Rangers 3, Blackhawks 2

Hagelin lifts Rangers over Blackhawks 3-2

The New York Rangers (22-20-3) defeated the Chicago Blackhawks (29-8-9) by the score of 3-2, tonight. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.

…damn that was fun. Haven't been that into the final two minutes of a Rangers game in awhile. Was it perfect? No. But when you beat the defending Stanley Cup Champions, does it matter? Now, I can sit here and call this a defining win, but this team has been duping me all season, so I'll just enjoy this for what it was. A big win, against a great team.

…when Hank let in the soft Bollig goal to tie the game, I'm pretty sure everyone in Rangers Nation thought "here we go again." But got to give Lundqvist a ton of credit for having the moxie to fight through a gaffe like that and he ended up being the difference in this game for one of the few times this season. Well, the difference in a positive way.

…the Rangers are 2-0-1 since the Carcillo trade. Can you say Avery Factor Carcillo Effect?

…although that's also the same record since Del Zotto's been re-inserted into the lineup so it's not an exact science.

…while Nash still looks like he'd lose a race to Pyatt, he had his third solid game in a row. Using his big frame and moving his legs to create space for himself. Got to wonder if being named to Canadian Olympic team has taken a huge burden off his mind.

…i swear, every time I completely give up on Richards he surprises me.

…most noticeable Callahan's been since returning from knee injury.

…damn Toews, Kane and Sharp are sweet.

…Staal playing some of his best hockey of the season.

…loved Hagelin's game winner, because he went to the net and was rewarded. Funny how that happens.

…haven't seen a small, European as beloved by Rangers fans as Zuccarella since Prucha. Let's just hope AV doesn't end up giving him the Renney treatment.

…Stepan is now goalless in nine straight and was just 33% in the faceoff circle tonight. That…that's just not good.

…six blocked shots for Girardi? He must have thought Canucks management was scouting him tonight.

…what I found interesting tonight is that the Blackhawks thought out skating the Rangers would be enough, but the Blueshirts proved that when given space they can skate with anyone. The real challenge now is when a team comes at them physically, which I'm amazed doesn't happen every game, do they have enough to push back? I'm still not convinced they do. We probably won't find out Friday night against Dallas, but Sunday night vs. Philly would be a great time for them to start proving me wrong.

…i've been telling you guys for the last few weeks that I felt the team might be turning a corner. The win tonight improved the Rangers to 6-2-1 in their last nine and they again showed their true mettle by not wilting when Chicago went on their second period run. When you see the Rangers remain calm in the face of adversity as they have during most of this mini-run, you have to wonder if the same emotionless persona they acquired from their head coach that we oh so often criticize might actually be their biggest strength.

Highlights…

Post game talk…

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Kevin

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