What can you say about rookie Ds Michael Sauer and Ryan McDonagh?
With Staal sidelined with a twisted knee in the third period, Sauer stepped up to play 25:39, blocked 5 shots and created traffic in front of Cam Ward on Wolski's game-tying goal with 1:50 left in regulation. "He's been in there all year," said Tortorella. "He hasn;t come up with many points, but he keeps our offense going."
McDonagh got the puck to Wolski for his fourth assist and played 24:55. Dan Girardi (7 hits) played 27:42...Staal, who Tortorella believed would benefit from two days off, played 20:01 before leaving as his twisted knee got progressively worse. "Obviously, when Stallsie's out and you've got Erik Cole coming down every other shift. it's a big hole," Tortorella said, "but our guys battled and Hank made some key saves."
" We felt we were getting a lot of scoring chances, I thought they got lucky on their second goal. As the third period went on, we kept on grinding and it shifted a lot of the momentum. Our morale hasn't been bad, but you get beat up a little bit when you lose these close ones. You have to keep some arrogance to your game and keep some confidence, when you lose like we've been losing, in close games, it does affect you."
In the third period, after sitting in the second, Michael Del Zotto played much better, "because he let the game come to him," said Tortorella. "The first half of the game, he tried to make a play to Cally and it comes back down our throat. It's something, this is what Michael has to learn. We thought he played very well in the second half of the third period, not to force things."
The Rangers killed all three Carolina power plays, but the Canes were dangerous on every one....Vinny Prospal had a team-high eight shots....Kris Newbury was 5-0 on faceoffs in 7:42 as the Rangers won 57 percent of the faceoffs...Matt Gilroy was a minus-2 with no shots...
I need to see more replays, but Staal-on-Staal hit seemed unnecessary, but shoulder to shoulder as Marc had head down. Problem is, when Marc got blasted backward, he hit shoulder and left side of head on ice.