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Gaborik Line Great: Everyone Else average: Rangers Lose

This occasion has been sniffed out for a long time. The Rangers came in with some confidence after squeaking by the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon; but the team needed to display a more explosive attack against the Washington Capitals and were unable to commit to this entertaining style.

Even though the Blueshirts took the first meeting early in the year, the Rangers were in a different state of mind. Chris Drury and Brandon Dubinsky were halfway productive and all three offensive lines earned their fair share of offense by working the puck into the offensive zone. It seems that when an Ovechkin-led Capitals squad enters the Garden to take on the Rangers, Washington has a tremendous advantage.

After Matt Bradley got his clock cleaned during a fight, which included blood and six stitches, he scored a key third period goal to snatch a knotted contest for the road team.

According to an interview conducted by Tony Page of WFAN early this morning, Newsday columnist, Steve Zipay, felt that Henrik Lundqvist has lost a step from last year (whether though a groin or hamstring injury). Zipay emphasized that Lundqvist is going down to the ice too quickly which allows an elevated puck to get beyond the reach of the netminder. There was no screen from the defense, but Lundqvist has been surrendering a shot, every game, that he would not have provided Henrik was healthy.

New York cannot afford to have Lundqvist hit the shelf. He is the franchise goaltender, yes! He also represents the hope the Rangers can bank on if the team earns a playoff spot. Stephen Valiquette is not equipped to handle everyday responsibilities and that burden places excruciatingly more pressure on a struggling offense.

The Rangers take on the Panthers in two of the next three contests over the course of a week and sandwiched between is the vastly improved, Columbus Blue Jackets. The second and third lines must show up before the team collapses like a turkey before being cooked for a Thanksgiving meal.

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