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Rangers Vs. Penguins: Well, That Was Pleasant

Notes from the Rangers win over the Penguins.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

- Well that was nice, no? What an effort from the New York Rangers after giving a game away in Toronto on Saturday and then getting their doors blown off against the Oilers on Sunday. The Rangers needed a bounce-back effort and my word did they give one Tuesday night.

- I mentioned this last night but want to say it again: The return on John Moore and a more acclimated Derek Stepan helps this team immensely. That shorthanded goal? Few players on the Rangers (maybe Carl Hagelin) have the defensive awareness to chase down and get to that puck and then make that pass to a streaking Rick Nash. The Rangers have missed Stepan so much, and him getting back into game shape helps more than I can say. Moore played his best game of the year and showed why he should be given time to prove himself. His speed really opens the game up when the Rangers need to move the puck from the back. Stepan had two assists to give him three apples so far on the year.

- Nash currently leads the league by himself with 12 goals. He's been remarkably good in all three zones. Remember when people booed him? LOL! He has 17 points in 15 games. Oh, by the way, it should be noted he played 3:33 of power play time AND 2:43 of penalty kill time last night. He had the second highest shorthanded ice time total for forwards (Hagelin was first) and was integral in shutting down the Penguins power play -- which was shut out despite converting at a 37.5% clip. Not a typo. He really is one of the game's superstars, and he's a three-zone player to boot.

- Is there anything better than a Martin St. Louis goal? It was a big goal, too. I love when he scores.

- The goal Derick Brassard scored on the power play (snapping the Penguins' perfect-kill streak of 39 coming into the game) is why I get so annoyed when he passes up shots. Look at this shot, it's lethal.

- Henrik Lundqvist was amazing in the loss to the Oilers Sunday. He was even better Tuesday and locked up his 53rd career shutout. Good for him and good for the Rangers.

- Kevin Klein, goal scoring machine? Goal scoring machine. The Rangers have scored three goals all year from their defense, all three of them have come from Klein. Maybe it's because he shoots the puck on net instead of passing it. Just a thought.

- Kevin Hayes continues to trend up. An assist last night (two points in two games) and seems to be figuring out how to play at center. The faceoffs will come, I wouldn't worry about that aspect of his game for now.

- That effort from Lee Stempniak is why everyone was flipping out when they thought he was sitting for Fast. He's been fantastic.

- Since I threw a hissy fit yesterday when Alain Vigneault scratched Anthony Duclair in favor of Tanner Glass I want to take a moment to talk about it. Glass has easily his best game as a Ranger last night. He saved a goal and probably saved the game, since I doubt the Rangers were going to be as dominant and mentally strong had they been down 1-0 early rather than up 1-0. I might be wrong, but it's worth noting.

- That being said, Tuesday night was the first time Glass actually impacted a game in a tangible manner. If Glass played every game like that the decision to have him in the lineup every night wouldn't be as baffling, but he hasn't been that good for 14 of the first 15 games of the year. And for the people who took his good game to point out why he needs to be in the lineup every night, let me offer you an analogy: Playing Glass every night is like putting money on "15" every time at the roulette table. Eventually you're going to get a hit and you're going to be thrilled and feel really good. The problem is, you probably wasted a ton of money on all the other times you didn't win and then realized you wasted 90% of the money you came in with.

- Final Glass note (since this little segment might eclipse 300 words): I want Glass to succeed. I want him to score three goals a night, dominate physically and become an integral part of the team. I'm rooting for him to succeed because I root for the Rangers to succeed. By all accounts he's a fantastic guy, seems like a genuinely good teammate and I'd have to assume he's great for the room. Those things don't translate on the ice most nights, though. So guys like Jesper Fast, Duclair, Oscar Lindberg and J.T. Miller are all better options long term and short term. That's why I don't want him in. Not because I don't like him and not because I want him to fail. You all know me, I don't roll like that.

- And Duclair needs to play. I want him in the NHL as much as then ext guy (probably more) and I think he's done everything to prove he belongs. Six points in 12 games despite spending a good chunk of time on the fourth line with Glass. His speed opens the game and his offense is too important to sit. He need to play. Figure it out. And sending him down would be a mistake in my book.

- Really good win and a huge momentum-building win. The Rangers play the Avalanche on Thursday before the Penguins again this weekend. Hopefully Dan Boyle will be back then. Imagine this team healthy?