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Rangers tie it late, win in overtime to jump to second in Metro Division

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

On a night where the honored their franchise goalie, the Rangers showed that they can indeed fight back from a deficit against playoff caliber teams last night, coming back from down two early and down one late to come up with a huge two points against the Coyotes (no, not the Wild). After a sloppy start to the first, the Rangers bore down and clawed back with two straight of their own in the second. An unlucky goal gave the ‘Yotes a lead, but more life and heart was shown in the third as they pushed for the equalizer.

Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh played tremendous games. Just think, one was an undrafted free agent, and the other acquired in a trade for Scott Gomez. It’s only fitting that they scored the tying and winning goals, and generated a lot of offensive chances even when they weren’t putting pucks in the net. This was a solid effort by both against a desperate team.

On to the goals.

Yotes 1, Rangers 0

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With the Yotes on the powerplay, Keith Yandle led the rush and found a wide open Oliver Ekman-Larsson behind the defense on the near side blue line. The Rangers were all cheating up the middle, leaving OEL with room to maneuver. OEL beat Henrik Lundqvist with a wicked wrist shot.

Yotes 2, Rangers 0

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There were two issues on this goal. The first occurred when Jeff Halpern forced Derick Brassard into a neutral zone turnover. Afterwards, the Yotes generated some good offensive chances. Kyle Chipchura eventually collected the puck behind the net and found Halpern wide open in the slot for the easy goal. Mistake two here was Halpern’s ability to get that open, as Martin St. Louis didn’t notice Halpern behind him.

Rangers 1, Yotes 2

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The Rangers gained the offensive zone and worked the puck behind the net. Brad Richards beelined for the front of the net as Carl Hagelin circled from the half boards to the high slot. Hagelin put a simple wrister on net that Richards deflected through Mike Smith for the goal.

Rangers 2, Yotes 2

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This goal was created when the Rangers lucked out and Derek Morris made a pretty terrible turnover. Mats Zuccarello gathered the puck and his shot got blocked. The puck worked itself to Brassard low, who tried to hit MSL through the crease. Chris Summers blocked the attempt, but Smith played the pass and wound up out of position. A fortuitous bounce off Summers put the puck back on Brassard’s stick, and he rifled it into the open part of the net created from Smith playing the pass.

Yotes 3, Rangers 2

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Chris Kreider had a rough shift on this one, and it’s probably what led to him being benched in the third. His shot –you know, the one from the high slot that tries to hit the far side of the net but goes wide– trapped four Rangers in the offensive zone as the Yotes were able to go on a 3-on-1 rush. To his credit, Kreider got back on defense, but he wound up deflecting Chipchura’s pass into the net. That shot has to hit the net, or else that rush doesn’t happen.

Rangers 3, Yotes 3

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Girardi created his own good bounce here with a solid pinch to keep the zone. He wound up staying deep and heading to the front of the net where no one picked him up. He was left untouched to deflect McDonagh’s point shot past Thomas Greiss (in for the injured Smith) for the late tying goal.

Rangers 4, Yotes 3

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Hagelin collected the puck in the defensive zone after a faceoff win and immediately raced down the seam to gain the zone. His shot was stopped, but the Rangers kept the pressure up. Hags gathered the puck behind the net, where he got the puck to Girardi at the top of the circle for an opportunity. Before the puck even left Hagelin’s stick, McDonagh crept down to the slot behind a pair of Yotes players. No one picked him up, and he was left untouched to tap in the ensuing rebound for the win and the huge two points.

Fenwick Chart:

Courtesy of Extra Skater, dashed lines represent non-ES play.

Courtesy of Extra Skater, dashed lines represent non-ES play.

The Rangers definitely came out sloppy in the first, as they should dominate puck possession against a team like Phoenix. They eventually got their acts together in the second and ran away with the puck possession game. Puck possession generally leads to goals, and that’s exactly what happened, as the Rangers outscored the Yotes 4-1 once they started controlling the play.

Win Expectancy Chart:

Courtesy of Extra Skater

Courtesy of Extra Skater

This chart is based on time remaining, score differential, and home ice. Home ice is why the Rangers actually wound up with the slight advantage after coming back from the two goal deficit. The biggest jump in this game came on the Girardi goal, which wound up moving the Rangers up from a 10.8% chance of winning to a 51.8% chance of winning. That’s a 41% jump on one goal.

With the Flyers loss last night, the Rangers now own second place in the Metro. The Flyers have two games in hand, but they are coming to town on Wednesday for a game that could decide home ice advantage in their eventual (and all but guaranteed at this point) first round matchup.

23 Responses to “Rangers tie it late, win in overtime to jump to second in Metro Division”

  1. Gary says:

    There it was again, coming at the other team in waves. Swarming, shooting, cycling. AVhockey is maturing on Broadway.

    MacD as always was awesome. This Pouliot is finding himself and needs to play a big role.

    I like the way the Rangers generate offense but are still a defensively capable team. The real question – aside from will St. Louis get going? (he will) is can this team stand up to the grind and heavy games the Bruins and the like will bring in the playoffs.

    I say yes. As long as Pouliot, Nash, etc. – guys who have spent time as passengers in the past – continue to play with the urgency they’ve shown lately.

  2. Hatrick Swayze says:

    ^good word, Gary.

    How about that 4th line last night? Energy line every shift. Dave, is it safe to say that Dorsett is back in the fold full time for Carcillo unless an injury or something were to open a spot back up for him?

    • Dave says:

      Dorsett is the better player. He looked to be back to playing the way he did before the injury, and they will need him to continue to play that way.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        I agree with you. Happy to see him back.

      • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

        I think Dorsett is the better/faster skater and forechecker. Carcillo has a better shot and he played really well. I expected a few more bad penalties from him. Carcillo held his own yet kept his game in check. Many nights Carcillo was the best player (offensively) on the 4th line. Dorsett is a righty tho and this team needs that balance. I personally thought we could live without one of Boyle or D Moore. Playing both always seemed like a luxury this team could live without. Dorsett kills penalties in place of say Moore since he makes a little less. I’d like to see Carcillo-Boyle-Dorsett pair up as the 4th line. Or Play Moore in place of Boyle just not both. 2 leftie Centerman that do a lot of the same things. Moore is better offensively & Boyle is the better defensive player. Do we need both each night? Carcillo played real well but with Boyle & Moore you have all 3 lefties on the same line. Cuts the ice in 1/2 for the oppositions D.

        • Ray says:

          Can Dorsett replace Moore on the PK? The problem is that each duo has a center and a wing. Wings who play the PK well are dime a dozen on the Rangers. Zuke is #4 and may not have given up a goal all year. With Richards and Brass not playing on the PK, centers are hard to come by. Can any of the wings play PK center?

          • The Suit says:

            I’d keep Dorsi and Carcillo around this offseason. Dorsi is a better player, but I’m always worried about injuries for guys like that. Carcillo has held his own and is a good ingredient for certain matchups.

  3. paulronty says:

    Mac is the best D in the NHL, yes better than Suter, PK, Karlsson, Keith, Doughty you name it. I wouldn’t trade him for any of those guys. As for Richie, last night’s game shows you why buying him out would be the wrong move. He’s still got some good hockey in him for sure and he provides leadership you won’t get from Stasny.

    • Steven Cifuentes says:

      I was with you on the Mac Truck stuff…but Richards has to go.

      The recapture penalty when he retires is not worth the risk/production he brings.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      That’s so true and it’s good to see someone not in the majority and saying it. I think it’s the wrong move as well. He hasn’t been great the last 10 games but he was kind of shelfed with how well the Brassard line was playing. This game goes to show you he’s still a top 6 Centerman. He’s lost a step but he sees the ice better than most. As long as he makes a smart play he’s effective. IMO he should be lining up with Nash. I also wonder what will MSL do if Richie is bought out and was that discuses before he came here. It’s no secret Richie is a Candinate.

    • Chris A says:

      Paul I agree with you on Richards, but his cap hit makes him a luxury the Rangers cannot afford.

      He’s aged too much at this point. He disappears for too many games at a time before popping up with a great performance like last night.

      If Richards was making Brassard Money ($4M/season) then I would be ok with that. But at close to $7M/season Richards becomes a veteran luxury a contending NHL team cannot carry. It’s best that the Rangers buyout Richards this summer and get out from under that long term obligation while they can.

    • Harlemblues says:

      BR has to go.HIs salary is way 2high for his production.Other players point to him in salary negothations.Time to get younger and faster.Make way for the MIller’s,Lindbergh’s and Fast.Superstar millions on superstars only.

  4. PAL says:

    I don’t mind having Boyle around, he is proving himself to be able to run a very effective 4th line; but boy, given an offensive chance, he sure has hands of stone.

    Not really sure the Expectancy Chart does anything other than graphically show the obvious. If there are only 5 or 6 goals scored per game on average, isn’t it obvious that the team with the lead has a higher probability of winning?

    • Dave says:

      It certainly needs work, but it’s nice to see something like that. I’d like to see penalties added to it.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      I thought Boyle played one of the most physical games he’s played as a NYR last night. He hit everyone in site. The whole 4th line played real well last night.
      McDonagh scored his 100th point last night with his 1st of 3 points. He certainly is a Norris Candinate IMO. Better defensively than most of the NHL’s top defenseman and has emassed over 40 points for the 1st time in the NHL.

  5. Chris F says:

    McDonagh is really an absolute blessing for this team. Day after day he just continues to impress. Not only is he by leaps and bounds our best shutdown defenseman, but his skating ability, his outlet passes, his transition game and ability to lead the rush, plus his finishing potential. This kid is Norris material all day long. When will he get his recognition?

    Good old Richie, the guy gets a deflection goal and suddenly he escapes his buyout? Not likely. I wish the best for Richards, but at 36 years old, this team cannot afford to pay him his salary for the next 6 years. I’m sorry, but having a decent year or even two left in the tank isn’t worth retaining him well into his 40s.

    AV was very candid last night about how poorly he handled the MSL/Stepan flu situation. With the exception of Stepan’s one-timer opportunity, those guys were a non-factor and barely played. AV took the blame last night and admitted that as the coach, it’s his responsibility to put the best available players on the ice and he admitted he should have shut those 2 down and went with Miller and Carcillo. It was a big win, but being 2 forwards short on the bench certainly took its toll on the rest of the forward corps.

    The last 3 games have been extremely emotional and physically taxing. Tomorrow night against Philly will be no less. It’s another huge game. Let’s hope the boys have the heart.

    Let’s Go Rangers!

    • Rangers Rock says:

      I think AV also misplayed Kreider. You make a mistake in back checking and sit out the 3rd period, good job motivating. At the same time 2 useless flu victims are playing.

      • Chris F says:

        Yea that’s not the way to teach.

        I’m all for benching a guy for lack of effort or for taking a really undisciplined penalty at a key point in the game.

        But Kreider worked his butt off to get back on the rush and try to make a good defensive play. It had a bad result obviously but he was doing what you want your forwards to do.

        You don’t punish a player in that situation, you teach them how to more deliberately intercept that cross crease pass.

        • Chris A says:

          For what it’s worth I agree with Dave that Kreider was benched for the cardinal sin of missing the net with an open shot and trapping his entire team in the O zone. He wasn’t benched for the own goal, that would be petty and not AV’s style.

          It’s the same kind of bonehead play MDZ was frequently guilty of as well. Hopefully the lesson sinks in with Kreider.

  6. Ray says:

    let’s hope we see a bit more of Talbot down the stretch. Lundqvist is best when not overworked and he has had a long year. If he plays almost every game down the stretch, he won’t last long in the playoffs. And while Talbot is not the goalie that Hank was last week (and hopefully will be in the playoffs), he is a good goalie, in fact better than what the Rangers had last night.

    It is far more important to have Lundqvist in top shape for the playoffs than to get home ice advantage against the Flyers. The decision on who to play Wednesday should be the psychological one about preparing for the playoffs, but Talbot should play at least two games on the road trip.

    • Chris F says:

      I’d play Talbot against Edmonton at the very least.

    • Walt says:

      Don’t we go to Calgary friday, that would be the ideal game for Talbot!!!!!

      • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

        He needs to play. He’s a solid goalie. IMO he could play 2 games down the stretch. Not one of his starts has he been the reason for a loss as a liability. He’s played well in every start.