Originally written on NY Rangers Blog  |  Last updated 11/19/14
The Rangers eliminated the NJ Devils from playoff contention with a 4-1 victory at the Garden today. For a box score click here. Wins don't feel much better than that. Especially against a bitter rival who eliminated you from the playoffs just a season ago and found themselves on life support. Sweet, sweet revenge... Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye..... Something had to have been said the Ranger locker room after the Flyers loss last Tuesday.... 18 goals in the last 3 games??? Someone flipped the Rangers playoff switch to 'on.' The Rangers lead the NHL with 41 goals in the month of April. Sometimes coaching is the issue, sometimes its personnel. I think the answer as to why the Rangers were struggling scoring goals has become quite obvious. Torts can't talk enough about board play and how the Rangers need to generate offense along the wall. That point couldn't be more relevant on the Rangers first two goals. On the first goal, Hagelin kept the puck away from two Devils behind the net and found Callahan for a quick wraparound goal. With the second goal, completely set up by Ryane Clowe, Clowe shielded the puck along the boards behind the Devils net and a couple passes later, Stepan tipped a McDonagh wrister past Marty for the 2-0 lead twelve minutes into the first. Where did Taylor Pyatt get those hands? Sick snipe thanks to a gorgeous setup from Richards. 27 game goal drought snapped. By the way, Brad Richards is 4-3-7 in these last 3 games. Rangers better hope this continues because you cam now see how dangerous this team truly is when he is productive. Monster game from the Captain, 2 goals today in addition to hitting every red jersey in his sights and even negated an icing late with the game well in hand. What a stud. Girardi's hit on D'Agostini in the first period was so hard it knocked him back across the Hudson to NJ. D'Agostini was even called for a penalty in same play. Only glaring mistake the Rangers made was the goal against. Stralman got caught just a bit too far up the ice to negate the shutout. Oh well... Hank wasn't tested a whole lot outside of the first 10 minutes of the second period. Excellent job by the Rangers to weather that storm which everyone knew was coming after the Devils awful first period. As inconsistent as the Ranger power play has been this year I was concerned about New Jersey's ability to score shorthanded goals which they've done alot this year. Fortunately, that issue was never raised. If Winnipeg loses in regulation tomorrow or Tuesday, the Rangers can clinch a playoff spot with a non shootout win against the Florida Panthers in their next game on Tuesday. Follow me on twitter: @NYRblogneill Email me: c1rcaiff27@comcast.net
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