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View Full Version : NY Rangers, with red-hot power play, can make up ground in playoff race against Leafs



SLY WILLIAMS
04-07-2013, 02:46 PM
By Pat Leonard / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, April 7, 2013, 1:16 PM

TORONTO — They may start calling themselves the st-Rangers, since this hockey team's power play is as unrecognizable as some of the new faces that have transformed it from a chronic weakness into a sizzling strength.

The Rangers are five-of-11 on the man advantage and 2-0-1 in three games since trading Marian Gaborik at Wednesday's deadline, entering a pivotal home-and-home against the fifth-seeded Toronto Maple Leafs beginning Monday night at the Air Canada Centre.

Toronto (21-13-4, 46 points) stands just four points ahead of the Rangers (19-15-4, 42 points), who also are breathing down the necks of the sixth-seeded Ottawa Senators (19-12-6, 44 points), who visit the Florida Panthers on Sunday night.

"I just think some of the personnel is playing better," coach John Tortorella said after Saturday's 4-1 road win over Carolina, when the Blueshirts scored on two of their first three power plays to take a 3-0 lead midway through the second period. "I think Zuke (Mats Zuccarello) has added something to it, and we're finding a way to score goals. There's been much more puck possession within it."

The Rangers' playmaking ability has increased exponentially with three new players in Zuccarello, center Derick Brassard and winger Ryane Clowe split among the two, new five-man units. They have combined for two goals and six points on the power play in three games.

Brassard, who came over from Columbus in the Gaborik trade, mans the middle with big-bodied net presences Clowe and Brian Boyle to his wings and playmaker Brad Richards and patient passer Dan Girardi at the points. On the other unit, Zuccarello and Michael Del Zotto hold up top while Derek Stepan's line with Ryan Callahan and Rick Nash does the work down low.

Zuccarello, who re-signed on March 28 after playing a full season in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, is playing at another level with the puck on his stick. His pass sending Nash to space in the slot on Saturday night for a goal was a thing of beauty.

"It's a heads up play," Nash said, "because he doesn't really have a great lane to the net to shoot."

Richards, who has had a season to forget, is finding his touch playing with Zuccarello and Clowe on even strength, and it's helping him on the power play. Saturday night, his swift entry and give-and-go to Clowe along the right wall set up Richards' smart pass to Stepan in the slot for the game-opening power-play goal.

"Zuke and I have been making a lot of those little plays," Richards said Saturday night. "We're making them in five-on-five too. When you make those and get those working and are feeding off them, things just seem to open up."http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/rangers/power-surge-rangers-red-hot-man-advantage-article-1.1310065?localLinksEnabled=false

bsi
04-07-2013, 03:56 PM
Zuccarello's been a great fit, same goes for Brassard, really helped our PP. MZA really looks faster this time around too adding him and Brassard really sped this team up.

IAmARanger18
04-07-2013, 04:20 PM
And we're only 2 points behind the Sens for 6th, but they have a game in hand on us, I think we split the home and home with Toronto but I would love if we win both.

bsi
04-07-2013, 05:12 PM
And we're only 2 points behind the Sens for 6th, but they have a game in hand on us, I think we split the home and home with Toronto but I would love if we win both.

I hate losing to the Leafs, hopefully we get atleast a win

nyr2002nyr
04-07-2013, 09:20 PM
I hate losing to the Leafs, hopefully we get atleast a win

Half the guys I play hockey with are Leafs fans. I would so love to sweep that home & home

lvlheaded
04-08-2013, 12:17 AM
A sweep of this home and home would put us in great shape to at least get the sixth seed. I'd be okay playing against the Caps in the first. I think we can take them

metswon69
04-08-2013, 11:39 AM
To me i'll take 3 out of 4 points here but just get points in both games either way...

NYR_NYJ
04-08-2013, 01:29 PM
If they could jump to 6th some how that would be a great first round match up over Pitt or Montreal.

nyr2002nyr
04-08-2013, 02:13 PM
If they could jump to 6th some how that would be a great first round match up over Pitt or Montreal.


You wanna be the man you have to beat the man. Bring the Pens on in round 1 please!!!!!

you are going to have to play them sooner or later if you want the cup i rather sooner so they cant get healthy