SUNRISE, FLA - Jumping 13 spots in the NHL stats is pretty remarkable, and even more so when it happens in a matter of weeks.
The Rangers had been the NHL's worst offensive team through March, but in the first 11 games in April, they had scored 41 goals, jumping to 17th overall.
"We got some puck luck in Buffalo (an 8-4 win),'' coach John Tortorella said, and the turnaround, with 18 goals in the three games before Tuesday night, has instilled confidence. "Nothing's changed in our concept, guys are making more plays, and confidence grows. You can see how athletes react when you win some games, when things go good for certain individuals. It relaxes people, and that's the best way to play. We just need to stay above it; it changes pretty quickly.''
It changed Tuesday night, when the Rangers scored just twice, with the last one from Derick Brassard, too little, too late, with 32.9 seconds left, in a 3-2 loss.
Taylor Pyatt is hot. His goal extended his point streak to a season-high, four games (two goals, two assists) and he was credited with five hits and two blocks . . . Mats Zuccarello recorded an assist, but was the most active and creative Ranger in a season-high 21:06 . . . Dan Girardi led all skaters with a career-high, eight shots . . . Brassard's goal was his fourth as a Ranger . . . D John Moore's assist was his fifth point in 11 games . . . Mark Staal (eye) missed his 25th consecutive game, Derek Dorsett (clavicle) his 11th, and Brian Boyle (right knee), his fourth.
Name was the same
It's not official, but the AHL's Connecticut Whale will return to the name "Wolf Pack'' that was dropped in September 2010, a person in the Rangers organization confirmed. It is unclear whether the team will use Connecticut or Hartford in its name.