Rangers destroy Ducks and make major statement to the NHL (NYR 7 v ANA 2)

Derek Stepan relieved to scored (Elsa/Getty)

Derek Stepan relieved to scored (Elsa/Getty)

The Rangers broke out of their offensive slump in a major way and in style last night at Madison Square Garden. New York lit the lamp 7 times and gave the Ducks goalies’ some stiff necks by looking behind them so often.

ANA v NYR (ESPN)

ANA v NYR (ESPN)

Anaheim was blitzed by a Rangers team that appeared very cognizant that this was a nationally televised game. Chris Kreider opened the scoring by banging on the doorstep just 1:24 into the game. Corey Perry would tie it over a minute later, but he looked like the only threat the Ducks had for most of the contest.

By the time the first period was up, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin would chase Frederik Andersen from the net and Corey Perry would add the Ducks last score of the game. Ducks coach, Bruce Boudreau explained during his 2nd period interview that “playing East/West verse (the Rangers) is death.” His assessment was spot on.

The Rangers continued to blitz Anaheim and never took their foot off the pedal. J.T. Miller would add his 9th of the year off another great play by Keith Yandle. The smooth skating defenseman hit Mats Zuccarello and transitioned NY the other way. The Hobbit found Miller who snapped an impressive shot over John Gibson. For Yandle, it was easily the best game he’s played for the Rangers.

NYR 7 v ANA 2 (ESPN)

NYR 7 v ANA 2 (ESPN)

In 20:41 of ice time, Yandle had three helpers and was a +3. As expected, he talked more about the team’s ability to play at a high level in the second game of a back to back than himself. “We can be proud of these two points,” Yandle told Blueshirts United.

By the time it was all over, Derek Stepan, Jesper Fast and Derick Brassard would add to the Garden party and embarrassment of the Ducks. For Derek Stepan it was a 3 point night as he broke out of a 12 game slump with authority. “I wanted to contribute offensively so bad in the worst way,” Stepan told reporters afterwards. “It was frustrating…You just stick it out and work hard. So it was good tonight.”

For the Ducks and their head coach, it was one to erase from memory. “I think they were embarrassed on national TV,” Boudreau said. “You’re playing a team that’s right behind you in the race for being No. 1. We looked more like No. 30, but it’s over.”

After last night, the Rangers are behind no one. After last night, the Rangers put the entire league on notice that once fully healthy they will be the lead dog in the race for the Cup.

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Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore