Months from now, when we review the Rangers season, last night will probably be remembered as “The Night Derek Boogaard Scored,” since it’s quite possible that won’t happen again all year. After all, he hadn’t netted one since January 7, 2006, and one rarely gets as clear a rush up ice — we use the word “rush” loosely here — as Boogaard did after Tyler Sloan swiped at, and missed, the puck back at the blue line in the Rangers’ zone.
But this could also be remembered as a night the Rangers blew three separate leads. Or a night Brian Boyle — who was a fourth-liner himself not long ago, and who’d never scored more than four goals in a season — scored twice, to bring his season total to seven. Or a night the Rangers once again had a chance to tie the game with a third-period power play, and failed to score. (Matt Hendricks’s goal — scored after the Caps forced a turnover behind Henrik Lundqvist’s net as Michal Rozsival tried to catch Michael Del Zotto’s pass — would stand as the game winner.)
Some ugly facts: The Rangers have won just two of their eight home games (they’re 2-5-1). And they’ve now lost the first two games of their current four-game homestand — both by two goals in contests sealed by a late empty-netter. Washington’s had the Rangers’ number for some time now, and in a physical game — or, at least, in a game with a physical first period — they again came out on top. Marian Gaborik will be back soon. And on a night when the Rangers’ scoring came from unlikely sources (and the current top line of Dubinksy-Anisimov-Callahan was kept off the score sheet), it’s apparent that his return can’t come soon enough.