After missing the past two games, Dan Girardi returned to the Rangers lineup last night and played 22:10, including over 3 minutes on the PP and 2:30 on the PK.
Girardi had two assists, was a plus four, had two shots, two hits and two blocked shots.
John Tortorella said of Girardi before yesterday’s game, “he is our anchor. He is a shut down guy and he also brings some offense as his game gets better. He puts other people into place where they should be.
Last night Girardi started the game with Ryan McDonagh and was then reunited with his former defense partner Marc Staal as they matched up against Tampa Bay’s top line.
McDonagh said of Girardi, “he is smart positionally, he’s very good at anticipating what the other guy’s going to do with the puck, he can read a play and get the puck clean out of the zone
McDonagh added that one of the best things Girardi does on the ice is talk, “he’s talking out there all the time which helps.”
At Ranger Rants, Staal echoed what McDonagh said, “the thing about G is he talks a lot on the ice. As a partner, he always lets you know what play he sees. If you don’t make it, he’s there.”
After the game, on MSG, Tortorella said “we all know who Danny is. When he comes back into the lineup it puts the minutes where they should be. He is such an important part. He came right back in and played really well.