November 6, 2011

Stephan shines as Rangers blank Jets: 3-0

There is a reason why the MSG network has been showing the ‘Beginnings’ origins TV show on each of their players, appropriately enough this week features forward Derek Stephan, who continues to shine and grow with each passing game with the Blueshirts.

Someone within the MSG brass must be a clairvoyant, because Stephan had stellar night in leading the New York Rangers (7-3-3) to a 3-0 victory over the Winnipeg Jets (5-7-2) on Sunday night hockey action. The Blueshirts have won four consecutive games in what was a six game homestand at Madison Square Garden.

Stephan combined with Marian Gaborik for two of the three goals in the game. The 21-year-old forward tallied the first New York goal on a power play opportunity at the 10:01 mark in the second period, connecting on a 19 foot wrister, which was assisted by Gaborik (6) and Michael Del Zotto (4).

New York and Winnipeg stayed stalemated until the 8:31 mark, when Stephan gave Gaborik a beauty of a pass…on a two-on-one opportunity, doubling the Rangers’ lead. In what was a hard-fought battle between the teams, the Blueshirts have skated with more heart and desire.

‘Gabby’ capped the shutout off with an empty-net goal at the 19:58 mark, to give his team a ton of momentum before going on the road. In the cage for New York was Martin Biron, who made 23 saves in his 27th career blanking.

For Biron it was his first shutout in a Rangers uniform, and was well earned, as the guys gathered to celebrate with their keeper after the game. Marty was smart in the cage for New York, settled down the puck-as well as playing it when necessary.

The Rangers ended the homestand with a 4-1-1 record, playing with a style of hockey not seen on MSG ice in quite some time. Now the Blueshirts will look to continue their winning formula, as they head back to Canada for a Wednesday night show down with the Senators.

The game is scheduled to air on the MSG network, with the face-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Stacy Podelski

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