Rangers Vs. Sharks: Ryan Callahan's Two Goals Spark Rangers; Win 5-2 Over Sharks

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 31: Ryan Callahan #24 of the New York Rangers is congratulated by his teammates on his goal in the second period against the San Jose Sharks at Madison Square Garden on October 31, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers were hungry for their first win on home ice this season. After dropping a three goal lead against the Ottawa Senators, and later the game, the Rangers came out hungry tonight. The Rangers stuck to their persistent forecheck, and tired out the Sharks.

Right off the puck drop tonight, Brandon Prust and Ryan Clowe squared off. It was a fairly even fight, but it set the tone for the game immediately. Just several minutes later, Ryan McDonagh pinched in from the point and scored off a great pass from Ryan Callahan.

Ryan McDonagh is slowly adding the right offense mindset to his game. It was evident on all of his goals this season, he knows when the time is right. After failing on their first attempt, the Rangers went to the power play once again.

Follow after the jump for more and the official New York Rangers post-game notes.

Speaking of the Rangers power play, as the game carried on, the gained and controlled the zone much better. Eventually leading to Derek Stepan's goal coming at 14:53 of the first period. Dan Girardi sprung both Stepan and Brandon Dubinsky on a two-on-one, and Dubinsky slid it over the Stepan for the tap in.

A lot of fans questioned the play of both Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky the last few games. Although, judging by their games tonight, they have clearly turned around their play. The Sharks would go on to score two goals, and tied the game coming from both Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture.

To start off the third period, the Rangers knew that had to keep hounding the Sharks. In a span of five minutes, the Rangers were able to add on three goals to spark the Rangers. Erik Christensen made a unbelievable feed over to Ryan Callahan for his first of the game. The initial pass went between Douglas Murray's legs and landed on the stick of Callahan.

Christensen would just stop there, he fed Artem Anisimov, which led him on a partial break. Anisimov made a nifty move and lifted it over the shoulder of Niemi, and even destroyed the water bottle in the process.

Probably the highlight of the evening was when Ryan Callahan scored his second of the game, and boy was it a beauty. Brad Richards took a low shot which squirted out to the left of Niemi, and Ryan Callahan sprawled out on his back to score on the rebound.

For those of you who may have missed it, here is the goal from NHL.com:

The Rangers were able to finally play a full 60-minute hockey game, and it showed on the scoreboard. Also, running with the current lines, the Rangers have scored nine goals in two games. It seems as if the offense is starting to click. Hopefully they can keep up their scoring, while also playing a complete hockey game.

Post-game Notes:

Team Notes:

-        The Rangers defeated the San Jose Sharks, 5-2, tonight at Madison Square Garden to improve to 4-3-3 on the season, including a 1-1-1 mark at home.

-        The Blueshirts have registered at least one point in five of the last seven games, posting a record of 4-2-1 over the span.

-        The Rangers’ five goals marked a season-high, and are the most since they tallied five goals in the 2010-11 regular season finale on April 9 vs. New Jersey (5-2).  Last season, the Blueshirts posted a 16-0-0 mark when registering five goals or more.

-        New York tallied one power play goal in five opportunities (8:36), and are now 6-24 (25.0%) with the man advantage in the last six games.  The Rangers are 2-0-1 when out-scoring their opponents on special teams this season.

-        The Rangers improved to 20-6-3-0 all-time vs. the Sharks, including a 9-3-1-0 mark at Madison Square Garden.  New York’s .741 winning percentage against San Jose is their highest winning percentage vs. any NHL team all-time.

Player Notes:

-        Ryan Callahan notched two goals, including the game-winner, added an assist and registered four shots on goal in 19:28 of ice time.  He has now tallied five points (four goals, one assist) in the last four games.

-        Brandon Dubinsky tallied two assists, including one on the power play and one on the game-winning goal, and tied for the team-high with four hits in 18:12 of ice time.  He has now recorded five assists in six games vs. Western Conference opponents this season.

-        Dan Girardi recorded two assists, including one on the power play, and was credited with three blocked shots in a game-high 25:39 of ice time.  He has now tallied five points (one goal, four assists) in the last four games, and leads all team defensemen in scoring with six points (one goal, five assists) on the season.

-        Erik Christensen registered two assists, including the primary assist on the game-winning goal, and posted a plus-two rating.  He has now recorded six points (two goals, four assists) in eight career regular season games vs. San Jose.

-        Martin Biron turned aside 24 of 26 shots to improve to 2-0-0 on the season, with a 1.38 goals against average and a .947 save percentage.

-        Derek Stepan notched a power play goal at 14:53 of the first period, and registered three shots on goal in 16:23 of ice time.  He has now registered two points (one goal, one assist) in the last two games.

-        Ryan McDonagh opened the game’s scoring with an even strength goal at 4:46 of the first period and logged 21:30 of ice time.  He now leads all team defensemen and is tied for third on the Rangers with three goals on the season.

-        Artem Anisimov tallied an even strength goal at 16:42 of the second period, and has now recorded two points (one goal, one assist) in the last three games.

-        Brad Richards recorded one assist and led all team forwards with 19:44 of ice time.  He has tallied four points (two goals, two assists) in the last two games.

-        Jeff Woywitka registered his first point as a Ranger with an assist, and was credited with two hits in the contest.

-        Michael Del Zotto posted a plus-two rating and was credited with three hits in 23:09 of ice time.  He has registered a plus or even rating in each of the team’s 10 games this season, and leads the team and is currently tied for third in the NHL with a plus-seven rating.

-        Wojtek Wolski led all skaters with a season-high, seven shots on goal and logged 15:46 of ice time.  Brian Boyle also led all skaters with a season-high, four blocked shots and logged 15:46 of ice time.

Post-Game Quotes:                                                      

-        John Tortorella on tonight’s game

“The thing I like the most is that everybody contributed. Arty (Artem Anisimov) scores a goal, Steps (Derek Stepan) scores a goal and Erik Christensen makes a couple of really good plays. We had one really bad shift when we couldn’t get guys off and it cost us a goal, but other than that I thought it was pretty good.

-        Ryan Callahan on tonight’s game

“We kept going at them, the emotions on the bench were high and no one got down. We know they are a good team and they weren’t going to lay down easily, so it was a good character win the way we stuck it out, got the lead and then held onto it.”

-        Martin Biron on Ryan Callahan

“Cally (Ryan Callahan) has played a couple of really good games for us and scored a couple big goals. It’s his first win as captain at home and that’s a great achievement for him and he is going to remember that for a long time.”

-        Dan Girardi on the win

“It was really big.  Any win we get is huge, but the way we played tonight was the right way, and that’s how we have to play to win.”

Team Schedule:

-        After an off-day tomorrow, the Blueshirts’ next practice is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 2, at the MSG Training Center.

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