The New York Rangers defeated the first place Dallas Stars by a score of 6-2 Tuesday night. AHL call-up Jayson Megna netted his first goal in the victory.
If I told you yesterday that the Rangers would play strong defense, Derek Stepan would score two, Rick Nash would activate beast mode, and AHL call-up Jayson Megna would score his first goal, all against the Dallas Stars, would you believe me?
Well that is exactly what happened, and the Rangers made a convincing win of the affair.
While you can’t say the Rangers have turned a corner by any means, there were developments in Tuesday’s game that looked promising.
Derek Stepan looked like his former self for the first time since his rib injury. He had some jump, and looked confident with the puck.
Stepan’s first goal was a classic example of “go to the net and anything can happen”.
An encouraging aspect of the game was the speed the Rangers showed. The team has seemed sluggish lately, but Stepan certainly wasn’t sluggish when he scored the team’s first short-handed goal of the year.
Rick Nash fed Stepan with a perfect pass and he was off to the races.
Speaking of Nash, he was a beast in this game. He didn’t score but he tallied three assists and did everything else right.
Nash fore checked hard, made great passes, forced turnovers, and defended well. What else can you ask for, especially when a team has struggled like the Rangers have?
Kevin Hayes played one of his better games as well. I’m not ready to say that sitting him worked just yet, but he seems to be turning a corner.
Henrik Lundqvist is still fighting the puck. While he made some good saves, his confidence seems to be affecting his play still.
A confident Lundqvist doesn’t let goals like this in:
John Klingberg is going to be a good player for Dallas, but this shot was very savable.
You could tell this game was special, because the Rangers were even awarded with a late Christmas present in the third period.
An Alain Vigneault challenge confirmed that Dallas was offside during a rush into the Rangers zone. The result was a reversed call, and many relived Ranger fans.
Seconds later, AHL call-up Jayson Megna would score his first goal as a New York Ranger:
The Rangers are by no means out of the woods just yet, but they have won two of their last three games and looked strong against the league’s best team.
The name of the game now is consistency, and only time will tell if the Rangers are trending up.