The Wrap: Notes, Stats and Extra Quotes
How about some stats first tonight, as the Rangers (12-9-1) upped their home record to 5-6-1 before heading off tomorrow on a three-game roadie to Florida and Nashville.
Martin Biron is 4-1-0 with a 1.83 GAA and .930 save percentage in his last six games and has five wins already.
"It's about putting the work in at practice," said Biron, who has quickly made fans forget about last year's backup trio of Steve Valiquette, Chad Johnson and Matt Zaba, who won only three games all last season. "A few weeks ago we started the bike program and that's gets me working after the games that I don't play. It gets my legs and lungs going."
"He's played great for us," said Dan Girardi, "been a big part of it all."
The Rangers, already leading the league in hits and averaging about 18 a game, were credited with a season high 44 Hits. Ryan Callahan had 11 hits for a league-leading 91, Brian Boyle 7. The Flames had 31.
The Blueshirts, 5-2 in the last seven, are 10-0-0 when leading after two periods.
It is rare when the Rangers win the faceoff battle, but they were 30-of-55. A crucial win came from Derek Stepan, which led to Girardi's game-winning goal.
"I stepped into the circle, looked at Danny Girardi, because I was on my forehand and wanted to try to bring it to my backhand. I won it back cleanly, he came down Main Street and made a great shot."
Said Girardi: "I tried to shoot low glove, heavy shot (laughs). I thought he got all of it. I saw it roll behind him and I was happy. It was a good job for our team to hold the lead for that long." 27:19, to be exact.
Stepan, who played 19:08, the most of any forward and two-minutes-plus more than Marian Gaborik, has a goal and five assists in six games. He was 8 for 16 on faceoffs.
The penalty-kill is on fire, 2 for 2 tonight and 30-for-31 in the last 10 games.
The Rangers had not beaten Calgary in the Garden since Jan. 10, 2006 (4-2).
Unsung Steve Eminger blocked four shots, including one third-period rocket from Iginla that left him limping badly to the bench, and five hits.
Calgary had 26 shots in the final 40 minutes; the Rangers had 24 total.
Rangers are practicing in Tampa Tuesday, but we'll have our FWC (Fabulous Weekly Chat) at 2 p.m. I'm taking my annual Thanksgiving break and will catch up with the Rangers in Nashville Saturday.
Newsday's Arthur Staple will be gleefully subbing for me in the 80-degree weather, so we're not abandoning the coverage. Far from it. Arthur will drop in and of course, be in the paper and on twitter and I'll pass things along here as well....
Maybe I'll have some type of interactive thing on Wednesday or Friday and we'll talk turkey while we're watching on the tube.....