When you play the best team in NHL, one that hasn't lost since the first week of December, you need to play almost perfect hockey. Mission accomplished.
John Tortorella said before the game he told his team they couldn't win a 1-0 game against the Vancouver Canucks, and they went out and proved him wrong.
The Rangers played tremendous defense all night long, Henrik Lundqvist made thirty saves and picked up his sixth shutout of the season as the Rangers stifled the Canucks 1-0 tonight at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers killed off an early penalty by Derek Stepan in the first period, and while they got the majority of the scoring chances, they were outshot 11-7. Rangers picked up the hitting in the latter half of the first, and drew a penalty late in the period.
The combination of Matt Gilroy on the point and newly acquired Wojtek Wolski really made an impact on the Rangers struggling power play tonight, the Blueshirts looked better on the man advantage than they have in weeks, and Wolski scored his first goal as a Ranger seven minutes into the second period to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
The Rangers had to kill off a 5 on 3 later in the period. With Marc Staal in the box, Chris Drury was called for an absurd delay of game penalty for trying to play the puck and having it deflect off his stick over the glass. It should be mentioned that Staal was in the box because he retaliated on Alexandre Burrows, who had speared him in the groins. Of course the sight-impaired officials missed the spearing and caught the retaliation. But the Rangers sucked it up, did what a mentally tough team does, and killed off the penalty.
At the other end of the ice, Cory Schneider was excellent for the Canucks, making thirty four saves, and kept Vancouver in the game until the very end.
- The Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust-Ruslan Fedotenko line was terrific all night long.
- Marian Gaborik's bad luck continues, he missed on a breakaway in the third period. He just can't buy a goal right now, but it's not from lack of trying.
- Henrik Lundqvist's 30th career shutout and sixth of the season.
- I don't care how many times I have said this already this year, I hope I am still saying it in late spring......another big win in what is becoming a season full of them.
- The Rangers have given up a total of six goals in their last five games.
- Don't look now, but the Rangers are just 3 points out of second place, and 4 points out of first in the Atlantic Division, although somehow Philadelphia has three games at hand.
- Welcome to New York Wojtek Wolski.