Senators 2 Rangers 0

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In yet another contest where the Rangers could not find their offense, Henrik Lundqvist once again showed why he is this club’s “most valuable player” and in doing so, had arguably his best performance of the season but it still wasn’t enough to lift an anemic offense past a shorthanded Ottawa team playing without it’s two top scorers and starting goaltender. Ottawa’s Mike Brodeur, an afternoon call up from the AHL, shut down the Rangers in his second career NHL start to give his team the 2-0 victory. The Blueshirts have now been held scoreless for 144 minutes of play and are in desperate need of a spark on offense or they may be in danger of dropping right out of the playoff picture.

Thumbs Up- Chris Drury dominated in the faceoff circle and was the Blueshirts best forward tonight. Brian Boyle used his size to control play along the boards and had a strong game. Sean Avery showed some snarl taking on Jarkko Ruutu and was full of energy from the opening puck drop. Matt Gilroy skated well and played one of his best games since his return from Hartford.

Thumbs Down- Marian Gaborik was a non factor tonight as the Senators matched defensemen and were able to keep him mostly to the outside in the offensive zone. Gaborik also left the zone early, looking for a breakout, on the Senators late goal that broke the shutout. Michael Del Zotto looked lost at times tonight and wasn’t skating very well throughout. Wade Redden should be in Hartford tomorrow if anybody who makes decisions for this organization was actually paying attention to this game.I thought Vinny Prospal returned from injury…Did anybody notice him out there tonight?

Three Stars- 3-Sean Avery- Avery has suffered from Jekyll/Hyde disease this season and while he wasn’t the fireball he was against Dallas last week, he was a spark each time he took the ice and his willingness to mix it up was an example of what this team needs on a nightly basis.

2-Chris Drury- Drury was a monster in the faceoff circle and continued to show that he is ready to raise his game to a level that fans have been clamoring for since he came to Broadway. His strong skating and all out effort in the third period led to a power play opportunity and his back checking was key in keeping the Senators scoreless for almost 60 minutes.

1- Henrik Lundqvist- It’s a shame to see this kind of performance wasted for the second straight game. Lundqvist did everything he could to keep the Senators off the scoreboard and was only solved when Gaborik committed a defensive gaffe that led to a late tally that cost him a shutout. Henrik is playing his best hockey of the season and the Rangers need to give him some offensive support and take advantage of his mastery before the league shuts down for the Olympic break.

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