Ryan Callahan had a pretty damn awesome birthday. The guy scored the game winning, overtime goal. He made a diving all-out-effort play to block a shot, and played his usual never say die, all hustle, guts, effort type game.
But Henrik Lundqvist was better.
Let’s face it, Henrik gave up a soft goal against Zetterberg. It was a dipping whiff of a shot that Henrik should have stopped. Usually I would kill our goalie for giving up a craptastic goal like that. Thankfully though, Henrik was spectacular after that. Always in position, making countless superb saves, keeping the Rangers in a game where they just couldn’t buy a goal despite having countless glorious scoring chances themselves. This game was a little too much track-meet for my liking. The Rangers didn’t hit at all, and it showed in time of possession as the Wings were able to control the play a lot more than the injury depleted team should have been able to. Still though, the Rangers got 2 gigantic points tonight, winning against a team that they haven’t beaten since seemingly the NHL came into existence.
Give a lot of credit to the play of Marc Staal. The former all-star defenseman seemingly turned scapegoat anytime something goes wrong, played an outstanding game on the ice. He was easily the best defenseman on the Rangers, and probably the best defenseman on the ice for either team. He broke up a key 2 on 1 chance for the Wings, and played a lot more like the Staal of last year, easily stripping pucks from forwards and transitioning the plays up to the forwards with ease. The Rangers will need Staal to play more like this as the season goes on, we all know Torts likes to shorten the bench as the games get more important. We will be a lot better off if THIS Staal can play 25-30 minutes a night. Especially paired with Del Zotto who brings a lot of offensive game to this team, as he assisted on the game winning goal, and had a few great setups that weren’t buried. Del Zotto and Staal has a nice ring to it, dontcha think?