Rangers Beat Canucks
Rest easy Ranger fans. They're not going win-less. Thanks to a four-goal third period and a brilliant game by Henrik Lundqvist the Rangers beat the Vancouver Canucks, last season's Western Conference champion, 4-0.
After two periods it is hard to say the Rangers weren't vehemently out-played. The Canucks had out-shot the Blueshirts 28-9 and the Rangers had taken five penalties, several in the offensive zone. However, some clutch defending from this young, injury depleted defensive corps, and brilliant goal tending from Henrik Lundqvist kept the score level after two.
Early in the third Lundqvist would finally get the offensive help he's yearned for for years. Mike Rupp, yeah, Mike Rupp of all people, would wrist home a rebound, beating Roberto Luongo to the near-side and giving the Rangers the lead. Two penalty kills later Ryan McDonagh would continue the "scoring from unlikely places" trend that Rupp had started, when he too beat Luongo. 2-0 Rangers. Just a few minutes later Prust, Fedotenko and Boyle would combine on a brilliant passing play that would end with Boyle bulging the back of the net, 3-0 Rangers. Signs of life from the Rangers offense? Who knew?!
The icing on the cake was delivered late in the third period, following two more Ranger penalty kills - are we sensing a theme here? The team takes too many penalties. Ryan McDonagh would turn in some great stick handling through the offensive zone and find Marion Gaborik in the crease for the tap-in goal. 4-0 Rangers. It was a fantastic game for the Rangers and the first success for an offense that has looked otherwise listless this season. But this game was about Henrik Lundqvist, and no one else. Hank survived eight Vancouver power plays and stopped forty shots. The man they call 'The King' was nothing short of royalty last night turning back barrage after barrage of Canuck attack to net his first shut-out of the year and the Rangers' first win.
The Rangers will move on from this win and continue their tour of Western Canada Thursday night in Calgary. They'll look to improve on the slow start they delivered in Vancouver and try to keep it under, I don't know, five penalties taken? Maybe? In four games the Rangers have given up 27 power plays and scored one first period goal, trends that can not continue if the Rangers want to have any long-term success.