The New York Rangers won their fifth straight game tonight over the New York Islanders, and move into the 1st spot in the Eastern Conference. Henrik Lundqvist was SOLID tonight, and so was Carl Hagelin, who had two goals on the night.
The first period was pretty much back and forth, and we were left scoreless after one. However, we did have a scrap early in this game between Stu Bickel and Michael Haley. It was a pretty heated battle, and both players got some good hits in. However, the Rangers would end up with the power play as Haley was charged with an instigator penalty.
We moved into the second period where Carl Hagelin finally got the Rangers on the board on a rebound. Michael Del Zotto made a spectacular toe drag move around the Islanders forward, and forced a shot on net. Callahan got a stick on the first rebound, and tapped it over to Carl Hagelin who banked it off the back of Evgeni Nabakov and in.
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Michael Del Zotto has been improving all year, and he's finally settling into his role. He's been great on both ends of the rink, and has been great in the offensive zone. The Rangers headed into the locker room with a solid 1-0 lead, and looked to come out strong in the third period.
Carl Hagelin tallied again just six minutes into the third period, and Del Zotto made a great pass once again. The Islanders made a bad change, and Del Zotto skated it into the zone, and dished it off to Ryan Callahan. Callahan dropped it low to Del Zotto, who found Hagelin right in the slot for the goal. Again, Del Zotto was really noticeable in the offensive zone.
Marian Gaborik capped the game off with an empty net goal which gives him 22 goals on the year, the most in the NHL. With that goal, Gaborik moves two goals ahead of Phil Kessel to get some insurance. The Brian Boyle, Brandon Dubinsky, and John Mitchell battled all night long, and wore out the Islanders. That line played a solid game tonight, and played a large part in the offensive zone.
Henrik Lundqvist earned is 38th career shutout, and helped the Rangers move into first place in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers were put up to the test in these last four games, all against Atlantic Division rivals, and have won all of them.
The Rangers will be in action this coming Wednesday against the Washington Capitals.. Here are tonight's three stars of the game, and the recipient of the Broadway Hat.