RALEIGH, NC - DECEMBER 01: Carl Hagelin #62, top right, and teammates celebrate after a goal by teammate Michael Sauer #38 of the New York Rangers, the team's fifth and final goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during play at the RBC Center on December 1, 2011 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Rangers won, 5-3. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
The New York Rangers keep finding ways to win games. Sometimes it's not pretty, but the important part for the Rangers is that the two points keep rolling in.
I'm not going to go into depth on whether or not the Rangers of last year would have won this game. My gut tells me they would not have. This year's team, however, did. And it's becoming readily apparent that the Rangers are simply getting the job done when they are called upon.
Just because the team is on a four game winning streak, however, doesn't mean everything is perfect. The Rangers have a nasty habit of allowing opposing teams to score late goals to swing the momentum back in their favor. Against the Pittsburgh Penguins it was a goal with 6.1 seconds left to bring the Penguins to within two, against the Hurricanes it was a goal with nine seconds left to give Carolina a 2-1 lead.
If not dealt with, sooner or later that issue will come back to bite New York.
Join me after the jump for more.
Even though the Rangers gave up a bad late goal, it still proves their ability right now. Jeff Skinner's goal took all the wind out of the Rangers' sails, and the team needed to go into the locker room down a goal rather than tied at one. But the Rangers didn't let it get to them. New York roared back to score three unanswered goals to take control of the game. That shows a mental fortitude this team hasn't had in a long time, and it's helping the Rangers win games.
The best part? The Rangers are growing as they win.
Michael Del Zotto has two assists in the past two games, and is starting to make things happen both on the power play and at even strength, all while improving defensively. Brad Richards has a goal and three assists in the past two games, and he is showing more and more chemistry with his teammates as time goes on.
Both Ryan Callahan (two goals and an assist) and Marian Gaborik (two goals and two assists) have stepped up for the Rangers the past two games. Both were expected to be main sources of scoring this year and thus far Gaborik (12 goals) and Callahan (10 goals) have done just that.
Plus the power play is truly starting to fins its legs. After a two-goal effort against Pittsburgh the Rangers added another goal with the man advantage against the Hurricanes scored by, you guesses it, Ryan Callahan.
The Rangers are taking care of business and, in the end, that's really all that matters.