It has been a long time since the New York Rangers won two games in a row. Despite their hot play before the All-Star break, the Rangers found themselves sporting an 0-5-1 record in the six games prior to taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins Monday night.
The Rangers beat the depleted Penguins, 5-3, at Madison Square Garden, in a victory that has hopefully rejuvenated some of the lost offense that the team had been dealing with since the All-Star break.
As it stands, the Rangers find themselves in another big game tonight, despite the opponent being from the opposite conference. Last night the Philadelphia Flyers did the Rangers a favor by downing the Carolina Hurricanes.
Tonight the Thrashers will take on the Phoenix Coyotes. A Coyote win would be another big step for the Rangers, but only if they can find a way past the Kings tonight.
The Rangers also have to worry about the Buffalo Sabres, who have re-entered the playoff picture, and are now tied with both Atlanta and Carolina with 60 points.
It's safe to say that the Rangers will be playing playoff hockey from here on out, especially since they take on the -- suddenly 12 points out of the playoffs -- Devils on Friday.
- Michael Del Zotto is back in the line-up after being a healthy scratch against the Penguins. Steve Eminger, who took his place, only placed in five minutes during the game.
- Expect some kind of goaltending juggling over the next two days. I fully expect Henrik Lundqvist to go against the Devils, but I don't know if John Tortorella wants to use him two days in a row.
- The Montreal Canadiens (who are five points ahead of the Rangers in the standings) also play tonight, so the Rangers have a change to gain ground on three different teams with a win, or at least push themselves farther away from the grabbing hands of the 9th and 10th seeded teams.