After the Rangers fantastic effort against the Montreal Canadians we talked about repeating their performance against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Too many time this year the Rangers have won a gut check game that you would expect them to build on, and came out flat the very next game. Well that didn't happen tonight.
The New York Rangers obliterated (by the way that's the first time I have ever used that word in a recap) the Lightning tonight, playing their second dominant game in a row. Brandon Dubinsky, Vaclav Prospal, Chris Drury, Dan Girardi, Enver Lisin, Marc Staal, Aaron Voros (no I'm not kidding) and Christopher Higgins (no I'm not kidding) were the goal scorers for the Rangers tonight. The points were well spread out but it should be noted that 16 (that's not a mistake, 16) different Rangers had points tonight.
The onslaught started early, with the Rangers getting a power play just 1:18 seconds into the contest; 8 seconds later Dubinsky scored the first goal of the night. Less than 6 minutes later Prospal scored off of a pretty feed from Gaborik to put the Rangers up 2-0. The Rangers dominated the first expect for a small potion at the end of the period where the Lightning scored their first goal. It was an awkward play which saw Vincent Lecavalier score a goal from behind the net after the Lightning found themselves inside of the Rangers net. That made the score 2-1 and it was as close as the Lightning would come to making this a game thanks to Drury scoring less than a minute and a half later.
The Rangers continued their great play in the second with Girardi scoring on a laser from the point and then Lisinscoring with 3 minutes left in the period. This goal chased Antero Niittymaki, this marked the first time that the Rangers chased a goaltender all season. The Lightning would score their last goal of the night on a 5 on 3 with Alex Tanguay rifling one over Henrik Lundqvist's glove.
The third period was more of the same from the Rangers. Staal finished off a brilliant end to end rush to score his 5thgoal of the year shortly later Aaron Voros scored his first of the season; and Higgins finished the scoring for the Rangers with his 6th of the season.
If this wasn't a statement game then I don't know what is. For two games in a row the Rangers have sustained an incredible effort for 60 minutes, stood up for themselves and each other, and have gotten secondary scoring. This is the type of Ranger team we have all been begging to see, and finally it seems we are seeing some real Ranger hockey. The biggest statement in my eyes was Dubinsky beating the crap out of Jeff Halpern at the end of the game after Halpern tried to start with him.
- Marc Staal has now (at this point in the season) passed his career highs in a season for goals, assists and points.
- Marian Gaborikhad 4 assists tonight which for the first time all season gives him more assists than goals. The last time he had 4 assists in a game was October 26th, 2002 against Phoenix.
- Speaking of Gaborik, for anyone out there that still thinks that "he can only score goals" I think you should put your foot in your mouth. He is a very underrated passer and he showed off his skills tonight. It's nice to see that when he isn't scoring goals he is setting guys up. Imagine what he would do on a high scoring team.
- Some of you might boo Aaron Voros for not fighting at the end of the third period but that's a really good move in my opinion. The Rangers were already up 6-2 and didn't need to give the Lightning any type of edge, good for him. Plus he got rewarded by scoring his first goal of the season his very next shift.
- Then Voros got into a fight after the game was well out of hand, and left the ice to chants of "Voros, Voros, Voros" good for him.
- Michael Del Zotto is starting to put up points consistently and is starting to shoot the puck a lot more. His play is really improving by leaps and bounds.
- The Rangers have now scored 14 goals their last 2 games, and who says we don't have any secondary scoring?
- Matt Gilroy should also be noted to having a great game, notching two assists and playing a great game overall.
Okay boys have at it! Hard to complain now!
NEW YORK RANGERS POST-GAME NOTES
January 19, 2010 - New York Rangers 8, Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (Game #50, Home #27)
- The Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 8-2, tonight at Madison Square Garden, marking the first time the Rangers registered eight-or-more goals in a game since Jan. 23, 2002 vs. Boston (8-4).
- New York tallied six-or-more goals in back-to-back games for the first time since the 2006-07 season (Mar. 31 at Philadelphia, 6-4; Apr. 1 vs. Toronto, 7-2); the last time the Blueshirts notched six-or-more goals in back-to-back home games was Nov. 12, 2003 vs. Pittsburgh (6-2) and Nov. 23, 2003 vs. Ottawa (6-2), and the last time
- New York have now posted a record of 24-19-7 (55 pts.) overall and 12-11-4 (28 pts.) at home this season; the Rangers have now tallied a point in 14 of their last 17 games (10-3-4).
- New York notched three goals in the opening frame tonight, marking the third straight period the Rangers tallied three goals in a period following three-goal performances in the second and third periods of Sunday's 6-2 win vs. Montreal; it is the first time since the 1998-99 season the Rangers accomplished the feat (third period of a 6-6 tie on Nov. 17 at Toronto and all three periods of a 10-2 win on Nov. 10 at Tampa Bay). *Statistic courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
- The Rangers had eight different goal scorers and 16 different players register at least one point; the last time the Rangers had eight players score a goal in one game was a 10-5 win on Dec. 13, 1992 vs. Montreal; New York's 16 players with at least one point ties the franchise record for a single game, accomplished twice before - Oct. 25, 1984 at New Jersey (W, 11-2) and Feb. 17, 1985 vs. the NY Islanders (W, 9-3). *Statistic courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
- The Blueshirts converted two of four power play opportunities (3:56), and are now three of nine (33.3%) with the man advantage in the last two games.
- Marian Gaborik tied his career-high with four assists (last - Oct. 26, 2002 at Phoenix), and registered four hits and a plus-three rating; the four assists also mark a team season-high, and is the most recorded by a Ranger since Jaromir Jagr tallied four assists on Feb. 17, 2008 vs. Montreal.
- Brandon Dubinsky, Marc Staal, Vinny Prospal, and Christopher Higgins each registered one goal and one assist apiece, and Matt Gilroy recorded two assists; Dubinsky also posted a Gordie Howe Hat Trick, and Gilroy's two assists marked his first career multi-point effort.
- Henrik Lundqvist made 21 saves to improve his record to 22-15-6 on the season; he has now held opponents to two or fewer goals in 18 of his last 21 games, posting an 11-5-5 mark, 1.77 goals against average and .941 save percentage over the span.
- The Blueshirts practice schedule for tomorrow, Jan. 20, is 12:00 p.m. at the MSG Training Center.
- The Rangers return to action when they will face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, Jan. 21, at the Wachovia Center (7:00 p.m.), in a matchup between Atlantic Division rivals; the game will be televised live on MSG Network and can be heard on 1050 ESPN Radio.
John Tortorella on tonight's game...
"We are trying to stay consistent with it. We are trying to stay consistent with finishing checks and again defending the proper way. I thought the first period both teams were giving up chances left and right and we are fortunate we score a few goals. I don't know if it is continuation. We are just trying to stay consistent with it."
Chris Drury on tonight's game...
"(We are) just continuing to play the right way and keep moving forward. It was an emotional game playing Montreal, we were obviously energized and we just came back and played hard."
Henrik Lundqvist on the team crashing the net for goals...
"We've been working on it for weeks now. That's how you score goals; it's in front of the net, in the blue, you just have to battle. It's not often when you beat a goalie one-on-one, you have a clear shot. A lot of times, its deflections in front, it's rebounds. And when you start getting those goals, then you start making nice plays too. The last few games we've been doing a good job of coming in front and creating opportunities for rebounds."