Carl Hagelin can't explain his recent surge

Carl Hagelin #62 tries to gain control of

Carl Hagelin #62 tries to gain control of the puck against Karl Alzner #27 of the Washington Capitals. (Feb. 17, 2013) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Carl Hagelin can't explain it. The Rangers' 24-year-old forward can't pinpoint the difference between his first seven games of the season and his last seven, other than the fact that it might have taken a while for him to get back into the game mentally.

"Maybe I was thinking too much the first couple of games for my legs to work," Hagelin said after practice Monday. "Now I kind of know what to expect."

Rangers fans hope they can continue to expect what Hagelin has been giving them the past couple of weeks. In Sunday's 2-1 win over Washington, Hagelin scored for the fourth straight game and sixth in the last seven.

"It continues to mount. He creates a ton of offense for us," Rangers coach John Tortorella said.

The speedy Swedish winger also has helped create a change in direction for the Rangers, who started the season 3-4-0 but are 5-1-1 in their last seven. Hagelin has been particularly effective since the Feb. 7 game against the Islanders in which the Rangers assembled the line of Hagelin, Derek Stepan and Rick Nash.

"With so much speed and him going to the net, he's a hard guy to stop," Nash said of Hagelin. "He plays hard, he competes on every puck. He doesn't give up."

Notes & quotes: The Rangers placed Darroll Powe on injured reserve after confirming that he suffered a concussion when he collided with the Capitals' Matt Hendricks in the second period Sunday. Tortorella said he doesn't know when Powe will be back but added that he missed him right away. "He doesn't have the stats, but it's not always about stats," Tortorella said . . . The Rangers recalled 6-3, 224-pound Brandon Mashinter, who could compete with Chris Kreider for Powe's spot. Tortorella would not say who has the edge, adding "a number of things come into play." One thing is clear: Mashinter has size but is a bit of a mystery. Said Tortorella: "I've been interested in looking at Mashinter, if that's how you pronounce it. I'm not even sure how you pronounce his name yet."

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