Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.
The Wrap: Xtra post-game note, quotes, stats
On to Philadelphia.
Yes it’s a cliché, but the Rangers just keep finding ways to win.Tonight, it was Martin Biron’s recovery from an opening misplay, Brandon Prust’s hustle for his third shorthander, Chris Drury, Sean Avery, Michal Rozsival and Derek Stepan’s chemistry for the third-period tying goal and Erik Christensen’s shootout game-decider that provided the formula.
It was just as big a win, in coach John Tortorella’s eyes, as the whipping of Washington and the third-period comeback in Pittsburgh. It vaulted the Rangers to only their third three-game winning streak of the year and 41 points, fourth most in the NHL.
Here’s Stepan on Prust’s momentum-turning shorthander so late in the second: “It wasn’t that we weren't playing hard, but we didn’t have energy or pop. That goal gave us some energy. His game is exactly what we need.”
Tortorella on Prust: “He is not home grown from our minor league team, but he has grown into us, He has been killing penalties; he will fight anybody. He is a big part of who we are.”
Biron on Vrbata’s shootout bid, which he stopped with an extended left pad: “He is a nifty player and I know he has a lot of moves. When he went back to go to the other side, chances are he isn’t going to get it in the air, so if you are able to go to the post you are going to make that save.”
By the numbers, good and bad:
Rangers are 13-6 in the last 19.
With a goal, his third, that tied the game at 1, and an assist, No. 16, Dan Girardi has 19 points. He had 24 last season.
Prust has six points in eight games and the three shorties are tied for the league lead. His five shorthanded points are No. 1.
Biron is 4-2 at MSG and 6-2 overall.Christensen is fifth all time 20-37 (54.1 percent) in the shootout, and has 10 game-deciders. “That is one helluva goal he scores there,” said Tortorella. “You never know when he is going to play well. He is a dangerous player. He is a huge weapon for us.” Stepan had struggled before his 1st goal at MSG, which he said he thought about in the afternoon. “I thought me and Dru played pretty well. We had a couple shifts and we clicked. I knew he was going to win that faceoff.”
The assist was Drury’s first point of the season.
Marc Staal played 30:01. His assist gave him 10 points in the last 12 games.
Marian Gaborik, pointless, had five shots.
Todd White played 4:44 and was a minus-1.
Brandon Dubinsky’s best shot hit the crossbar.
Yotes coach Dave Tippett: We’re finding way to shoot ourselves in the foot right now. We have to clean some of that up. A game when you’re ahead, you should be able to close that up.” Speaking of closers, Mariano Rivera was in the house.