Mar 27, 2012; St. Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) and forward Brian Boyle (22) smile following the game against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. The Rangers deafeated the Wild 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
- Why don't we start with the magnitude of the win. The Pittsburgh Penguins fell to the New York Islanders midway through the game, meaning that if the Rangers could find a way to get the two points sitting on the table, they would move a full three points ahead of the Penguins. Well, that's exactly what happened and the Rangers control their own destiny for first now.
- While I'm in the party of people who don't want to see Philadelphia in the first round, facing Buffalo isn't exactly going to be a piece of cake. This is the danger of being the top seed. The Sabres destroyed the Washington Capitals last night. Destroyed. They want that playoff spot bad, an it looks like they're going to get it. No matter where the Rangers land, expect a war.
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- Major props to Ruslan Fedotenkofor his game last night. Fedotenko hasn't exactly been John Tortorella's favorite player the past few weeks, but he worked his butt off last night and ended up scoring the game winning goal. When Fedotenko is playing his game these are the types of performances you become accustomed to.
- The power play is awful, simply awful. When the Rangers do manage to set it up they can create dangerous scoring chances, but more often than not the pucks don't end up in the back of the net. It's going to turn into a rel problem if this continues through the playoffs. Maybe things will change when the Rangers make the playoffs and there is a clean slate.
- Speaking of special teams. If the power play is going to fail regularly, the penalty kill has to come through. It didn't against the Wild. This hasn't been an issue all season so I'm not going to harp on it right now. But it will become a major concern if it's not fixed by the playoffs.
- Give another huge stick salute to Minnesota native Ryan McDonaghfor a fantastic game against his hometown Wild. McDonagh had the primary assist on two of the Rangers' goals, and played a rugged and tough game all night.
- Another big game from Brandon Dubinsky. Another 19 minutes of ice time. I'm thinking he's starting to find his comfort zone a little bit.
- I understand Tortorella wanting to get Anton Stralman a look before he starts making playoff roster decisions, but I would like to see Tim Erixonback in the lineup tonight. Stralman, by the way, had an assist along with 20 minutes of ice time last night. You think he knows this might be a final audition for this season?
- Michael Del Zotto played a team-high 25:14 last night. I know there are people out there who think he's a disaster. These people either don't watch the games or don't know hockey. I would guess the latter.
- Another big game from Henrik Lundqvist. Nice to see him get back into form.
- Speaking of defenseman, Stu Bickelonly played 10 minutes against the Wild. Maybe he sits in favor of Erixon?