Archive for Game Wrap-ups
The Rangers beat the Kings 3-0 last night, in a game that I did not watch. West coast games are rough. So I asked people who did watch, and basically came up with one overall summary. The Rangers started slow, but looked good in the first. Antti Raanta bailed them out in the second. Then they sat back on a lead in the third. Basically par for the course for the Rangers.
I’m not going to analyze a game that I didn’t watch. It’s unfair to me and to you. So instead I’m taking a different approach. I’m going to use last night’s individual game score to try to predict who is coming out of the lineup for Kevin Klein tonight.
Cory Schneider made 38 saves, many brilliant, as the Devils topped the Rangers 3-2 in overtime. Schneider was the story of the game, as the Rangers peppered him with quality shot after quality shot. But Schneider was the difference maker here. Antti Raanta was great as well, but he came up one save short.
The Rangers controlled the game from the get-go, using superior speed and skill to overwhelm a thin Devils squad. This was also a chippy game. With an all-out brawl highlighting the second period. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a passion-fueled brawl over the staged fights we are used to. Give me passion over staged fights any day.
As for the game, it’s not that important. The Rangers didn’t clinch yet. They will though.
On to the goals:
The Rangers dropped a tightly contested 3-2 result to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, unable to complete the sweep of their three game season series with the Bolts. While the result on its own isn’t disastrous, the main concern for the Blueshirts is their continued mediocre play at Madison Square Garden, as well as a lack of ability to sustain a full, 60-minute effort.
In some ways, the Rangers lost this game in the first period. While they were utterly dominant, generating 23 total shot attempts and 11 scoring chances, they went to the locker room tied 1-1. As the game wore on, the Lightning tightened up defensively and were able to capitalize on their chances, while the Rangers let their few golden opportunities go begging.
The Rangers took care of business on Sunday night, defeating the out-of-contention Red Wings 4-1 in the teams’ last-ever meeting at historic Joe Louis Arena. This was a solid all-around performance for the Blueshirts as they bounced back from Thursday night’s loss in Carolina.
This game was the Ryan McDonagh show. The Rangers captain was all over the ice, making solid defensive plays, initiating the offense, and joining the rush. McDonagh was rewarded with two goals on the night as well as First Star honors, and continues to carry a defense corps that is otherwise average at best.
The Rangers powerplay awoke with force last night, scoring three goals with the man advantage. However it was not enough, as a pair of two-goal bursts by the Canes doomed the Rangers as they lost by a score of 4-3. The first burst of two quick goals by Carolina was the result of just terrible defense. There’s really no way around it. But the third Carolina goal is the one that Rangers fans will be upset about, as it was clear goaltender interference. The explanation was terrible and the consistency on these calls is terrible.
While that third goal hurts, the Rangers lost the game in the first with those two lapses on defense. A team like Carolina that struggles to score should not be able to score that easily. Alas, the Rangers allowed them to get an early lead and did not put them away when they had the chance. Perhaps things are different when half the roster isn’t injured.
On to the goals:
Although they got off to a slow start, the Rangers eventually took control of the pace of their Tuesday night matchup against the Florida Panthers following a timely goal by none other than Tanner Glass. It helped the Rangers gain some momentum that would largely remain on their side of the ice until the Panthers began a serious pushback following their first goal of the game. Still, outstanding goaltending yet again was the difference, with Hank keeping the Rangers in it at times and helping the team ultimately seal the deal.
RANGERS 1 PANTHERS 0
Chris Kreider doing what he does best, deflecting goals in from in front of the net. After a failed attempt by Florida at clearing the zone, Mats Zuccarello works the puck up along the right boards to Steve Kampfer at the point. He lets a low one fly towards the net, which Kreider tips in to get the Rangers on the board.
In a game where the Rangers needed to rebound and send a message to themselves, they once again relied on their goaltender to bail them out. Antti Raanta was brilliant in this game, making 38 saves, many of them spectacular. The Rangers were flat after the first period, getting crushed by the Lightning over the last 40 minutes of the game. It was Raanta that kept the game scoreless.
As expected, the additions of Steven Kampfer and Tanner Glass didn’t move the needle much. The Rangers certainly had a good start to the game, realizing an urge to play better. Glass had his fight, trying to motivate his teammates. Kampfer got hit from behind and almost decapitated, and then the first ended. After that, the Rangers were chasing the Bolts all around the ice, taking many penalties in the process. That said, Glass was a part of one of my favorite all time gifs, which came in this game.
Then the overtime happened, and I have to admit I love overtime. It was Mika Zibanejad who said enough was enough, finally getting off the schneid.
On to the goals:
So I did not get a chance to catch most of the game last night, only coming home with 13 minutes left in the third period. In fact, I turned on the tv just as Jordie Benn made it 4-1. What can I say? I have great timing. This also seems like a game I should be happy that I missed. But I posed a question on Twitter, hoping you could all fill me in, and suffice it to say you didn’t let me down.
Not watching tonight. So how do they look?
— Dave Shapiro (@BlueSeatBlogs) March 5, 2017
So let’s look at some of the best responses.
It was a happy birthday for Henrik Lundqvist in Boston on Thursday night, with the Rangers coming out on top 2-1 over the Bruins. Although they were grossly outshot in the first period and struggled to do pretty much anything productive (exit the zone, enter the zone, get shots off, etc), they came back in the second and third, ultimately taking the lead on a great goal by Pavel Buchnevich in the third period.
Lindberg extended that lead with a beauty goal himself, and although Hank gave up a weird one to Brad Marchand his play on the whole was spectacular. Certainly there were some problem areas (the man-advantage was not exactly advantageous, for example) but not a whole lot to complain about from this blogger – it was a choppy, weird game for both teams and the Rangers ultimately came out on top.
Perhaps it was fatigue. Perhaps not, since Columbus was also on the second of a back to back. But the Rangers were no match for the Columbus Blue Jackets last night at MSG. The Blue Jackets shelled the Rangers offensively and physically often. They then took advantage of defensive breakdowns and penalties to build a solid lead. The Rangers kept it close early, but the Blue Jackets were able to break it open with three straight.
Sergei Bobrovsky wasn’t tested much this game, giving up one goal to Rick Nash on a good passing play. Aside from that, most of the shots were in clear sight. Henrik Lundqvist didn’t really stand a chance on four of the goals against, but an argument can be made about one of them (Wennberg’s second), where Hank came out of the crease to try to prevent a breakaway.
On to the goals: