NE W YORK – It was almost impossible to contain them. After half a season of sober moods and sad statements, the Rangers were just giddy after their second laugher in two games, this time beating the Tampa Bay Lightning, 8-2.
“It feels great scoring eight goals,” said forward Vinny Prospal, who was one of eight Blueshirts to light the lamp. “The Lightning played well last night against Carolina, they have a dangerous hockey team, they have a lot of defense. So it feels great that we were able to do right from the start – shut them down and run up the score.”
All in all, the goals went to all the secondary scoring guys not named Marion Gaborik. Brandon Dubinsky, Prospal, Chris Drury, Dan Girardi, Enver Lisin, Marc Staal, Aaron Voros, and Christopher Higgins, respectively lit the lamp, as the Rangers fought for the puck right from the start of the match, almost a continuation of Sunday night’s 6-2 win over the Canadiens.
“We are trying to stay consistent out there,” said coach John Tortorella. “We are trying to stay consistent with finishing checks and again defending the proper way. I though the first period both teams were giving up chances left and right and we are fortunate to score a few goals.”
Actually the game was quite tight in the first. After going up 2-0, Vinny Lecavalier was able to cut the lead in half at 17:21, but 1:12 later, Drury came up with his tally and it was all Rangers after that.
And the onslaught continued in the second and the third as the Ranger forecheck strangled the Lightning, keeping them pinned into their own zone for large portions of the period.
“Sometimes you get a stick on the puck where maybe a couple a weeks (ago) you weren’t getting your stick on the puck,” Tortorella said. “You end up scoring a few goals the prior game, you feel more confident about it. I am not going to sit and tell you an explanation why we are scoring goals here. It’s a good thing. We are continuing to try to play our game. The important thing was also playing away from the puck.”
So the Rangers will now continue onto Philly for a game on Thursday, as the Blueshirts continue to fight on in the east.
As for the Lightning, well, they will go back to the best place they have been all day.
“The only thing we did today was get on the bus on time,” said Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet. “The bus driver was the best thing we had.”
- The first time New York tallied six-or-more goals in back-to-back games since the 2006-07 season (Mar. 31 at Philadelphia, 6-4; Apr. 1 vs. Toronto, 7-2); the last time the Blueshirts notched six-or-more goals in back-to-back home games was Nov. 12, 2003 vs. Pittsburgh (6-2) and Nov. 23, 2003 vs. Ottawa (6-2).
- New York have now posted a record of 24-19-7 (55 pts.) overall and 12-11-4 (28 pts.) at home this season; the Rangers have now tallied a point in 14 of their last 17 games (10-3-4).
- New York notched three goals in the opening frame tonight, marking the third straight period the Rangers tallied three goals in a period following three-goal performances in the second and third periods of Sunday’s 6-2 win vs. Montreal; it is the first time since the 1998-99 season the Rangers accomplished the feat (third period of a 6-6 tie on Nov. 17 at Toronto and all three periods of a 10-2 win on Nov. 10 at Tampa Bay). *Statistic courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
- The Rangers had eight different goal scorers and 16 different players register at least one point; the last time the Rangers had eight players score a goal in one game was a 10-5 win on Dec. 13, 1992 vs. Montreal; New York’s 16 players with at least one point ties the franchise record for a single game, accomplished twice before – Oct. 25, 1984 at New Jersey (W, 11-2) and Feb. 17, 1985 vs. the NY Islanders (W, 9-3). *Statistic courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau