Post-game notes & quotes courtesy of the NYR:
Rangers 4, Wilds 1.
– The Rangers defeated the Minnesota Wild, 4-1, tonight at Madison Square Garden, in the first game of a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts tallied four unanswered goals to erase an early 1-0 deficit, and have now registered 13 goals in their last four games.
– The Blueshirts improved to 17-18-2 overall (36 pts), including a 7-10-2 mark at home this season.
– The Rangers’ win tonight was their first against the Wild at Madison Square Garden since a 2-1 victory on Mar. 24, 2009. They have won three of their last four games against the Wild at home, and have won three of their last four games overall against Minnesota.
– New York has posted a combined record of 7-5-1 in back-to-back games this season, including a 4-2-1 record in the first game of the set (2-1-1 at home; 2-1-0 on the road).
– The Rangers’ power play was 1-2 (2:22) in the contest, and is now 10-43 (23.3%) in the last 13 games.
– The Blueshirts’ penalty kill was 2-2 (4:00) in the contest, and has now held opponents scoreless in 14 of the last 20 games (46-52, 88.5% over the span).
– The Rangers won 28-54 faceoffs (51.9%) in the contest, led by Brad Richards’ team-high, 11 faceoff wins (11-17, 65%). The Blueshirts are now 318-589 on faceoffs (54.0%) through 10 games in the month of December.
– New York out-shot Minnesota, 36-25, in the contest, including a 17-5 advantage in the second period. The Blueshirts have now out-shot their opponent in five of the last six games (tied on shots in the sixth game), and hold a 187-151 shot advantage over their opponents during the stretch. The Rangers have registered 30 or more shots in seven of the last 10 games.
– The Rangers were credited with 31 hits, led by Benoit Pouliot’s season-high, six hits. The Blueshirts had eight players register two or more hits in the contest.
– Cam Talbot made 24 saves in the contest to improve to 7-2-0 overall, including a 2-1-0 mark at home this season. He is now 3-1-0 with a 1.76 goals against average, .935 save percentage, and one shutout in four career games against Western Conference opponents.
– Mats Zuccarello notched a goal to extend his point streak to three games (two goals, two assists over the span), and registered three shots and two blocked shots in 16:19 of ice time. He has recorded a point in 10 of the last 15 games, registering five multi-point performances and 15 points (six goals, nine assists) during the stretch. Zuccarello leads the team in scoring with 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in the last 29 games since his healthy scratch on Oct. 24 at Philadelphia.
– Carl Hagelin tallied a goal and three shots in 17:06 of ice time. He has notched three goals in the last four games, and is now tied for third on the team with eight goals on the season.
– Derick Brassard registered two assists, including one on the power play, to extend his point streak to three games (one goal, two assists). Six of his last nine points have been registered while on the power play (two goals, four assists), and he has tallied five points (one goal, four assists) in his last five games. Brassard is now two points shy of his 200th career NHL point.
– Benoit Pouliot notched a power play goal to extend his point streak to four games (two goals, two assists over the span), led all skaters with a season-high, six hits, and tied for the team lead with four shots in 14:38 of ice time. He has now tallied six points (three goals, three assists) in his last eight games, including three goals in his last six contests.
– Chris Kreider recorded a goal, two hits, and two takeaways in 11:22 of ice time. He has recorded three points (two goals, one assist) in the last four games, and is now tied for the team lead with nine goals on the season.
– Ryan McDonagh tallied a power play assist, two hits, and a plus-two rating in a team-high, 25:32 of ice time. He leads Rangers defensemen and is tied for 15th among league defensemen with 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) on the season.
– Rick Nash registered an assist, tied for the team-high with four shots, and was credited with two blocked shots in 14:48 of ice time. He has now tallied 10 points (five goals, five assists) in the last 13 games, with three assists in the last four contests.
– Derek Dorsett tallied an assist and logged 13:19 of ice time. He has now registered a point in each of the last two games (one goal, one assist over the span).
– Brian Boyle recorded an assist, three shots, and two hits in 14:02 of ice time. He has tallied two assists in the last four games.
Alain Vigneault on tonight’s game… “I’m not sure if it sparked us, but I do know that I thought our compete level, especially in the second period, was probably our best four-line, six-defense pairing in a long time. We rolled four lines, each time playing very smart and simple. They were doing great things with the puck. What we need to do now is get ready for Toronto and follow up on this performance.”
Cam Talbot on tonight’s game… “We have been giving up leads and coming back and tying it, then going ahead, and giving it right back again. Tonight we kept our foot on the throttle and we started to play good defense, so I think that’s something we have to do more. It was an all around great effort by the guys tonight. It’s a good team win.”
Derick Brassard on tonight’s game… “I think our bench was really positive and that’s something that we need to be positive all of the time. I think we just stuck with it after we found our way. We had a big goal from Carl (Hagelin) that got us going.”
Photo by Getty Images.