The New York Rangers are in a good spot these days.
Looking back, they can take confidence in an 8-2-1 record over their last 11 games, a stretch that’s seen them move into a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Looking forward, they’ve got an opportunity to keep climbing the standings, with eight of their 12 games before the Olympic break at Madison Square Garden and two of the four road games not really being road games at all, given they’ll be at Yankee Stadium.
Tonight, the resurgent Rangers host Tampa Bay. On Thursday, the Red Wings are in town.
“I think before the good stretch, we talked about playing tighter,” forward Derick Brassard said, per The Record. “I think we found chemistry between lines. We’ve been hot on the power play. When we’re not scoring, we’re looking for answers. Now we’re scoring so we don’t really talk about it. Right now, we’re just playing well. Everything is going well.”
And, of course, it helps greatly that goalie Henrik Lundqvist is starting to find the form that earned him that big contract extension. In five January starts, Lundqvist’s save percentage is .923, which certainly compares favorably to the .888 mark he registered in December.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger