Archive for Game Wrap-ups

2016-12-15-20_59_02

The Rangers saw the returns of Henrik Lunqdvist and Rick Nash last night, and both shined in the 2-0 blanking of the Dallas Stars. Lundqvist got the shutout, Nash the shorthanded game winner, but the game itself will be known for Cody Eakin’s attempted regicide. Eakin showed no intent of stopping or slowing down, barreling over Hank while he was behind the net. Eakin was ejected and given a five minute major (in which the Rangers did not capitalize).

The hit was very clearly dirty. Eakin did not try to stop, lowered his shoulder, and aimed for Lundqvist’s head. Lundqvist was down for a while, and left the game for a period of time. Antti Raanta played 5:31, and wasn’t forced to make any saves before Hank returned. Aside from the hit, there was a lot of back and forth action, with both Lundqvist and Antti Niemi playing stellar games.

On to the goals:

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Dec
14

Offense dries up as Hawks top Rangers

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AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

The three game run for the Rangers has come to an end, falling 2-1 last night to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Rangers were without Ryan McDonagh, adding to the missing player count, and the Hawks took advantage. It wasn’t a dominating effort for the Hawks, but there was certainly more room for them to operate, and they generated some solid chances on Antti Raanta.

That said, it was another show of the goalies last night. Raanta was again solid. Scott Darling was just a little better, especially in the third period as the Rangers pressed for the tying goal. There were chances galore for both clubs, and the goalies put on their second straight show.

The Rangers are going to have games like this without some of their better talent in the lineup. They got a bunch of chances in the third, but couldn’t find twine.

On to the goals:

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skjei klein zuccarello

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Brady Skjei notched his first NHL goal as the second period came to an end en route to the Rangers extending their win streak to three in a row. Antti Raanta had another great game, and the Rangers had a solid game defensively to make it easier on him. The game wasn’t exciting by any measure, but the Rangers were still able to use their speed/forecheck and transition game to get their first two goals, which helped everyone breathe easier.

Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello continue to look good together, and the forwards seem to be finding a way to get some goals without three top players. Also impressive were Marek Hrivik and Nicklas Jensen, who looked good away from the puck. It’s clear Alain Vigneault is comfortable with them and Oscar Lindberg as the injury depth, which makes the Josh Jooris loss easier to manage.

It was a complete team effort last night. On to the goals:

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Dec
09

Powerplay lifts Rangers over Jets

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jets antti raanta

John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP

After laying an egg on the powerplay in Brooklyn, the Rangers scored twice with the man advantage in Winnipeg en route to a 2-1 win over the Jets. It wasn’t pretty, as even strength play was inconsistent, but they were able to keep the Jets of the board for the most part. The lack of scoring is expected for the Rangers, who are missing four of their top forwards. But they persevered for their first win of the season when scoring fewer than three goals.

The defense was pretty solid, and Antti Raanta put up a solid game. He needed to kiss the post a few times, but that’s hockey. Marc Staal had a solid game, and I spotted a lot of smart plays with the puck from him, including several controlled zone exits. Zone exits and entries were something that the Rangers did very well in the first period, which shows up in the quality chances on net. Overall, a fairly decent game for a very shorthanded Rangers team.

On to the goals:

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AP Photo/Kathy Willens

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Heading into last night’s game in Brooklyn, the only thing on fans minds was playing a complete 60 minute game. The Rangers had been playing poorly over the course of their previous nine (4-4-1 in that span), and needed a rebound game. Well, they got the effort, but Jaroslav Halak was the difference, stopping 36 of 38 shots as the Isles won 4-2. Halak bested Henrik Lundqvist, who got beat on some odd goals, something we never like to say.

The power play failed the Rangers in this one, going 0-for-6, capped by a stunning pass-pass-pass-don’t shoot effort on a 6-on-3 while desperately trying to tie the game. The power play has been an issue since the injury to Mika Zibanejad, and likely won’t get much better until the Rangers are able to deploy a right-handed shooter with the man advantage. The early deflection goals and the power play proved to be the difference.

On to the goals:

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AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

The Rangers decided they only needed to play hockey for 20 minutes to beat the Carolina Hurricanes, and it wound up being true. The Rangers were outshot 25-11 in the first two periods, but still managed to escape tied heading into the third period. Then they actually decided to play hockey, scoring three times –also allowing one immediately after they scored– to take the 4-2 win.

This was not a good game by the Rangers, who played 20 minutes out of 60, but managed to eke out the win. Henrik Lundqvist kept them in it for the first two periods, which gave them the opportunity to come out with the win. After that, it was the Chris Kreider/Derek Stepan show. Stepan finished with a goal and two assists, and Kreider had a pair of goals in the third.

On to the goals:

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jimmy vesey

AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes

The Rangers were not at their finest last night, struggling to keep up with a Buffalo Sabres team that had the entire team –including Henrik Lundqvist– chasing the puck. Lundqvist had the eye-opener first goal, which seemed to affect his confidence as he was consistently out of position for the rest of the game. It wasn’t just Hank, as the Rangers were running around their own zone most of this game.

Just when you thought the Rangers might win this game, the Sabres’ continued dominance eventually broke through in the third. Down one, and with Hank having a strong period to that point, Jack Eichel put up a pair of goals (both of questionable strength) to give the Sabres the lead. In all fairness, Hank –who had a weak game– had been preserving the lead almost singlehandedly until that point.

This was not a good game by the Rangers. Every single player on the ice was sloppy. They couldn’t sustain offensive pressure. They couldn’t play defense at all. The goaltending was off. Just a giant egg from every single player.

On to the goals:

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Nov
30

Rangers eke out a win against Carolina

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rangers hurricanes

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The Rangers beat the Hurricanes last night in a win that could be described in a few words – bizarre, ugly, concerning – but no matter what, a win is a win. This was a win the Rangers needed to turn around from the slight slump the top-scoring offense in the NHL needed, however strange and ugly that win may be.

Let’s take a period-by-period look at this game in bulleted form:

  • Carolina opened the game with a ton of pressure, consistently swarming the Rangers when they’d make it to the offensive zone and forcing turnovers.
  • Once trapped in their own zone, the Rangers main move was to attempt to chip the puck out to the neutral zone. When this worked, all it did was come right back in.

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rangers senators 2016

AP Photo/Rich Schultz

The Rangers have had a poor stretch of games lately, and while they haven’t lost all of them, the continued poor play is a cause for concern. It seems to have come to a head last night, as the Rangers played poorly and were blanked by a tired Ottawa Senators team. The defense certainly failed with a bunch of miscues, but the offense couldn’t get anything going until the third period either.

Craig Anderson had one of the easier shutouts he’s ever had, as the Rangers failed to sustain any consistent pressure throughout. Couple that with the aforementioned defensive miscues, and the Rangers were doomed to a mediocre game. It wasn’t until the second half of the third, when Ottawa started to shell, that the chances started flowing. Too little, too late.

It’s clear the Rangers miss Mika Zibanejad on the powerplay. They won’t get much done with five lefties on the man-advantage. Also, it’s clear the Rangers have a lot of trouble when teams clog the neutral zone.

On to the goals:

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matt puempel

AP Photo/Derik Hamilton

Henrik Lundqvist showed why he’s still the best goalie in the world, standing on his head and allowing just one flukey goal and one teammate-deflection goal as he carried the Rangers to a 3-2 win. The Rangers didn’t generate much sustained offense in this game, but did a good job capitalizing on turnovers to turn those into quick strike goals. It wasn’t the best showing, but a win is a win. After the debacle on Wednesday, you take the two points.

The defense struggled a lot, leaving slot men open almost regularly and forcing Lundqvist to make point blank saves. The forwards were having trouble sustaining offensive pressure as well. But Matt Puempel got his first goal as a Ranger on a goal that also marked Josh Jooris’ first assist as a Ranger. So that was cool.

On to the goals:

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