New York, NY – New York Rangers (6-4-1) center Brandon Dubinsky was able to net two goals in the 3-2 victory over the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks (7-6-1) in Original Six action on Monday night. The Blueshirts in continuation of their gritty play are on a two game winning streak as well as giving the 18,200 in attendance a belated Halloween treat.
Impressive in the victory for the Rangers was the line of Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov and Ryan Callahan who recorded eight points in Monday night’s game. The young line who you can tell is having a lot of fun on the ice seems to know where the other is at all time, making nice sharp passes as well as letting off some impressive shots this season.
“It is huge. In order for us to be successful we have to overachieve in work ethic. We are not going to be by on talent along, but if we continue to work hard we have enough talent to score some goals,” said Brandon Dubinsky after the game.
Callahan agrees saying, “It is big. We definitely have to start winning some games at home. We just beat a good team in Chicago, so it shows that we can do it.”
Dubinsky had this to say on playing with Anisimov and Callahan, “Those guys are making great plays and it is fun to play with them. I think we have enough skill on that line that if we give enough effort and energy we are going to get enough opportunities. That is what we are doing right now and we are having fun.”
For Callahan who has now extended his scoring streak to a career-high seven games, is now tied with Dubinsky for the team lead with four multi-point efforts on the season, including four of the last five games. The winger also registered five hits and tied for game-high with six blocked shots. Callahan now ranks fourth in the NHL with 42 hits and leads all league forwards with 20 blocked shots on the season.
Dubinsky had this to say of his teammate, “He is a great player and he is really coming on his own offensively. He is such a leader and leads by example. He is being rewarded, so that is pretty special right now.”
Callahan had this to say of his line, “The hardest thing is playing with confidence and that is what I am doing right now. The whole line is. It is a pleasure to play with Dubi (Brandon Dubinsky) who can hold onto the puck in the offensive zone. I just try to get open and it seems right now that we are clicking.”
The Blackhawks netted the first goal of the game at the 17:13 mark as Tomas Kopecky (2) recorded a tip-in power play goal, which was assisted from Duncan Keith (10) and Patrick Sharp (6). New York though was able to respond a few minutes later as Dubinsky (6) connected on a backhand goal from Anisimov (5) and Callahan (8).
As the Original Six squads skated into the third period tied showing each other respect, with the momentum shifting on several occasions. It was in the third period that Dubinsky (7) netted a tip-in on a power play goal as Callahan (9) and Anisimov (6) line struck again at the 0:55 mark to give New York the 2-1 lead.
Chicago would get the momentum back on their end at the 6:08 mark as Patrick Kane (4) netted a wicked wrist shot to tie the two teams up again.
“We talked about how they play. We know they play hard. They work and they are hard to play against,” said Chicago head coach Joe Quenneville.
The never say die Rangers found a response this night from young center Erik Christensen (2) who notched the game winning goal by burring a top shelf wrist-shot past Chicago keeper Marty Turco who finished the night with 20 saves. The eventual game winner which was assisted by Brandon Prust (2) and Michael Del Zotto (3) along with a very solid defensive effort in the third period of play gave New York a hard earned victory.
“It was huge. You can feel the air being sucked out of the building. To come back, we gave ourselves a second chance, and if we could hold our own in the defensive zone for 10 or 12 minutes we could pull it off,” said Erik Christensen on the go-ahead goal. “It was kind of the break I needed. It was on the fore-check, I got the puck right at the dot and I didn’t even try to pick a corner. I just shot it.”
Also impressive for the Rangers was the 35 hits and 35 blocked shots in the contest, led by Steve Eminger’s game-high six hits and Dan Girardi’s six blocked shots. The Rangers now lead the league in both hits and blocked shots.
“You get in the lane and sacrifice your body for the team,” said Dan Girardi after the game. “There’s no skill about it, you just get in the lane and get down.”
In the cage keeper Henrik Lundqvist, who was stellar in the win making 33 saves in the victory to improving to a 5-3-1 overall record. Lundqvist is now 36-17-11 against Original Six opponents in his career has stopped 30 or more shots in seven of his nine appearances this season. Lundqvist did a stellar job in the final minutes of play stopping a flurry of Chicago shots that were headed his way.
The keeper had this to say on the last flurry of shots, “I don’t think it is hard to keep concentration there. After the second goal, that is the challenge. The challenge for me is to refocus; thankfully the team was able to respond right away which was a good thing.”
Head Coach John Tortorella had this to say of his keeper, “He has made some big saves at key times. It is so important. I think it works off one another. The players are playing hard for him and blocking shots and Henrik has made some key saves at some key times in the game that we won.”
New York will now head to Philadelphia for a 7:00 p.m. Thursday face-off against their rival the Flyers for a back-to-back set against Atlantic Division opponents as the second game taking place on Friday at 7:00 p.m. will be against the struggling New Jersey Devils.