Super and this team don't usually go hand in hand. But you have to tip your cap at what the Rangers were able to do against an invisible opponent in Tampa. At least for 20 minutes, they thoroughly dominated the Lightning, outscoring them 4-zip.
The four-goal barrage was started by constant Brandon Prust who's quickly evolving into a fan favorite. Just his play alone merits the trade with Calgary a success. Since Tort moved Artem Anisimov to the fourth line with Prust and Jody Shelley, who also has played well lately suddenly the Ranger fourth line is effective. On the game's opening tally, a big hit by Shelley led to a turnover in the corner and then Prust came out with the puck and stuffed home his own rebound past Mike Smith to set the tone. Just 25 seconds later, ever improving Marc Staal lit the lamp again for two nil. With a punchless Tampa club going through the motions, former Bolt Vinny Prospal notched his 19th when his backhand went off a Tampa defenseman and in. The exclamation point on the statement period was Brandon Dubinsky scoring a power play goal when his low shot caromed off poor Kurt Foster who was too late with his stick sealing Dubi's career best 19th.
Amazingly, the Rangers only led in shots 7-6 but had the puck plenty and controlled the tempo. Tort also deployed Staal and Dan Girardi against the dangerous scoring line of Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Steve Downie. Thus far, the trio is without a shot all minuses. Can our club keep it up or will their be a mental lapse? One thing's for sure. Henrik Lundqvist could've spent the first at a beach. We'll see if it continues.
In one game they have an eye on, the Canadiens lead the Flyers 1-0 late in the second. What the Blueshirts hope for is one team wins in regulation, preventing the dreaded three-point game. Second underway. More later!