Archive for Game Wrap-ups
The Rangers beat their bitter rivals the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon in a shootout, capping off a game that featured plenty of chances and two great goaltending performances. With the Rangers coming out on top Henrik Lundqvist became the first goalie in NHL history to earn at least 20 wins in each of his first 11 seasons, and Steve Mason played a solid game as well.
Although Philadelphia took the lead early the Rangers came right back and applied the pressure, eventually leading to a sensational goal from JT Miller later in the first. Despite Chris Kreider having the lone goal in the second the Flyers kept things relatively even for the first half of the frame and then spun some momentum out of their opportunities on the man-advantage, carrying it with them into the third. Wayne Simmonds then tied it up and while the Rangers made a late push the game went to overtime.
After a scoreless overtime period the game went to a shootout, where Mats Zuccarello put the kibosh on things with a dazzling goal on Steve Mason. While this was perhaps not the Rangers’ prettiest victory it was a solid two points on the road (in front of the Rangers’ moms!), and hopefully they can carry the momentum with them to Washington on Sunday.
Flyers 1 Rangers 0
The Rangers played a solid game last night, but weren’t able to hold on to their 1-0 lead in the third period, giving up a pair of goals in relatively quick goals, blowing their 1-0 lead in the process. An empty net goal made the final score 3-1 in what was probably one of the worst third periods we’ve seen from the Rangers in a while. In addition to giving up the goals, they couldn’t generate anything offensively for most of the period, as the Isles shut it down with a 1-4 forecheck.
I think the flow of the game changed when the refs didn’t allow Dylan McIlrath and Matt Martin to fight at the end of the second period. McIlrath came out aggressive in the third and took a penalty that eventually led to the game winner, and that was all she wrote from there. In the end, three minutes killed the Rangers. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.
The Rangers overcame a rough second period in which they were completely outplayed by the Bruins, giving up a lot of shots and a goal against, and managed to grab a late victory at The Garden. Jesper Fast deflected a shot by Keith Yandle with 1:42 left in the third period to seal the deal for the Rangers in their 2-1 win.
Things looked bleak for the Rangers, who were simply not playing well at all to start the game. However they woke up in the third period, getting a goal on their first shift of the period from Derick Brassard before Fast’s winner late. Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves, outdueling Tuukka Rask, who made 29 saves.
The game itself was rather boring, with both teams limiting controlled zone entries and forcing a lot of dump and chase hockey. In games like these, you hope for sustained pressure when it counts, and the Rangers got that. Not the prettiest win, but sometimes you just need the two points for confidence reasons.
The Rangers played another solid game this afternoon, but fell just short of taming the red-hot Caps, 4-3 in overtime. The Rangers were down 2-0 coming into the third period on two costly plays, but managed to take the lead in the third with a dramatic comeback. Not to be outdone, the Caps scored dramatically with six seconds left to send the game to overtime.
The outcome for the Rangers was a loss, but it’s hard to look at this game and not feel some kind of happiness in the way they played. Yea, those plays by Dan Girardi were rough, but overall the Rangers skated with the hottest team in the league and were a solid –and partially lucky– stick play in front from taking them down. Them’s the bounces sometimes, and this was far and away their best effort against the Caps all year. They also showed that Holtby is beatable.
Dave has the night off from doing game recaps cause he’s sick, so tonight is a gif-free, points-only night. There were lots of goals and, thankfully, most of them were scored by the home team.
Before we start, I wanted to throw something out there about the Stars’ goalies. To put it as concisely as possible, they’re not good. We spoil ourselves with great goaltending every night, so much so that when our defense lets us down and hangs Hank out to dry, we get angry at him. It’s abnormal. The Stars’ “number one” is Antti Niemi, who took the job from the sieve known as Kari Lehtonen. I personally despise Lehtonen since I failed to drop him last year, but that’s neither here nor there.
The Florida Panthers kept up their recent form against the Rangers on Saturday night, setting a franchise record for consecutive wins with a shutout victory at home against New York. Although the Rangers led in shots there were few grade-A chances among them, with Florida’s defense largely containing the Rangers and the excellent Roberto Luongo handling the rest. All in all a tough loss for the Rangers, who despite a decent defensive performance let up three goals, giving the Panthers their record setting 8th consecutive win.
Panthers 1 Rangers 0
Following some heavy pressure in the Rangers end from the forechecking Panthers, Emerson Etem clears the puck out to the neutral zone intending to hit Chris Kreider with the breakout pass. Instead the puck is intercepted by Corban Knight coming though center ice, who then enters the Rangers zone coming down the wing. Right between the boards and the faceoff circle he lays a centering pass into the slot for Logan Shaw, who puts it home for the Panthers.
Saying that the Rangers had a rough end to 2015 would be an understatement. After a dreadful 4-10-2 run in the last six weeks of the year, the Rangers played their best game in a long, long time, beating Tampa Bay 5-2. They didn’t have the numerous egregious defensive lapses this game. They back checked this game. They generated sustained offensive pressure in this game. And they best a very strong team.
Henrik Lundqvist outdueled Ben Bishop for the first time in his career, which seems odd to say. Bishop was 9-0 against the Rangers until this game. The defense certainly helped him out, limiting the Bolts’ shot attempts and holding them to just 22 shots on goal. The Rangers held the possession advantage throughout the contest, and while they weren’t generating a ton of attempts, they limited Tampa’s. The Bolts poured it on late as the pressed for the equalizer, but Hank stood tall. Overall, this was a solid win.
The Rangers were said to be refreshed after the week-long break for Christmas. They said they were a bit rejuvenated because of the returns of Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein. But that didn’t stop them falling on their faces in Nashville last night, losing 5-3. The Rangers just looked horrible int he first period, unable to generate any offense or play steady defense. Henrik Lundqvist kept them in it though.
The Blueshirts played better in the second, but still trailed by one heading into the third, when the rest of the wheels came off the wagon. The Rangers, after tying the game in the second, allowed four straight, three in the third, and two in 55 seconds. That’s just poor hockey all around. The Rangers made it interesting late, getting two goals late to get back to a respectable score, but this wasn’t a game for a while.
The Rangers have struggled mightily lately, but are headed into the Christmas break on a high note, with a 3-2 overtime win over the Anaheim Ducks. The Rangers got a little lucky in this game, as Ryan Getzlaf can’t buy a goal this season, but their forecheck created two critical turnovers on rookies that were turned into goals by Derick Brassard. Part of the process returned with the forecheck, although they still had lapses in the defensive zone. Ironically enough, it wasn’t a defensive zone lapse that led to the tying goal, but them’s the breaks sometimes.
When a team hits a slump like this, you kind of just hope points come. The Rangers are not as bad as that slump, but a team that doesn’t possess the puck strongly will be incredibly streaky. A win like this, one where the process started to improve, is one you can point to that may flip the page on their recent play. They forced turnovers with their forecheck, and while the defensive zone coverage needs work, forcing turnovers is their bread and butter. It worked.
The first period of last night’s game couldn’t have gone any better. The Rangers controlled the play, played okay defensively (there were a few breakdowns), and were able to come out of the period with a 3-1 lead. Then it all came crashing down in the second. The Rangers allowed four straight goals in the second, including two in a two minute span to allow the Caps to tie it. They never got it going after, and allowed six straight when all was said and done.
Before he was pulled, there wasn’t much Henrik Lundqvist could do though. Two goals were on the powerplay, and one other came from an unlucky timing play. In the game thread, I said this game could get ugly if the Rangers didn’t play well, and it got ugly fast. Magnus Hellberg got his first appearance as a Ranger, and was scored upon on the first two shots he faced: A breakaway and a turnover.