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rangers dallas stars

After Saturday night’s strong win against the Devils, the Rangers stay home to take on the mediocre Dallas Stars. I use the term mediocre loosely, as that top line and top powerplay unit can run up the score big time. But the Stars struggle on the blue line and in net, so the Rangers –even without Zibanejad– should be able to control the scoring chances.

The Rangers are in a unique situation in the division, where two points would move them up a bunch of spots with games in hand, but it wouldn’t kill them if they didn’t get both. That said, this is one of those games you use to make up ground. They went 2-1 in the divisional games over the weekend, so missing out on two tonight would be a bummer.

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Categories : Game Thread
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Hartford Wolf Pack 5, Springfield Thunderbirds 3

By Meghan O’Reilly

Hartford, CT, December 10, 2017 – Vinni Lettieri had two goals and an assist Sunday at the XL Center, to lead the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 5-3 win over the Springfield Thunderbirds.

With the victory, the Wolf Pack are now 3-0-1-1 in their last five games, the team’s longest streak without a regulation loss of the season.

Marek Mazanec made 17 saves in the game, in his Wolf Pack debut, while Springfield goaltender Evan Cowley had 28. The Wolf Pack outshot the Thunderbirds 33-20. Steven Fogarty scored a shorthanded goal for the Wolf Pack, and Dawson Leedahl and Scott Kosmachuk also scored. John Gilmour added two assists. Juho Lammikko had a goal and an assist for the Thunderbirds.

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Categories : AHL
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rick nash kevin hayes

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Over the weekend, news broke that the salary cap for next season might hit as high as $82 million, with a low of $78 million. This is mostly due to the success in Vegas, which no one is sure is sustainable, but for now impacts the salary cap in a positive manner.

For the Rangers, their offseason look is interesting. They have a bunch of key RFAs they will need to re-sign (Miller, Hayes, Vesey, Nieves, Skjei). Vesey and Nieves likely won’t command more than $3 million combined, but the trio of Miller, Hayes, and Skjei could get pricey fast.

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Categories : Musings
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Holland nets two in Pack win

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Hartford Wolf Pack 3, Rochester Americans 2 (SO)

By Meghan O’Reilly

Hartford, CT, December 9, 2017 – The Hartford Wolf Pack went to overtime for a fourth game in a row Saturday night at the XL Center, and were ultimately able to walk away with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Rochester Americans.

Chis Nell made 28 saves in the Hartford net to get the win, while Rochester’s Linus Ullmark was credited with 24. Peter Holland scored two of the three goals for the Wolf Pack, and also scored in the shootout.

Holland opened the scoring at 12:26 of the first period, getting one around Ullmark for his first goal in four games with the Wolf Pack. Assists were given to Scott Kosmachuk and Cole Schneider.

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Categories : AHL
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jesper fast

Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

The Rangers lost last night to the Caps, but beat Pittsburgh earlier in the week. Tonight they face off against the surprising Devils, in an attempt to end this three game run in the division with a winning record. It won’t be easy, since the Devils, picked by everyone to finish last, were just bumped from first last night. Who woulda thunk?

The Blueshirts got thoroughly thrashed against Washington, and now face a tough challenge of a back-to-back against a team with strong goaltending, a good top line, and now got stronger with the addition of Sami Vatanen. The Devils have depth issues, and that is where the Blueshirts are going to need to do their damage.

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Categories : Game Thread
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Providence Bruins 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 3 (SO)

Providence, RI, December 8, 2017 – Cole Schneider had his first two-goal game in a Hartford Wolf Pack uniform Friday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Providence, but the Wolf Pack could not hold a late lead and lost 4-3 in a shootout to the Providence Bruins.

Schneider’s second of the game put the Wolf Pack up 3-2 at 2:13 of the third, but Jordan Szwarz tied the game for the Bruins with 39.9 seconds left, and goaltender Zane McIntyre on the bench for an extra attacker.

Ryan Graves scored his first goal of the year for the Wolf Pack in the first period, and Anthony D’Angelo had two assists. Colby Cave had a goal and an assist for Providence, as did Jacob Forsbacka Karlsson.

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Categories : AHL
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AP Photo/Nick Wass

The Rangers were hoping to make it two in a row against divisional opponents above them in the standings, but the Caps had other ideas, as they thoroughly dominated the Rangers en route to a 4-2 win. The Rangers were down early, giving up a goal to Jay Beagle in the first 15 seconds. They were playing catch up from there.

The Blueshirts woke up in the second, but the Caps really dominate the third period. Jesper Fast tied it in the third, but with the ice tilted, it was only a matter of time before the Caps took the lead. No gifs/goal breakdown today, so let’s go with some bullets.

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
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Disclaimer: I know I’m trolling with this gif. It was a while ago and it’s still hilarious. Even the staunchest Girardi supporters have to find this to be funny. If it makes you feel any better, in one of my games I covered the puck (I’m a goalie), and shuffled it from my glove to someone who I thought was on my team. He was not. Empty net. I laugh about it now.

After a hard fought win in Pittsburgh, the Rangers are in Washington for another tough divisional matchup. There is one point separating the top five teams in the division, with the Rangers three points back of all of them. But the Rangers have games in hand on all of them. The win against Pittsburgh was a four-point swing. Another win tonight, and the Rangers will have gained a pair of points on both Washington and Pittsburgh without losing a game in hand.

The Rangers are getting this done without Mika Zibanejad, which is pretty amazing. They have Henrik Lundqvist back tonight, and they will need him to be on point with Ovi firing cannons from the dots. The Rangers are the deeper team, but the Caps have more high-end skill. This might be another wide-open affair.

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Categories : Game Thread
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Per Pierre LeBrun, the salary cap could be as high as $82 million next year, with $78 million apparently the low end of that projection. No matter what, it looks like a large increase on the current $75 million cap ceiling. Most of this is due to the success in Vegas, but it remains to be seen if it is sustainable.

This is good news for the Rangers, as they have a whole bunch of guys (Miller, Hayes, Skjei, Nieves, Vesey) they need to re-up. Three of those are due for some hefty raises as well. More money is always good. Hopefully this gives the Rangers the room they need to keep guys they want.

Categories : Business of Hockey
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Boo Nieves has been earning his keep

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boo nieves

When the Rangers started the season with an abysmal 4-7-2 record, it was easy to point the blame at the entire roster and the front office. The biggest issue, one that drove many mad, was Alain Vigneault’s insistence of going with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen on multiple occasions. The Rangers had kids in the system waiting for a call up, but we were seeing a sub-optimal lineup dressed on a nightly basis.

Boo Nieves was called up, and there was an immediate balance in the lineup. The club was able to roll four lines and three pairings regularly. Anthony DeAngelo was sent to the AHL to make room. Both moves should have been made sooner, but better late than never. Nieves, who along with Brady Skjei represent the remaining 2012 draftees with the Rangers, had an impact beyond the lineup balance, and has been a pleasant surprise.

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Categories : Players
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