Blues 5 - Rangers 3: Points Per Game

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Powerful Power Play


JIM: I thought one of the true bright sides of Saturday's loss to the Blues was the Rangers' power play, which looked really good, scoring twice, including another 5-on-3 score. That's two 5-on-3 power play goals already this season, an area where the Blueshirts inexplicably struggled in recent memory. As important, if not more so, was the fact that the power play came through in the clutch, too. The first score was in the final seconds of the first period to tie the game 1-1. The second came early in the third and brought the Rangers within a goal, providing hopes for a comeback. That Ryan Callahan---the team's reigning top power play goal scorer for a couple years running---scored both of these goals is also an excellent sign, as is the fact that even when they did not score on the power play Saturday, the Rangers moved the puck quickly and decisively and created solid scoring chances. Derick Brassard, Derek Stepan, and Brad Richards all were key puck movers, making things happen on the man advantage. The Rangers are 4-for-17 to start the season on the power play, not bad at all.

MATT: For me, I was very pleased with the teams' puck possession and forecheck, which was the reason earlier in the week the Blueshirts came away with a victory in Los Angeles against the Kings, and namely why they struggled so much against San Jose and Anaheim. The Rangers have been successful when they're the ones dictating the pace of the game through puck possession, and aside from a few turnovers and miscommunications — several that resulted in goals — I felt the Rangers were the better team last night. Obviously you have to limit those turnovers and miscommunications — and credit St. Louis for capitalizing — but the Rangers showed signs of returning to the form against the Kings, which demonstrates that this team is capable of being that squad again. It's hard to look for positives with such a difficult week, but we certainly saw them in St. Louis and hopefully a few days of rest and practice back in New York will lead to success with positive results.