Rangers Win for Second Time in 10 Games
When you have been playing as poorly as the Rangers have been, then any win is a great win: even when that win comes on home ice against the worst team in the NHL.
That team is the New York Islanders, and regardless of record, they always play their rivals closely. So when the Rangers prevailed 3-1, giving them four wins in five games versus the Islanders this season, there was plenty of reason to celebrate.
Besides winning the game, the Rangers showed some crucial signs of life that could perhaps help jumpstart the club once again. Scott Gomez had his best game in recent memory, flying all over the ice and making play after play. He finished the game with six shots on net, and one goal.
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That goal came in the second period with the game tied at one, on the power play. Gomez was able to get a wrist shot past Islanders goalie Yann Danis, on assists from Chris Drury and Henrik Lundqvist. That's another good sign for the club; they were finally able to cash in on a power play. The penalty kill has remained stellar all season - now second best in the league and best on home ice - but the power play has been equally bad. Therefore a power play goal from Gomez, only his 11 th of the season, even on a somewhat lucky play is plenty to get excited about.
Rangers forward Petr Prucha also had a phenomenal game. His energy and speed provided several scoring opportunities and created havoc for the Islanders in their own zone. Known for his quick and accurate shot, and not for his quick and accurate punches, Prucha mixed it up with Islanders Sean Bergenheim. His performance certainly lifted both the team and the crowd, and if the Rangers can continue to get that kind of effort from a healthy Prucha, they can be a much more formidable team.
Also important was that Lundqvist put on a great performance, coming up with big saves at important junctures in the game. Lundqvist needs help from the team, that's for sure, but the Rangers won't get anywhere unless he is playing great in net.
Next up for the Rangers is a game in Buffalo against the Sabres. The Rangers currently stand 5 th in the Eastern Conference with 68 points, while the Sabres currently stand tied for 7 th with 66 points. Only three points separate the 4 th and 8 th place seeds, meaning every game against another playoff hopeful is crucial in the standings.
By: Jake Emen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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