Each of the 3 forwards scored and Lundvist played out of his mind.  Maybe they should keep wearing those t-shirts...
  • You have to love the toughness that Brandon Prust brings to this team.  He was widely touted as a throw-in with Jokinen in the trade, but he's doing his share of the contributing too.  His 2 fights against a much larger Andrew Peters tonight showed just how tough he is, and he added his first point as a Ranger tonight with an assist on Drury's goal.

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