Found January 17, 2012 on The Rangers Tribune:
Rangers_goalie_lundqvist_295a

HankstaalLike we've seen so many times this season, the Rangers delivered exactly what the doctor ordered following a rough loss on Sunday when they defeated the Nashville Predators, 3-0, this evening at Madison Square Garden. From top-to-bottom, the Blueshirts' entire lineup contributed to tonight's win with great forechecking, solid defensive play, and in Lundqvist's case, spectacular goaltending. What we saw tonight are the New York Rangers that were so successful prior to last week's rough patch of games. This was the ideal way to kick off a tough week on the schedule without a doubt. 

The Rangers did get off to a relatively slow start in the early going, but they found their legs eventually and started applying a lot of pressure on the Predators and goaltender Anders Lindback. They were finally able to get one to the back of the net at 6:15 when Dan Girardi's low shot deflected off a Nashville defenseman and past Lindback to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. With offense being so hard to come by for the Rangers as of late, I'm sure the message from the coaches tonight was to throw anything and everything at the net and see what happens. Girardi did exactly that on this play and it paid off. 

I thought that the Predators did show some minor life after that, so it was up to Henrik Lundqvist to preserve the lead heading into the intermission. As always, Hank came through for the boys with some clutch saves that, if they weren't made, could've possibly changed the outcome of this game. 

New York would strike again at 10:42 of the second period, as John Mitchell's quick wrister when peeling off the boards caught Lindback by surprise and gave the Rangers a 2-0 advantage. Once again, throw the puck at the net and hope for the best. That approach earned Mitchell his fourth goal of the season.

You have to give this guy credit because there were very little expectations for him when he was recalled, but John's been nothing but a pleasant surprise for the club since then. He's been impressive to say the least. 

Lundqvist's best series of saves came right after Mitchell's goal, as the Predators poured on the pressure to try to bring themselves back into the game. He first stopped David Legwand on the breakaway and then denied the follow-up attempt from Patric Hornquist. If those saves aren't made the entire complexion of this game is changed drastically, so I think Henke certainly deserves a lot of recognition for his play in the middle frame. 

From there the Rangers played a very strong defensive game, and were rewarded in the final minute when Ryan Callahan was given an empty-net goal to seal off the 3-0 victory. I say "given" because he didn't actually put the puck in the opposing net, but was taken down in the process of doing so, which is an automatic goal according to the rulebook. 

Like I said, I think the Rangers' unsung hero in this game was Henrik Lundqvist. Yes, he received offensive support, and yes, the defense played very well in front of him, but he made key saves at key times to preserve the team's lead. The Predators were not about to back down at any point in this one, but Hank did a fantastic job of keeping them off the scoreboard. I guess by now, though, that's what's expected of him, so many take it for granted. 

Defenseman Dan Girardi was also a (all) star in this game, and deservedly received the Broadway Hat for the first time this season. He continues to log in the big minutes each game and never shows any signs of fatigue or mentality change. He goes out and pours his heart into the game each and every night. In my opinion, he's been the team's second most valuable player this season behind Lundqvist. His All-Star nomination is well deserved. 

I also liked the play of the two Brandons - Dubinsky and Prust - tonight. Dubinsky, especially, since it was his first game back from a shoulder injury. He was throwing the body around out there without any hesitation, as was Prust. Prust, along with partner Brian Boyle, also did a tremendous job on the penalty-kill tonight. 

Overall, to take down a team that has won eight of their past nine games is as good of a confidence-booster as the team could've asked for following the debacle in Montreal this past weekend. They redeemed themselves well and are now prepared to go up against two major Eastern Conference opponents in the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins. There's no doubt in my mind they can win both if they present an effort like tonight's.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Lundqvist Crown Collection Launching 1/19

Yesterday, I posted that Henrik Lundqvist will be launching a clothing line called the "Crown Collection." Here's a preview of one of the items which will be unveiled January 19th...Proceeds from the sale will go to the Garden of Dreams Foundation....that hat is pretty sweet. Can't wait to see the rest of the collection.Remember to follow me on Twitter & Facebook...

Crown Collection By Lundqvist

Henrik Lundqvist tweets out the logo of his crown collection which will benefit Garden of Dreams......assuming this is going to be a clothing line. And if so, with Hank involved you know it's going to be hot. Also great that sales will benefit Garden of Dreams....Hank truly is "The Most Interesting Man in the World."Remember to follow me on Twitter & Facebook or...

Lundqvist shuts out Predators, Rangers win 3-0

Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, and the New York Rangers stayed atop the NHL standings with a 3-0 victory over Nashville that stopped the Predators' winning streak at five games on Tuesday night.

Preview #45: Predators look for fifth straight win Monday afternoon

Season Records Nashville Predators 25-15-4 New York Islanders 16-20-6 With backto-back games Monday and Tuesday, Lindback is sure to see some playing time   On Monday afternoon, the Nashville Predators play the first of back-to-back games in New York when they visit the Islanders, before playing the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers on Tuesday night. Nashville is 11-8...

Rangers end Preds' run at 5 with 3-0 win (AP)

After Henrik Lundqvist and his teammates bounced back from a modest slump by shutting out the Nashville Predators, New York Rangers owner James Dolan decided to say what's been on his mind for a while: his club is Stanley Cup title material. "I think we're pretty close to getting that back," Dolan said after the Rangers beat Nashville 3-0 Tuesday night.

Photo: Dan Girardi Rocking The Broadway Hat

… well deserved Dan! Looks good on you. 

Rangers dominant, Preds win streak snapped…

If the Nashville Predators were, in fact, showcasing back-up goaltender Anders Lindback tonight… they showcased a one-man show. (And that’s not a compliment to the rest of the team). In front of 18,200 inside Madison Square Garden (and in front of a national TV audience), the Preds stunk up the place, losing 3-0. Nashville managed just 27 shots, including only one during 4:05...

Rangers get back on track with shutout of Preds

Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, and the New York Rangers stayed atop the NHL standings with a 3-0 victory over Nashville that stopped the Predators' winning streak at five games on Tuesday.

Rangers wear down Preds for shutout

NEW YORK (AP) -- Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, and the Rangers stayed atop the NHL standings with a 3-0 victory over Nashville that stopped the Predators' winning streak at five games on Tuesday night. Th...

Postgame: Mental Errors Cost Rangers in Loss to Pens

After last Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, despite the obscenity of it, you could say that the New York Rangers were still in first place so it was a game that the team could just put behind them and move on. While the Blueshirts will want to do the same after tonight’s loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden, there still has to be a little...

Rangers snap Nashville’s five-game winning streak, shutout Predators 3-0

The Nashville Predators visited Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night in the second game of back-to-back contests, losing to the New York Rangers 3-0. The loss ended Nashville’s five-game winning streak. Henrik Lundqvist picked up the his third shutout of the season for the League-leading Rangers, stopping all 27 shots on goal from Nashville. Anders Linback picked up the loss...

Rangers Stymie Predators in 3-0 Win

The Nashville Predators headed into New York to play the Rangers, who have the best record in hockey, without two members of their "big three" and the result was somewhat predictable. The Predators five game winning streak was snapped in a 3-0 loss.Henrik Lundqvist put on a perfect performance, stopping all 27 Predator shots. Dan Girardi, John Mitchell, and Ryan Callahan...

Nashville Predators at the New York Islanders: Pre Game Primer

TV-Radio...Noon CST - TV: Fox Sports TN, MSG Plus, and NHL Network in Canada. Preds Radio Network (102.5-FM The Game)Stage Setter...After surviving an ongoing dog fight in the Western Conference and winning 13 of their last 17 games, the Predators travel to New York to play the Islanders today and the Rangers tomorrow. With back to back games it would not be a complete surprise to...

SORRY ABOUT THAT! … Penguins at Rangers tonight

We had a major outage of all of our LoHud blogs last night, as I’m sure you are all aware. So apologies all around. Just glad it wasn’t my fault. I worried that maybe I pushed a wrong button or something, you know, being the techno wizard that I am. ************************* Anyway, here are the belated pre-game notes, courtesy of the Rangers: NEW YORK RANGERS vs. PITTSBURGH...

The First Place Team

There is no clear leader in the NHL standings at this point in the season.  Two teams have 60 points each to tie for the lead.  Given that the New York Rangers have 43 games played and Chicago has 46 games played in that tie, the Rangers are first overall in the league. The New York Rangers were not considered a serious candidate to be first overall in the NHL.  After all last...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.