The Rangers continued their shootout dominance this season by defeating the San Jose Sharks 3-2 behind Brandon Dubinsky's winner in the sixth round.
This game had a physical, somewhat chippy start to it, and really the Sharks outclassed the Rangers for a good portion of the period, and also got away with not one, not two, but three high sticks on Ranger players. John Tortorella had a discussion with referee Bill McCreary and his seeing-eye dog about it, but you know how those go.
Ryane Clowe got the Sharks on the board with a power play goal while Matt Gilroy was serving a penalty for hooking. Like seemingly every other goal the Rangers have given up the last two weeks, it was deflected in off a Ranger defenseman, this time Marc Staal.
Erik Christensen tied it up before the end of the period. Christensen was in the lineup tonight for Sean Avery, who was a healthy scratch.
Second period was the polar opposite of the first, with the Rangers controlling play most of the period, and taking the lead when Michael Sauer scored his second goal of the season just a little over a minute into the period. The Rangers had a few good opportunities to increase their lead but couldn't capitalize. Then it was the Sharks turning the play around, and getting a goal from Ben Eager to tie the game at two after two.
Third period flip-flopped back to the Sharks controlling the action, with the Rangers seemingly very content to get this game to overtime and at least a point. Henrik Lundqvist was sharp throughout in this game, but kept the Rangers in the game in the third, and after a thrilling overtime that was end-to-end, to the shootout we went.
Dan Boyle scored for the Sharks in the second round, and misses by Christensen and Mats Zuccarello left the Rangers on the ropes. But Lundqvist came up big on Ryane Clowe, and Wojtek Wolski tied the shootout for the Blueshirts. The teams traded two rounds of misses, and after Henrik stopped Dany Heatley, Brandon Dubinsky notched the game-winner, and gave the Rangers another terrific win against one of the top teams in the league.
Of the current teams in first place in the NHL, the Rangers have beaten every one of them except Detroit.
Rangers now come home to face the Islanders Tuesday night at the Garden.