Rangers and St. Louis Throw A Garden Party
The New York Rangers opened up the night with the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award. Steven’s son, Connor described the winner best “A little guy with a big heart.”
Congratulations to Mats Zuccarello as he definitely deserved the award this year with his unbelievable hard work to help the Rangers big time.
“I can’t describe it in words..I am really humbled..this is probably the highlight of my career”-Steven McDonald Award Winner @zuccarello36
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 9, 2014
Thanks to everyone who voted for me!Its a big honor!Hard to describe in words! thanks to my teamates who helped me get this award! #LGR
— Mats Zuccarello (@zuccarello36) April 9, 2014
The Hurricanes wasted no time scoring as they potted one in by Lundqvist 3:22 minutes into the first. Benoit Pouliot lost a battle in the corner to Brett Bellmore who proceeded to pass the puck off the net as it took a weird bounce to a wide open Patrick Dwyer. Who then snapped it past Lundqvist and a confused Dan Girardi, as he had his back turned due to the weird bounce the puck took off the net.
With minutes remaining in the period, Alexander Semin took a hooking penalty on John Moore and gave the Rangers their first powerplay of the night. Upon Richards winning the faceoff, Rick Nash passed the puck to Martin St. Louis who released a quick shot that was blocked. He then got his own rebound and blindly passed it to a wide open Brad Richards who took his time to tee up a shot that rocketed past Cam Ward and tie the game up at one apiece.
New York said enough is enough and took only 50 seconds to score their second goal of the game. The play started along the high boards with Stralman battling for the puck and winning possession. Then played touch pass with Brassard who returned the favor back to Stralman. Next, he set up for Zuccarello who found a streaking Pouliot. Benoit buried the puck behind a sprawling Cam Ward and NY wasn’t looking back.
The Rangers also scored their second powerplay goal of the game thanks to a Jeff Skinner elbowing penalty on Mats Zuccarello. St. Louis started at the point and handed off the puck up top to Brad Richards. NY played catch with the puck until Brad Richards slapshot got past Cam Ward to give the team a 3-1 lead. It was the first multi power play goal game for the Rangers since February 7th and Richards first two goal game since game 2 of the season.
Derek Stepan opened up some more scoring for New York with a 3-on-2 breakout with Nash and St. Louis. St. Louis went to shoot the puck which appeared blocked, but he gathered the puck and coasted up a few feet and found Stepan on the doorstep of Cam Ward to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead. Half way through the period, Zuccarello had a wide open net to make it a 5-1 game, but was tripped up by Jeff Skinner to give a powerplay to New York which was not converted. The Rangers dominated the period with relentless chances and out shot the Hurricanes in the third period 13-5. Martin St. Louis may have also had his best game in NY with 3 assists.
It was a statement game after a hiccup versus Ottawa on Saturday and moves the Rangers just a bit closer to clinching home ice in the first round.
VIDEO: Rangers coach Alain Vigneault’s post-game press conference. https://t.co/EF9viNzClV
— Rangers Report (@rangersreport) April 9, 2014