Rangers 5 - Hurricanes 1: Points Per Game

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Rangers Unsung Hero

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MATT: I'm cheating tonight and picking two guys: Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider, both of whom were equally as strong Saturday night. The Rangers were lacking a true No. 1 line this season prior to the trio of these two and Derek Stepan was put together soon after Kreider was called up from Hartford, and there's no going back — at least not right now. The two picked up assists on all three of Stepan's goals and just made plays all night. Of all the positives from Saturday night, the one play that really sticks with me came on Stepan's second goal that made it 4-1. The 'Canes had the puck along the boards when Kreider shoved the defender off the puck, allowing Zuccarello to pick it up and feed Stepan in the slot. It was beautiful to watch, and this line gives you the feeling that a play like that can happen on any shift.

 

JIM: Those two are really playing some excellent hockey---in Kreider's case the best of his young career, so far, but for me I saw Zuccarello and Kreider not so much as Unsung Heroes as legit contenders for the Tope Three Stars. My pick for Rangers Unsung Hero is a bit more subtle---John Moore. The young defenseman really played a strng confident game last night, and though he did not record a single point, he generated offense with his elite speed and still-growing skill-set. Moore was credited with three shots on goal, and had another two of his shots sail wide of the mark. He was looking to make a difference in the offensive end, while also remaining reliable in his own end of the ice. Alain Vigneault used him for 17:33---which includes second unit power play time---and the more comfortable the head coach is with Moore and Michael Del Zotto, the better, because that lessens the burden on the Top Four defensemen, decreases their minutes, and likely will keep them more fresh later in the season.