By Brian Monzo
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The Rangers improved on their win over the Sharks on Monday by defeating another team from Cali, the Ducks, Thursday night at MSG 2-1 in a shootout.
This was a classic win in that the Rangers’ offense was touch and go, and Henrik Lundqvist played another superb game to improve to 3-3-2 on the season, with a GAA at 2.18.
It appears to me that there are games where the Rangers are without their ‘A’ game, but still find a way to get two points. They didn’t necessarily play badly, but with the exception of the overtime period, they did not dominate any aspect of the game. I bring this up because this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this season. Their wins over the Canucks, Flames and Jets were all similar. What I am noticing is (and it may not be intentional) the Rangers seem to adapt to their opponents style of play, and find ways to keep up.
Whatever they are doing, right now it is working.
Also, this may have been the most quiet game Brad Richards has played in his short time with the Rangers.
Another trend has been the ‘hero of the game’ the Rangers seem to find. Last night it was defenseman Jeff Woywtika, scoring his first (and likely last) goal of the season in 17+ minutes of ice-time. On Monday it was Wojtek Wolski, who coincidentally left the game last night with what appeared to be a lower body injury.
Erik Christensen, for now, has found his game, and scored his 24th career shootout goal in the first round of the shootout.
Ruslan Fedotenko assisted on Woywitka’s goal, giving him five assists on the season, and he continues to be as reliable as anyone on the team in any situation.
Finding the negative, the Rangers at times lose their offense and it’s not going to be often they score one goal in regulation and get wins. As we talked about last time, they need to find consistency. For now, the Rangers have found ways to get wins.
Welcome to New York, Anton
The Rangers inked defenseman Anton Stralman to a one-year contract yesterday, adding more depth to a blueline still missing their top guy Marc Staal. Stralman has played for the Maple Leafs and the Blue Jackets, and most recently was in training camp with the Devils, but was never signed.
Stralman’s best season was in 09-10 with the Blue Jackets, scoring 6 goals and adding 28 assists in 73 games. He can be effective on the power play, as well. In reality, this is more evidence that the Rangers are not expecting Staal back any time soon.
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Your thoughts on the Rangers’ win over Anaheim? Let Monzo know in the comments below…