You have to take wins however you can get them when the team isn’t firing on all cylinders and that is exactly what the New York Rangers did Monday night with a 2-1 road win against the Winnipeg Jets.
The team caught a break when Ryan Callahan’s pass from the right circle that was headed for Ruslan Fedotenko caught Winnipeg defenseman, Zach Bogosian’s skate and redirected into the net past starter Chris Mason. The goal, which proved to be the game-winner came on the power play – yes, the power play…and it wasn’t the first power play goal of the game for the Blueshirts, it was their second. In fact, both of the goals came on the power play for a Rangers team that had just one goal in their first 24 attempts, good for last in the league.
Marty Biron got the start in net, his first of the season, giving Henrik Lundqvist a much needed night off, and was simply spectacular. The one goal he did surrender, to ex-Ranger Nik Antropov from the left circle, he had virtually no chance on and he continued to make strong stop after strong stop in near impossible situations throughout the entire game as his teammates scrambled all night long. There were several occasions where the Jets held possession for long stretches inside the Rangers zone. In fact the Rangers game winner resulted from a Chris Thorburn tripping penalty drawn after one such stretch that left virtually the entire team on the ice gasping for air.
The Rangers next take to the ice after playing their first seven on the road on Thursday night when the first of three phases in the remodeling of the Garden is unveiled. Game time is 7pm.
Here is the official release from the Rangers:
– The Rangers defeated the Winnipeg Jets, 2-1, tonight at MTS Centre, and have now won three of their last four games.
– Monday’s contest marked the Rangers’ first trip to Winnipeg since they faced the former Winnipeg Jets franchise on Nov. 17, 1995 (3-6), and was the Blueshirts’ first win in Winnipeg since a 5-4 victory on Nov. 21, 1992.
– The Rangers completed their season-opening, seven-game road trip with a record of 3-2-2 (8 pts), including a 3-1-0 mark on their four-game Western Canada swing. New York’s seven-game road trip to begin the 2011-12 regular season is the longest to open a season in franchise history.
– The Blueshirts have now recorded at least one point in five of seven games this season.
– The Rangers tallied both their goals with the man-advantage, and finished 2-5 on the power play (7:09) in the game. New York has now registered three power play goals in the last three games (3-12, 25.0%).
– Martin Biron stopped 27 of 28 shots to record the win while making his first regular season start since Feb. 7, 2011 at Detroit (L, 2-3). The win was his first since a 2-1 shootout victory on Jan. 24, 2011 at Washington.
– Ruslan Fedotenko opened the game’s scoring with a power play goal at 5:51 of the second period, and tallied the primary assist on Callahan’s power play game-winner at 8:41 of the third. He was also credited with three hits and three shots on goal to capture second star honors.
Fedotenko has now recorded four points (one goal, three assists) in the last five games, and is tied for the team lead in points (five) and assists (four) on the season.
– Ryan Callahan notched the game-winning goal, on the power play, at 8:41 of the third period, and led all skaters with four blocked shots. He also tied for the team-high with three hits and led all team forwards with 21:04 of ice time. Callahan now leads the team in hits (18), and leads all team forwards and ranks third on the Rangers in blocked shots (13).
– Dan Girardi tallied two power play assists, and registered three hits and two blocked shots in a team-high 25:40 of ice time. He has recorded three assists in the last three games. Girardi leads all team defensemen in assists (three) and ranks second in points (three).
– Michael Del Zotto recorded a power play assist and logged 22:18 of ice time. He is now tied for second among team defensemen in assists (two). Del Zotto has posted a plus or even rating in each of the Rangers’ seven games this season, and leads the team with a plus-four rating.
– The Blueshirts do not have practice scheduled for tomorrow, Oct. 25. The Rangers’ next practice is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Madison Square Garden.