If the NHL ever decides to shorten its games to five minutes, the Rangers will be in business. Despite all the talk about a new system, new players, and a new attitude, the Rangers continued to play listless hockey except for a 5 minute flurry in the third period last night.
The Florida Panthers on the other hand, chose to work hard, do the little things, and play with emotion for the entire game, and came away with a 3-2 victory last night at Madison Square Garden.
Maybe the Rangers and their fans should stop worrying about Marian Gaborik's groin, and focus on his back, along with Henrik Lundqvist's, because they are carrying this team, and there is little margin for error for either of them.
Here are the news and notes from the Rangers, who think its important to note that despite their best efforts to keep fans away, continue to sell out Madison Square Garden.
By the way, pay special attention to the quote from Vinny Prospal, nice to see someone on this team disappointed with the lack of effort:
- The Rangers were defeated by the Florida Panthers, 3-2, in front of a sold-out crowd (18,200) at Madison Square Garden.
- New York have sold out 167 consecutive regular season games, dating back to Nov. 5, 2005 against New Jersey; the last regular season non-sellout was Oct. 31, 2005 vs. Montreal (17,697); including the playoffs, the Rangers sellout streak is now at 181 games.
- The Rangers are now 11-10-1 (23 pts.) on the season and 6-5-0 at home; In their last 20 regular season games at MSG, New York are 14-6-0, and have out-scored their opponents, 67-43, during the stretch.
- Vinny Prospal led all skaters with two points (one goal and one assist) and won 16 of 23 faceoffs (70%) in 20:22 of icetime; he now has 23 points (six goals and 17 assists) in 22 games on the season.
- Marian Gaborik notched his 16th goal of the season at 6:01 of the third to extend his point streak to six games (five goals and nine points); nine of his 16 goals were tallied in the third period.
- Michal Rozsival recorded an assist on Gaborik's third period goal and logged 19:33 of icetime.
- Rookie defenseman Michael Del Zotto registered a team-high five hits in 20:36 of icetime; he currently leads all NHL rookies with 46 hits on the season.
- Sean Avery led all skaters with five shots and delivered four hits in 15:12 of icetime.
- The Rangers practice schedule for tomorrow, November 22, is 12:00 p.m. at the MSG Training Center.
- The Rangers return to action on Monday, Nov. 23, when they will face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to close out their three-game homestand; the game will be televised live on MSG Network and can be heard on 1050 ESPN Radio.
John Tortorella on the team's play...
"You stay with it. You just keep on trying to battle through this and stay with it. You go to work tomorrow and keep on banging away on it."
Vinny Prospal on tonight's game...
"There should have been more urgency because it wasn't getting it done until that point - with five minutes left in the second period. They scored kind of a fluky goal to go up 2-1. Then all of a sudden it looked like, for some reason, we relaxed a little bit. We got the puck in the zone, started to make more passes and really put a lot of pressure on them but once again we didn't come out with the result."
Henrik Lundqvist on the team's play...
"It is not easy but you have to know you are not that far away from turning this around. We definitely had chances to tie or win this game in the third. We played well but the puck just didn't bounce our way tonight."