Category: Game Wrap-ups

Strong first period propels Rangers to victory

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

It took just 17:49 for the Rangers to jump out to a 3-0 lead last night, a lead they never relinquished en route to a 4-1 win. Turnovers, bad penalties, and shaky goaltending sunk the Caps early, and the Rangers are not a team that will give up a three-goal lead. Henrik Lundqvist was strong, making 24 saves –a lot of them difficult– as he inched closer to Mike Richter’s all-time Rangers win record. He and Rick Nash –who scored twice– need to be the best players on the ice, and they were.

When the game started, I think most of us wanted to see if the Rangers could finally solve Phillipp Grubauer. They did, to the tune of three goals on eight shots. The Caps defense was pretty bad, and again the combination of Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh limited the opposition’s top line to zero even strength goals. When the Rangers are clicking like this, there’s no stopping them.

On to the goals:

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Rolling Rangers sink Sens

Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

The Rangers came into this game on a 5-1-1 streak, riding their hot play into a four point swing game in Ottawa. Much like they did against Detroit, the Rangers dominated defensively and offensively, putting the Sens away by a score of 4-1. Derek Stepan came alive in this game, notching a goal and two assists. The goal was his first in 14 games. Stepan was really the last Ranger that needed to get it going, and hopefully yesterday was the boost he needed.

Cam Talbot played a great game as usual, stopping 29 of 30 shots for the win. Sam and Joe mentioned this on the broadcast, but the Rangers have done a great job of stifling the opposition’s top lines (thank you Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh), and capitalizing with their own offensive chances. This 6-1-1 streak, including key wins over Ottawa, Detroit, and Philly, have vaulted the Rangers into a comfortable playoff position at this point in the season.

On to the goals:

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Hank and Howard steal the show, Rangers get the two points

Still have no idea how he got this. (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)

Still have no idea how he got this. (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)

Last night was probably the best 1-0 win you will every see. The Rangers and Red Wings combined for 86 shots on goal. Jimmy Howard and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 85 of them. Howard stopped 47 of 48, but was bested by The King, who stopped all 38 shots he faced. It took a bit of puck luck for the Rangers to get one past Howard, and it was the only one that would find twine in the game.

There really isn’t much else to say about this game. Both teams just flew up and down the ice. Neither team was perfect defensively, but the goalies were there to make the key stops when needed. Interestingly enough, the one goal the Rangers scored didn’t come off a defensive breakdown by the Wings, even though they had a few brain farts.

On to the goal:

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Bishop steals one at The Garden, halts Rangers win streak

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

This loss is a tough one to really get upset over. Sure, the Rangers got burned on the second goal due to a nine second brain fart. But Ben Bishop made 33 saves –a lot of them very difficult saves– en route to stealing this win in his return to action. The game was actually very evenly matched throughout, with both teams exchanging scoring chances and playing a bit of a run-and-gun style. It wasn’t until the third period when the Rangers started to pull away in the shot attempt department as Tampa Bay started sitting on their lead.

The Rangers had 15 third period shot attempts, 11 on net, and Bishop got them all, including several solid chances on two separate powerplays. Such is life, and goalies steal games every now and then. This time the Rangers were victimized by a goalie who is undefeated with ridiculous numbers (sub-1.00 GAA, roughly .975 SV%) against them. Even with the loss, the Rangers are still 8-3-1 in their last 12 games.

On to the goals:

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Rangers dominate Flyers in key divisional win

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

The Rangers came into last night’s game in a 7-2-1 stretch and needing a regulation win against the Flyers to leap-frog them in the standings and in the tiebreakers.  They did just that, scoring three times in the first period and then holding off a third period surge by Philly for a 4-1 win. Henrik Lundqvist and Rick Nash played great games, something that has been a trend for the two superstars over the past 11 games.

In what is becoming the norm over the month of January, the Rangers played another complete game. The goaltending was sharp, the defense was solid, the offensive contributions came from all over, and the constant pressure was very evident throughout the game.

On to the goals:

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Rangers come back twice, earn big win against Dallas

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

The Rangers came into this game with a 6-2-1 record in their last nine, needing a win to keep the momentum going. They showed great poise and great determination, eliminating deficits twice before finally taking the lead with two minutes remaining in the game for the big win. The Rangers could have complained after the first goal when the refs missed a call, but they recognized the breakdowns, didn’t do it again, and fought back. That is what veteran teams with Stanley Cup aspirations do.

Henrik Lundqvist played another strong game, making 24 saves, including 15 in the final 37 minutes to keep the Rangers within a goal, then to keep the game tied, then to preserve the lead. New York delivered 37 (home scoring bias warning) hits. Even with the home scoring bias, we saw visually they were hitting everything that moved. These are the black-and-Blueshirts we remembered. They won’t get back to the team they were in 2012, but they can get to it when they need to. They needed to last night.

On to the goals:

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Rangers beat the best, move into playoff position

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Rangers played a pretty strong game last night against one of the best teams in the NHL and managed to come away with a victory. On the pregame show, Edie Olczyk said Henrik Lundqvist would need to steal this game. He did just that –even with a shaky goal in the second period– by making a lot of key saves in the final minutes to preserve the 3-2 lead. At the end of the game, Lundqvist made 35 saves for the win and looked like The King once again.

But it wasn’t just The King that won this game. The defense played a very steady game and held the dangerous Hawks to just two goals. They kept players like Kane, Hossa, Seabrook, Bickell, Shaw, and Versteeg off the score sheet. They capitalized on a weak Corey Crawford in the first period. They did what they needed to do for the win, and are now 6-2-1 in their last nine games.

On to the goals:

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Rangers overcome two goal deficit, lose in shootout

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

The Rangers a game that should be considered par for the course for the season: They dominated puck possession, but one turnover and a few good plays by Columbus put them in a two-goal hole. Luckily the Ranger team that showed up was the Ranger team that knows how to erase deficits. The Rangers, specifically Brian Boyle on that celebration, showed some passion and some life in climbing back to grab a point. Yea, they lost in a shootout, but the shootout is a bad gimmick anyway. If this game ended in a tie, everyone would be happy.

This was actually a very well played game by the Rangers, which makes five of seven (Florida, Pittsburgh) where they’ve played very well. The only reason why they lost was because Sergei Bobrovsky made 40 saves and played exceptionally well. Henrik Lundqvist made some huge saves in the third and in overtime to keep the Rangers in it, and New York got some timely goals from Rick Nash. Their two big stars showed up. Finally.

On to the goals:

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Rangers steamroll Leafs in 7-1 win

Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images

Well the Rangers sure did show up last night. After an embarrassing loss in Pittsburgh, the Rangers took their anger out on the Toronto Maple Leafs. New York completely dismantled the Leafs, jumping out to a 5-0 lead before winning by a 7-1 score. The Leafs aren’t a strong puck possession team, but the Rangers completely dominated them to the tune of 63% of the shot attempts at even strength and 65% of the shot attempts while the game was close. That is pure domination.

Each and every Ranger showed up for the game. Cam Talbot made some key saves, the team got scoring from all four lines, the defense chipped in on offense, there were minimal defensive zone breakdowns. They forechecked, they backchecked, they forced turnovers, and most importantly they converted. This is a team that, when given the chance to fly, can out-skate most teams in the league. The Leafs gave them the room, and the Rangers took advantage.

On to the goals:

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Flat Rangers fall to Penguins and back to .500

Sigh. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Sigh. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

I guess we could have seen this coming after the game in Ft. Lauderdale on New Year’s Eve. The Rangers were sloppy in that game, but managed a win because the Florida Panthers are awful. They played the same way last night in Pittsburgh, and got slaughtered for their (lack of) effort. The Rangers turned the puck over more often than I can remember, and several of those turnovers resulted in goals against.

Turnovers weren’t the only issue. Too many Rangers were coasting, not doing dirty work, not cutting to the net, and blowing coverage in the defensive zone. In short, this was an awful game for the Rangers. I don’t know what else to say here.

On to the goals:

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