When you play for a team that spends most of its time stuck between bad and mediocre, it has to be a weird feeling playing a game the night before the trade deadline. All kinds of thoughts must run through a players head:
"Did I just fan on a shot for the last time as a Ranger?"
"Did I just let a guy camp out in the crease for the last time as a Ranger?"
"Was I just late getting back on the play for the last time as a Ranger?"
"Did I just take a bad penalty for the last time as a Ranger?"
Ok, ok, so let's get down to the game recap. The Rangers got two goals from Ryan Callahan, and 24 saves from Henrik Lundqvist to defeat the Ottawa Senators 4-1 tonight in front of a quiet ScotiaBank Place crowd that must still be suffering Olympic hangover.
Callahan's second goal was part of a three goal outburst in a 2:02 span of the second period. Brandon Dubinsky and Sean Avery bookended Callahan's second tally. Avery now has goals in back to back games, and Dubinsky has matched his career high with 14 goals.
The Blueshirts were without injured stars Marian Gaborik and Michael Del Zotto, both still recovering from pre-Olympic lacerations.
Henrik Lundqvist has now given up two goals or less in 25 of the last 32 games. I honestly believe he has played the best hockey of his career for a good portion of the season.
For the Rangers, it was their fourth win in five games, and third in a row. The Rangers will face the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night at MSG, and from the sound of things, may look drastically different by then. They are one point out of the last playoff spot with games at hand on Montreal.
Keeping the recap short tonight, because quite frankly I know it isn't the thing you guys want to talk about most.