The New York Rangers took a very big win tonight at Madison Square Garden. It was their forth straight win, and they surpassed the Philadelphia Flyers for first place in the Atlantic Division. Henrik Lundqvist had a solid game between the pipes, and bailed the Rangers out at certain points during the game.
The first period was all Flyers as they held the possession in the Rangers end for basically the entire period. The Rangers need to come out with some jump in the second period, and did just that. Derek Stepan got the Rangers on the board with an unbelievable redirection that beat Ilya Bryzgalov. Stu Bickel received his third point in three games, getting the primary assist on the Stepan goal.
Just five minutes later, Ruslan Fedotenko scored off of another redirection in front. They would go up to Toronto to review the goal, and it was later revealed as a good goal. This goal was a huge goal for the Rangers, as it gave them a solid two goal cushion. Yet again, Stu Bickel received the primary assist and notched his fourth point of the season, in three games. The chants of "Stuuuuu" and "Duuuuub" came raining down, following the announcement of the goal.
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Just two minutes into the third period, Marian Gaborik received a sweet bank pass off the boards from Anton Stralman. Gaborik used his speed and broke in a partial breakaway and beat Bryzgalov over the blocker side, and gave the Rangers a secure 3-0 lead. A short time later, the Rangers got into some penalty trouble, and the Flyers converted. Andrej Meszaros cashed in with a bomb from the point that slipped past Lundqvist. That goal was the first Flyers goal at MSG in over nine periods.
The Rangers got a power play of their own just five minutes later, and also got on the board with a power play goal. This time it came from the Captain himself, Ryan Callahan. Dan Girardi put a hard shot on Bryzgalov that he kicked out right to Callahan waiting in front of the net. The Flyers didn't give up just there, James van Riemsdyk scored of a rebound in front of Lundqvist that would eventually be reviewed. It didn't take long for the review, and it was called a goal on the ice.
After some late pressure by the Flyers, the Rangers were able to fight it off and come away with a 4-2 victory. This win was the Rangers fourth straight victory, and they are now in position to contender for the first overall spot in the Eastern Conference. Right now the Rangers have one less game played than the Flyers, and also lead their division.
The Rangers will have some time off, until they take on the New York Islanders once again at MSG the day after Christmas. Here are tonight's three stars of the game, along with the recipient of the Broadway Hat.