‘Rangers Inside And Out’
By Sean Hartnett
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The Rangers stepped onto the Garden ice under the weight of a 0-2 series hole. Many denounced them as a defeated, lifeless team. Game 3 was a swing game and the Rangers played with a point to prove. When they final buzzer sounded, they walked off the ice as a transformed team.
Henrik Lundqvist later described Game 3 as a “must-win.” The Blueshirts were able to swing the pendulum back in their direction by defeating the Capitals, 4-3, in a back-and-forth contest where their mettle was tested. Now, they must keep their foot planted firmly on the pedal and keep momentum on their side when Game 4 gets under way on Wednesday night.
Brian Boyle’s recommendation? Keep it going, keep searching for more and never be satisfied. Sounds like the words of a winner to me.
“We have to keep shooting pucks and try to keep generating,” Boyle stated. “Be a little tenacious. Don’t be satisfied with one win and four goals, you have to keep going.”
BOYLE SETS THE TONE
Boyle demonstrated an obvious level of tenacity and led the way by getting in the dirty areas of the ice. His first-period tying goal paved the way for the Rangers’ fightback.
Head coach John Tortorella noticed the clear tone set by Boyle in Game 3.
“He could’ve been one of our best players on the ice,” Tortorella said.
PLAYMAKING BRASSARD BACK ON HIS GAME
Derick Brassard was quiet in Washington, but he broke out on Monday. Brassard caught fire immediately when he pulled on a Rangers jersey by scoring 11 points in 13 games after being acquired from Columbus. In Game 3, Brassard rediscovered his best game and was involved on three of four Rangers goals.
“For me, coming into this game, I just wanted to make some plays and come back to the game I was playing,” Brassard explained. “I wanted to make a difference, but guys were making plays all around and we had some good finish.”
Mats Zuccarello spun near the side boards and Brassard finished with aplomb, beating Braden Holtby stick side. His goal gave the Blueshirts a 2-1 lead before Capitals hot-scoring defenseman Mike Green evened the game by scoring through traffic.
With the scoreboard reading 2-2 as the third period got under way, the momentum was up for grabs both in Game 3 and the series as a whole.
Brassard demonstrated his top-level vision by sliding an expert pass directly onto the tape of Arron Asham. While goal scoring isn’t typically the strongest aspect of Asham’s game, he has a sneaky way of scoring important goals and tied the game at three.