Goal breakdown: Rangers even the series in a heart-stopping game

Game Four was one of the best games the Rangers have played all year. They came out strong, played a physical game, played good defense, and generated a lot of scoring chances. The game itself was very exciting as well, but the Rangers appeared to trade chances with a Caps team that is much more skilled than them. This is what caused the Rangers to blow their initial two goal lead and almost blow their second two goal lead. They eventually held on in a frantic final three minutes to even the series.

These were two HUGE wins for the Rangers on home ice to even the series. Any loss at home would have all but clinched the series for the Caps. Now, the Rangers head back to Washington with a lot of momentum heading into Game Five.

Rangers 1, Caps 0

Braden Holtby, who is usually good with the puck, handled the puck at the boards and tried to clear the puck up the middle. Taylor Pyatt knocked down the clearing attempt, and it went straight to Carl Hagelin with Holtby out of the net. Hagelin’s shot was blocked, but Brad Richards was able to put it into the open net. There is no picture on this because A) It’s not needed, and B) They were blurry. Sorry about that.

Rangers 2, Caps 0

Wide open.

Wide open.

After the Rangers ice the puck, they managed to gain control in their own zone and generate an offensive chance. Ryane Clowe stickhandled¬†around a few Caps and got the puck to Derick Brassard at the blue line. Hagelin broke down the far side, where he was supposed to be covered by Steve Oleksy (green route). Oleksy instead bit on Brassard (red route), and left Hagelin wide open when Brassard’s pass hit him at the top of the circle. Hagelin ripped a slapper over Holtby’s glove for the two goal lead.

Caps 1, Rangers 2

Good hockey play here by the Caps.

Good hockey play here by the Caps.

Ryane Clowe gives made an errant pass in the offensive zone. Steve Eminger couldn’t handle the loose puck in his skates and keep the zone, allowing Jason Chimera to break the puck out. Chimera got the puck to Joel Ward for a two on one, with Brad Richards backchecking hard. Del Zotto directed Richards to Mathieu Perreault, as he should. MDZ did a decent job taking away Ward’s chance, but Ward made a great play to stickhandle around a sliding MDZ and charge to the net for the stuff-in try. Richards was already there, as he was covering Perreault, but left him to block the attempt from Ward. The puck squirted to Perreault at post who stuffed it in. I’m not a big fan of sliding on defense, and MDZ got exploited for it, but he wasn’t exactly playing the two on one poorly. That slide though, I still want to know why half of the defense thinks it’s a good play.

Caps 2, Rangers 2

This was an odd one. The Caps apparently kept the zone on a very borderline potential offsides –to be fair, the Rangers almost got caught with too many men on the ice– and Mike Green was able to get the puck to Troy Brouwer. Brouwer skated through two Rangers (Derek Stepan and Anton Stralman) and rifled a backhand past Henrik Lundqvist. Backhands are almost impossible to read off the stick, and that was a good shot. No picture on this one, as I couldn’t get a good angle on the potential offsides.

Rangers 3, Caps 2

What a pass.

What a pass.

With the Rangers on the powerplay, the Blueshirts moved the puck very well and cycled the puck around to open ice. Brassard eventually collected the puck from Mats Zuccarello at the off-wing boards, and saucered a perfect backhanded pass to Dan Girardi at the weak side point. Girardi just one-timed it right past Holtby for the lead.

Rangers 4, Caps 2

Two behind the defense.

Two behind the defense.

Carl Hagelin forced a Caps turnover in the offensive zone where Ryan Callahan picked up puck, and got it to Derek Stepan with Hagelin behind the defense at the goal line. Stepan passed the puck to Hagelin at the corner for a touch pass right back to Stepan for the goal into the empty net.

Caps 3, Rangers 4

Brad Richards lost the defensive zone draw, which led to two shots on goal for the Caps, both from the point. The problem here is that the second one, from Karl Alzner, eluded Lundqvist. It looked like there was a combination of a screen and a deflection in front. It looked like it hit Perreault in front and deflected past Hank. No picture on this goal because this one appeared to just be bad luck.

As mentioned above, these were two huge wins at home for the Rangers. This is a club that hasn’t been at full strength at all during this season, and they still managed to get both games at home. This is now anyone’s series, and with Hank in net, the Rangers have as good a chance as ever to take this series.

30 Responses to “Goal breakdown: Rangers even the series in a heart-stopping game”

  1. Walt says:

    I’ll take the win!

    How weak was Richards on defense, I never realized how poorly he plays on D.

    Keep the Step, Callie, and Hags line together at all costs.

    • Seahorse says:

      at least he wasnt -2 and pointless like another well paid star on the team. and he might not be physical but he lifts sticks and intercepts passes. hes timely

  2. Dan says:

    With brassard and Stepan playing the way they are, Sathers gotta take a look at that Richards contract this offseason, regardless of how this series turns out. The two of them are playing out of their minds, especially brassard. It’s awesome, go rangers!

  3. supermaz says:

    Somebody needs to tell Nash the playoffs have started.

  4. steveM says:

    I’m not happy with Nasher…. Stralman on the other hand has been fantastic. Very very solid.

  5. Bloomer says:

    The Rangers have clawed their way back into this series. It paramount that all their efforts don’t go for naught and come out ready to play when they return to Washington’s barn.

  6. Chris F says:

    Where the hell is Nash?

    • Ren says:

      To be fair, where the hell is Ovi? They are both playing hard but it is part of both teams strategies to shut each others top players down. This is why depth in the playoffs is a must, and the moves at the deadline are proving that.

  7. Evan says:

    Alzner is totally beating nash. unaccpetable.

    YES WHAT A WIN. WOOOO

    And i distinctly remember someone who clearly has ZERO understanding of hockey saying that ” we do not need staal and that we are fine without him. and who sits for staal if he comes back”

    Emingers awful pinch and inability to get the puck deep on the first goal opened the game up. Thats who staal is better then even with 1 eye.

    This game may have been 4-3 but was no where near that close. Either way we need to start proteting the points and stop allowing these shots that hank cant see. he stops what he sees

    • Galen H says:

      Bah, so eminger made a mistake. But he wasn’t the only guy who made a mistake on that play. Torts has to stop penalizing the loswest guy on the totem pole when they screw up. I personally thought Eminger was playing well up till he got benched. We can’t play with 5 defenseman (see 2012)

      • supermaz says:

        If the d-men got benched for every mishandle of the puck, Del Zotto would never see the ice.

        • Evan says:

          Staal didnt play because he needed to recuperate from the last game. My friend said he read that from some rangers beat writer on twitter.

          Staal will be back next game. and that is crucial because then we can even out the ice time for the d men.

          Eminger played 6 minutes just so you know and his mistake came with 7 minutes left in the second period. So clearly torts was not playing him even prior to mistake cause he is just not that good. Makes an unncessary pinch in one of his few shifts and lets the caps back into the game.

          Game 3 torts gave every d man from 16 to 23 minutes with staal back. That is why we need staal back, to even out ice time and because he is better than eminger. Not because you need to penalize the last guy on the totem pole, but because that last guy on the totem pole usually should not be playing.

  8. Jackson says:

    Anyone else catch Ovechkin’s “backcheck” on our 4th goal?
    http://rangersmultimedia.com/gifs/hagelin_stepan_tictac_goal.gif

    • VinceR says:

      Wow! Pitiful! Zero effort. It’s amazing how quickly he switches between team savior and coach killer!

  9. supermaz says:

    How awesome is our captain?
    Callahan was fantastic last night.
    I think some fans are starting to take his efforts for granted.
    How many thumbs up can I get for Capt. CALLY !

  10. jackelau says:

    agree with supermaz…

    if Krieder gets benched for trying to hard MDZ should be sent down to the minors. sully has to teach him how to get up after tripping over his own feet. looked like a fish outta water at least three times last night

    • Evan says:

      As i stated above just now, Eminger played 6 total minutes and his mistake came with 7 minutes left in the second. He is just not that good and clearly was not being played before his mistake. We are not going far if staal doesnt return because we cant play with 5 d men.

      I understand your point about penalizing people with mistakes, but for me it is ability and trust. Torts believes eminger lacks ability and clearly doesnt trust him

      • Galen H says:

        Good points about emingers minutes. I’m no expert on his play either I had just thought that when I had noticed him earlier in the game it included some good hits and controlled play.

        I just think torts breeds lack of confidence in a lot of the fringe players. If he likes you, dz or Moore you can make mistakes, if you are eminger, krieder, miller, not so much.

        It’s just not possible to sustain the over reliance of a few. See 2012 playoffs, and even such small examples as McDonough’s penalty in game 2.

        IMHO You win as a team, and lose as one. And that means the whole 18. The other option isn’t sustainable.

  11. Mikeyyy says:

    Ovie looked tired. Marriage does funny things to people.

    And g and mcd were trying to hit everything that moved. Loved it.

    Nash better step it up. This isn’t Columbus. This is ny.

  12. HARLEMBLUES says:

    He plays favorites to much.Some guys can fck up and see the ice others can’t.Our forwards are still collasing to far down giving the Caps Dmen to much time and space.It looks like a Caps PP 5 on 5 at times.Let the best goaltender in the world stop pucks.Need to win one in DC,good win last nite.

    • VinceR says:

      If Richards gets benched occasionally, it kind of ruins the whole favorites narrative, no? The player who came here to play for him and won the Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup while he won the Jack Adams?

      He just plays who he feels he can trust at the time. The benchings aren’t about punishing.

      • HARLEMBLUES says:

        it doesn’t.B.RICH as a Ranger overpaid and should have been bench more than occasionally.Stepan,Brassard have now proven they can handled things, remember REDDEN.

  13. Walt says:

    I have but one question, where was our forecheck last night? It seemed like the Caps would get the puck out of their zone with one outlet pass.

    They were doing to us what we usually do to other teams. The pressure they applied on our d all night was something else. Ward’s line played out of their minds!

    Also, early in the game, did you see how Clowe grabbed Oleski, and man handeled him. Say what you want, he will create space for his linemates!

  14. HATRICK SWAYZE says:

    Dave, Suit, Kevin, Justin….anyone help me out here. Am I the ONLY one who doesn’t put the blame on Eminger for the caps 1st goal? He stepped up and took out the caps player (Chimera?) at center ice. This is an acceptable play because we had 2 guys back (Del Zotto and Richards) to cover the caps 2 players rushing in (Ward & Beagle, I believe). In other words- we’re fine. That is until Del Zotto goes down, taking himself out of the play and allows Ward to walk around him and bring the puck in front leaving ONLY Richie to cover Ward & Beagle. That is where the rangers get outnumbered- NOT when Eminger stepped up. He took out his man and kept the numbers even. Had he gotten walked, I would not be standing up for him. But this, my friends, should be pinned on Del Zotto. With Richie back to cover the caps off wing, he should have stayed up and played the body of the puck carrier, not go down to block the pass like hes defending a 2 on 1. It simply was a misread.

    To bench Eminger after that, cutting his balls off after 6:00 mins of ice time was a bad call. #Bickel2013. This forced McDiesel & Girardi to play over 30:00 mins each. Any one else in my camp or am I taking crazy pills?

    • supermaz says:

      I agree with you totally hatrick. I like Eminger. Torts is an ass.
      First goal totally on MDZ. Hope he is traded in off-season. I just don’t see what he offers as a d-man.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        I wouldn’t go that far. He has a great amount of offensive upside and still has time to develop as a player. We don’t have any successful, proven offensive defensemen. Flashes of brilliance from McD and Moore don’t mean you ship Del Z outta town. Give him time to round out his game.

        Thanks, though, for backing me up. That decision last night was abysmal.

    • Walt says:

      I agree to an extent, but where was Richards on the play, he didn’t put his stick down to try and break up the pass. Knowing how poorly Richards plays, Emminger created a 2 on 1 against MDZ!