Seeking an end to a three-game losing streak, Rangers head coach John Tortorella has reunited Rick Nash, Brad Richards, and Marian Gaborik on a forward line for tonight’s home game versus Carolina.
The trio — which, by the way, combines for a cap hit of just under $22 million — was skating together at this morning’s practice.
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Gaborik, Richards and Nash combined for six goals and 10 assists in seven games together (excluding points scored off the line in those games). That stretch lasted from the Blueshirts’ third game of the season against the Bruins until the ninth game of their season at the Devils. Their production was inconsistent, but more importantly Tortorella was concerned about the lack of balance through the lineup and eventually broke up the trio.
“I don’t think we played long enough where we figured each other out,” Nash said. “As I said before, you look at some of the good lines and they’ve played together for years or months, whatever it might be. But I did think early on we were having some success and each game we were getting better.”
The Rangers have scored just two goals in their last three games, one by Derek Stepan, the other by Ryan Callahan.
The losing streak has seen New York fall out of a playoff position to 10th in the Eastern Conference, three points back of the eighth-place Hurricanes.
Related: Gaborik’s agent says, ‘He’s not the type of guy who would ask out’
It makes sense that a swift bit of history happened in a game in which three goals were scored scored on three shots in about three minutes.
Brad Marchand found the net eight seconds in after an icing call, setting a new record for the Boston Bruins.
(You can see that goal in the video above.)
Watch that three-goal burst in this video:
The two teams weren’t done then. Loui Eriksson made it 3-1 while Pavel Datsyuk scored his 900th point to make it 3-2.
Maybe the best moment wasn’t a goal: Torey Krug was seemingly hurt by a Pavel Datsyuk hit, yet he returned without missing much time.
When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.
Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.
It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.
This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.
That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.
Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP
So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.
The Kings, meanwhile, remain comfortably in first in the Pacific.
The Boston Bruins (without Patrice Bergeron) take on the Detroit Red Wings (missing Jonathan Ericsson) on Sunday afternoon.
It’s a matchup between the second-ranked and third-ranked teams in the Atlantic Division, with little separating the two in the standings.
You can watch the game on NBC and also stream it online via the link below.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
As cool as it was at the time for many, Patrice Bergeron‘s fight against Blake Wheeler is … honestly, a good reminder why players like Bergeron rarely drop the gloves.
Multiple outlets including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty report that Bergeron will miss Sunday afternoon’s game against the Detroit Red Wings (which you can watch on NBC).
We don’t know a ton about the injury aside from the fact that the multiple Selke-winner is considered day-to-day.
People don’t seem overly concerned about this issue, but you have to wonder if Bergeron made a bad choice, especially considering his history of concussion issues.
You can watch the bout that may or may not have left him injured in the video above.