Hank and Howard steal the show, Rangers get the two points

Still have no idea how he got this. (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)

Still have no idea how he got this. (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)

Last night was probably the best 1-0 win you will every see. The Rangers and Red Wings combined for 86 shots on goal. Jimmy Howard and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 85 of them. Howard stopped 47 of 48, but was bested by The King, who stopped all 38 shots he faced. It took a bit of puck luck for the Rangers to get one past Howard, and it was the only one that would find twine in the game.

There really isn’t much else to say about this game. Both teams just flew up and down the ice. Neither team was perfect defensively, but the goalies were there to make the key stops when needed. Interestingly enough, the one goal the Rangers scored didn’t come off a defensive breakdown by the Wings, even though they had a few brain farts.

On to the goal:

Rangers 1, Wings 0

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As mentioned above, the Wings didn’t really have a breakdown here. New York’s strong side overload –specifically Benoit Pouliot– forced the Wings into a turnover in the Rangers zone, but the Rangers still needed to go 200 feet for the goal. Pouliot got the puck to Mats Zuccarello for a 2-on-2 rush with Derick Brassard. Pouliot got a head start on the Wings forwards, making it a 3-on-2 by the time they hit the red line. The forwards were backchecking pretty hard, but couldn’t catch the play. Zuccarello gave the puck to Brassard at the blue line, forcing Jakub Kindl to bite a bit towards the puck and forcing Brian Lashoff to respect the cross-ice pass to Pouliot. When Brass got the puck back to Zuccarello, it became a mini 2-on-1 with Brian Lashoff back. Zucc’s pass just deflected off Lashoff’s stick and behind Howard.

Fenwick Chart:

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

So many shot attempts. Unreal actually. There were 129 registered Corsi events (71-58 Rangers) and 105 Fenwick events (56-49 Rangers) in this game. At 5v5, the margins were 62-42 (Corsi) and 50-37 (Fenwick). The edge was clearly for the Rangers, especially as the game continued into the second and third periods. The Wings didn’t really begin dominating play until the final minutes as the Rangers protected their lead. That’s standard.

People will look at the score of this game and say that the Rangers need to score more. It is a factual statement, but it doesn’t really apply to this game (or Tuesday’s game for that matter). The goaltending in this game was just phenomenal, and I think fans of both teams were treated to one of the best regular season games we will see in a while. The Rangers got the huge two points in regulation for the four point swing. That’s what matters the most.

10 Responses to “Hank and Howard steal the show, Rangers get the two points”

  1. Paul in sunrise says:

    Well you asked for the 1-0 game and you were rewarded. Next time ask for 3-0 or 4-0. Also ask for a Stepan goal. The guy needs one.

  2. craig says:

    Great game from Hendrick!  Rangers still need some size up front to screen the goalie and one more sniper with skill.  Stephan was brutal last night again.  He is a different player this year.  He needs to wake up.  Reduce his minutes and let him sit, he’s missing all kinds of opportunities and he hurting the team offensively. I have always liked his ability and potential, but this year he really stinks.  Maybe it started with his attitude in holding out from training camp for more money.  He is a soft player with talent and could be a big-time piece in a package deal trade or straight up for a bigger power forward or tough defenseman   

    • Joe says:

      He will get his game…he’s too good.

    • supermaz says:

      I agree he needs to step up his game and that he might be a tradable commodity, but did you see the between the legs behind his back pass right on the tape of Callahan?…brilliant!

  3. Walt says:

    I have to give credit to where it’s due, both goalies stood on their heads, and put on a clinic for sure!!
    Hank made some great saves, Howard made some great saves, what more can one say????
    Zucc said he went up high for the big cheese, what a funny line.  Good for him, being rewarded with the goal!!

  4. Walt says:

    Did Hank just tie Eddie for the most shut outs in team history last night?  If so, congratulations to Hank on his accomplishments!!!!!

  5. Kevin says:

    You can see on the chart exactly where the Rangers started to pull away from this game (right around the end of the first period, notice the blue line shoots almost straight up?) and put together a fantastic performance. Just gotta tip your hat to Jimmy Howard for being so damn good

  6. SalMerc says:

    Game within the Game – Not sure how you can consider trading Girardi after seeing the strong minutes he played (2nd to McD).  I would listen to offers for Stall and Stepan though, as I feel their minutes were somewhat ordinary and replaceable.

    • Chris A says:

      You have to admit Sal that Girardi was a shell of his former self the first 30 games of this season.  The number of bad turnovers and bad reads he was making each night was staggering. 
       
      Understandably, the idea of possibly locking into the “Ghost of Dan Girardi” through 2020 was scaring the crap out of everyone.  Couple that with the fact that teams may have been willing to give up their best prospects for Girardi made him expendable in most Rangers’ fans eyes.
       
      Good for Dan and the Rangers though as he seems to be turning it around and showing that he should be good for the long haul here.