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Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh will both likely finish tonight's game and be over 500 total minutes on ice for the playoffs.

They are almost 30 minutes ahead of Marc Staal who is third on the list.

Harrison Mooney wonders at Puck Daddy if the Rangers will be able to win the Stanley Cup with their top two defensemen playing so much.

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At NHL.com, Steve Hoffner, Mike Morreale and Adam Kimelman put together their third mock draft of the season following the NHL Draft Lottery.

The Rangers are slotted at 29th.

Kimelman has them taking Slater Koekkoek, a defenseman from Peterborough.

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Yesterday, John Tortorella was asked if there was something that he has seen or needs to see to know that the Rangers are ready to embark on this playoff run.

Tortorella responded with, "I saw it. I am not telling you but I have seen it the past few days."

Mike Rupp told Ranger Rants that the team has been loose as it prepares to defend the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, "Our room has been loose and it?s a confident group. We?re excited. I don?t know if that?s what he?s seeing. I guess you?d look to see if something was abnormal. But it?s the same jokes, the same stupid comments.?

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It's 3:44PM on Tuesday and the rest of my day appears to be filled with work, the gym (maybe), and a reheated leftover dinner from Thanksgiving while the Rangers take on Crosby and the Pens. I have plenty of time, with the game starting at 7:30PM tonight. As I await 5:00PM, an unexpected text message arrives and an invitation to the Rangers game from my cousin whose company owns a Suite in the Garden. So, as my superiors head out the door at 4:00PM to attend a managers meeting at the company headquarters, I subtly shut down shop, go to the car for the Drury Jersey and head to station for the 5:16PM train from Princeton Junction to Penn Station.

This is the typical ride I?ve taken the last 5 years since I moved to New Jersey. It?s long but the train is much like the quiet before the storm, and I expect the energy in the building tonight to be as high as any home game this season. Additionally, I will be experiencing suite level treatment for the first time and the ticket is free, so there is no denying the expectations for tonight are high.

While riding the train, I often think about everything I love about being a hockey fan. Being a hockey fan for me (and probably most of you) is more than a rooting interest; it?s a commitment to a lifestyle. And if you are a Rangers fan, it?s a lifestyle born on traditions. Traditions that are celebrated by 18,200 people one night at a time.

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For those not familiar with twitter, Cslocum19 wrote to Wolski saying "if you put as much effort into your tweeting as your do your hustle on the ice, we should see a tweet from you every few weeks."

Wolski re-tweeted it for his followers to see and then responded "priceless tweet"

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Before the game last Saturday, John Tortorella spoke about why he separated Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.

He told ESPN New York that both plays like to have the puck and that:

"They both want the puck, they're both good with the puck, but sometimes the puck isn't big enough for the both of them," he said.
Elliotte Freidman wrote at CBC: "It's important to make sure guys who need to carry the puck are partnered with those who don't mind playing without it. Look at Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. Both love to carry it, and that doesn't necessarily work."

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Can you please list your top ten Rangers prospects in the comments section or email them to me, adamrotter@gmail.com.

I am planning to compile a big list of the fan/reader rankings.

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In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that the Devils need Jacques Lemaire to continue as coach.

Brooks says that there is a theory that the Devils haven't named a coach because they are waiting for Lemaire to once again come out of retirement to coach them.

He says that Martin Brodeur, Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias all believe in Lemaire as coach.

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Update: 9:12PM: 6/9/11:

http://twitter.com/#!/StapeNewsday/status/78990993600417792

Original Post:

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First Period:
  • No Scoring
Second Period:
  • Jason Chimera finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play to put the Caps up 1-0
  • Jason Arnott made it 2-0 with a powerplay goal after a Mike Green shot deflected onto Arnott's stick.
Third Period:
  • No Scoring
Thoughts and Stats:
  • Well the Rangers are down 2-0. Not exactly the way they wanted to start the playoffs.
  • You can't win if you can't score. It's pretty simple.
  • The Rangers had a great first period and an alright third period, but the second period saw the let down and the Rangers paid for it.
  • It was nice to see Sean Avery play well in the third period. if he played that way all the time he would never be a scratch.
  • The Rangers had 38 hits. Faceoffs were 29=28 for the Caps. 22 shots for the Rangers. Boyle and Gabby had four each.

  • Chris Drury played 7:26, Sean Avery played 10:22. Brandon Dubinsky played 21:05 and had two shots. The Rangers had 21 shots blocked
  • You have to think that their inability to score is in their head. It has to be. All it takes is one goal though to break that. They just need one to get started.
First Period Thoughts:

Update: 10:23PM:

The following quotes are from the Rangers:

John Tortorella on the last game of the season?

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The Carolina Hurricanes have defeated the Detroit Red Wings tonight by a score

of 3-0. Carolina now has 89 points with 2 games remaining.

6: Montreal 93 Points ? ? ? 43- 30-7 ? ? ?2 games remaining.

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Written by Angelo Pegno

The Buffalo Sabers defeated the Tampa Bay Lighting tonight by a score of 4-2.

Buffalo now has 92 points with 2 games remaining.

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First Period:
  • James van Riemsdyk put in a loose puck to make it 1-0 Flyers
  • Bryan McCabe (7) blasted a slap shot past Sergei Bobrovsky with .4 seconds left in the first period to tie the game, on the powerplay. Derek Stepan (22) and Marian Gaborik (24) picked up assists on the play.
Second Period:
  • Ruslan Fedotenko (10) popped the water bottle and put a rebound past Bobrovsky to make it 2-1 Rangers. Assisted by Vinny Prospal (13) and Marc Staal (21)
Third Period:
  • Nik Zherdev scored his fourth goal of the season against the Rangers by tipping the puck through Henrik Lundqvist after Ryan McDonagh went to the bench because of an injury
Shootout:
  • Nikolai Zherdev was STOPPED
  • Erik Christensen SCORES
  • Claude Giroux was STOPPED
  • Wojtek Wolski SCORES RANGERS WIN
Thoughts:
  • Saying that this win was huge would be an understatement.
  • The Rangers came to play today. Plain and simple. They worked hard. Skated hard and while they didn't create a ton of offense, they did enough and played like they have to play to win.
  • Erik Christensen and Wojtek Wolski come up huge when the Rangers needed them.
  • Marc Staal played one of his best games of the season today. NBC said he broke his nose but you never could have known with his game today.

  • Marian Gaborik was all over the place today and while he didn't score, his legs were moving and he backchecked a ton to help.
  • They need to bring this effort again tomorrow night against Boston. The two points are huge, but two more are needed tomorrow and the Rangers need to bring this same level of play.

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Written by Angelo Pegno

The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Islanders tonight by a score of

4-2. Carolina now has 86 points with 4 games remaining.

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Written by Angelo Pegno

The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Washington Capitals tonight by the score of 3-2 in a shootout. Carolina now has 82 points with 6 games remaining.

The Buffalo Sabers were defeated by the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight by a score of 4-3. Buffalo remains at 85 with 6 games remaining, while Toronto now has 80 points with 5 games remaining.

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Written by Angelo Pegno

The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Tampa Bay Lighting by the score of 4-3.

Carolina now has 80 points with 8 games remaining.

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First Period:
  • Artem Anisimov (18) scored to put the Rangers up 1-0 from Ryan Callahan (22) and Brandon Dubinsky (28).
  • Jordan Staal beat Henrik Lundqvist on a breakaway after a defensive breakdown to tie the game at 1
Second Period:
  • No Scoring
?

Third Period

    Chris Kunitz gave Pittsburgh the lead with a shorthanded goal
    Marian Gaborik tied the game at two by scoring on the doorstep, on the powerplay

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Written by Angelo Pegno

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Boston Bruins tonight by a score of 5-2.

The Maple Leafs now have 74 points with 9 games remaining.

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First Period:
  • Artem Anisimov (17) blocked a shot and went in on a breakaway and beat Carey Price with a backhand move to make it 1-0 Rangers.
  • P.K. Subban blasted a shot past Henrik Lundqvist to tie the game at 1.
  • Dan Girardi (4) blasted a shot of his own past Price to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead, with assists from Erik Christensen (13) and Mats Zuccarello (15)
  • Ryan Callahan (22) flipped a puck off of James Wisniewski and over the goal line to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead, from Anisimov (22) and Brandon Dubinsky (27)
  • Marian Gaborik (21) continued his hot play by scoring to make it 4-1 from Christensen (14) and Vinny Prospal (11)
  • Off a pass from Marc Staal (18), Brian Boyle (21) beat Price and forced him from the game to make it 5-1. Brandon Prust (15) picked up an assist on the play as well.
Second Period:
  • Wisniewski beat Henrik Lundqvist with a slap shot to score the Habs second goal of the game
UPDATE: 8:40PM:
New York notched five goals in the first period, which is a season-high for goals in a single period.? The last time the Rangers scored at least five goals in a period was on Mar. 17, 2007 vs. Boston (six goals in Period 2), and the last time the Rangers tallied at least five goals in the first period of a game was on Dec. 15, 1999 vs. Los Angeles (six goals).? The last time the Blueshirts notched at least five goals in a period vs. Montreal was on Jan. 10, 1986, when they registered five goals in the second period.
Third Period:
  • Brian Gionta deflected a Wisniewski shot to make it 5-3, on the powerplay.
  • Vinny Prospal (5) deflected a Girardi (26) shot to make it 6-3 Rangers, on the powerplay. Marc Staal (19) also picked up an assist on the play.
Thoughts:
  • I hope Hank is okay. He didn't look good after he was hit, but hopefully it's nothing serious.
  • In other news, another home win and the Rangers looked really good for long stretches in this game. The right guys are stepping up at the right time.
  • Ryan Callahan had 7 shots, and a goal in nearly 23 minutes of ice time.
  • Faceoffs were 32-30 for the Rangers.
  • Wojtek Wolski played 8:24, the only Ranger not in double figures for ice time.
  • The Rangers had 32 hits, led by Brandon Dubinsky and Dan Girardi
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Written by Angelo Pegno

The Toronto Maple Leafs were defeated by the Florida Panthers tonight by a

score of 4-0. The Maple Leafs remain at 72 points with 10 games remaining.

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Written by Angelo Pegno

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Carolina Hurricanes tonight by a score of

3-1. The Maple Leafs now have 72 points with 12 games remaining, Carolina

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The Game:
  • The New York Rangers (36-30-4) start a two game home stand tonight against the New York Islanders (27-32-11)
Key Islanders

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I was recently presented with the opportunity to try out "The Power Arm," which is a product intended to strengthen wrists and arms and was developed by Rangers legend Rod Gilbert.

"The Power Arm" is a simple workout tool shaped in a "v" that has two knobs, which can have their resistance changed, that are intended to be turned in a rapid motion to develop stronger arms and muscles.

I found "The Power Arm" a little confusing when I first received it, but after a few days of messing around and reading the instructions, I figured out a nice routine to use "The Power Arm" as part of my daily workout routine.

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Written by Angelo Pegno

The Toronto Maple Leafs were defeated by the Tampa Lighting tonight by the

score of 6-2. The Leafs have 70 points with 12 games remaining.

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First Period:
  • After taking a high stick to the face that wasn't penalized, Marc Staal deflected Ryane Clowe's shot on the powerplay past Henrik Lundqvist to make it 1-0 Sharks.
  • Erik Christensen (10) tied the game at 1 off a feed from Vinny Prospal (9) and Marian Gaborik (22)
Second Period:
  • Michael Sauer (2) snapped the puck through traffic and past Antti Niemi, from Ruslan Fedotenko (12) and Brandon Prust (14)
  • Ben Eager tied the game at two for the Sharks by deflecting the puck past Lundqvist.
Third Period:
  • No Scoring
Overtime:
  • No Scoring
Shootout:
  • Patrick Marleau is STOPPED by Henrik Lundqvist with a pad save
  • Erik Christensen was STOPPED by Niemi with a pokecheck as he went from side to side.
  • Dan Boyle slowed all the way down, faked a bunch and beat Lundqvist with a backhand.
  • Mats Zuccarello lost control of the puck trying to go side to side.
  • Ryane Clowe was STOPPED by Lundqvist
  • Wojtek Wolski weaved in and out and BEAT Niemi with a great wrist shot
  • Joe Pavelski was STOPPED by Lundqvist after going in fast and then slowing down
  • Artem Anisimov was STOPPED by Niemi as he went to his backhand
  • Logan Couture was STOPPED by Lundqvist with a pad save
  • Ryan Callahan hit the outside of the net
  • Dany Heatley was STOPPED by Lundqvist as he went to his backhand
  • Brandon Dubinsky SCORES and the Rangers WIN!
Thoughts:
  • Henrik Lundqvist was not letting the Rangers lose this game. It was as simple as that. He wasn't leaving San Jose without two points.
  • This was a HUGE WIN against a very good team and they deserved the two points that they picked up.
  • It doesn't get any easier from here though, it's a big win, but the Islanders will be gunning for them on Tuesday night.
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Update: Live Blog Begins

Dave Maloney only used one set of golf clubs this past summer

Maloney believes that Marc Staal will be signed, and thinks it will happen soon

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According to Dmitry Chesnokov, KHL team Salavat Yulaef has started to negotiate with free agent winger Alexander Frolov.

...Dominoes continue to fall after Ilya Kovalchuk signed.

The KHL has been linked to Frolov for many months now.

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There is always confusion and rumors at this time of year.? That said, one thing seems all but a lock --and that is that Sean Avery will be a Ranger by the time they play the Islanders on Thursday.? Every writer has this as a definite and I just find that to be strange.

This goes beyond my feelings on Avery. I may have finally come around on this situation because I think if he steps out of line, John Tortorella will not hesitate to sit him down and make an example out of him.? When/if he joins the Rangers, someone is going to have sit, and I think that man is going to be Colton Orr.

But again, I ask why is this such a foregone conclusion?? The Rangers are clustered with a handful of teams all fighting for the playoffs.? Why wouldn't the Penguins, who are just below the Rangers in standings, take a chance with Avery?? What about Florida?? Despite Avery only wanting to play in New York -- Miami wouldn't be a bad destination.? Hell, why not the Islanders?? They love sticking it to the Rangers and he would be a big draw for them.? Considering Guerin is all but gone, they could make a case for giving him the 'C'.? Ok -- his salary will scare some teams away and it is Sean Avery -- however, I do remember the Yankees claiming Jose Canseco just to spite the Red Sox.

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