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Rangers Vs. Panthers: Escaping The Shell

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Notes from the Rangers win over the Panthers.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

- I'll tell you what, the whole third period shell thing is going to be the cause of quite a few heart attacks come the playoffs. And since Florida is a potential opponent (not all that unlikely) watching the third period unfold was a preview to the horror show that will be come April. Woof.

- The Rangers found a way around it, but not before requesting Henrik Lundqvist put his Superman cape on and work his magic for about ten minutes. Then the Rangers did some good work on the power play, Rick Nash scored a power play goal (according to MSG there was one second left but the NHL officially ruled it a 5v5 goal so who knows) and Tanner Glass iced the game by actually hitting the empty net.

- I think the Rangers frantic finished took some of the rust off what could have been another fantastic two-goal collapse. The Rangers truly do not have that killer instinct they've had in the past, although I hate using terminology like that alone because it's more cliche than true. The reality is the Rangers defense they've leaned on for so long is older and much worse, the bottom six hasn't been as good as it has been in the past and the Rangers have a few players at the top who aren't pulling their own weight in terms of possession. So, yeah, there's no killer instinct, but not because they don't want it but more because some of the players they lean on don't have it anymore. There's a difference.

- Speaking of those players, Dan Girardi (who wasn't brutal, for what it's worth) and Marc Staal were on the ice to kill the penalty with a minute left. I get it, Ryan McDonagh had just been out with Kevin Klein and the smart move isn't to put the two of them back out there while they're exhausted. But you can use a timeout to keep them fresh, or maybe try Keith Yandle out there with one of the two wonder twins. As expected, the duo imploded, Staal completely lost his man and the Rangers made the game interesting until Glass' empty net goal.

- By the way, not that it needs to be said, great that Glass scored and he actually did play a good game Monday night (he was one of the few forwards with a positive corsi). Oscar Lindberg is still a better option, though, and it's not even close. You dress your best lineup. Period.

- Derick Brassard defending Glass after Tanner got laced up (clean hit) was not something I was expecting to see/blog/what the hell just happened?

- That shot from Mats Zuccarello. I mean, just wow. Not only did he have to corral the puck, but he needed to turn his frame towards the net, fought off two defenders, fell down and still went bar down. It was spectacular. And it really shows what the Rangers can do when they decide to be competent on the power play. Derek Stepan moved the puck to Brassard, who faked a shot and moved in to draw the defenders and then found the open Zuccarello. Perfection.

- Viktor Stalberg sure is something, eh? He's got wheels on top of wheels, used his speed to score a goal, got stoned on a breakaway and is underrated in his own zone. I'm not sure if he's sticking around beyond this year but I sure hope he does. The Rangers can use him.

- Nash only scores in useless games so I'm assuming his goal didn't count last night.

- Klein continues to shove his middle finger in the air to all the doubters. Two apples, including a very smart quick pass to Nash on his goal. Great all around.

- It's a big two points, especially coupled with the Islanders loss. It allows the Rangers to leapfrog Pittsburgh for 2nd in the Metro (the Penguins still have a game in hand) but it's still better than third.

Thoughts?