Mar 28, 2012; Winnipeg, MB, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-US PRESSWIRE
The New York Rangers are finally the recipients of the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers came out with a HUGE game against the Philadelphia Flyers, and would take the game 5-3. Despite letting up three goals, Henrik Lundqvist was lights out all night long, and helped the Rangers hang on.
The entire first period of play, the Rangers dominated from the open draw. Just six minutes into the game, Ryan McDonagh scored a beautiful goal after pinching down from his point. Marian Gaborik laid the pass right on the tape of McDonagh, and he banged it home in front of Ilya Bryzgalov. Shortly after, Brian Boyle was able to put the Rangers ahead 2-0, as he scored off of a humangous (see what I did there?) big rebound.
Ryan McDonagh picked up his second point of the evening with an assist coming on the Brian Boyle goal. Boyle has really started to heat up at the right time, and has played a major role in these last couple of games. The Rangers would keep pouring it on in the first period, and would come away with two more goals.
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Artem Anisimov scored the Rangers first power play goal of the evening on a gorgeous backhand move that beat Bryzgalov cleanly. However, on the play Anisimov wound up drawing two separate penalties, one being hooking on Marc-Andre Bourdon, and a double minor for high sticking on Pavel Kubina. As a result, the Rangers would have a full two minutes of five-on-three action.
30 seconds later, Ryan Callahan put home, yet another rebound in front of Bryzgalov, and the Rangers opened up a huge 4-0 lead in the first period. Two of those coming in the final two minutes, and coming on the power play as well. However, the Flyers were able to break the shutout streak of Henrik Lundqvist, just 12 minutes into the second frame.
Henrik Lundqvist would make to spectacular pad saves on Jakub Vorecek, before Voracek was finally able to put the puck in the net. On his third attempt, the puck wound up banking off Marc Staal's skate, and it founds it's way behind Henrik. Marian Gaborik would respond just seven minutes later with his 41st goal of the season, and it widened the Rangers lead to 5-1 in the second.
On Gaborik's goal, Anton Stralman had great vision as he found Gabby wide open in the slot on the power play. Gaborik would let his wicked wrist shot fly, and it beat Bryzgalov cleanly over the glove. The Flyers weren't ready to give up just yet, as Wayne Simmonds put home a rebound that Lundqvist would give up.
On the goal, Lundqvist was a jaw dropping glove save on the original shot from the point. He wasn't able locate the puck after making the save, and Simmonds tapped it in from the slot. However, after the goal, Lundqvist seemed to be favoring his glove hand after the hard shot caught him in an area with no padding. Thankfully it was just a stinger, and he was able to finish out the game.
The Flyers would inch closer with a goal coming from Scott Hartnell midway through the second period. Although, it wasn't enough as the Rangers were able to shut down the Flyers for the rest of the third. The final minutes were just insane as the Flyers amped up their pressure, but Henrik Lundqvist was up to the task.
Speaking of Lundqvist, this man stole this game for the Rangers as he made a handful of ridiculous saves tonight. But with all of that said, your New York Rangers are officially locked in for the number one spot in the Eastern Conference! They will be back in action against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.