PP goals. SH goals. Sean Avery's patented yappin'. It all clicked for New York tonight as the Rangers cruised to 4-1 victory at home.
The Panthers, winners of four of their past five, fell quietly in comparison to recent nights: Stephen Weiss, Nathan Horton, and Michael Frolik - a reincarnated Legion of Doom lately - finished with a collective zero points and -6, while goaltender Tomas Vokoun stopped 28 of 32 shots, with relatively little support. Shut down that foursome and the sad conclusion is only a matter of time.
And there, folks, is your game.
The Rangers, still propelled by a John Tortorella vitriol-fueled rant a week ago, won their fourth in a row on the efforts of more than a few: Marian Gaborik's two points, Vinny Prospal's two goals, and of course Henrik Lundqvist's singular brand of magic (33 saves...a few simply outstanding), along with a little Avery ribbing (for his pleasure) kept New York in control.
Florida appeared lost on occassion, seemingly a step (or shot, or pass) behind their hosts most of the evening. Could throw that rap on coach Peter DeBoer, but from a purely personal view, I'm going with fatigue. Doesn't bode well for the road ahead, but whatever.
If you've got to fall, this is the time: heading into a brief Christmas break, the Cats could certainly use some days away from the rink given their schedule over the last eight weeks.
Next up: Boston at the BAC on Sunday.