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Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Rangers net three power play goals in win

By Matt Ehalt

Ryan Callahan admits it’s easy for a team to get down on itself with its power play success. Failing to string together goals can leave a team self-conscious about its success with a man advantage.

While the Rangers were 19th best in the league on the power play entering Tuesday night’s game against the Islanders, Callahan said the team still believed in its capabilities.

“We knew that if we kept banging away we were going to get chances,” Callahan said.

Against the Islanders, the Rangers found some good chances to score on the power play -- and cashed in on their opportunities. The Rangers scored on their first three power plays and added a shorthanded goal in their 6-3 win over the Islanders on Tuesday. The three power play goals tied a season high.

“I think special teams were huge, right off the bat we get a shorthanded goal from (Brandon) Prust somewhat early in the game and then I score on a power play a few minutes later and that kind of got our team off to a nice start,” forward Erik Christensen said. “We’ve been focusing on that for the past few games here at the Garden trying to get our fans into it and our starts have been the key.”

Rangers coach John Tortorella said he feels the Rangers power play has been “OK” for a little while now and the team had been coming along. Entering Tuesday, the Rangers were just 42-of-249 with the man advantage, but they looked efficient against the Islanders.

The Rangers scored their first power play goal on a wrap-around pass to Christensen at the 14:52 mark of the first period to give the Rangers a 2-0 advantage. On the squad's second opportunity, Marian Gaborik sniped a laser shot past Islanders goalie Al Montoya to give the Rangers a 4-2 lead early in the second.

Bryan McCabe followed a little more than four minutes later on yet another power play with his first goal as a Ranger to give the squad a 5-2 lead and all but seal the game. The Rangers converted on three of their five power plays.

“You get one [power play goal] early, that’s definitely a momentum changer,” McCabe said. “It got some confidence going and I thought the power play did a great job.”