Originally posted on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 12/17/11

HBO cannot be any happier with the material they’ve been provided with from the New York Rangers over the past couple of weeks. There have been ups, there have been downs, there’s been controversy, there’s been adversity, and now there’s what seemed like a scripted finish in tonight’s win over the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, Arizona. The drama that has surrounded this team since HBO began filming is almost unbelievable, and tonight’s events added just another chapter to what’s becoming quite the tale.

It all started at 8:54 of the first period when Marian Gaborik opened the scoring with a powerplay goal. Michael Del Zotto made an excellent pass from the defensive zone to spring Gaborik on a breakaway, and Marian snapped a wrister past goaltender Mike Smith to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead and score what would be his first of two goals on the night.

The Rangers dominated play in the first, but they again allowed a late goal before the end of the period and found themselves in a 1-1 tie going into the intermission. Former Ranger Lauri Korpikoski scored right off the faceoff with nine seconds left on the clock. Credit to Boyd Gordon for the clean win on the draw over Erik Christensen.

For the second time in the game, the Coyotes stuck late, this time getting a goal from Cal O’Reilly on the powerplay at 19:08 of the second period. Marian Gaborik answered back with his second on the night just a minute into the final stanza. Keith Yandle’s turnover floated out to the slot, where Gaborik was originally stopped but buried his own rebound. That goal, by the way, was the 300th of his career.

Remember how I said the Coyotes kept screwing the Rangers over late in the period? Well, the Rangers returned the favor in incredible fashion at the end of the third period. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Ryan Callahan was cut off behind the Phoenix net, leaving the puck unattended to in the corner. Ryan McDonagh, pinching on the play, then swooped in and nudged the puck towards Brad Richards, who spun around and sent a backhander towards the net. That backhander gave Smith trouble, ramped up off his stick, off the post and over the goal line with…..wait for it…… 0.1 seconds remaining in regulation.

The goal was originally waved off, but clearly it was valid upon review. So the Rangers won this one as late as you could possibly win a hockey game.

Up until that point, Brad Richards had a quiet game. In fact, he’s been kept quiet for about three or so games now, but boy, that’s how you go about breaking a slump.  They always say to play until you hear the whistle, or in this case the buzzer, and Richards proved why with this goal. Amazing.

Marty Biron didn’t have the most active night in goal tonight, only facing 23 total shots, but he did come up with some big saves for the Rangers when they were needed. Biron is now 5-1-0 on the season in six starts, so he’s done a fantastic job of backing-up Henrik Lundqvist this year. 

Brad Richards may have gotten the Broadway Hat tonight, but Marian Gaborik is my choice for player of the game. He was absolutely dominant tonight and looked like the Gabby that we know and love when scoring his two goals. Marian was due for a standout performance tonight and he delivered. That’s all you can ask from your top goal-scorer.

The Rangers played an all-around solid game tonight compared to their previous two losses to the Stars and Blues. They were especially strong on defense, where they stifled the Coyotes all night long. Phoenix pulled some of the momentum their way in the second period, but the Rangers were able to contain them besides the late powerplay goal, and set themselves up for a comeback in the third.

Also, the Blueshirts forechecked much more efficiently. They weren’t a one-and-done team tonight; they actually forced Smith to stop second and third opportunities.

The Rangers are now just three points out of first place in the Eastern Conference with an 18-8-4 record. 

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: NFL Legends (and Jose Canseco!) Have No Love For Captain America
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

The NFL is thinking about eliminating the preseason

Romo expected to miss 6-10 weeks with broken bone in back

Kaepernick explains why he is protesting national anthem

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

NFL tries to reduce kick returns, promptly causes more kick returns

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

San Francisco Giants inching closer to a record they really don’t want

Clint Dempsey undergoing testing for irregular heartbeat

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

Chargers would welcome Joey Bosa if he signed contract

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker