The New York Rangers got perhaps the spark they needed to break free from their recent struggles. Their next opponent is still looking for one.
The Rangers will try to build on a contentious victory Wednesday night when they face the injury-plagued Detroit Red Wings, who are slumping but will look to continue their domination in the series.
New York (45-20-7) had dropped five of seven before Monday's game against New Jersey, but three simultaneous fights in the opening seconds seemed to set the tone for New York. The Rangers went on to a 4-2 victory and clinched a playoff berth, while earning much-needed points as they worked to hold off surging Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division.
"I just want us to continue to play and continue to try to improve, and try to be playing our best hockey when we go into that last week," coach John Tortorella said. "These last couple of weeks are very important."
Brandon Dubinsky and Derek Stepan each ...