ECF Game Two: Goal breakdown

May 16, 2012, by

If there’s one thing this series is proving, it’s that you can have a low scoring exciting game. This was the second straight game where no team eclipsed three goals, but it was a great game nonetheless. The Devils came out on top on three shots that Henrik Lundqvist had no chance on. One failed clearing attempt and one over zealous wrap around the boards, and the Rangers find themselves tied as opposed to up 2-0. The Devils weren’t going to roll over in this series.

1-0   Devils take the lead on the powerplay

This goal was a matter of missed positioning on the penalty kill. There were three Rangers in the corner, including Ryan Callahan. Cally got caught on the boards, forcing Derek Stepan to cover two point men. Ilya Kovalchuk was wide open for the pass from Marek Zidlicky, who Stepan bit on a bit too much. Kovi was able to walk the puck in, tee up, and shoot. Yes, this went high glove, but this was not a stoppable shot.  When Kovi has time to tee it up from that distance, he scores 99 times out of 100.

1-1 Rangers tie it up on the powerplay

This goal begins with Travis Zajac breaking his stick. Marc Staal, Brad Richards, and Dan Girardi worked the puck along to attack the 5 on 3 up high masterfully. This, in essence, isolates Zajac on a three-on-one. Richards wound up feeding Staal at the top of the circle for a one timer that was blocked by Salvador. Unfortunately for the Devils, this one took a wild bounce off the boards, and banked in off an out of position Martin Brodeur. Brodeur was out of position because he didn’t see the puck ricochet off Salvador. Stepan was the man in front to cause that.

2-1 Rangers take the lead on the third powerplay goal of the game

This was essentially a broken play. Anton Stralman tried to pass to Artem Anismov along the near boards, but he passed it right back to Stralman. Dainius Zubrus winds up being the man to blame, as he abandons Stralman and allows him to walk the puck in to the top of the circle.  With Chris Kreider in front screening Brodeur, Stralman wristed the puck. A good deflection over Brodeur by Kreider and the Rangers took the lead.

2-2 Devils fourth line ties it up

This goal is why Marian Gaborik was benched in the third period (in addition to just an all around bad game by Marian). Gabby couldn’t clear the puck, and it wound up on Steve Bernier’s stick. His shot got blocked  by Michael Del Zotto, but goes right to Bryce Salvador. Salvador has a bit of time and rips a low, hard shot that Ryan Carter deflects. Hank has no chance.

3-2 Devils take the lead (updated)

Stu Bickel –with a rare third period shift– whipped the puck too far behind the net and out of MDZ’s reach.  Zidlicky read the play perfectly and pinched, keeping the puck low. The puck got to Adam Henrique at the point, covering for Zidlicky after he pinched. His wrist shot is perfectly deflected by Clarkson. Clarkson was completely undefended in the slot because Cally released him. No chance for Hank again.

In the end, it’s a 1-1 series tie headed to New Jersey. It wouldn’t be the Rangers without the series being tied headed to Game Three. It’s now a best of five, as per usual.

Categories : Game Wrap-ups


  1. Matt J says:

    The positives to take out of this is it took 2 deflections to beat Henrik. They aren’t going to get those bounces every night.

    It was a terrible effort from the Rangers who made too many mental mistakes in this game. I guess a silver lining is for as bad as the Rangers played they still could have won this game. Ah, the beauty of having the best goalie in the world.

    Here’s to hoping the extra day off gives the Rangers the advantage, and gives them their legs back.

  2. gsh says:

    First post here, but respect the knowledge on this site…

    Was it just my untrained eyes, or was there a huge interference by Zubris (i think) on Girardi on that first goal? Even with calls made, I couldn’t beleive all the grabbing and interference by the Devils that seemingly went overlooked.

    That said it would be nice if the Rangers could win a battle on the half boards…

    • Dave says:

      I didn’t see any interference, but it wouldn’t shock me if they missed a call.

      Welcome to the blog, hope you stay a while.

    • Section 121 says:

      yes, Elias interfered with Girardi trying to get back over to the other side to prevent Kovy from walking in so far — he probably could have rushed Kovy or gotten a stick on the shot…

  3. Tim B says:

    Bickel screwed up again. Thats twice now. Erixon needs to be placed in the lineup and play d. Maybe move bickel to left wing and Rupp could be scratched

    • Walt says:

      The game winning goal can’t be blamed on Bickel, that was just a bad break!

      • Dave says:

        No, it can be. His pass behind the net to MDZ was too wide for MDZ to get his stick on. It was his turnover.

      • Section 121 says:

        I agree with Walt. Bickel’s moving the puck up the boards was not necessarily intended for Del Zotto but the winger on the half boards. Zidlicky pinched and won the battle against a half hearted effort from Kreider. Bickel then followed Zidlicky containing him, keeping him to the outside and preventing him from walking out in front. Therefore, Zidlicky had to take it behind the net and to the opposite corner – Bickel with him the whole way keeping him to the outside. With no other option, Zidlicky through it back to the point and proceeded to cut to the net. Again Bickel stayed with him all the way to the net with inside postion and stick on stick as Zidlicky took on a forward role.

        It was Del Zotto and Callahan who ended up losing their coverage on the play. Callahan began to go to the point but Stepan was already there. As such, he was caught in no man’s land leaving Del Zotto to contain two Devils in front. Del Zotto chose to go out to meet the first Devil in the high slot leaving Clarkson all alone for the deflection in front.

        In their D-zone coverage, the Rangers’ forwards often switch the center’s role for helping the D with coverage down low. In this case, Callahan lost the switch with Stepan leaving Del Zotto to contend with two Devils in the high and low slot.

        Bickel is not to blame for this goal whatsoever. Watch the tape again and check it out.

        • Walt says:

          Thank you!

        • The Suit says:

          You are both right actually. Bickel couldn’t clear the zone and made a bad pass, which was meant for MDZ, as he was calling for it. Cally deserves blame for releasing Clarkson. Good catch.

  4. Mikeyyy says:

    Bad bounces all night too. How many times did we fan on a pass or shot?

  5. Walt says:

    Lets face it folks, the Devils wanted this game more than we did!

    They were hungry, established a fore-check, and we went through the motions. Is it me, but when they started the fore-check in the Ranger zone, we couldn’t get the puck out at all. Why can’t they just get it out of the zone, my goodness it seemed that there was always a Devil there to keep the puck in for them.

    Watching the game, the NBC crew showed Kovi stretching both of his legs, mayby he is hurt, if so target him with some heavy hits.

    Lets see what happends Saturday, we need to be more aggressive with our fore-check, and physical. We also need to start shooting at will, get someone in the durty area, and see if we can’t score some more. Fat boy is beatable, so go after him big time.

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      I so agreed Walt get the puck out of the zone.It’s not like they don’t have time.

  6. Matt says:

    For a game where the Rangers didn’t look that great…minus the first 10 in the 2nd period…a loss wouldn’t be that hard to swallow.

    BUT the fact that they did play that way AND had a 2-1 lead makes the loss sting a little more.

    • Sioux-per-man says:

      That’s exactly how I feel about the game.

      It sure puts the doom and gloom on today. Now we have to wait until Saturday to get this loss. YUCK.

  7. Jerryin MA says:

    Except for a spell in the second period the Rangers looked sluggish, a little tired. But if they got a couple of bounces they would have won. A wrap-around by Cally just missed going in; a shot by Kreider hit the post. Anyone bounce could have changed the outcome, which implies that the Rangers, though tired, just missed beating the rested Devils. As for those who complain about supposed missed assignments, remember that this isn’t football with set routes to run by receivers or blocking patterns by offensive linemen. Hockey is blindingly fast, and making split-second decisions to cover this man or that, to send the puck around the boards at this spot or that, is not what should be termed a mistake. It’s hockey; things happen, as Dale Hunter intelligently said in a post-game conference. As for Torts benching Gabby in the third period, I think that was stupid. You don’t do that to your best scorer because you feel he didn’t block a shot effectively, as Mike Milbury (as vastly overrated an analyst as he was a dman — a very poor one at that) said. Torts has to be more selective in his punishments or he will eventually wear out his welcome with the team, as happened in Tampa Bay.

    • Chris. C says:

      It was Haglin on the wrap-around, if it was Cally it wouldnt of even hit the oppsosite post. (Cally has been a NO factor in the scoring department and also his puck decision abilities in any of theses series, when he should make the pass, he shoots. When he does shoot its nowhere near the net. Sorry its not Bash Cally post) As for the Nickel coverage you talked about, there is basic assignments in each Zone per position. I wont get into that you may look it up at USA Hockey. Torts did right by benching Gabby for 10 mins (Maybe)and it wasnt just the laim attempted of a block shot, he was an enigma most of the game, Notice after a well rested (Benched Gabby) how explosive and puck hungry he was. It was a game we should of won. Hopefully this rest will do good for the team.
      Milbury is a Asshat and should never be on TV.

    • Section 121 says:

      Good point about the speed of the game and missing assignments – it happens.

      McDonagh is the one who narrowly missed the wrap around.

      Nobody I know likes or even respects Milbury.

  8. ranger17 says:

    Going to be tough to win games when you play 14 skaters to 18 for the Devils .If you can’t give them more time replace them