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Category: Game Wrap-ups

Hockey Gods smile on Dominic Moore, Rangers advance to the Finals

Do. Not. Touch.

Do. Not. Touch.

For the first time in 20 years, the New York Rangers will play for the Stanley Cup. Coincidentally, for the first time in 20 years, the Rangers won a series in less than 7 games. The Hockey Gods smiled upon Dominic Moore, as he took a brilliant feed from Brian Boyle midway through the second period for the game’s only goal. Moore, the team’s nominee and a finalist for the Masterton trophy, has obviously had some hard times the past few year’s, but he was all smiles today with the Broadway Hat on his head.

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 18 shots the Canadiens threw at him, including the save of the playoffs on a Thomas Vanek pass that was deflected by Dan Girardi. Hank dropped his stick and swiped his blocker up in one motion, keeping the puck out of the net and the score tied. Dustin Tokarski, who was far from the reason the Habs lost this series, was stellar, stopping 31 Ranger shots. If not for Tokarski, this game wasn’t even close to nerve-wrenching.

On to the goal:

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Bourque’s hat trick forces Game Six

Photo by Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images

Photo by Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images

Rene Bourque notched a hat trick as the Canadiens forced a Game Six in New York on Thursday. The game itself was ugly on all sides, but the Canadiens managed to capitalize on more mistakes than the Rangers. The Rangers got pretty poor goaltending and defense, were undisciplined, and didn’t deserve to win this game. Henrik Lundqvist allowed four goals on 18 shots, and Talbot allowed two on ten. Dustin Tokarski wasn’t really much better, allowing four goals in 27 shots.

On the bright side, Derek Stepan had a pair of goals in his return to the lineup with a broken jaw. Chris Kreider had a goal and three assists, but it was probably one of the worst four point nights we’ve seen since he was atrocious without the puck (as were all the Rangers, not singling him out). Also, it’s not like the Habs played perfect hockey. Both teams were sloppy here, the Rangers were just sloppier.

On to the goals:

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Marty St. Louis the hero in Game Four

Martin St. Louis was the hero in Game Four, roofing the overtime winner to give the Rangers a 3-1 series lead as they head back to Montreal. St. Louis was the hero, but the story of the game was the offensive zone penalties for the Rangers. They took seven (!!) of them, but managed to hold Montreal off on six of them, including a critical one in overtime. Undisciplined play almost doomed the Rangers, but they claimed victory from the jaws of defeat.

Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves, beating out Dustin Tokarski’s 26 saves showing that Tokarski’s steal of Game Three was a steal, not the norm. Goals came from Hagelin, Brassard, and MSL for the Rangers, showing that much needed depth. They also played a significant portion of the game without J.T. Miller, who was injured after being cross-checked by Andrei Markov into the post.

On to the goals (no pictures, sorry):

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Series far from over: Galchenyuk’s face wins it in overtime

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Alex Galchenyuk took a puck off the face in overtime to win the game for the Habs, drawing them closer to a series tie with the Rangers. Galchenyuk crashed the net on Tomas Plekanec’s shot, and the ensuing rebound went off his face and into the net for the overtime winner. This came minutes into overtime, just after the Rangers tied the game dramatically with a goal in the final 30 seconds of the game.

Dustin Tokarski was phenomenal in the game, stopping 35 of 37 shots and truly preventing the Rangers from breaking the game open in the first period. He also appeared to have MSL’s number, stopping him with numerous glove saves at point-blank range. Hank stole Game Two for the Rangers, and Tokarski stole Game Three.

On to the goals:

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Rangers finally win a Game Two, come home with 2-0 lead

Two games, two goals for Nash. (Photo by Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)

Two games, two goals for Nash. (Photo by Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)

The streak has been snapped. Our long wait is over. The Rangers have finally won a Game Two after winning a Game One. It seems like the last time this happened was in 1927 (was more like 2007 or so), and the “streak” was really no more than sheer coincidence, but hey, they won. And the best part is that they are coming home with a 2-0 lead against a team whose house has been a house of horrors for so long. Sure, Dustin Tokarski isn’t Carey Price, but this was more about the Rangers again using speed and depth to torment the Habs.

Henrik Lundqvist was phenomenal again, stopping 40 of 41 shots that the Habs threw on him. The one goal he let up was more of a fluke, which now makes two fluke goals and a seven-man goal for the Habs. The big guns (Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis, and Ryan McDonagh) all scored huge goals for the club, while Derek Stepan added a pair of assists. Another complete team win. Apologies in advance that there are no pictures for this goal breakdown, but it’s late and it’s been a long day.

On to the goals.

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In Henrik we trust: Rangers complete the comeback, headed to Conference Finals

History.

History.

Henrik Lundqvist made history last night, becoming the first goalie in NHL history to win five straight Game Sevens, as the Rangers completed their comeback and eliminated the #2 seeded Pittsburgh Penguins. The 2-1 victory was highlighted by Lundqvist and his 35 saves, almost single-handedly willing the Rangers to their first playoff series victory over Sidney Crosby. After appearing to be dead and gone after Game Four, the Rangers played the way we expected them to, and came roaring back to take the series.

Brad Richards scored the eventual game winner on the powerplay, and Brian Boyle –who must have read my appreciation post– opened the scoring just 5:25 into the game. Lundqvist, Dan Girardi, and Ryan McDonagh were stellar, as Chris said they would need to be, completely shutting down the top line of Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Chris Kunitz. While the big guns showed up, the Rangers were simply too deep for the Penguins once they got going. On paper the Pens had the top-end skill, but the Rangers had the goaltending, defense, and depth. Depth won out.

On to the goals:

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Rangers force Game Seven

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Rangers forced a Game Seven against the Penguins, winning Game Six by a score of 3-1. The Rangers rode the emotions of the must-win game, but also have been quoted stating they are playing for Martin St. Louis, to not let him down. It’s only fitting that St. Louis got the crowd into it and set the tone for the game by getting to the net and scoring the first goal of the game. Carl Hagelin scored the eventual game winner just minutes later on a soft goal by Marc-Andre Fleury. Henrik Lundqvist was again phenomenal in this game, stopping 36 shots.

This game was not without its feisty-ness. While the Rangers are no saints, I would like to point out the Sidney Crosby nut shot to Dominic Moore, the Crosby slew foot on Dan Girardi, the Chris Kunitz cheap shot to Moore, and of course the Hank squirting Crosby with his water bottle. But yet the Pittsburgh media wants to call out Marc Staal for his cross check to Crosby. Yes, that was a penalty, get over it. It’s not like the Penguins are saints.

On to the goals:

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Brassard has three point night, powerplay scores two as Rangers keep season alive

Still alive. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Still alive. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

You read that title correctly. The Rangers scored a pair of powerplay goals last night en route to a 5-1 victory over the Penguins in Game Five. Derick Brassard scored twice and added an assist in a very strong showing by the young center. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves, some pretty solid, as he kept the Penguins from evening the score during their onslaught early in the second period. Chris Kreider and Ryan McDonagh also contributed with goals.

Aside from the powerplay, one of the bigger stories in this game was the play of Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury has had a reputation –well earned, mind you– of falling apart in the playoffs, and last night was the first time we saw him show that inconsistent play. He hasn’t really been spectacular in the series, but last night the first and fourth goals were shots that he should have stopped. He was also leaving lots of rebounds all night. It’s something we’ve been screaming for: Shoot the puck on Fleury.

On to the goals:

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Costly turnovers put Rangers on the brink

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The theme of last night’s game was turnovers. The Rangers committed a lot of them, and the Penguins converted on enough of them to put the Rangers on the brink of elimination. The first three Penguins goals were the direct result of turnovers, with the back-breaking fourth the result of one of the worst defensive breakdowns I’ve seen in the playoffs. The Rangers managed just 14 shots on goal, while Henrik Lundqvist was hung out to dry, stopping 23 shots.

On the bright side, the Rangers managed to snap Marc-Andre Fleury’s shutout streak at 145:30 (!!!!!!!!) when Carl Hagelin broke down the seam and beat Flower glove side. They even managed to score a second, a typical FLOLeury goal by Mats Zuccarello. But yet, they still managed just 14 shots on goal, despite Pittsburgh playing with just five defensemen. Other numbers of note: The Rangers won just 39% of their face offs. Sigh.

On to the goals:

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Rangers make Fleury look like Dryden, Pens take 2-1 lead

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

The Rangers have simply made Marc-Andre Fleury look like Ken Dryden this series. This time around, Fleury stopped all 35 shots directed at him to record his second shutout in as many days as the Penguins took Game Three by a score of 2-0. Fleury benefited from three Ranger posts in the second period, but the fact remains that the Rangers went 0-5 on the powerplay, bringing their streak up to 0-32 or 0-33. I lost count honestly.

Henrik Lundqvist played another solid game, but was beaten on two breakaways. The Penguins managed just 15 shots on goal as well, as the Rangers had dominant puck possession even before the Penguins stopped playing offense. New York had a 34-21 Fenwick advantage at the time of Pittsburgh’s second goal, which was 21-17 at even strength. By the end of the game, the Rangers had a 36-17 Fenwick advantage at even strength (52-21 in all situations). Doesn’t matter though. They got shut out.

On to the goals:

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