In a game that saw the Rangers blow a two goal lead late after dominating most of the matchup, Christopher Higgins rescued the Blueshirts with a huge tally with just over a minute left to give them a 3-2 win tonight at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers are now 6-1-2 in their last 9 games.
Henrik Lundqvist had a very strong game through two and a half periods and the Rangers got early goals from Ales Kotalik and Erik Christensen to build a 2-0 lead they held until about 5 minutes left in the third. After Boston netminder Tukka Rask stoned Kotalik on an open net chance, Matt Hunwick (shorthanded) and Blake Wheeler scored back to back goals to erase the deficit.
Thumbs Up- Ales Kotalik looked very comfortable and definitely got a big confidence boost from his first goal in 21 contests. Michal Roszival had a solid game. Ryan Callahan, once again, was everywhere and had a monster hit late in the third on David Krejci. Michael Del Zotto added two assists and was strong on the puck.
Thumbs Down- Donald Brashear brings nothing to the table anymore and is playing on borrowed time. Wade Redden was a non factor. Enver Lisin has skated well but still can’t find the net. Del Zotto, who excelled offensively, needs to be a bigger force in protection of Henrik Lundqvist. When Marc Savard knocked Henrik down in the second period, Del Zotto followed him to the corner but did nothing that would make Savard think twice about running Lundqvist again. This has been a club wide problem this season but the youngster had a chance to make a statement and blew it tonight.
Three Stars- 3- Henrik Lundqvist- Until giving up those two late goals, Lundqvist was a stone wall against the Bruins and was the biggest reason the team had a 2 goal lead going into the third period. Henrik needs to finish games stronger if the Rangers want to make the postseason.
2- Christopher Higgins- Higgins has been a huge disappointment this season offensively but no one can question the winger’s work ethic. When Higgins fooled Rask and slipped the puck past him short side to give the Rangers the late lead it was only his second goal at MSG all year but you would never know it by his strong play at both ends. A nice reward for a player who hasn’t given up even with a huge weight on his shoulders.
1- Brandon Dubinsky- Dubinsky was the best player on the ice tonight. He skated extremely well, moved the puck, worked the boards and led the team in shots on goal. Even though he couldn’t finish tonight, he was all over the ice and was integral in setting up both of the team’s early goals. He has raised his game in the absence of Vinny Prospal and looks ready to take a bigger role leadership wise for the remainder of the season.
The Rangers next game is Wednesday when they host the Dallas Stars at MSG