Just over three weeks have passed since the Rangers opened the season with a 3-1 loss at Boston.
Yet when they return to the TD Garden tonight to face the red-hot Bruins, it will mean they’ve played a quarter of this lockout-shortened, 48-game season.
Unlike normal seasons, that 25-percent milestone is significant.
"We’re cognizant of it," Rangers coach John Tortorella said after Monday’s brisk, 35-minute practice. "I usually don’t pay too much attention to it but, in this scenario, it has a lot to do with how you’re running your hockey team. You need to get the wins quickly."
The Rangers have seemingly found some consistency after a rough start, coming into tonight’s game on their second, two-game winning streak of the season to go above .500 for the first time.
Their dominating 5-1 win over the Lightning on Sunday at Madison Square Garden was their fifth victory in their last seven games.
Goalie Henrik Lundqvist has regained his Vezina Trophy-winning form and Tortorella is able to roll four lines with balance through the lineup.
"We need them to get going right away because there just isn’t much time," Tortorella said. "You see the standings. You win a couple of games, you’re right there. You lose a couple, you’re out. I’m not thinking playoffs right now but we don’t have a lot of games."
Rangers finally hitting their stride
Bergen Record | Feb 12