The New York Rangers were in a bit of a slid, and after a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins the Rangers had lost three of their last five games. But big matchups can help a team break a losing streak and start a new winning streak.
With the magnitude of the Rangers' victory over the Bruins, that game might prove to do just that.
Yes, the power play is still a massive issue, but the Rangers are winning games without it -- although that's not a strategy they would like to test out come the playoffs. Saturday afternoon against the Bruins, the Rangers all-around game shone once again. They got great goaltending rom Henrik Lundqvist, the defense played well in front of the All-Star goalie, and the offense converted when they had to.
Join me after the jump for more.
Just in case the win wasn't good enough news for you, Marc Staal continues to progress at an impressive pace. Staal played 19:21 agains the Bruins, the second most time he has seen all season, and played very well when he was on the ice. This, in my opinion, was going to be one of Staal's biggest tests of the season.
The Bruins are a hard-nosed, physical team who can bump with the best of them, but that also have an awful lot of skill and talent at putting the puck into the back of the net. That can wreak havoc on a defenseman, especially one who just recently returned from a concussion.
But Staal answered the call, and had one of his better games of the season.
I thought RYan Callahan, who scored the game's first goal, and Marian Gaborik (obviously) also had huge games. Gaborik had been going through a mini-slump of his own when he walked into Boston, but he walked out with two goals including the game-winner in overtime.
Michael Del Zotto, Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi (who recorded his 100th career assist) and Anton Stralman all played well on the back end, and were critical parts of transitioning the puck forward.
That's been one of the trademarks of this team. They don't have a single hero who will save the day night in and night out, it's everyone, doing everything needed to win.