On Tuesday night, the Ranger world was turned upside down when Tuukka Rask came to New York and stole one for Boston. It was one of the only times I can remember that an opposing goalie stole a game. Luck favored the Rangers this time around, as Henrik Lundqvist completely stole this game in Dallas. Hank made 41 saves as the Rangers finally scored even strength goals (first time in three games) to get them over the hump of this goal scoring drought.
The Rangers were just dominated from start to finish, but Hank stood tall and kept them in the game. They capitalized on a pair of defensive lapses in a 37 second span early in the third to take the lead for good.
On to the goals:
Rangers 1, Stars 0
Hank created this goal with an absolute beauty of a pass to Ryan Callahan at the far blue line, catching Dallas in a line change. Cally simply flipped it to Rick Nash for the breakaway goal on the powerplay. A sure-fire way to get a goal is to catch the opposition in a line change.
Stars 1, Rangers 1
This isn’t really a breakdown on the penalty kill, just a matter of being down a man. The box PK slide over to the near side boards, which is expected since the Stars had the majority of their men on the near side. Sergei Gonchar just hit Stephane Robidas on the weak side, who ripped a shot that deflected off Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh past Hank.
Rangers 2, Stars 1
Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider simply caught Dallas being lazy. Stepan hit Kreider across the blue line, who had a lot of room to work with despite being out numbered. Alex Goligoski had a lazy stick check and Trevor Daley just didn’t step up. Because Daley didn’t step up, Kreider’s shot deflected off him and over Lehtonen.
Rangers 3, Stars 1
Derick Brassard forced Cody Eakin into a turnover behind his net, eventually forcing Eakin out of position. Once Brassard collected the puck, he drew Eakin –still out of position– and Jordie Benn to him. At this point Carl Hagelin cut to the net, drawing Alex Chiasson’s attention off the point man (John Moore). One of the guys on Brassard (Eakin) should have been on Derek Dorsett in front, leaving Sergei Gonchar, currently on Dorsett, to cover Hagelin, which means Chiasson doesn’t have to abandon the point man. Brassard read this, and hit Moore on the weak side at the top of the circle. Moore’s wrister just eluded Lehtonen for the two goal lead.
Stars 2, Rangers 3
This was an interesting goal to break down. Joe Micheletti actually blamed this goal on Michael Del Zotto for mistiming his pinch on this play, and if you followed the game on Twitter, most people agreed and went into their usual ‘trade Del Zotto’ frenzy. However, The Suit broke it down another way, and I can see his side of the argument as well. Here’s his take.
If coaches are asking MDZ to pinch in that situation, as Joe said 2 mins earlier, then MDZ shouldn’t be benched for this play. The Dallas forward along boards was facing his own goal line. In AV’s overload system, that’s when you pinch. I can’t hate on MDZ’s decision in this situation. That’s what coaches want. The problem is, both Brass and MDZ went to boards. It should have been one or the other. They just didn’t see each other, a common mistake with this style of play.
Following the game, Biron said MDZ wasn’t completely at fault since Brassard also went to the wall, when it should have just been one of them, which give credence to the counter argument. What do you guys think?
Either way, the puck squirted out of the zone, where Eakin and Chiasson had a 2-on-1 against John Moore. Chiasson collected Eakin’s pass for the goal.
The first period was just awful for the Rangers here. Hank made a career high 23 saves in this period to preserve the lead. New York eventually closed the gap in the second and early in the third, moving into respectability in regards to shot attempts. Once they gained a lead, the Rangers moved into a 1-2-2 lead based hybrid trap and Dallas was able to take some attempts back (three shot advantage). In the end, Dallas had a 54% to 46% (rounding here) advantage in shot attempts at even strength.
The win last night was a solid way to right the ship and start this five game trip on the right note. They have been playing some good hockey, and it was only a matter of time before the puck started finding twine. This is five of six periods where the Rangers dominated possession. When things click, all is good.