With the Olympic break right around the corner for the NHL and the playoffs looming in the near future, every point counts for teams trying to make the playoffs. The New York Rangers have shown signs of being tired and have struggled defensively lately, but they showed that they could play with the best teams in the league when they stole two points in a shootout win against the division rival Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Rangers looked much better than they did against the Edmonton Oilers earlier this week. While the Rangers struggled offensively against the Oilers, they did not seem to have much of a problem with offense on Friday as they outshot the Penguins 41-29 and came away with a shootout win.
The Rangers have a lot to be happy about with the shootout win against the Penguins. Not only did they get two points and give themselves a three-point cushion between them and the Philadelphia Flyers in the standings, but they also ended the Penguins’ perfect shootout record which they have had for over two seasons.
The Rangers played a great game that resulted in desperately needed win. They received some much-needed offense from their third line again last night, as winger Benoit Pouliot scored twice to help force overtime. While the Rangers picked up two crucial points to keep their second-place spot in the Metropolitan Division, they also picked up a crucial win for their ego and team morale.
Winning their last game before the Olympic break will give the Rangers the confidence and inspiration that they need to come back and continue their winning ways in March. The break will give most of the Rangers a must-needed rest, and will also serve as inspiration for the team’s Olympians, as they will be playing their best in Sochi for their country. In turn, they will return playing their best hockey of the season.
This break could not have come at a better time for the Rangers as they are now poised to secure their playoff spot in the East. After some much-needed rest and recuperation, the Rangers will return in March and be positioned to make a run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.