The Rangers played only their second overtime game of the season and participated in their first shootout of the year today against Ottawa and when all was said and done P.A. Parenteau was the hero for the Blueshirts. Parenteau, who was called up for the second time this season from Hartford on Friday, beat Ottawa netminder Brian Elliot with a quick wristshot to give the Rangers a 2-1 victory and two important points for a team that has been struggling as of late. Henrik Lundqvist played a strong game (allowing only one goal to Senators defenseman Brian Lee) and the Blueshirts’ defense corps stood strong in the face of a surging Daniel Alfredsson and the Senators power play on a late 4-on-3 in OT to send the game to the shootout and give the youngster the opportunity to win the game.
Thumbs Up- Vinny Prospal scored his first career shorthanded goal (a shocking stat considering he has played 894 carrer games) to tie the game at 1-1 and was once again a factor all over the ice. Marian Gaborik, who set up Prospal’s goal off a beautiful rush, has now scored in 16 of the team’s 18 games this season. Christopher Higgins adapted to his move to center seamlessly and had one of his best performances as a Ranger. Ryan Callahan was huge on the penalty kill (especially in OT when he blocked two big blasts from Daniel Alfredsson during the late kill) and Dan Girardi and Marc Staal had solid games both at even strength and on the penalty kill. Sean Avery looked like he was trying to ratchet up the intensity in his game today and it lead to a bad penalty but it was definitely a step in the right direction for the agitator hoping to return to being a factor every night. Wade Redden and Michael Del Zotto had strong games and some timely defensive stops.
Thumbs Down- Michal Roszival and Aaron Voros were once again invisible and continue to be non factors. Ales Kotalik took a horrible penalty late in overtime and had to be bailed out by an impressive penalty kill unit. Brian Boyle passed up a great scoring chance early and wasn’t much of an impact today and i’m not even sure if Donald Brashear took the flight to Ottawa with the club as I don’t remember seeing him on the ice at all during the contest.
Three Stars- 3-Matt Gilroy- While Del Zotto has gotten all the attention, Gilroy has been very quiet and has played a string of very good games as of late. Today, he showed his ability to join the rush and create offensive opportunities and also had some good moments in his own end including breaking up a 2-on-1 rush late in the third period to help preserve the tie and send the game into overtime.
2-P.A. Parenteau- The call up who told Rangers announcer John Giannone that his goal was to “stick with the big club this time and not be sent back down” took a big step in that direction this afternoon with a spirited performance at both ends. He could have lost confidence after whiffing on a wide open net late in the third period off a perfect pass from Higgins but instead he came back in the shootout and potted the game winner past Elliot. A very impressive game from the young man who wants to make a name for himself.
1- Henrik Lundqvist- The King was in control all game long. His ability to control rebounds and his lateral quickness when under duress from an attacking Ottawa squad were the biggest reasons that the Rangers came out of ScotiaBank Place with two important points.
The Rangers return to action Tuesday night when Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals visit MSG at 7PM.