With the win on Tuesday night the New York Rangers are in a position to sweep the Atlanta Thrashers right out of the playoffs.
A Big game from the number 1 line helped put a beating on the Atlanta team who, unlike in the first 2 games, came up flat footed. In game 1 the Thrashers came out fired up. Looking to hit everything in their path. Crashing and banging in an attempt to wear down the Rangers team. Game 2. Same deal, hard hits all around and a tough and close match up. However Game 3 was a whole other story.
Just after the opening face off, 32 seconds to be exact, Jagr was able to slide a pass to a streaking Nylander who, with the remarkable shot he has, was able to catch Atlanta's Lehtonen off gaurd. This was the begining of a great night for a New York team who was looking to work hard.
The big story of this is not that the Rangers came up with a 7-0 win. The big story is that you could see everyone contribute. From the 1st Line to the 3rd there was scoring. Everyone chipped in, where as last year when Jagr got injured the Rangers seemed to be no match for the New Jersey Devils. And here with a hand full of rookies and sophmores in their line up the Rangers came out firing.
Ryan Callahan who is quickly becoming a fan favorite cashed in 2 big goals for his team. Tyutin has 5 assits so far this series, Hossa chipped in an Assist and played hard even with a brace on his knee, in which he aggrivated when he was hit along the boards but returned to the ice shortly after. Garardi is playing very well and looks like he can soon be a top pair defensemen for this team. Even Pock who has taken a bit of critizism throughout the year showed some impressive moves with the puck in the 2nd period. Henrik Lundqvist put on a stellar performance earning his first career playoff shut out, although not tested throughout the whole night came up big when he was needed. Sean Avery basicly took Kovalchuk out of his game all night long and upset him enough to drop the gloves and in turn be ejected from the game.
Overall you can say this Atlanta team looked dead. You can say they didn't play with heart. You can say they weren't determined. You can even blame it on the coaching if you'd like. However the truth is the Rangers came into MSG fired up and fed off the energy of the crowd and put on a scoring clinic. They showed up, and played a full 60 minutes of great hockey. They showed up and were able to roll 4 lines that skated better than the Atlanta team. Thats why they won this game. They were hungry and stuck to their game plan and were able to do what they have been doing for the past 2-3 months. Fight hard, win battles, gets shots on net and play a sound defensive game.
Here's to tonights game.