New York R VERSUS Washington

In 1972, the Miami Dolphins because known as the “No-Name Defense” because Miami’s impressive offense received much more publicity. Well, nobody is mistaking the 2010-2011 NY Rangers as an offensive juggernaut, but the team has carved out an identity and continues to play some of the leagues best defensive hockey and they’re doing it primarily with third and fourth line-esque players and a constant stream it seems of Connecticut Whale call-ups.

Monday night the team nobody thought could compete, did it again, shutting down the Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals and taking a 2-1 win via dramatic shootout  fashion.

A late goal by Marian Gaborik got the team to overtime and eventually the shootout. Mats Zuccarello, who scored in his fourth straight shootout, and Wojtek Wolski made dazzling moves on Washington starter, Braden Holtby and then got the game winner from Artem Anisimov. Martin Biron was, again, strong between the pipes for the Blueshirts who have a real chance, despite their slew of injuries, to go 4-1-0 tonight as they complete their 5-games0in-7-nights stretch before the All-Star break when they take on the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden tonight.

Jan. 24, 2011 – NY Rangers 2, Washington Capitals 1 SO (Game No. 51, Away No. 27)

*       The Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals, 2-1, in the shootout tonight at Verizon Center to improve to 29-19-3 overall, including a 17-9-1 mark on the road.  New York has registered a point in 24 of their last 36 games (22-12-2), and are now 12-6-2 in their last 20 contests.

*       Tonight’s contest marked the second consecutive game the Rangers came from behind entering the third period to win in the shootout, having defeated the Atlanta Thrashers in the shootout on Saturday at Philips Arena (3-2).  New York improved to 7-12-3 when trailing after the second period, to lead the league with seven wins and a .318 winning percentage in those games.

*       The Blueshirts’ 17 road wins are tied for first in the league.

*       Marian Gaborik notched the game-tying goal with 6:41 remaining in regulation, and led all Rangers’ forwards with 22:08 of ice time.  He now ranks second on the team in scoring with 30 points, and third with 16 goals.

*       Martin Biron stopped 22 shots through regulation and overtime, and turned aside two of four shootout attempts to improve to 8-4-0 overall with a 4-1-0 mark on the road.  He is now 7-3-0 with a 2.19 goals against average and a .926 save percentage in his last 12 games, and has held opponents to two or fewer goals in eight of his 13 starts.  Biron is 15-6-2 in his last 24 starts, including a 7-2-2 mark in his final 11 starts last season dating back to a 4-3 win on Feb. 9, 2010 vs. Nashville.

*       Artem Anisimov tallied the game-deciding goal in the fourth round of the shootout, and logged 21:07 of ice time in the contest.  It was Anisimov’s first career shootout goal, and he is now 1-5 (20%).  Wojtek Wolski and Mats Zuccarello also converted their shootout attempts for the Rangers.  Wolski improved to 19-44 (43%) in shootouts, while Zuccarello has converted each of his four career shootout attempts.

*       Brian Boyle recorded the primary assist on Gaborik’s game-tying goal, and led the team with five shots on goal.  He has now registered 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in the last 24 games, including four points (three goals, one assist) in the last six contests.

*       Sean Avery registered one assist, and has now tallied four assists in the last four games.  Avery ranks third on the team with 18 assists on the season.

*       Michael Del Zotto and Evgeny Grachev each skated in the contest following their recall from Connecticut (AHL) on Saturday.  Del Zotto was credited with three hits and two blocked shots in 15:07 of ice time, and Grachev logged 9:09 of ice time.

*       Marc Staal and Michael Sauer tied for the game-high with four blocked shots.  Staal also led the team with 29:09 of ice time.

*       Kris Newbury led the team and tied for the game-high with five hits in the contest.

*       The Rangers will conclude their league-high, 14th back-to-back set when they face-off against the Florida Panthers tomorrow, Jan. 25, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in their fifth game in seven nights heading into the All-Star break.  The game will be televised live on MSG Network & can be heard on 1050 ESPN Radio & www.newyorkrangers.com.


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