Archive for Game Wrap-ups
The Rangers beat the league-best Washington Capitals on the second game of a back to back in a nail-biting finish. Coming out strong in the first with sustained pressure and solid puck possession the Rangers scored two goals, but took their foot of the gas in the second a bit. A strange and highly disputable goal call then cut the Caps’ deficit in half, and they tied it up shortly thereafter with a goal from TJ Oshie.
Derek Stepan had other plans however, putting the Rangers back on top almost immediately after the start of the third. From there on out it was a tense game, with the Caps sustaining some serious pressure as the Rangers attempted to defend their one-goal lead. They were up to the task, and Raanta made some key saves to help the team to a nice win leading into their showdown with the Islanders on Sunday.
Rangers 1 Caps 0
In a game that had a playoff atmosphere, the Rangers let up for just 1:39 in the second period, and it cost them the game. Almost immediately after taking a 1-0 lead on a bad goal allowed by Marc-Andre Fleury, one that should have helped the Rangers build momentum, the Rangers surrendered three goals in that 1:39 span to close out the period, and they never recovered.
First it was a Sidney Crosby tap-in off a weird carom. Then it was a defensive breakdown for one second. Then it was a penalty followed by the ever-so-reliable New York Rangers penalty kill that allowed another cross-ice pass. When you make mistakes against teams like this, you get burned, and the Pens burned the Rangers on a pair of mistakes (I’m not counting the Crosby goal as a mistake).
In the first game following the trade deadline, the focus was on Eric Staal. But it was the Rangers backup goaltender that stole the show for the Rangers in a dramatic 2-1 win over the Blue Jackets. Raanta made 26 saves, many of them very difficult, including one as time expired to preserve the win. Joonas Korpisalo for the Jackets was equally up to the task, stopping 21 shots, also many of them difficult. It was a goalie show in an otherwise relatively boring game.
Derek Stepan partially bailed out Dan Girardi in this one, faking Korpisalo out of his pants for a shorty with under three minutes remaining. Girardi had an awful gaffe that led to the Cam Atkinson goal, but was part of that brilliant PK shift that simply didn’t allow a zone entry, which led to the goal. Stepan scored, but that shift was what the Rangers need to do on the penalty kill.
The Rangers continued their success against Dallas Saturday night, although the hard won victory might worry some fans watching closely. The Stars are one of the best teams in the league and have some of the best offensive talent in hockey, and they badly out-possessed the Rangers despite losing the game late in the 3rd period. Henrik Lundqvist stood on his head once again, tracking the puck deftly through tricky plays and nullifying the threatening handiwork of players like Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn.
Although the Rangers were behind most of the game in shot attempts there were still some things Rangers fans can be happy about. Chris Kreider was all over the ice making plays, Keith Yandle was exceptional once again, and Viktor Stalberg was strong on the forecheck. The Rangers got away with this one, which included a controversial no goal call on Dallas’s part, but it’s a big two points on the road none the less.
The Rangers came into St. Louis looking to rebound after unraveling in the second period in New Jersey. They rebounded in a sense of the word, coming out with a 2-1 win, but the win was almost entirely on the back of Henrik Lundqvist. The King made 35 saves, many of them difficult, holding the Blues to one goal that came off a lucky bounce.
The Blueshirts got their offense from Tanner Glass and Chris Kreider, and it was enough with Hank on his game all night. Glass scored his second of the season, which was assisted by Dan Girardi. Twitter broke after the goal. All jokes aside though, that goal was a great shift from everyone on the ice. It was one of the lone highlights of the game from the skaters.
As alluded to in the title, this game was a process fail for the Rangers. The Rangers were badly out shot, out chanced, out attempted, and out played throughout this game. It wasn’t as bad as that Nashville game in November, but it was close. Hank stole this one, tough to argue against that.
Despite a strong start the Rangers dropped their Tuesday night matchup against divisional rivals the Devils 5 to 2. It was an exciting game at first, featuring some nice passing plays, back and forth odd-man rushes, and some nice saves but quickly turned one-sided as the Devils began to badly out possess and out shoot the Rangers starting in the second and continued to do so though the third.
On the plus side, recent call ups Marek Hrivik and Brady Skjei played decently, making prudent decisions on and off the puck and generally looking composed. This was a crucial win for the Devils, who are currently in the chase for a wild card spot, but it would’ve been just as nice for the Rangers to pick up two points and maintain their place in the standings further.
Devils 1 Rangers 0
Ok I made that nickname up, and it probably won’t stick. But Kevin Klein has a habit of scoring in big places for the Rangers, and last night was just another big overtime goal for the defenseman. Klein took a pass from Kevin Hayes in overtime and put it over Jimmy Howard’s glove for the big two points at home.
Howard almost stole this one for the Wings, stopping the first 29 shots he faced, many of them spectacular saves. But aside from Howard and a few odd officiating calls, the game itself wasn’t that eventful. Hayes had a goal disallowed after Howard made contact with Oscar Lindberg in the crease. That was about it. I guess that’s expected on a warm February night with a basketball game in the afternoon.
The Rangers landed in Toronto at 3am after Wednesday’s loss to Chicago, meaning the team was exhausted heading into last night’s game. It showed on the ice, as the Leafs were all over a very sluggish Rangers club all night. Antti Raanta was the difference maker, as he stood tall all night. He made several great stops throughout the game. The heroics came from J.T. Miller, who had three assists, including being the primary catalyst for the second and third goals.
The Rangers came away with the win after some third period dramatics, but the story of the game will be the Leo Komarov hit on Ryan McDonagh (gifs here). This was a clear headshot with intent to injure, and McDonagh –who just returned from a concussion suffered at the hands of Wayne Simmonds– did not return to the game for “precautionary reasons.” Knowing the NHL, he will get a slap on the wrist.
The Rangers allowed three powerplay goals to the Hawks last night, including two in the third period, as they came up short against the defending champs, 5-3. Artemi Panarin had a hat trick, but the story for the Rangers is the penalty kill. This was just another poor showing from all players on the kill, allowing three goals on four chances. They also shouldn’t be giving the Hawks that many chances, but that’s a whole other issue.
Aside from the penalty kill, which 100% cost them this game, the Rangers actually played somewhat well. They scored twice on the powerplay in key spots to give them the lead. They played very well at even strength. Goaltending was solid as well. It’s just their penalty kill. It wasn’t isolated to this game either, as this is the second time this month the penalty kill has cost them. It’s a bit maddening. Clearly I’m frustrated.
The Rangers got their revenge on Wayne Simmonds, with Dylan McIlrath dropping the gloves with the guy who sucker punched Ryan McDonagh last week in the first minute of the game. Tanner Glass dropped the gloves with Ryan White shortly thereafter, and then Derick Brassard gave the Rangers a lead before the fighting majors expired. After that, the game slowed to a normal, grind-it-out divisional matchup that this series has been all year.
The game was uneventful, with both goalies making their share of saves, until the third period when Derek Stepan scored twice to seal the game for the Rangers. Both goals were assisted on beautiful passes from Mats Zuccarello. Henrik Lundqvist did the rest, even if he lost the shutout in the final ten seconds after an extended 6-on-3-and-a-half (Daniel Paille broke his stick for most of it).
This was a solid rebound win after only getting a point against the Kings the other night. Special teams were pretty solid as well, another good sign for this team.