Archive for Game Wrap-ups
The Rangers came into Pittsburgh without arguably their two best skaters, yet on a three game win streak. The Penguins were without Evgeni Malkin, but on a six game win streak. Something had to give for these two hot teams. The depleted blue line held the depleted offense in check, in the sense that Henrik Lundqvist was on fire all game, making big stops on every shot he saw.
The ice was tilted for the Penguins most of this game. The Rangers flatlined on quality chances in the second period, and couldn’t get it going in the third. It’s tough to say if they went into a shell though, because it was two periods of the Penguins peppering them with quality chances. Lundqvist stood tall, and always seems to bring his best against this team. Couple that with two timely goals, and you have a solid win against a hot team.
I had other commitments last night, and foolishly thought I would be home by the second period. I was not, and I had already told Pat that he needn’t cover for me for the goal breakdown. That turned out to be a mistake, as I didn’t get home until midway through the third period. Oh well.
Since there isn’t a goal breakdown, I decided to try something new. Welcome to the first ever All-Twitter breakdown of a game. I collected a series of tweets from the game, and let’s see if we can put this together to tell a story of the game.
— Christopher Gambino (@Cgambino730) February 9, 2016
The Rangers and Flyers played one of the more entertaining old school kind of hockey games in recent memory. It started with Wayne Simmonds sucker punching Ryan McDonagh, causing McDonagh to leave the game. Simmonds was given a match penalty. There were hits/fights and a slew foot by Oscar Lindberg as well. Old school hockey at its finest, even if it wasn’t clean at all.
But it was the Rangers’ inability to stay out of the box that nearly cost them this game. The Rangers gave the Flyers four powerplays, including three in the second period. The Flyers capitalized on one, but it stopped the Rangers from really gaining any momentum throughout the game. It wasn’t until Keith Yandle ripped one from the high slot with 13 seconds remaining that there was any hope that the Rangers could win.
The overtime was entertaining with a lot of chances, but it was the Mats Zuccarello/Derek Stepan show in the shootout. Zucc deked Steve Mason out of his pads, and Stepan ripped one over his shoulder to seal the win. Henrik Lundqvist made two stops in the shootout, and 26 saves in regulation/OT.
It was the usual start to the game that Rangers fans had become accustomed to. The Rangers were quickly down 2-0 after allowing a breakaway goal and a powerplay goal, their third straight goal allowed while killing a penalty. But all was not lost. The Rangers, even though they were down two, had the ice tilted in their favor most of the game. It was only a matter of time until they broke through.
And in the second period, they did just that. Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller scored two goals in 1:20, tying the game five minutes into the period. The Rangers pressed more, completely dominating even strength. They took the lead in the third on a Derick Brassard goal, and continued to dominate the overmatched Wild. Chris Kreider eventually sealed the deal with an empty netter.
Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t tested that much. He faced just 18 shots, but he came up big when they needed it late.
The Rangers’ first game back from the break was a real back and forth matchup against near their near rivals the New Jersey Devils. J.T. Miller continued with the strong play he demonstrated before the recess, gaining the zone with ease, driving to the net, and scoring two nice goals. Despite this and other solid efforts from players like Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes, and Viktor Stalberg, it wasn’t enough to power past the Devils, with a bad goal given up by Dan Girardi taking away the Rangers’ lead just after Miller’s second put them up a goal.
Special teams proved to be the difference in this game with the Rangers going 0 for 4 on the power play, with the Devils’ game winner coming on their man-advantage. This Rangers loss now puts them only two points ahead of the Devils, and the blueshirts will have to be better if they expect that gap to widen as opposed to shrink, with the two teams meeting twice more this month.
No gifs in the post today, but you can view them all at Ryan Ohanesian’s timeline here.
Rangers 1 Devils 0
So I didn’t get home until the second period, and that’s the only period of the game I caught. Instead of a goal breakdown, let’s go through a bullet point list of what I noticed.
- The speed by Viktor Stalberg sure is something. That’s something the Rangers don’t do enough, which is build speed through the neutral zone and get defenders on their heels. It leads to great chances and penalties, like it did with Cody Franson. That’s why the Rangers don’t get many powerplay opportunities, it’s because they aren’t generating speed through the neutral zone.
- That powerplay needs to just pull the trigger. Too many times I saw them defer to the pass or to someone who makes more money. It’s a tad ridiculous. If you have a lane, shoot the puck. If you don’t have a lane, be patient and move. Which is another thing they don’t really do that much: Move. They skate in circles around where they are supposed to positioned, instead of creating space.
Winter storm Jonas affected the Rangers’ travel plans, meaning they didn’t skate for two days before the game yesterday, and it showed. The Rangers were just flat all game, getting outworked, outmuscled, and just overall outplayed by the Sens all game. The Blueshirts had no answer for the Sens forecheck, which pressured the Rangers into multiple turnovers and forced some great saves from Henrik Lundqvist.
While the defense was shaky for most of the game, it was the inability to generate sustained offense that killed the Rangers. They had very few legitimate scoring chances, and the only two I can really pinpoint hopped over sticks. One of them actually led to the second goal by the Sens. Just a rough game all around for the Rangers, who really needed to build on two strong games prior.
As always, you can view the full videos on our video page here.
All GIFs are on nyrgifs.com, filtered under the date of the game. I crossed out that sentence because this was the first game in the history of that site that I did not add a single gif to the site. I add the ones that people might like to search by, and there was not one worthwhile gif to keep at easy access.
On to the goals:
J.T. Miller did it again for the Rangers. One game after his overtime winner, Miller notched a pair of goals in quick succession in the second period to seal it for the Rangers early. Miller regained a two-goal lead with a perfectly placed wrist shot over Eddie Lack, then stole the puck from Noah Hanifin before making a great deke on Lack for his second of the game and a three goal lead.
The Rangers controlled most of this game, as most of the action and better scoring chances were in Carolina’s zone. The third period was a little skewed due to score effects, and the fact that Rick Nash probably wishes he didn’t play that period, but that’s how the NHL is nowadays. If you have a lead in the third, you protect it. The Rangers did just that. It wasn’t ugly by any stretch, but it wasn’t the first two periods.
J.T. Miller continued his strong play this season with the overtime winner, beating the
Ryan Millers Vancouver Canucks with a dramatic 3-2 win. The Rangers dominated this game from start to finish, but found themselves trailing 2-1 in the third period due to poor luck –I counted 71 posts hit– and amazing goaltending from Ryan Miller, who made 46 saves in the contest.
But it was Mats Zuccarello who tied the game in the third period off a brilliant Keith Yandle pass to guarantee the Rangers get a point. Henrik Lundqvist only faced 20 shots, but did have to make some difficult saves to ensure this game was within reach.
This is another game where the Rangers had to erase a third period deficit. It’s good to know that they are able to reach down and come back like this. But this game was very close to being a maddening loss.
The Rangers couldn’t stay out of the box last night, shooting themselves in the foot in what was otherwise a well played game at even strength. The Caps scored twice with the man advantage, and those goals wound up being the difference in the game. But this is why they are the Caps. They make you take penalties and then make you pay. It’s not just the powerplay goals, it’s that the Rangers can’t generate any momentum when they are killing penalties.
Justin Williams recorded a hat trick, showing that he is the true Ranger killer. No matter what team he is on, he finds a way to burn the Rangers on an almost nightly basis. Antti Raanta played well, and you can’t really fault him for any of the goals given up. He also made what will probably be his save of the year.
I thought the Rangers had a shot when they pulled to within one with Braden Holtby out of the game, but then the Miller turnover happened.