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Even in Loss, Chad Johnson Exactly What the Rangers Ordered

By Ray Smith

For the last few days and on the last two posts, I have given warnings about how living relying on King Henrik will eventually be detrimental to the Rangers. Chad Johnson must have been reading nyrangersmix.com, because the rookie goaltender showed tonight that the New York Rangers can be competitive, even while providing Henrik Lundqvist with a day off here and there.

In a tough 2-1 shootout loss for the Rangers on Thursday night, with Johnson recording 30 saves, the team showed that things may be turning around. Historically teams in the NHL in back-to-back games, especially a home and away game, do not fair well. A quick turnaround from the game last night in New York to a game in the south did not provide the Rangers with much time to recover from a physical victory over the Stars. But the Rangers did come away with a point, which puts them at 48, and a tie with Ottawa for 6th. The Rangers have a date at the Garden with the Senators next week.

With the Rangers 6-1-3 in their last 10 games, they may be heating up for a run. Hopefully the emergence of a backup and the revival of grit, heart and Sean Avery will lead this team to even more wins.

Following their game in Atlanta, the Rangers head north for a Saturday matinee showdown in Beantown. The Bruins are coming off a 5-2 loss to Chicago and are 6-4 in their last 10. Lundqvist should be back in net on Saturday, but Johnson's gutsy performance gave the Ranger faithful a little hope for the homestretch.

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