Let me start off by welcoming Ryane Clowe, Derick Brassard, and John Moore to the New York Rangers. Holy cow, what a performance by these guys tonight. Clowe had three points, Brassard added on four, and Moore added a goal of his own. After all of the scrutiny the New York Rangers were under after their series of deals, I'm sure it's safe to say that those haters are now silenced.
Ryane Clowe introduced himself to the Garden crowd just 13 seconds into the game, as he laid a crushing body check on Derek Engelland. The hit got the crowd bumping, and the Rangers had a spark in their step as well. The Rangers went on their first power play of the game about halfway through the first period, as Chris Kunitz went off for slashing. Just 14 seconds later, the puck was in the back of the net as Brian Boyle redirected a shot from Brad Richards, and it skipped past Marc-Andre Fleury. Derick Brassard also picked up his first point as a Ranger on the goal, as he made a beautiful behind the back pass to Richards, who teed up the original shot.
Two minutes later, Brad Richards found Ryan McDonagh cutting down the high slot completely uncontested, and he put it right on the tape. McDonagh fired a laser of a wrist shot, and beat Fleury high over the glove side. But hold on, things didn't stop there just yet. Two minutes after McDonagh made it 3-0, Ryane Clowe broke his scoreless drought and converted on an aggressive forecheck in the offensive zone. Derek Stepan made a great play to pressure the defenseman, and knock the puck lose. Clowe who was following up right behind Zuccarello, corralled the puck and made a nice move to the backhand to beat Fleury low.
Everyone was all over the Rangers trading for Clowe, who was scoreless in 28 games with the San Jose Sharks this season. So....how about that? With the crowd ready to blow the roof of the building, the Rangers walked out of the first period with easily their best period of hockey throughout this entire season without question. The Rangers only scored a total of three goals against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the three games prior. Tonight? They notched three goals in just the first period.
An early Evgeni Malkin tripping penalty in the second period, sent the Rangers to their second power play of the night. To add on the an already fantastic night for the new guys, Derick Brassard chipped in his first goal as a New York Rangers on the power play. One thing I absolutely love about Ryane Clowe and Derick Brassard? They both have a nose for the net. Brassard picked up the loose puck after a point shot from Dan Girardi, and went top shelf on the back hand to make it 4-0 Rangers. Honestly, who saw this coming at all?
The Penguins were able to get on the board shortly after as Pascal Dupuis converted on a juicy rebound left out by Henrik Lundqvist, and that made it 4-1. But, the Rangers would get it right back at the halfway point as Ryane Clowe chipped in his second goal of the season off of a beautiful pass from Derick Brassard. This goal was all on Derick Brassard, as he put his creativity on display, and was once again planted right in front of the net.
Another dominating period the New York Rangers, and they found themselves 20 minutes away from one of their biggest wins of the season. What a better way to finish off the night by having the final piece of the puzzle get a goal as well? Just nine minutes into the third period, John Moore received a pass from Brian Boyle, teed up a slap shot, and beat Fleury just under the arm on a deflection, and that basically sealed the game for the Rangers.
There really are no words to describe how much the newest additions stepped up tonight. All you can really say is, wow. Among all of that, Brian Boyle and Brad Richards quietly had themselves a big game as well. Brian Boyle chipped in a goal tonight, and added on three assists. When was the last Brian Boyle came even remotely close to four points in a game? As for Brad Richards, he added on two assists of his own, and looked solid all night long.
I'm kind of liking the new look of this team, and I mean a lot. If they keep up the pace that they did tonight? Watch out.