The New York Rangers bested the Boston Bruins in a shootout in an intense matchup at Madison Square Garden today. The two teams have been tied for the 6th seed in the playoffs for over a week now. Today’s win put the Rangers 1 point ahead of the Bruins for the 6th seed.
Despite some nice scoring chances on both sides, goaltending was the story today. Alex Auld stopped 34 shots from the Rangers, only giving up a goal in the shootout. Henrik Lundqvist got his 8th shutout of the year with 27 saves. Nigel Dawes was the difference in the game for the Rangers, scoring on New York’s 2nd attempt in the shootout.
The Bruins will return home on March 13 to host the Tampa Bay Lightning. Bruins tickets are available for this and all remaining Bruins games.
New York will play its next three on the road. Stay tuned for info on New York Rangers playoff tickets.
Recap: The Boston Bruins may be this year’s sleeper team in the East because they have nothing to lose but more games. The Boston fan base is so distracted with the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox madness that there is absolutely no pressure on the Bruins. If they can keep their cool they will be a playoff team and once its playoff time, anything is possible in Boston. (more)
Recap: Madison Square Garden has always been a great place to watch a hockey game and this year the New York Rangers have appreciated the home rink advantage winning 15 games in their backyard. That’s good for best in the division and 2nd best in the Eastern Conference. If all of their games during the second half were at home, you’d be watching a playoff caliber team. Unfortunately, the majority of the remaining schedule is road game, a place where they have struggled all year long. Veteran leaders Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan need to step it up and show the team what it takes to win on the road if they want any chance of making the playoffs.
2nd Half – The Rangers will score more goals in the second half of the season, their 118 in the first half was 3rd worst in the league. The problem is they will give up more goals as well. In only his second year in the league, starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has struggled at times and will have to play better on the road for the Rangers to make the playoffs.
Final Standing Predictions: 5th in Atlantic Conference, 9th in Eastern Division
Team Name: New York Rangers (22-21-6)
Atlantic Division Standing: 5th place
Conference Standing: 9th place
Recap: The Philadelphia Flyers are the hottest team in the NHL right now going 8-1-1 over their last ten games. It’s no surprise they continue to put up strong offensive numbers behind the power of centers Mike Richards and Danny Breire. The duo has combined for 99 points, that’s good for just under 25% of the team’s total offensive production. (more)
Recap: The New York Islanders are really lucky that they were able to acquire center Mike Comrie as a free agent during the last off-season because he was the team’s leader in points (36) for the first half of the NHL season. Offensively, the team struggled from the start. With the leagues second lowest total in goals scored (117), and no superstars in their lineup, the Islanders look for a new leader to step up every game on the ice. Eight-teen members on their roster have scored goals this season, so you never know who could be the hero. Goaltender Rick DiPietro has put up solid numbers in net, especially his .913 save percentage but just doesn’t have the offensive core around him to always make them hold up.
2nd Half – There will not be any surprises when the Islanders are in town because they will skate hard for three periods and battle you until the final horn. They will continue to have a hard time scoring goals but do look for veteran right winger, Bill Guerin, to finish right around 35 goals. The defense will stay solid and the Isle will sneak into the last playoff spot in the East.
Final Standing Predictions: 4th in Atlantic Conference, 8th in Eastern Division
Team Name: New York Islanders (23-19-6)
Atlantic Division Standing: 4th place
Conference Standing: T-7th
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