It might not have been the prettiest win and it didn’t come against a good team, but the New York Rangers will gladly take Sunday’s 4-3 shootout win against the Calgary Flames.
They came into tonight’s contest having lost the first four games of what was increasingly looking like a depressing nine-game homestand. With four more games left, the outlook is at least a little rosier.
Calgary took 2-0 and 3-2 leads, but the Rangers battled back to win. The Blueshirts now find themselves more or less in the thick of things in the squalid East despite being below .500 (16-17-1).
Henrik Lundqvist might feel the greatest relief of any Rangers player, as he broke a four-game losing streak. Sure, he still didn’t put up great numbers (three goals allowed on 21 shots) and hasn’t been sharp statistically (just one game with a save percentage above .900 in his last seven), but this is better than nothing.
That might just be the motto of tonight’s win, as the Rangers have become uncomfortably used to settling for exactly that.
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.