Henrik Lundqvist got the night off, but the Garden pipes were in good hands as backup Steve Valiquette turned away 18 shots to lead the New York Rangers to a 3-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden tonight.
After two periods of scoreless play, Ales Kotalik got the Rangers on the board with a power play goal early in the period. Artem Anisimov's play continued to improve, and tonight notched his first NHL goal late with under five minutes remaining in the game. Dan Girardi added an empty net goal with the Rangers killing off a double minor and Jean-Sebastin Giguere on the bench to finish the scoring.
The Rangers power play continues to improve, they were 2 for 5 tonight.
Sean Avery made a triumphant debut, after missing the first four games of the season with a knee injury. The Garden faithful cheered every time Avery was on the ice, and Avery responded with an assist on Anisimov's goal. Marian Gaborik also added an assist on Kotalik's goal to keep his point streak alive at five games.
Giguere was strong throughout for the Ducks, making 35 saves in a game dominated by the Rangers.
Blueshirt Banter Star of the Game:
More later when I receive the notes and quotes from the Rangers