When the Rangers were called upon for their first shootout of the season, the first inclination was to look to Henrik Lundqvist for his usual breakaway spectacular performance.
One of the better goaltenders in the young history of the shootout, Lundqvist had to be the backbone for the Rangers since the shootout's inception as the Rangers lacked a real scoring sniper that could get it done.
However, the new-look Rangers were just as evident in the shootout as on the ice; Lundqvist didn't have to be the star.
With an improved scoring force led by Marian Gaborik, the Rangers have some better secondary scoring depth that seems to be coming out of it's shell.
But the studs were called upon early in the shootout.
Gaborik shot first, overthinking a bit and losing the puck near the crease.
Former Ranger Alexei Kovalev then came down and Lundqvist stood his ground.
Then both teams exchanged goals, with Ales Kotalik and Vinny Prospal scoring for New York and Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza for the Senators.
The Rangers scoring was getting it done, not necessarily Lundqvist.
Finally, in the seventh round, P.A. Parenteau scored to put the pressure on Milan Michalek, who ultimately missed, sealing the deal for the Rangers victory.
It was a sweet ending for the Hartford Wolf Pack veteran, whose lack of speed continues to hamper his natural scoring ability at the NHL level.
So an important two points go in the books with a true team effort that was lacking against Atlanta.
The discipline that the Rangers were seeking seemed to come through as well, taking five penalties in the four periods, with three in the second period. Ottawa was unable to convert on the power play and the Rangers' lone goal came from a 2-on-1 break shorthanded as Gaborik feathered a pass to Prospal who shot shortside.
Defensively, the Rangers were better as well. Marc Staal and Dan Girardi led the defense in Time On Ice with around 25 minutes while Wade Redden and Matt Gilroy were slightly behind at 20 minutes. However, Michal Rozsival continues to seem lost on the ice, which makes you wonder how much he is hampering Mike Del Zotto.
With Bobby Sanguinetti playing well in Hartford, it may be worth bringing him in and giving Rozsival a break. Sanguinetti is third on the team in scoring and first among defensemen with 18 points.
There is also Ilkka Heikkinen who has 12 points and is a +5. Heikkinen has professional experience from playing overseas in the Finnish Elite League and also may be able to step in and play the NHL.
Regardless, the third pairing and seventh defenseman is one of the final components that need to be addressed. In the case of injury, the Rangers have serviceable players in the minors such as Parenteua and recently re-assigned Dane Byers.
If the defense can be shored up, the Rangers can begin becoming more cohesive in their own zone.
More this afternoon.