Rangers have off night and still win thanks to Talbot and 4th line (NYR 2 v. FL 1)

Rangers congratulate Matt Hunwick (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Rangers congratulate Matt Hunwick (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Playing their 5th game in 8 nights and 1st game back after a 4 game road trip, the Blueshirts dug deep and won a game they shouldn’t have. Thanks to the stellar goaltending of Cam Talbot and the 4th line, NY got 2 more points.


NYR 2 v FL 1 (ESPN)

NYR 2 v FL 1 (ESPN)

Tonight, many Rangers fans got what they wanted when James Sheppard was reinserted into the lineup for a sore Tanner Glass. His impact was felt immediately when he put the home team up 1-0. By using his size and quickness to get in front and beat Dan Ellisit is clear that he is better suited for AV’s system.

In the second period, Cam Talbot would stand on his head stopping all 20 Panther shots hurled his way. The Blueshirts were not sharp for most of this contest and if not for Talbot, the outcome would have been vastly different.

His biggest stop came on a Willie Mitchell shot from behind the net that hopped up on his pad near the goal line. The play went to video review but there was no goal.

Almost midway through the third period, the 4th line got to work again. Buzzing in the Panthers zone for most of the night, Matt Hunwick put home a Dom Moore feed from the blue line. Fast provided the screen in front as the puck changed direction off a Panther. NY had breathing room.

That wouldn’t last long because 2 minutes later Brandon Pirri cut the lead in half. The Rangers now had to focus their minds and apply themselves to pick up this win against a desperate Florida team.

The situation was made harder when Marty St. Louis went down with an apparent knee injury in the final minutes. He could be seen grimacing and told medical trainer, Jim Ramsay that “it popped” before heading to the locker room. Alain Vigneault believes the injury “doesn’t seem serious” but we should learn more tomorrow.

NY made things further complicated by having to kill off a Ryan McDonagh minor with 2:35 to play. Even with the goalie pulled the Rangers PK continued to shine and in the end Talbot stopped 38 of 39 shots on goal. Another impressive performance for the kid from Alabama-Huntsville.

As for the majority of the team? They could use the few days off before Chicago on Wednesday. The night started with the Rangers honoring Dan Boyle for playing his 1000th NHL game, it ended with the coach reminding himself not to critique a win.

“I think we’re going to keep one copy of this game and give it to Boyler (Dan Boyle).” AV joked. As he was walking out of his presser he repeated, “never critique a win.” Tonight, the coach was pretty close to doing so.



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

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