Rangers get a big win tonight and put three points between their seventh-place spot and Montreal in eighth. Hard not to talk about the playoffs this time of year.
“We don’t have a playoff spot,” John Tortorella said. “We are in the playoffs but we are still fighting for our lives. We are just trying to find a way to get points. I thought we played really well in Pittsburgh.
“We let a point get away in Atlanta. We played well enough in Pittsburgh to at least get a point but we didn’t come up with a big play, they did. Tonight, we started the first half, I thought we were solid just with our fore-checking getting through that neutral zone. We are just taking it a game at a time. I know playoffs is a subject, but we want to just get in and we are going to take it a game at a time to give ourselves a chance to get in there.”
Henrik Lundqvist addressed the question of whether he would like to meet the Devils in the playoffs and he said Whoa Nelly, or the Scandanavian equivalent.
The game was the main event, but the history between Rangers left wing Sean Avery and Devils goalie Martin Brodeur made for an interesting sideshow. Avery took it to a referee when Brodeur popped him with his stick after being screened.
It was a technique reminiscient of the move that generated The Avery Rule, but Brodeur said Avery didn’t bother him, and the shove would’ve been applied to anyone trying to block him.
“That’s his job,” Brodeur said, “and that’s my job to try to see so it doesn’t matter who was there.”
With the 3-0 lead in hand in the third period, David Clarkson grabbed a passive Avery and threw him to the ground — twice — before an official stepped in. Somehow, Avery was given two minutes for roughing even as Clarkson drew two roughing minors and a major misconduct.
“It was a 3-0 game at that point and I didn’t think there’s anything to be gained (from fighting back) at that point,” Avery said. “You fight for your team and you fight for your teammates. At that point I didn’t need to fight for either of them so there was really no point.”
“That’s the new Sean,” Lundqvist said. He’s been very focused since he got here.”