Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Bruins 3 (OT)
By Katie Strang
What it means: In a rematch of Saturday's season opener, the Rangers earned their first win of the season on the shoulders of Marian Gaborik, who scored a hat trick and won the game with a breakaway goal 27 seconds into overtime, 4-3. Gaborik tallied his first two as the Rangers jumped out to a hot start in the first period and the 29-year-old winger re-established his scoring touch in overtime, beating Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask to help the Rangers improve to 1-2-0 on the season.
Bad trade: Boston's Nathan Horton knotted the game at 3 with 4:23 to play as each team skated four a side, the result of a bad trade for the Blueshirts. On Horton's equalizer, Rick Nash was relegated to the box after being whistled for a concurrent penalty with Boston's Chris Kelly. It was Horton's first goal in over a year since suffering a season-ending concussion last January.
Loading up: Hoping to ignite a Rangers squad that looked out of sorts in the first two games, coach John Tortorella placed Gaborik up on the top line with power tandem Brad Richards and Nash. The move paid dividends early as Gaborik tallied two goals in a span of 2:13 early in the first. Gaborik has previously skated on a line with center Derek Stepan and captain Ryan Callahan.
The first of Gaborik’s pair of goals was set up by a beautiful tip pass from Richards and a crisp, cross-ice feed by Nash to connect with Gaborik on the rush.
Taylor-made: One of the team’s better players through the first two games, Taylor Pyatt notched his second goal of the season. 46 seconds after Milan Lucic tied the game in the second, Pyatt backhanded the puck past Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask to reclaim the Rangers' one-goal lead.
Limited ice time: Pyatt replaced Chris Kreider on the second line as the 22-year-old rookie got demoted to the fourth. Kreider, whose defensive responsibility has been a point of emphasis for the coaching staff, played only one shift in the second period after taking a hooking penalty late in the first.
Break on through: The Bruins snapped an unsightly 0-for-11 power play skid with a man-up goal in the second period. With Rangers defenseman Marc Staal in the box for slashing, the Bruins cut a 2-0 lead in half just 1:05 into play when Brad Marchand tipped in rookie Dougie Hamilton’s slapshot. Picking up an assist on the play, Hamilton, a former first-round draft pick, registered his first NHL point for the Bruins.
Day-to-day:Arron Asham sat out Wednesday’s game with a mild groin strain suffered in the Rangers’ 6-3 loss to the Penguins on Sunday. Asham’s injury is believed to be minor; Tortorella said he is “day-to-day.”
Eminger added: Depth defenseman Steve Eminger appeared in his first game of the 2013 season after sitting out as a healthy scratch for the first two games. With defenseman Stu Bickel moved to forward in Asham’s absence, Eminger slotted in on the third pair with Anton Stralman.