For the second year in a row, the Rangers scored on their first shot of the game. Michael Rozsival scored from Chris Drury and Jaromir Jagr just 37 seconds into the game. Then the Rangers fell asleep for the next 39:23. For some reason, they could not solve the Florida defense and couldn't get anything established offensively. After goals by Brett McLean and Nathan Horton, the Rangers trailed 2-1 going into the third.
It must of been one hell of an intermission speech by Renney and the rest of the coaching staff, because the Blueshirts came out flying in the third period. Peter Prucha ties the game at 2-2 from Marek Malik 6:07 into the period. Chris Drury banged in the game winner at 8:46 from Jagr and Malik, Ryan Callahan scored unassisted 12 seconds later, and Martin Strake rounded out the scoring at 13:02 from Malik and Drury to give the Rangers a 5-2 victory.
Lundqvist was tested early and often, turning aside 27 shots, looking incredible more than a few times.
Other positives in the game:
- Marc Staal looked like he fit right in, right away.
- The combination of Prucha and Callahan is a lot of fun to watch.
- Hollweg - Betts - Orr produced some offensive chances, got the crowd going, and stayed away from any questionable penalties.
- Tyutin threw his body around, as did Girardi. That pairing was really solid.
- Malik looked great. Yes. I just said that.
Some things to work on before Ottawa on Saturday night:
- A little more chemistry needs to be produced with all of the lines. Granted, this won't occur in the first week, but there were some points tonight where it was get to the blue line, turn the puck over, scramble defensively, repeat.
- Brandon Dubinski was almost unheard of in the third period. Betts shifted up to play with Prucha and Callahan, and that worked, but if Dubinski is on the team, he's of no use playing on the 4th line.
Feel free to share your thoughts. I'll check back in on Saturday.