Monday, December 26, 2011

Rangers Blank Isles 3-0, Move Into First Place of Eastern Conference

With the Boston Bruins off tonight, the Rangers officially moved into first place in the Eastern Conference tonight with their 3-0 victory over the Islanders. The Rangers got two big goals from Carl Hagelin and Marian Gaborik added an empty netter to extend his goal-scoring streak to five games.

What more can be said about Carl Hagelin at this point? The kid has done nothing but good things since he was called up by the Rangers 16 games ago and now has 6 goals, 3 assists, 9 points in the first 16 games of his career. After starting off his NHL career playing on the third line, Hagelin has seen his ice time and responsibilities steadily increase game after game. He's now become a part of the Rangers' penalty killing unit, while recording two short-handed goals, and has moved up to playing on a line with Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan.

After Hagelin's two goals, Marian Gaborik sealed the deal for the Blueshirts with an empty net goal. Gaborik now has 22 goals in 34 games after scoring 22 in 62 games last year. It's safe to say the Slovak Sniper is back to his old ways and last season is a thing of the past.

Henrik Lundqvist was sensational in goal, stopping all 28 shots he faced, including several amazing stops when the game was still 1-0 that easily could've changed the momentum if the Islanders had converted on any of their attempts. Lundqvist faced only 7 shots in the first period, but he faced 12 shots in the second and 9 more in the third. He faced a barrage of shots from the Islanders in the second period as the Rangers had trouble getting the puck out of their own zone on a few occasions. As usual, though, the King was up to the task and stood on his head when the Rangers needed him the most.

The Rangers are off tomorrow and are back in action Wednesday night against the Capitals at 7:30.

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