Originally posted on NY Rangers Blog  |  Last updated 2/17/13
Game Summary: The Rangers beleaguered power play, still terribly pedestrian and sometimes down-right bad, was the difference tonight with a gorgeous third period goal by Derek Stepan that sealed a 2-1 win. What wasn't gorgeous was how the Rangers started the game. Early in the first period, after an Eric Fehr shot that hit the post and then almost deflected back in by a Ranger defenseman, (missed the name, sorry) the puck found its way to a wide open John Carlson at the top of the right circle and wired a shot far side past Lundqvist just 1:19 in. The Rangers did settle down after the early goal, controlled play for a vast majority of the first period and managed to pepper Braden Holtby with 20 shots in the period, who looked much like the goaltender who gave the Rangers fits in the playoffs last year. The Rangers got on the board at 7:39 of the second period, following a Ryan McDonagh slap-pass from the point, redirected in by the white hot Carl Hagelin for his sixth of the year.  Just after Stepan buried go-ahead power play goal in the third period, you may have heard a loud thud of 18,200 jaws hitting the floor at MSG. Set up by a Richards faceoff win, Del Zotto funneled the puck to a wide open Stepan at the far post, beating Holtby four and a half minutes into the final frame.   Observations: Perhaps the Rangers should've had a morning skate, they came out very sluggish and it cost the Rangers an early goal... The Rangers did an excellent job limiting the Caps scoring chances after the go ahead goal and not letting a very dangerous team free wheel the puck, which got them into trouble over the last two games against Boston and the Islanders. We could be talking several weeks before Darrol Powe takes the ice again. No doubt he sustained a concussion tonight. That collision looked awfully similar to when Brendan Shanahan and Mike Knuble ran into each other back in 2007. Speaking of 2007, tonight's game gave me Tom Renney flashbacks when he was coach... a ton of shots and less than 2 goals a game. Welcome back, Chris Kreider. Gotta make the most of this new opportunity. Last time I wrote a recap, I hurled some criticisms at Carl Hagelin who went 35+ games without scoring. Hags has 6 goals since. You better believe having Nash at his opposite wing has everything to do with his recent offensive outburst. Brad Richards was going to draw my ire tonight, he had an "ok" game, but redeemed himself after drawing the penalty and winning the faceoff which led to Stepan's game winner. Next game is at home against the Habs on Tuesday. Follow me on twitter: @NYRblogneill Email me: c1rcaiff27@comcast.net
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