Oh my God! Oh my God! Our long national nightmare is over. Brain Boyle scored a goal!
The Rangers made the 228 mile trek to DC and picked up two important points in a made for tv Sunday matinee. The Blueshirts played a perfect road game and convincingly beat a terrible Capitals team in their own barn 4-1. This was a take care of business game and the NYR did just that and as a bonus they gained the W while giving Henrik Lundqvist some important rest.
Martin Biron filled in for Hank and let in a terrible goal to Drew Oleksy just over 2 minutes into the game. The Caps defenseman threw a point shot on net that eluded Biron and gave the rookie his first NHL goal and the Caps an early lead. Biron settled his game after the Oleksy goal and was solid and workman like throughout.
The Rangers shrugged off this early deficit and answered back with a tricky Derek Stepan goal.
It was a curious play that started with a half-assed interference attempt by Alexander Ovechkin on Stepan in the neutral zone. Ovechkin kind of sort of threw himself at Stepan but then pulled back. Stepan skated into the Caps zone and took a pass from Marian Gaborik. Step danced around Tomas Kundratek and banked a backhand off of Braden Holtby from behind the goal line. Holtby vacated his post enough, to allow Stepan’s goal to sneak through and tie the game.
Then at 10:53 of the first
Haley’s Comet was reported over the Nation’s capital the Red Sea parted the impossible happened.
Brian Boyle scored a goal.
The oft-missing (as oft-missing as a 6’7″ 230 lb hockey player can be) Brain Boyle took a pass from Ryan McDonagh and made a power move around the circle culminating with a slapper blast by Holtby. It was great to see Boyle score and you could see his palpable relief and his teammates excitement for him. Welcome to 2013 Brian Boyle, the Blueshirts have been waiting for you.
Then moments later, after the ever more enigmatic Alex Ovechkin was whistled for two penalties on the same play, a Richards-less power play chock full of player movement and passing,
Superman Rick Nash ripped a bullet by Holtby from the off wing circle. The goal was later credited to Ryan Callahan, though it was hard to detect any deflection by Cally.
Then to close out the parade, suddenly scorching Brad Richards got his second tally in his last two games. Richards picked up a cookie by going to the net and potting a rebound of a Carl Hagelin shot that was a rebound of a Rick Nash shot.
The two points grabbed in DC were huge. This was a should-win game for the Rangers and they did win. They must grab every point that is out there especially from the weaker teams. At the halfway point of the season, the NYR sit at eighth in the Conference with 28 points and games in hand on the teams around them. Winners of 5 of their last six (that duck fart against Ottawa really should have been two points,) the Rangers seem to be finally putting it together. The power play (when #91 is not on it) finally seems to be making things happen and Rick Nash looks like the most dominant big man in the game and some of his awesomeness may actually be rubbing off on Brad Richards who looks like he may have finally woken up from his nightmare. Heck, Brian Boyle even scored a goal. The defense is playing well and Hank is playing more like Hank. Shutdown D man Marc Staal looks like he caught a very fortunate break (no pun intended) with his horrific undisclosed eye injury and may even be back in just a couple of weeks. The NYR have treaded water after a horrible start and finally look ready to coalesce into the team that is expected to compete for the Cup this Spring.
Let’s go Rangers. The important part of the season starts now.