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Rangers Vs. Canadiens: Play Like That Every Night, Please

Notes from the Rangers win over the Canadiens.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

After the Rangers beat the Flyers 2-0 on Wednesday I talked about how the win would mean nothing if the Rangers reverted back to their post-Penguins destruction and dropped points to a couple of beatable teams over the next few games. Once the game against Buffalo got moved the task became a little harder, with the Canadiens looming for an Eastern Conference Finals re-match at Madison Square Garden. And you know what? The Rangers looked really good. The same energy they had against the Flyers they had against the Canadiens, only this time the puck went in a little more.

- Every single forward had a point -- which is apparently the first time that's happened since 1980. That's a really cool statistic, but it's also a good indication of just how good the Rangers played top to bottom last night. Martin St. Louis (a ridiculous goal and an assist), Chris Kreider (two assists) and Rick Nash (his 14th goal of the year) were monsters all night. The St. Louis pickpocket and then corner snipe is about as good a goal as you'll see. And his pass to Derek Stepan -- who absolutely rifled the puck up high for the team's second goal -- was just as pretty.

- St. Louis, by the way, is two points shy of 1,000 in his career. His next game is against Tampa Bay in Tampa Bay. I'm just saying ...

- The third line had one of its best games of the year -- although they've only been together for three games. The pass from Kevin Hayes to Anthony Duclair, and then from Duclair to Carl Hagelin for the dagger was outstanding. And the vision both rookies showed to get that puck into the back of the net is exactly why they need to play more.

- The fourth line looks to be coming alive a little more -- although replacing Tanner Glass with Lee Stempniak would make a world of difference. Glass, by the way, had his first point as a Rangers on the Dominic Moore goal. Jesper Fast also had his first career (regular season) NHL point. Some beats have pointed out that line's lack of offensive production. They don't need to provide offense if they can handle the defensive assignments. That's one of the narratives that the non-fancy stats people seem to miss.

- P.S: If you haven't seen we're trying to get Moore into the all star game. He's easily one of the best defensive forwards in the game and imagine what he can do with offensive minutes if he has a positive corsi despite his brutal zone starts this year. And dragging Glass around every night ...

- Henrik Lundqvist didn't have to be great often, but he was when the Rangers needed him to be. It helped, too, that the Rangers defense was actually able to transition the puck out of the zone and up to the forwards. They also choked away almost every entry point in the neutral zone. That's a good way to keep the puck out of your own end, too.

- I have no love for Brandon Prust. I loved him when he was here and I was done with him when he left and even further removed him from my memory banks in the playoffs when he broke Stepan's jaw with a ridiculous cheap shot. With that being said, to me, if the goalie is playing the puck in front of his net (not behind the net) he's fair game. You can't kill him, but you should be able to give some contact. Prust actually let up before he hit Lundqvist, and it was a good non-call.

- However, Kevin Klein dropping the gloves is also the right thing to do. You don't let anyone touch your goaltender and get away with it. Those are the type of fights that should stay in the NHL.

- Klein, too, seems to be getting better and better. Outside of his sudden flash of offense he's been slow and steady for the Rangers. After his slow start to the year, of course.

- I don't want to go too deeply into this since we talk about it a lot, but Derick Brassard finding himself will go a long way in helping solidify this team. He has 16 points in 20 games and threw a perfect touchdown pass to Nash for his goal. Brassard, Mats Zuccarello and Stepan easily have the best vision on the team, which makes goal scorers like St. Louis, Nash and Kreider more dangerous. St. Louis, actually, can be with the first group, too.

- The power play looks amazing with Dan Boyle on the point, but he has yet to register a point for the Rangers. That's not a big deal, those numbers will come soon enough. John Moore looks kind of comfortable there, too, believe it or not. And that will get better when Ryan McDonagh returns.

- Those are two big wins for the Rangers, but these next few games are going to speak volumes about this team and where they are. The Rangers take on the Lightning on the road on Wednesday, before playing a home-and-home with the Flyers on Friday and then Saturday. If the Rangers can take four of six points through that stretch it's a win.

Thoughts after that big win?