Ranger Recap: Rangers 4 Panthers 1

The Rangers—looking to win four games in a row for the first time since the beginning of the season—walked into Madison Square Garden having lost five in a row on home ice. They broke that streak tonight playing an overall great game and winning their 4th game in a row.

The opening period was, in certain respects, a "regression and redemption" period for a few of the players. In the redemption portion we saw Enver Lisin play one of the best periods of his short Ranger career, hustling to negate an icing and then setting up a Chris Drury goal; he also drew a penalty and was flying all over the ice. Chris Drury also finds himself in the redemption category scoring yet another goal (he seems to be heating up no?) to tie things up for the Rangers.

Michael Rozsival, on the other hand, headlines our regression segment. Dominic Moore was driving hard to the net (covered by Michael Del Zotto) and threw a shot on the net which trickled into the slot, where Rozsival—who wasn’t even watching the play—skated by it (not before slowing it down) and allowed Victor Oreskovich to score his second goal of the year. Rozsival also turned the puck over a few times which lead to Panther scoring chances, overall it was a poor first period for him.

The Rangers came out flat in the second period, allowing the Panthers to cycle the puck at will in their defensive zone. For anyone who was listening to the Blueshirt Banter Radio Holiday Show, please remember what me and DBMaven (2 mentions in one day!) were saying about the need for defense instead of offense to stop those types of issues. Just call it Joe and DBmaven 1 Mandar 0, for those of you who are keeping score. Regardless the Rangers found their game in the middle of the period taking over the game and being rewarded when Vaclav Prospal scored his 7th on the power play. It should also be noted that Henrik Lundqvist had to make some absolutely jaw-dropping saves in order to keep the Rangers in this one.

You really can’t start off a period better than the way the Rangers started the third, with Prospal scoring his second of the game just 23 second into the period. Brandon Dubinsky continued his great play adding an assist on the goal, giving him three points in the last two games. It’s pretty amazing how much Dubinsky solidifies this line-up.

Shortly after the midway mark of the third Chris Drury (who had one of the best games I can remember) made some brilliant plays shorthanded before leading Marian Gaborik who buried his 26th goal of the year.

Empty Netters:

  • Although Rozsival had an awful first period he tightened up from the second period on. Nice to see him playing at least relatively well.

  • I don’t think you can say enough about Marian Gaborik, and to be honest nothing I say here will give what he does for this team any justice, so I will just say that he is a God and leave it at that.

  • Christopher Higgins is simply becoming frustrating to watch. He works himself into open space, he maneuvers himself into a shooting lane and he either fans on the shot or shoots it into the goalies chest. I’m getting sick of him.

  • Michael Del Zotto had a solid game offensively but my goodness does he lay the lumber. On two or three occasions he threw a Panther to the ice with some awesome hits.

  • Sean Avery had a brilliant game tonight. He has shaken off the rust since the start of the year and has turned into the Avery of old. He has been one of the few sparks on this team from the get-go.

  • Matt Gilroy has answered his five game stint in Hartford with two very solid games for the Rangers, he wants to be here and deserves to be here.

  • By the way what was the infatuation by Sam and Joe with Michael Del Zotto’s family holiday dinner? They talked about it every five minutes. What guys, you two don’t make enough money to scrape up some cash for a pasta dinner in New York?

  • Ryan Callahan and Artem Anisimov both had very solid games for the Rangers without hitting the score sheet.

  • Also how good has Henrik Lundqvist been these past 10 games? The Rangers might not have won all of them but Lundqvist has had a sub 2 GAA in the past 10 game and was once again brilliant tonight.

Okay boys another good one tonight, have at it!