Archive for Game Wrap-ups

Dec
16

Rangers drop Kings to snap losing streak

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rangers kings Rick nash

The Rangers are currently sitting pretty in a wild card spot, and it’s thanks to the fact that, despite their unfortunate loss to Ottawa the other night (and a real clunker against Dallas, although I’m inclined to write that off as “those happen sometimes”) they keep picking up points where they need them, sometimes against teams they should lose to like the Kings. It was sweet revenge indeed against a team that still leaves a bitter taste in all of our mouths after what happened in 2014.

The Pacific-leading Kings had Marian Gaborik on something of a hot streak with a goal and an assist (insofar as that’s a hot streak – remember that this was a low scoring game), but the Rangers were able to put the Kings away late in the third period with a beauty of a goal from Rick Nash, who is now the all-time leader in game winners for the Rangers (but remember folks, he’s not clutch). Some quick thoughts on the game:

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Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP

The Rangers couldn’t do much worse than they did against Dallas. It was historically bad. Last night wasn’t at that level, at least not from a pure numbers standpoint, but it felt a lot worse. The Blueshirts no-showed again, but this time couldn’t steal a point against the horribad Sens, dropping the contest by a 3-2 score.

Two turnovers and a brain fart led to the Sens goals, and all three were frustrating to watch. As for the Blueshirts, they at least generated some offense, but nothing was really sustained. You never got the feeling that they were in control and could generate consistent pressure on any given shift. It’s sad, because the Sens are in a tailspin and people will be traded/fired before the end of the season (month?), and they beat the Rangers soundly.

On to the goals:

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rangers dallas stars pavelec

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

The Rangers came into last night’s game after taking four of six points from tough divisional opponents. They were emotionally ready for those opponents, and had a seemingly easier opponent with Dallas coming to town. But therein lies the trap in the trap game. The Rangers were not emotionally ready for this game. The Stars thoroughly dominated the Rangers, and if not for Ondrej Pavelec, this game could have been ugly.

The Blueshirts were asleep for most of this game. They were outshot 16-5 (34-12 attempts) in the first and 17-5 (30-11 attempts) in the second. Pavelec made a ton of great saves to keep his team in it, but the rest of the guys just weren’t involved at all. Such a shame too, because this was a winnable game and a stellar effort from their netminder. They were lucky to get the point, but it’s not something they should be proud of.

On to the goals:

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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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jesper fast

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

The Rangers and Penguins played in the Battle of the Backups last night, and it was a high scoring affair. The Rangers showed great resiliency, answering back each time the Penguins grabbed the lead. The eventual game winner was a fluke, as Pavel Buchnevich got a lucky bounce off Kris Letang’s skate for the winner. Combine that with about 57 posts for the Penguins, and it was a nail biting win.

This game was not pretty to watch. Both teams are a little challenged defensively and were playing their backup goalies. When two potent offenses square off in those situations, you get wide open hockey and a lot of goals. The win is huge for the Rangers, as they need to bank as many points as possible in the death trap that is the Metro Division.

On to the goals: Read More→

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The Rangers beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 last night, capitalizing on the Canes premature pull of goaltender Scott Darling with two minutes left in the third period. Michael Grabner got a hat trick off of two empty net goals and Paul Carey added a last minute trash goal to inflate the score much larger than the actual play would indicate.

The game was pretty evenly matched through the first period and a half, despite Carolina’s goal occurring within one minute of the game opening. You’d never be able to tell from the final scores of each of their matchups, but these two teams are similar: both are fringe playoff teams, both have talent, yet both have glaring issues that need to be fixed in order to go far.

Let’s break down some key points of the game:

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We’ve spoken a lot about the Rangersslow starts recently, and they were finally victimized by an early deficit. The Blueshirts lost on home ice for the first time in 8 games to the Florida Panthers 5-4.  The loss was particularly gut-wrenching, as the team clawed back from deficits of 3-0 and 4-1 to tie the game, carried by the newly formed “KDB” line.  David Desharnais filled in admirably on the top line for Mika Zibanejad, who warmed up but missed the game with a mysterious “upper-body injury.”  Desharnais, Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich recorded three points each and nearly propelled the Rangers to a memorable win.

Unlike Sunday’s game vs. Vancouver, the Rangers were not guilty of no-showing the first period.  They created several chances and generally controlled play, but still found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-0 score, thanks in large part to James Reimer.  His counterpart Henrik Lundqvist didn’t make it out of the first period, and the Rangers were eventually undone by a couple of egregious miscues (and a dubious disallowed goal) in what was otherwise a solid effort. Read More→

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BRUCE BENNETT/GETTY IMAGES

In hockey, sometimes you lose games you should win, and others you win when you should lose.  The latter applies to the Rangers in yesterday’s afternoon tussle with the Vancouver Canucks.  The Rangers were awful in the first period, and only marginally better in the second and third.  They survived a frantic overtime and two shootout deficits before escaping with the win, their fourth in a row.

Henrik Lundqvist was brilliant again, and the Rangers made the most of the chances they were able to create.  It was a disjointed effort, rife with turnovers and sloppy defense.  It wasn’t all bad of course, as again the Rangers showcased their superior offensive talent and comeback ability.  The Rangers are a dangerous team when they have the puck, but they won’t be considered a serious contender until they improve defensively.  Read More→

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brady skjei

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

The Rangers and Red Wings had the rarest of the rare in today’s NHL. They had a low scoring game with great flow that was exciting to watch. Both teams traded chances up and down the ice. The Rangers got shelled in the first, but took it to the Wings in the second and third as their superior roster depth showed.

The story of this game was the goaltending. Henrik Lundqvist and Jimmy Howard put on an absolute clinic, with both trying to one-up the other with great saves. This was a great example of a game that was low scoring but still crazy exciting. The building was deflated when Tatar scored. But then came the Kreider equalizer and the Zuccarello winner to extend the home winning streak.

On to the goals:

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AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The Rangers were looking to get back on track after losing two in a row, and did just that against Ottawa last night. The Rangers played strong defensive hockey (not perfect, but it’ll do) and made the most of their chances in the 3-0 win. They club really cemented the win after a brilliant PK after the Brendan Smith major/game misconduct.

The Rangers got a big two points against a team they may be fighting for a playoff spot down the road. It may not seem important in November, but it’s a four point swing against a potential playoff team. At this juncture, with how the Rangers have played, every point and every swing counts.

On to the goals:

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