x-1. Philadelphia 103 pts (3 GR)
x-2. Washington – 103 pts (3 GR)
y-3. Boston – 99 pts (3 GR)
x-4. Pittsburgh – 100 pts (3 GR)
x-5. Tampa Bay – 99 pts (3 GR)
6. Montreal – 91 pts (3 GR)
7. NY Rangers – 91 pts (2 GR)
8. Buffalo – 90 pts (3 GR)
9. Carolina – 87 pts (3 GR)
10. Toronto – 84 pts (3 GR)
y – clinched division title
x – clinched playoff spot
After the first period, the New York Rangers looked like they might sleepwalk to a compromising defeat. Yet by the end of this game, it was the Boston Bruins who were left Madison Square Garden wondering what exactly happened to their game.
The Rangers were down 3-0 in the middle of the second period thanks in large part to a flat start, but this scrappy bunch of overachievers simply refused to give up. New York scored five unanswered goals to win the game, including three tallies during a three minute frenzy in the third period.
It might be an understatement to say that it was a raucous scene at MSG as the Rangers scored some goals that Bruins goalie Tim Thomas hopes to forget.
Vinny Prospal and Wojtek Wolski were unlikely heroes for the Rangers, as Propsal scored their first two goals while Wolski provided those primary assists. Brandon Dubinsky began that three-goal flurry, but it was Mike Sauer’s trickling goal that won the game and dropped a few jaws in the process. Derek Stepan put the cherry on top with an empty-net goal, leaving the Bruins powerless to stop the amazing momentum built up by the Rangers.
While this game won’t be part of the Vezina Trophy nominee highlight reel for Thomas, Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 out of 30 shots for his 35th win of the 2010-11 season.
This win doesn’t clinch a playoff berth for the Rangers, but gutting out all four points in a tough back-to-back duo of contests leaves New York in seventh place with 91 points and two games left. The Buffalo Sabres are just behind them at eighth with 90 points and three games remaining, while the Carolina Hurricanes now need help to make it to the postseason. (Carolina has 87 points with three games left.)
If you’re a hopeful Toronto Maple Leafs fan, the news isn’t great. The Sabres only need one point to eliminate the Leafs from playoff contention, while the Rangers already have one more point than Toronto’s maximum season total of 90.