Apr
02

St. Louis notches first as a Ranger as Vigneault wins in return to Vancouver

April 2, 2014, by
Finally! (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Finally! (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Alain Vigneault got the best of his old club in his return to Vancouver, as the Rangers topped the Canucks 3-1 last night.  The Rangers, who led 2-0 after the first, were pretty lucky to have leads after the first and the second. The Canucks really dominated the puck possession game, but Henrik Lundqvist was unbelievable in net, again, and really gave the Rangers the opportunity to win.

It’s late, so I’m keeping the non-goal breakdown stuff to a minimum. On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Canucks 0

Brian Boyle won the neutral zone face off cleanly back to Ryan McDonagh. McDonagh gained the zone and fired the puck off the boards, where it took a weird carom. Eddie Lack whiffed on it, allowing there to be a scramble in front. Lack was never able to freeze the puck, and Dan Carcillo was able to bang it home. There’s no picture on this goal, as all attempts came out really blurry.

Rangers 2, Canucks 0

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With the Rangers on the powerplay, McDonagh (again) was able to keep the zone on an attempted clear by Kevin Bieksa. This led to some opportunities, and a Brad Richards shot that broke Alex Edler’s stick. Ryan Kesler gave his stick to Edler immediately after while the puck went out to McDonagh at the point. His shot on net was blocked with Benoit Pouliot in front drawing Bieksa’s attention. Both Bieksa and Edler went for the loose puck following the block, but Derick Brassard got there first. With Bieksa heading to him and Edler facing him, Pouliot was left wide open in front. Brass hit him with a great pass –that Kesler couldn’t deflect because he had no stick– and Pouliot had the easy goal.

Canucks 1, Rangers 2

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There really isn’t much to complain about on this goal. Kesler won the face off clean, where Daniel Sedin picked up the puck and curled to the half boards with McDonagh on him. Dan Girardi was tying up Alex Burrows in front (with net-side positioning instead of fronting), and Dominic Moore was on Kesler as he cut to the slot. Sedin hit him with a great pass and Kesler was able to one-time it past Henrik Lundqvist with Moore all over him. Sometimes you get beat by great players.

Rangers 3, Canucks 1

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Another game, another shorthanded goal for the Rangers. This time, Zach Kassian made a bling backhand pass to the point that was way out of the reach of Yannick Weber. Weber dove but couldn’t reach the puck, springing Rick Nash with MSL on his side for a 2-on-1. Nash fed MSL at the top of the circle, who was thinking shot the entire way. He roofed it over Lack for his first as a Ranger. John Tortorella had this reaction to the goal. Can’t blame him, St. Louis won a Stanley Cup for him, and now scored his first goal as a member of Torts’ old team against Torts’ new team, shorthanded.

Fenwick Chart:

Courtesy of Extra Skater

Courtesy of Extra Skater

As mentioned above, the Canucks really dominated the puck possession game (58% Fenwick-For ratio). It’s actually pretty scary, as the Rangers registered just one even strength Fenwich event from five minutes remaining in the second to the end of the game. Yet, they still won.

Win Expectancy Chart:

Courtesy of Extra Skater

Courtesy of Extra Skater

With the win, the Rangers have a three point lead on Philly –with the tiebreaker– with five games remaining. Philly has two games in hand though. The magic number to clinch a playoff spot is down to three (any combination of three points gained by the Rangers or lost by the Caps). The magic number to avoid a wild card spot is down to seven (any combination of seven points gained by the Rangers or lost by the Blue Jackets).

"St. Louis notches first as a Ranger as Vigneault wins in return to Vancouver", 2 out of 5 based on 3 ratings.
Categories : Game Wrap-ups

14 comments

  1. SalMerc says:

    Nervous all game. Felt like the dam was going to burst any minute, but we held on. How good in McD?

  2. paulronty says:

    How good? Best damn D man in the ENTIRE NHL period!

    • SalMerc says:

      I am thinking this as well. Now that he jumps into the offense more, he is easy top 4 in NHL

  3. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    I didn’t see the game, but saw that McD was hurt late. Please tell me it wasn’t serious.

    • Dave says:

      Early indications are that it is not serious, but nothing officially has been announced. He’s traveling with the team though.

  4. paulronty says:

    And BTW, Burrows is so totally full of S#@t! This guy is always trying to injure other players. This is the time of year you really start to worry about injuries, with the playoffs so near.

  5. joe719 says:

    McD is a really great find for this team, and is developing into the #1 defenseman on this team. Having said that, he is going to have to become a little more proactive in the way he approaches the physical part of the game. To me, this all stems from the Boston game 2 years ago when he got rammed from behind. Since that game, Boston, and just about everyone else tends to go after him hard because they realize that there is not gonna be too much retaliation on his part the next time they come down his side of the ice. I know hes tough, and don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying hes a wimp out there. He just needs to set a tone for himself that he is not a punching bag or tackling dummy. If he doesn’t, hes gonna start spending a lot more time on IR.

  6. Chris F says:

    Boy, they all look happy over the St. Louis goal. Nice to see everyone invested in his success. Let’s hope this is the start of good things.

    McDonagh… hope he’s OK.

  7. bloomer says:

    Very entertaining game at rogers arena. The brassard line was dominate creating scoring chances when ever they were on the ice. The boyle line was good too as dominic moore centered a line with msl and brad richards. Lundqvist let in a softie between his legs but did a better job correling the puck. The difference between these teams is their defencemen. The rangers had more depth as they handle the puck better and didn’t really give the canucks many real scoring opportunies except when they were shorthanded. Even then the ranger penalty killers jumped on the canucks point men mistakes and msl scored a beauty on a rick nash feed.

    • Chris F says:

      Softie?

      It was a point blank one – timer from Kesler who appeared to be tied up by Moore. Not much opportunity to A) expect that shot to get off so cleanly and quickly or to B) actually react fast enough.

      • bloomer says:

        The puck went thru the 5 hole. Stick on ice pads together..should be a routine save.

        • Chris F says:

          Routine if you’re in position waiting for a shot. Hank had to move left to right to respond to the pass to Kesler.

          Kesler lasered the one – timer as Hank was shifting. When you shift, there are going to be openings in your position. You can’t slide post to post and still keep your 5 – hole locked down.

        • VinceR says:

          Simple laws of physics..a goalie must move his legs to go left /right, thus opening the five hole.

  8. Ray says:

    I doubt very many expected the trade to help the PK as much as it has.