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Category: Game Wrap-ups

Rangers rally for three straight, make it three straight

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The New York Rangers rallied for three unanswered goals to beat the New Jersey Devils in overtime, making it three straight wins for the Blueshirts. Trailing 3-1 in the third period, all on powerplay goals, the Rangers scored twice in the third and once in overtime to collect the two points against a Metropolitan Division rival. Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t at the top of his game, allowing the three powerplay goals, but the Rangers picked him up when he needed it.

Chris Mueller, who has been impressive, and Chris Kreider notched a goal and an assist each. Rick Nash scored the tying goal, and Kevin Klein became the first Rangers defenseman to score this season, collecting the overtime winner after a nice feed by Kreider. Oh, and the Rangers scored twice on the powerplay. How about that?

On to the goals:

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Rangers blank Sharks in strong showing

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The San Jose Sharks, one of the leagues better teams, came to The Garden yesterday on the heels of back-to-back and three-in-four nights. Regardless of the fatigue factor (all teams have stretches like that), the Rangers put on a dominating performance, blanking the Sharks 4-0 and taking advantage of some critical defensive mistakes. Alex Stalock, who had been solid in net for San Jose, had rebound control all game and got burned on a pair of them.

Kevin Hayes notched his first NHL goal, Carl Hagelin and Martin St. Louis notched their first goals of the year, and Rick Nash continued on his hot start to provide the offense for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves as he appears to have regained his form after a slow start. After three losses in a row, the Rangers have won two straight to put them back to .500.

On to the goals:

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Rangers right the ship against Carolina

Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

After three straight dismal games, the Rangers righted the ship with two big points against a pretty bad Carolina Hurricanes club. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t what we would like to see on a regular basis, but it was two points, and that’s all that matters. Henrik Lundqvist was very sharp, finally returning to form after his defense failed him in the three previous games. Hank stopped 29 and then all three in the shootout.

The lone Rangers goal came from crashing the net, as Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard combined for a double deflection to tie the game in the third period. Rick Nash also had a strong game, which has come as no surprise this season. Hopefully this is a win the team can build on.

On to the goals:

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Rangers defense fails again, lose third straight

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Rangers defense failed them again last night, as they fell to the Islanders 6-3. This was the second straight game that the Rangers allowed six goals, and have allowed a whopping 17(!) in the past three games. The Rangers, for most of the game, controlled the Islanders, but the Mike Kostka turnovers turned the entire game around. It’s unfair to pin the entire game on him, but those turnovers were brutal and gave the Isles the tying goal and the lead at the time.

Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t his usual Hank self. He allowed one pretty bad goal (Nick Leddy) that really put the game away. Usually he stops those.  The entire offense is based around Rick Nash lately. It’s just a tough time for the Rangers, who are adjusting to big turnover, rookies, and injuries. Plus, this game could have been a lot different had Jaroslav Halak not been unreal in the second period.

On to the goals:

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Rangers blown out in home opener loss to Leafs

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Well that was a short-lived fun experience. With all the hype of the home opener on us, the Rangers laid an egg at home, falling to the Leafs by a score of 6-3. Five second period goals were the death of the Rangers after an even first period. The Blueshirts couldn’t climb out of a 4-1 hole, and trailed 6-2 by the end of the period. Henrik Lundvist wasn’t his usual self, but the defense didn’t do him, like Cam Talbot on Saturday night, any favors.

Rick Nash scored on a beauty of a pass from Martin St. Louis, but left the game early as his wife is expecting. That didn’t help the already fatigued Rangers, who played three in four nights to start the season and are already without two of their top guys (three if you count Mats Zuccarello, who was out last night). But such is hockey, you lay eggs. Remember they stunk in October last year too.

On to the goals:

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Rangers outplayed by shorthanded Blue Jackets, drop first of season

Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

The Rangers followed up their strong effort in St. Louis with a relatively poor showing in Columbus, falling to the Blue Jackets by a score of 5-2. The Blue Jackets were able to take advantage of a lot of Ranger defensive zone breakdowns, and dominated the play for the most part. It’s worth noting that some were upset that the Rangers didn’t dress “toughness” when Chris Kreider dropped the gloves with Jack Skille. Honestly, that’s pretty irrelevant. It didn’t have an impact on the game.

Cam Talbot didn’t exactly have a strong game, but the defense in front of him was of almost no help. Kevin Klein had a particularly rough game, but only Lee Stempniak and Anthony Duclair were really noticeable in a positive way. This game highlighted how the Rangers really need their top-four defensemen to stay healthy, as Dan Boyle sits for 4-6 weeks. Will be an interesting few weeks as the Rangers deal with this.

On to the goals:

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Top line makes a statement in win over St. Louis

Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images

How about that win by your New York Rangers? This was a hard fought game against one of the top teams in the West, and the Rangers found a way to answer back twice after tying goals from St. Louis. Lee Stempniak had a very strong debut game, but the big line had a big game. Rick Nash had a pair of goals and an assist, Chris Kreider had a goal and an assist, and Martin St. Louis added an assist. All three goals were at even strength as well.

The Rangers weren’t perfect. They turned the puck over a bunch of times in the defensive zone, but the Blues have a good forecheck and are quick to the puck/body. It’s why they are one of the best in the West. But the Blues also had trouble dealing with the Ranges speed, their best weapon. This was a solid test for the Rangers, showing they can skate with the best even without their 1C and without their 4D for the third period.

On to the goals:

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Rangers Drop Final Preseason Match to Devils

The Rangers squared off against the Devils for their final preseason game before the 2014-15 season. Unfortunately, this was a 3-0 loss. Even more unfortunately, Dave had a wedding so I had to watch this game.

Before you read the important game notes I jotted down during the loss, keep in mind that there are still some roster spots to fill, so Alain Vigneault put out the following team (c/o Andrew Gross):

On to some notes… Read more »

Ryan Malone’s redemption continues in shootout win

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Boy that was a fun game to watch, wasn’t it?

Ryan Malone is impressing a lot of people, myself included. We all know he was a solid 20 goal scorer, but after 11 goals over the past two seasons, he looked to be cooked. It’s still early, as Malone is still playing against some guys that will be in the AHL, but his two games have been, if anything, solid games. Let’s keep this part short, and get to the bullet points:

  • Let’s start with the kids that have made the team: J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast. These two have done nothing but impress.
  • Anthony Duclair, if not for the odd contract situation, would also be on that list. This kid has been unreal. He won’t continue his 30% shooting rate, but he does so many other things the right way. If it was just offense and a 30% shooting rate, I’d say send him back. But the kid, aside from lapses here and there, is a smart, skilled player. He forces turnovers with his speed, and while he is sometimes out of position in the defensive zone, you take those growing pains.
  • That said, Duclair really reminds me of Chris Kreider in 2012. We were all enamored by Kreider during that run, but he was shooting at an unsustainable clip (20%) and that was covering up his defensive flaws. Duclair seems to be a step ahead in that regard.

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Ranger-Pack gives Flyers a run for their money in loss

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

It’s amazing how the roles were reversed this game. On Monday the Flyers dressed an AHL squad and looked outmatched by the Rangers. Last night, the Rangers dressed an AHL squad but didn’t look outmatched. That’s a testament to the strong undrafted UFA signings and solid development of the kids. They had a bad second period, but were always in the game. I only got home to catch the second half of the game, but such is life.

  • Danny Kristo had a solid game, but it makes you wonder if it’s enough to unseat some of the other kids. Even if you assume the Rangers send Anthony Duclair back to the Q, there’s still Jesper Fast, Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes, and Lee Stempniak to beat for a third line role. It’ll be tough for him.
  • The battle for the 7D spot has pretty much been resolved at this point. Dylan McIlrath won’t be sitting in the press box, he will get big minutes with the Wolf Pack. Steven Kampfer and Michael Kostka have been ‘eh’ as well. That leaves Conor Allen and Matt Hunwick. Allen will probably get big minutes with McIlrath in the AHL, leaving Hunwick. He’s been better than Kampfer and Kostka, that’s for sure.
  • I still think that Hayes needs some seasoning in the AHL. I see no harm in going the first month with Derick Brassard-J.T. Miller-Dominic Moore-Lindberg down the middle until Derek Stepan returns.

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