Derick Brassard had himself a night to remember last night as the New York Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals last night. Brassard made a beautiful pass to set up Brian Boyle in front of the net that led to the Rangers’ first goal in the first period to tie the score 1-1. Then, in the second period, Brassard found the net on the Rangers’ first power play goal of the series. Brassard added another assist in the third period on another great pass that Aaron Asham buried past goalie Braden Holtby.
It was Brassard’s Madison Square Garden playoff debut and he did something that hasn’t been done since Sergei Zubov in 1994 against the New York Islanders, tally three points in his Garden playoff debut.
Brassard was active all over the ice and recorded five hits, one behind team leader Ryan Callahan who had six. His five faceoff wins were also second on the team behind Brian Boyle’s 14 which helped the Rangers control the puck at vital times last night.
Since coming over to the Rangers from the Columbus Blue Jackets in the trade that sent Marian Gaborik away Brassard has helped redefine Rangers’ hockey. His physical play and ability to make things happen on the power play have helped breathe new life into the Rangers who were teetering on not making the playoffs. Since becoming a Ranger, Brassard has scored five goals and tallied six assists. Two of those goals and two assists have come on the power play.
Last night, Derick Brassard proved his value to the Rangers, whether it is on the power play or moving the puck. Along with John Moore, who also came over in the same trade, and Ryane Clowe who was acquired at the deadline from the San Jose Sharks, Brassard has helped redefine the Rangers’ identity this season. Brassard’s Garden debut was one to remember but what can he do for an encore on Wednesday?