Archive for Game Wrap-ups

jimmy vesey

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Phot

There’s a couple of ways you can make sense of the Rangers’s unfortunate, almost-shutout loss against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon. You can chalk it up as an ultimately meaningless game, one where the team played a suboptimal lineup and boy did it show. You can look at it as potentially foreshadowing future playoff performance, which would lead to a dreary end.

You can even meet somewhere in the middle, acknowledging that it wasn’t a super impactful loss while also wishing for better things from the team, despite their less than great lineup. I’m partial to the last approach, but that’s just me. One thing we do know for sure is that Henrik Lundqvist will be playoff ready by the time the Rangers matchup against Montreal, with Hank making exceptional saves that kept the Rangers in the game longer than they should have.

As for everyone else, there were few bright spots, which isn’t exactly encouraging, but hey, the team was missing some of its key offensive engines. All in all, this was a definitively penultimate game of an uneven Rangers regular season. Onward to the goals.

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Apr
06

Caps blank shorthanded Rangers

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Photo: Nick Wass/AP

In a game where we all expected the Caps to score 50 goals and take 400 shots (given the defense pairs the Rangers dressed), the Rangers actually played pretty well. The Caps dressed their full roster, and the shorthanded Rangers weren’t the disaster that everyone expected. That said, they couldn’t get anything going offensively  –expected with the forward lines– and the Caps eventually wore them down.

Honestly, there’s not much to really take away from this game. The Rangers sat most of their roster to give them five days off. Henrik Lundqvist looked really strong, which is the only thing I care about right now.

On to the goals:

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mats zuccarello

Photo: Jim McIsaac

The Rangers finally managed to get a win at home, scoring four straight on Anthony Stolarz and the Flyers en route to the 4-3 win. The win also eliminated the Flyers from playoff contention, so feel free to poke fun at a Flyers fan today. It was nice to see the forecheck in full swing for the Rangers, who also had a pretty solid defensive game as well. The Flyers aren’t the best team in the world, but proper process has to start somewhere.

Henrik Lundqvist played another strong game. Despite the rough goals against lately, he’s been locked in for a while. The difference was the better overall team commitment to defense, something that had been lacking up and down the lineup. The Rangers also had their forecheck going, which allowed them to convert turnovers into goals often.

The game wasn’t perfect, as the Blueshirts almost gave it back to the Flyers with two minutes left in the game. They allowed the Flyers to get two goals to make us sweat. But Hank made a brilliant glove save to preserve the win.

On to the goals:

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Photo: Jim McIsaac

The Rangers hosted the ailing Penguins, missing half their roster, and still managed to get outplayed for most of the game. Henrik Lundqvist was outstanding all game, bailing the Rangers out with multiple sequences of marvelous saves (here, here, here, here, and here. There were others, but my NHL.tv crapped out on me in the third period). But even with Lundqvist standing on his head, the Rangers couldn’t get anything going against the Penguins and Matt Murray.

All that said, the Rangers were able to keep it close and get a last second (literally) goal to tie it. They pressured hard in the third, and it was Chris Kreider who buried the equalizer with 1.2 seconds left. They were pressing so hard, in fact, they gave up a 2-on-0 rush with Conor Sheary and Sidney Crosby. Hank stopped Sheary then swatted the puck away from Crosby. That kept it a close game, and gave the Rangers a chance to tie it. Kreider answered that call.

After an exciting overtime, the shootout was quick. Kessel and Crosby made quick work of the Rangers as the Pens got the extra point.

On to the goals:

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Photo: Ryan Kang/AP

The Rangers fell short in Anaheim on Sunday night, losing to the Ducks 6-3 and delaying their chance to clinch a playoff spot by at least one more day. Henrik Lundqvist reassumed his customary starting goaltender spot after an eight game absence, and some rust was certainly evident.  Though none of the goals were directly the fault of The King, he was victimized by some big rebounds and traffic in his crease, allowing five goals on 33 shots.

There was some news before the game even started that caused a stir. Dan Girardi was scratched from the lineup, as Alain Vigneault shocked the masses and benched the veteran in favor of Kevin Klein.  More notable than the move itself was Vigneault’s reasoning, as he cited Girardi’s sub-par performance – not his injury – as the primary reason for the decision.  Regardless, Klein didn’t exactly acquit himself well (though he too just returned from a long layoff) and wasn’t helped by a rare off-night from captain Ryan McDonagh.

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Mar
26

A brief look into last night’s win

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mats zuccarello kings

Credit: AP / Mark J. Terrill

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.

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antti raanta

Old Time Hockey (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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:

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Mar
14

MSG woes continue as Rangers fall to Bolts

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Credit: Jim McIsaac

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.

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Mar
13

Rangers end road trip on a high

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Credit: AP / Paul Sancya)

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.

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derek stepan

Credit: Getty Images / Grant Halverson

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:

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