For sixty minutes they bored the hell out of me. Except for the goaltending, this wasn't a well played game, for sixty minutes. The OT and the shootout raised the game to another level. The Rangers won the shootout as Stepan and Gaborik outgunned Vrbata for a 2-1 victory. Vrbata had tied the game with 8:23 left.
The OT brought some dramatics as Gaborik was awarded a dubious penalty shot, no histrionics by the anointed coach. Gaborik made some beautiful moves but goalie Mike Smith made a sensational stick save to send the game into the shootout. Lundqvist was good with 18 saves including 5 out of 6 in the shootout. Mike Smith was outstanding with 31 saves even though he blew two of six shootout shots.
So now would you believe the Rangers are atop the NHL with 58 points, one ahead of Vancouver and we have four games in hand on the Canucks. More significant is the three point lead over the big bad Bruins of Boston. We haven't played the Bruins yet and they have a game in hand on us.
There was one power play in the game and the Rangers got it and blew it. There was a nonsensical fight between Rupp and Bissonnette, the type that gives the NHL a bad name. It was contrived. Sam said it went back to the previous meeting of the two teams. That was eons ago. Rupp further distinguished himself by igniting the 'Yotes tying goal with a 'beautiful' drop pass that led to Vrbata's tying goal. Rupp got all of 7:39 of ice time. And Sean Avery sits in Hartford.
There were plenty of heroes wearing the Rangers sweater Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, not the least of which were shootout stars Henrik Lundqvist, Derek Stepan, and Marian Gaborik. However the team's Broadway Hat ended up on the head of a player who played an extremely strong two-way game Tuesday, but who did not take part in the shootout.
Veteran winger Ruslan Fedotenko was presented the Broadway Hat following the game after scoring his sixth goal of the season---the only goal scored by the Blueshirts through 65 minutes against Mike Smith---while playing a very effective game on the forecheck along with linemates Brian Boyle and Carl Hagelin.