Rangers 6, Panthers 1

The New York Rangers (22-17-4) defeated the Florida Panthers (13-24-6) by the score of 6-1, tonight. For a box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

…what's amazing is that despite the 6-1 win, except for the final five minutes, the Rangers really didn't play a great game. If they play anyone but that putrid Panthers team they probably lose. Having said that, who cares? With just five games left, two points are two points and that was a HUGE win.

…for the first time in about a decade, Rangers fans were able to experience how power play goals can actually help a team, not playing at their best, win.

…what impressed me the most about Brassard's game tonight, other than the obvious two goals, was the passion he showed after scoring. The guy is relishing his opportunity to play in New York and he's filling a tremendous emotional hole the Rangers have.

…as if we weren't loving Moore already, now he's fighting? Team seemed to gain a ton of energy from his dust-up. Funny how that works.

…in the grand scheme of the game, Brad Richards' 1g, 1a really weren't all that big, but for a guy in desperate need of a major confidence boost, it was huge.

…Zuccarello finally starting to find the back of the net.

…if that Steven McDonald pre-game speech isn't played by Tortorella before the remaining five games, he should be fired. I know it pumped me up:

“We need one shift, one play, one block, one goal. To make this season a memorable one. So get it done.”

…speaking of Steven McDonald, yes, Callahan deserved the award. Stepan is having a great season, but it's the "extra effort" award and no one brings more effort on a gamely basis than Callahan.

…Lundqvist made up for a lot of defensive miscues tonight. A lot of them. If they can't clean this up, I don't think they make it to the playoffs.

…the play Del Zotto made on the final goal actually pissed me off because it proves what a great talent he is, but for whatever reason he can't get it done on a consistent basis.

…i actually thought, despite just getting seven minutes, Kreider looked solid with Powe and Asham on the fourth line that played with a ton of energy.

…ho-hum, just another multi-point game (1g, 2a) for Nash. His 12th of the season.

…once again, absolutely no help around the league as the Islanders, Ottawa, Devils and Winnipeg all win tonight. Unbelievable.

…right back at it tomorrow night in Buffalo. Rangers cannot afford a letdown against another inferior opponent.

Game highlights…

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Rangers 6, Panthers 1

The New York Rangers (17-6-4) defeated the Florida Panthers (16-9-5) by the score of 6-1, tonight. For a boxscore and recap go to Yahoo! Sports.

…wow, is it fun being a Rangers fan right now. Couldn’t ask for a more complete game against a top team in the NHL.

…loving Stepan doing his best Callahan then Anisimov impression on the same play. What a game from the 2nd year player.

…so wait, I don’t understand. The Rangers can play well without Avery?

…the challenge was laid at the feet of Del Zotto and Eminger with the Sauer injury and they have responded. Combined 1g, 1a and a +8 tonight.

…apparently Anisimov thinks he’s too good to celebrate after a goal. Barely even showed any emotion. lol

…i told you the Richards signing was going to help the power play. Nine out of ten games with a pp goal.

…second game in a row I’ve been really impressed with Stralman’s offense. Maybe he wasn’t such a bad signing.

…EC just earned himself at least another week in the line-up with his first period assist.

…two guys who may also find themselves in the press box before they know it are Boyle and Prust. Both took bad penalties and Prust engaged Barch in what can only be called an ill-advised fight when the Rangers were up big.

…must have felt like a night off for Girardi who ONLY played 22 minutes.

…i love when Gaborik scores, because when he’s scoring the Rangers are usually winning.

…if Dubinsky can’t get a goal tonight, I’m not sure when he can.

…off tomorrow then Stars in town on Tuesday.

For post game quotes and video click “Read More” tab below.

John Tortorella…

“The way we tried to approach the game is that you don’t do too much thinking. It’s not a lot of information and leading. It’s really just trying to play with energy. That’s the biggest point we try to make and try to play simple. We ended up getting some fortunate rebounds and scored some goals. I thought our penalty killing was really good. In a 6-1 game, I thought everyone contributed and just played.”

Henrik Lundqvist…

“I think we raised the bar this year. We’re not satisfied with just playing okay and getting a point here and there. So many players in the room now are challenging each other to be better and we have four pretty good lines out there.  It helps to have good players and guys that have been here a couple of years so they know what to expect from the coaching staff and each other. It’s a great feeling and I’m happy to see way we’re playing and the way we push ourselves through the ups and downs.”

Brad Richards…

“We’re scoring and winning. I like playing wherever. It’s been good and we’ve created some opportunities to score. We’ve been opportunistic. I guess that’s the main thing. I think we’ve sustained pressure and been good that way.”

Game highlights & analysis…

John Tortorella post game…

Players post game…

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