Bruins enjoy challenge of Richards, Gaborik, Nash line

988455.jpg

Bruins enjoy challenge of Richards, Gaborik, Nash line

NEW YORK They havent come up with a catchy name in New York like Legion of Doom or the French Connection quite yet, but pairing together Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik for Wednesday nights showdown with the Bruins was certainly worthy of a statement.
The line combined for three goals all scored off the stick of Gaborik and the three forwards finished with 15 shots on net and a plus-6 in New Yorks 4-3 overtime win at Madison Square Garden.
Its safe to say the line made its presence felt in the Bs dressing. There wasnt a single Bs player that could take the puck off Nashs stick as he darted around the ice, Richards simply put plays together and Gaborik dazzled with his speed and aggressive forays to the net.
Its huge. I think the three of them combined is like 26 million in payroll, so they definitely expect a lot out of them. They played great tonight and scored some big goals for the Rangers, said Milan Lucic. They caught us flat-footed in the beginning, but to see that hunger for us to get back into it was good.
Gaborik got two on the board in the first seven minutes of the game when it appeared the Bruins werent quite ready to play, and then scored the game-winner just 27 seconds into the overtime session.
The goals were all different: one was a set play run off a perfectly times Brad Richards redirect pass into the offensive zone with Gaborik and Nash charging hard from each wing, the second was a rebound of a Michael Del Zotto shot from the face-off circle with Andrew Ference and Dougie Hamilton providing an open pathway to the net and the last was a simple breakaway with the Rangers forward swatting the rebound attempt out of mid-air for the decisive goal.
Gaborik is a good player and he showed why tonight, said Johnny Boychuk, who was chasing the Rangers speedster on the overtime goal. Its obviously a really high-powered line when you put them all together. Youve just got to bear down and try to limit their chances. Theyre three of the best players in the league.
Tuukka Rask certainly did his best to shut the high-powered trio down after his defense failed him on the first two goals allowed within the first six minutes of the game. Both goalie and defensemen corps locked it down from that point, and the Bruins goaltender made the save of the night to preserve the overtime point.
With the game tied at 3-3 in the final minute of regulation Nash bombed down the right wing and fired a wrist shot that Rask was able to deflect, but the puck bounced right to Gaborik on the doorstep. The Rangers forward didnt get a great piece of the puck but shuffled a shot toward Tuukka that the Finnish goaltender was able to land on and start making snow angels.
The one-two combination of saves didnt help in overtime, however, as Rask made the initial stop on Gaborik, but the Slovakian superstar was able to swat the puck out of the air for the winner. Those are exactly the kind of plays that the Rangers have bought and paid for with all three members of the to-be-named forward line for the Blueshirts.

Morning Skate: Larry Robinson parts ways with Sharks

Morning Skate: Larry Robinson parts ways with Sharks


Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while refraining from shoving any world leaders today.

*Larry Robinson and the San Jose Sharks are parting after working together for five seasons, per FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Kurz.

*Speaking of Kurz, he also has a Sharks mailbag on which players are most likely to be traded out of San Jose during the offseason. Somebody has got to go, and you’d think it would be somebody without much tread left on the tires.

*Moving on to other topics, Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler said that losing a Game 6 in the Western Conference Finals to the Nashville Predators was the “toughest” loss of his career. I don’t see how this is possible. You see, Kesler is no slouch at falling short. In fact, he’s a tremendous loser, having dropped a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at home in 2011 as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, and also having lost a Gold Medal Game for Team USA at the hands of Sidney Crosby and Canada in 2010 in overtime that was also played in Vancouver. It took a simple Google search to find an actual postgame video of Kesler crying into his hockey glove on the bench in the aftermath of Game 7 vs. the Bruins. So, pardon me if I’m not buying Kesler talking about a conference finals loss as the worst of his career when he was one home win away from being a Stanley Cup champion in Game 7, and proceeded to lose like he’s done many, many times in the most important games of his career. Dude, you’ve been through tougher losses. Trust me on that one.  

*The idea of trading Alex Ovechkin might be gaining some traction with the Capitals fan base, but it doesn’t seem to be based on reality at this point.

*The pride of Melrose, Mass, Conor Sheary, delivered in Game 7 for the Penguins as they return to the Stanley Cup Final in back-to-back seasons.

*Bobby Ryan said his strategy for success in the playoffs, at least in part, was staying off the phone. Maybe he ought to try that a bit more during the regular season.

*Congrats to the folks at NBC for another successful Red Nose Day that featured a reunion of the “Love Actually” cast among other things.