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Rangers Vs. Ducks: Just ... Just Take The Win

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Notes from the Rangers win over the Ducks.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

- That was a bad game. Not because the Rangers played particularly bad -- hell, compared to the past month or so it was great -- but because it was two very timid teams that played a very boring game. Neither team wanted to make a mistake (which, ironically, led to the Ducks making two huge mistakes on both of Derick Brassard's goals) and the Rangers actually won in a thrilling overtime. Take the points. Just ... take them.

- One big bright spot: The Rangers saw a 16-9 shot advantage in the third period when they were up a goal. Not sitting on the lead is really the best defense, and the Ducks didn't get that close until a gaff at the end to tie it (more on this down the article).

- Dylan McIlrath, once again, was one of the best defenseman on the ice and led the team with a +7 in shot differential. Right behind him was healthy-scratched-for-no-reason Oscar Lindberg and Tanner "positive possession?" Glass with a +5 each.

- McIlrath, very simply, needs to play every night once Kevin Klein and Dan Girardi get back. So does Dan Boyle. If Marc Staal and Girardi need to be rotating casualties then so be it. McIlrath is getting really good at hitting -- but not the physical kind of hitting but the "separate the man from the puck" hitting. That's far more important for his development.

- Boyle, who is the whipping boy of a certain beat reporter who loves to stir the pot, has been one of the Rangers more consistent defenders this year. That goal in overtime is a prime example of just how much smarter he is than all the other defenseman on the team in the offensive zone. Except for Keith Yandle, of course, even though Vigneault plays him the same way a cat would play fetch.

- Kevin Hayes (+2 shot differential), wasn't nearly as bad as some people think, although I do agree something has to give there. Either Alain Vigneault needs to move him with teammates where he can simplify his game or sit him for a game to re-adjust himself. Something there isn't working, and I have to imagine part of it was Vigneault moving him away from center. He's not the only guy struggling, either.

- Brassard had two goals and Zuccarello had a goal and an assist. Both of the goals in regulation were gifts but maybe this gets them going. Good on Zuccarello to actually take the shot in overtime, too. He has 15 goals this year; that matches last year's total in 42 less games.

- I hated, hated, hated, hated the way Ryan McDonagh handled Rickard Rakell's tying goal. First off, give Rakell credit for a perfect shot, but McDonagh either needs to step up with his body or use his stick to disarm him. Instead he backed up and waited for Rakell to get close enough to fire one home. That's horrible defense from a guy the Rangers need to be their best defender. Just not good enough.

- Henrik Lundqvist had himself a nice bounce back game.

- It was nice to see Carl Hagelin again. I really do love him, both as a player and as a person (or at least what I'm assuming he's like in the locker room). However that game was proof that he's really not worth the money he got -- and that's not an indictment on him at all. Hagelin is a really good player who I think is underrated in almost every aspect of his game. But as the Ducks struggle at the top Hagelin hasn't been the guy to get them over the hump. He's an outstanding complimentary piece -- maybe even better than that -- but for where the Rangers were (and are) with the salary cap it needed to be done. I hope him, Zuccarello and Brassard all had a huge steak dinner and drank drinks out of a crazy straw, though.

- Anywho, Rangers needed that one, even if it was ugly. Here's to them making a move or two right out of the break and then bouncing back.

Thoughts?