Tonight the Rangers took on the Boston Bruins in a rematch of the first game of the season. The Rangers needed to get a win tonight to finally start their season. The last time the clubs played, the bruins skated circles around the Rangers and saw the Rangers frequenting the penalty box.
In the first, the Rangers team we were waiting for came out. They were playing well early; doing many of the things that they hadn’t been doing for the first two games. They were fore checking well, winning battles and more importantly, putting the puck on the net every opportunity that they got. At 4:36 they would be rewarded. MDZ would hit a stretch pass to Richards who finessed it to Nash up the left wing. Nash then put the puck hard across to Gabby who dangled it on the sharp angle and lifted it over Rask. This is the offensive play that Rangers fans have anticipated since the acquisition of Nash. After the goal, the Rangers would continue the pressure; fore checking hard and putting shot after shot on Rask. Again it was Gaborik, at 6:49; Staal pinched in and threw the puck across to MDZ who put a wicked writer on net, and Gabby was there to take out the trash with his second of the night. Gabby found himself in great position tonight. It seemed as if the Bruins didn’t know who they wanted to cover tonight, with both of the highly talented wingers on the ice at the same time. The Rangers would have to kill off a penalty to Brian Boyle at 9:56, but unlike the last two games, which affected their momentum prior to the kill, this time it did not. The Blue Shirts pick right back up where they left off cycling well and winning battles in the corners. The Rangers would find themselves in trouble again at 15:16 on a Hook by Kreider. This penalty was killed off in typical Rangers fashion with blocked shot after blocked shot. This was a great first period by the Rangers, and one they desperately needed. This would set the tone for the rest of the game. Also the Rangers only allowed 8 soft shots in the first, helping Lundqvist ease himself into the game tonight; he looked great and fresh in net.
The second period saw the Bruins come alive and score right away on the power play. Brad Marchand would put it in at 1:05 on a tip from Hamilton and Peverly. The Bruins would then start to dominate play after the goal as they were on fire and poised to knot up the contest. The Rangers would take another penalty at 5:21, and this would be the fourth penalty in the last 15 minutes of game time. The Blue Shirts would kill it off though allowing no shots to the Boston power play. The Rangers would have their chance to extend the lead at 8:35 on the power play as Chara high sticked Gabby. The power play looked great here. They cycled the puck well and they were getting absolute bombs from the point as Anton Stralman was just unleashing shot after shot. After the kill, yet again the Rangers would get caught on a bad change, as Milan Lucic would tie it up on a puck mishandled by Lundqvist. Lucic gathered it in and put it by The King on the back hand. The Rangers need to get their act together and be disciplined so these types of plays do not plague them early on in this shortened season. The Blue Shirts would come right back on a Goal from Taylor Pyatt on a rebound that Rask could not control at 13:16. The Bruins would have one more opportunity to tie it up on the power play at the end of the frame but the Rangers were able to kill it off and head to the Locker room with a 3-2 advantage.
The two clubs would come out in the third and play a little back and forth until the Rangers would go on the power play at 4:30 on a trip by Johnson on Hagelin, Less than a minute later, McQuaid would join him in the box as he Boarded Dan Girardi. This would give the Rangers a prime opportunity for some insurance, but they would squander the opportunity and give the momentum on a silver platter to the Bruins who really turned it on after the kills. After over five minutes of play without a whistle the teams would come back after the break and Rick Nash came down the right wing on a prime opportunity, but Rask was there. Tukka was there a lot tonight, denying Nash on chance after chance. I’m sure he was as amazed as we were. At 13:55 there would be matching minors to Paille and Nash, and on the ensuing 4 on 4 the Bruins would cash in on a brilliant keep in. Horton would then be the benefactor of a bad play by McDonagh whristing one in past Henrik. The game was now tied at 3 a piece. The Rangers would have a chance to go back up on the power play at 16:10. The Rangers were 0/4 on the man advantage up to this point of the evening, and it would not change as the Bruins killed it off. With less than a minute to go it was Nash again streaking down the right side putting a move on Lucic and shooting from the right hash which was stopped by Rask, who then stopped a second attempt by Gabby. Rask was on fire on that sequence, and left The Garden Crowd astounded. This on would go to overtime.
Overtime did not last long on a heads up play by Marian Gaborik. At the point, Ference mishandled the puck and The Great Gabby was there to eat it up. He streaked down the middle of the ice on the break away. Rask, who shined tonight, made the initial stop but Gabby was poised to win it and batted the puck into the back of the net out of mid-air. This was Gabby’s third goal of the night and his first hat trick of the 2013 season. In dramatic fashion the Rangers won it in OT 4-3 for their first W and first 2 points of the season.
This was the Rangers team we all knew was going to emerge. Though they had their fair share of hiccups tonight, this is what we can expect from the club this year; high intensity plays, with a lot of skill. It was interesting to see torts keep Nash, Richie and Gabby together all night tonight. I think we can all agree that it was a good idea as that line produced the bulk of the offense and shots on goal tonight. We hope to see more of this thrilling play from our club this year.
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