Updated April 5
The tipping point may have come during a quick weekend getaway to Florida.
|Henrik Lundqvist has been one of the few constants for the Rangers. (US Presswire)|
In the final sprint to the finish line, New York has gone 5-0-1 and heads into the final week in good position to make the playoffs. It was an unlikely scenario only two weeks ago, but the Rangers have been starting to give goalie Henrik Lundqvist offensive support and are gaining a lot of ground as a result.
New York is now just two points behind Boston and Philadelphia -- tied for the seventh and eight seeds -- having picked up five points on the Bruins and six on the Flyers during the run. And the Rangers have a game in hand over Philadelphia and a back-to-back final-weekend set with the Flyers, who are fading quickly and have some serious issues in goal.
That's one area that has been no problem for the Rangers because of Lundqvist, but the Rangers weren't getting much scoring production from anyone not named Marian Gaborik until recently.
Things changed during the recent run that was capped off in Tampa Bay and South Florida. New York whipped the Lightning 5-0 Friday, and then exploded for four-third period goals the next night to beat the Panthers 4-1. It was the first time in 27 tries this season the Rangers have won a game they were trailing heading to the third period, and coach John Tortorella said that bodes well for his team.
"We did a good thing coming back because we didn't get antsy and open ourselves up," Tortorella said. "We were developing scoring chances in the second period and we felt we had plenty of time to play.
"This was a good step for us to understand how we have to play this time of year."
We'll know next week for sure. Here are the rankings through Sunday night's games: