I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical about Benoit Pouliot‘s future as a member of the New York Rangers. Wow did he catapult the Rangers to a huge win on Saturday night!
The Rangers, as a team, have been snake-bitten this year. Every player has just had a hard time putting the puck in the net. But Pouliot has been one of the most snake-bitten of them all. Add on to the fact that he had yet to record a point in his first eight games as a Rangers, he was ejected from the game against the Philadelphia Flyers. But Pouliot was one of many players who rose to the occasion when the Rangers most desperately needed a win.
Pouliot scored the first goal of the game for the Rangers on rebound on the power play late in the second period. Once again, he had gotten a couple of really good scoring opportunities but could not finish. Then finally, the persistence the Rangers had been having paid off and they got on the bored. Mats Zuccarello tied the game up in the third period on another rebound goal. This goal made up for the egregious turnover Zuccarello committed that led to the Detroit Red Wings first goal. The game eventually went to overtime and was looking like it was heading for a shootout. But then Pouliot made one of the best hustle plays I have seen in a while. Pouliot chipped the puck out of his own zone then made a diving poke pass to Derick Brassard in the neutral zone, which sprung him on a breakaway. Brassard squeezed the puck underneath Jimmy Howard‘s blocker for the game winner.
The Rangers deserved this game in every way. They had a season high in shots with 37 and Cam Talbot played another outstanding game in net. The Rangers should look to build upon this win as they finally return home to New York for their home opener on Monday night.