They were offensive, and I don’t mean that they offended. They played aggressively. They played tough and with passion. It obviously was a heckuva lot easier on the eyeballs
And I won’t mention that they still almost lost.
But the Rangers’ losing streak is over, and so, for now, is the goal drought after the 5-4 shootout win over Wahsington tonight.
Some lockerroom remarks:
Markus Naslund: “We’re a desperate team right now. We need the wins and I think it was an all-around hard-working effort from the whole group.”
I asked him, and several others if the pace was dictated by the Rangers, or allowed by the Capitals:
“I think it was a little bit of both,” Naslund said. “A guy like Ovechkin, you’ve got to be careful not to give him odd-man rushed and chances to shoot the puck. I thought we skated well. We skated with them. I thought we drove the net well and got more pucks to the net than we have.”
Chris Drury: “I think they always play like that, it seems like, especially against us. We finally matched it and dictated the play to them. We really had our legs going.
“When we have a chance, go. Be aggressive. Certainly when Ovechkin’s out there and Green’s flying around, you have to pick your spots, but when there’s a chance for us to be aggressive and jump into the play we’ve got to go for it.”
Tom Renney: “I think every team wants to play with pace and tempo. … Both teams kind of went at each other. … I’d like to think we had something to do with that, going after a very important win for our team.
Henrik Lundqvist: It was huge to get the win tonight after everything that was going on the last couple of weeks.
“It felt really important to get the win tonight. We played really hard tonight and we created a lot. You could see that we got a lot of confidence from scoring. Our guys needed to score and feel good and feel that the game is working. So it was a really good performance, I think. It was a tough game to play. They’re a good team, but we battled.
“They’ve got a lot of talent there, but we managed to keep up with them and get the two points, which was huge for us now. Going to Florida tomorrow, you’re going to see a couple of smiles on the plane, and it’s been a while. You walk around and it’s pretty painful when you’re not winning. You put a lot of pressure on yourself. You want to win. This business is all about winning.”
The Rangers actually got a huge break in the shootout, their forte, after Alex Ovechkin tied it to send it to extra shooters. Ryan Callahan, excellent all night, rang one off the crossbar behind Jose Theodore, and it was waved off, but the puck hit Theodore in the back of the leg and trickled into the net for what proved to be the winner.
“It’s good to get a good bounce there,” Callahan said. “I got the shot off I wanted to, and I heard it hit the crossbar and didn’t think it went in and I look back and saw it go into the net. It was a good break and a good win for us.
“I was just hoping they didn’t call it back,” Drury said. “I didn’t know what the rule is. At first they waved it off. So you’re just thinking, ‘God, please just count it somehow.’ ”