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Lundqvist passes Giacomin in shutout of Devils

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Henrik Lundqvist may not have had to make a lot of saves, 21 in total, but he had to make a bunch of difficult saves en route to his 50th shutout and a Rangers victory. With the shutout, Lundqvist has set his second Rangers record of the week, passing Eddie Giacomin for first all time in shutouts. Earlier this week, Hank passed Mike Richter for first all time in wins (302).

This wasn’t a dominating showing by the Rangers, but it was a solid defensive effort to come away with the two points. Aside from the eight goal explosion in Ottawa, a team that simply can’t play defense, the Rangers have been struggling a bit to score. But they have been playing hard-fought defensive battles over the past two games, and coming away with wins. These are the types of wins that you like to see as the playoffs near.

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Devils 0

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Chris Kreider made a good heads-up play to allow Anton Stralman’s clear to go past him at the Devils’ blue line. This allowed Nash to pick up the puck in a better position, and he then hit Derek Stepan in the high slot for a good chance. Stepan’s chance went wide with Kreider cutting to the net, and the puck ricocheted –rather quickly– to Nash along the boards. Kreider made incidental contact with Brodeur outside of the crease, but Mark Fayne made contact with Brodeur in the crease. Fayne prevented Marty from moving over, and that allowed Nash to bury the bad angle shot. Brodeur also looked to the ref after Kreider bumped him, which looked like it caused him to lose sight of where the puck went.

Rangers 2, Devils 0

Stepan with the empty netter, no breakdown required.

Fenwick Chart (even strength):

Courtesy of Extra Skater.

Courtesy of Extra Skater.

In terms of puck possession, the game wasn’t a dominating show by the Rangers. They held the even strength puck possession advantage for most of the game until the last minute or so. That’s expected when you’re defending the lead.

Win Expectancy Chart:

Courtesy of Extra Skater.

Courtesy of Extra Skater.

This chart is still a bit raw, as it only includes goals, time left, and home-ice. Based on that, Nash’s goal gave the Rangers a bump from 47.4% win expectancy to 68% win expectancy.

The win gives the Rangers a solid lead on the Columbus Blue Jackets for third place in the Atlantic. They now have a three point lead on Columbus with just ten games remaining. As long as the team continues to get points, that will be an incredibly difficult deficit to overcome. A date with the Flyers looks all but guaranteed at this point.

6 Responses to “Lundqvist passes Giacomin in shutout of Devils”

  1. Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

    Nash played well again. Like a power forward.

  2. Leatherneckinlv says:

    My first impression of Diaz is what great vision. He made some great passes for potential scoring chances, great first look of him.

  3. Leatherneckinlv says:

    If Nash just plays 30% of the intensity he used against Columbus I will eat my words about him

  4. Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

    Diaz looked pretty good in his NYR debut. I hope he is for real and not just a depth guy that’ll begin making mistakes after long. He looked really good moving the puck on the PP. If the Rangers had a righty shot at the point that was able to effectively help to peel the coverage. The NYR PP would be much more dangerous. They have the weapons now.

  5. HARLEMBLUES says:

    The Rangers have gotten away from the 1 three 1 set-up on the PP.It has worked well all season long.BR on the PP has run its course.McD should be on the point with MSL on the boards,Nash on the other side, Kreider in front and Zuccs in the sweet spot.Players move,puck moves, weak side strong side,thru the middle and high low.

  6. Walt says:

    First of all congrats to Hank for #50, well done my man!

    If Diaz plays this well going into the play offs, and proves to be a good move for the team, Strahlman can walk, and won’t be missed. Agree with Harlemblues, sit BR on the PP.