Category: Playoffs

Rangers take 2-1 series lead on Lundqvist’s 31 saves

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Rangers followed up their dud in Game Two with a convincing 4-1 win in Philly last night to take a 2-1 series lead. The win was a complete team effort with great goaltending, solid defense, and balanced offense. But don’t be fooled by the score, Philly controlled most of this game, generating a 65.2% Corsi advantage for the game (score effects). Good teams find ways to win games in which they are dominated, and the Rangers did just that by taking advantage of some terrible goaltending.

Martin St. Louis (1-1-2), Dan Girardi (1-1-2), and Rick Nash (0-2-2) all had multi-point games. Dan Carcillo played the best game I’ve ever seen him play in his entire career. Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves, including some very difficult saves late.

On to the goals:

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Metro Division Semis Game 3: Rangers at Flyers

(Photo: Adam Hunger/USA Today)

(Photo: Adam Hunger/USA Today)

The Rangers took Game One in relatively dominating fashion on Thursday night, but followed that up by blowing a two goal lead and giving up four straight goals to the Flyers.The Rangers were a better team on the road this year than at home, so let’s hope that translates into playoff wins.

They will need to weather the early storm that every road team must, but once For a complete preview of this series, including the systems Craig Berube has the Flyers playing, check out this post by Suit. Justin wrote a post on Steve Mason’s goaltending style, but until he’s in net, it’ll be Ray Emery in net.

Rangers Lines:

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Steve Mason won’t play in Game Three

Per Sarah Baicker, Flyers goalie Steve Mason will not be dressing for Game Three. Mason has missed the first two games of the series, in which Ray Emery started. Emery is sporting a .913 SV% in the two starts this series.

Rangers blow 2-0 lead, Flyers even series

This was a really bad play. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

This was a really bad play. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

The Rangers got out to a quick start yesterday afternoon, quickly nabbing a two goal lead early in the first period. But it was the Flyers who took advantage of three Ranger defensive miscues to eventually win the game by a score of 4-2. Ray Emery kept the Flyers in it, making 31 saves on 33 shots, but it was two blown coverages and a flat-footed defenseman that eventually cost the Rangers a chance at a 2-0 series lead.

Before the Flyers took the 3-2 lead, the game was pretty evenly matched in terms of puck possession. The Rangers held a lead just 1 Fenwick event in the game when Luke Schenn scored the eventual game winner. After that, the Flyers sat back a bit, and the Rangers poured it on, but couldn’t solve Emery. It certainly wasn’t the strongest game the Rangers have played, but that’s why it’s a seven game series.

On to the goals:

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Metro Division Semis Game 2: Flyers at Rangers

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Rangers took Game One in relatively dominating fashion on Thursday night, and look for a 2-0 series lead this afternoon at The Garden. Steve Mason is still out for the Flyers, so Ray Emery will be in net. For a complete preview of this series, including the systems Craig Berube has the Flyers playing, check out this post by Suit. Justin wrote a post on Steve Mason’s goaltending style, but until he’s in net, it’ll be Emery, who showed why he’s the backup on Thursday.

The Rangers will be without Chris Kreider again tonight, but Jesper Fast has filled in nicely, finding chemistry with Carl Hagelin and Brad Richards on the Rangers second line. The Rangers will need to stay disciplined, as the Flyers will try to goad them into penalties and/or unnecessary fights. Stay calm and cool, and put shots on Emery, and they will head to Philly with a 2-0 series lead.

Rangers Lines:

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Steve Mason still out, Emery to start Game Two for Flyers

Flyers starting goalie Steve Mason will not play tomorrow afternoon, meaning Ray Emery will get the start for the pivotal Game Two, per Sarah Baicker. Emery stopped 32 of 36 Ranger shots in Game One, but looked shaky and left some big rebounds that were converted to goals by the Rangers. As long as Emery starts, the Rangers need to take advantage.

The Rangers’ ‘big three’ coming to the fore at the right time?

Brad Richards is trying to make Glen Sather's decision a tough one

Brad Richards is trying to make Glen Sather’s decision a tough one

The signs were there at the end of the regular season as Martin St. Louis began to look like the player the Rangers hoped they had acquired. It continued on Thursday night. St. Louis, while not registering a shot, was engaged, around the puck and around the net all night long and came up with two huge assists as the Rangers put down the Flyers 4-1.

Brad Richards may have played his best ever game for the Rangers Thursday night. The veteran center had a huge powerplay goal, two crucial assists, playing an energetic game while being physically and defensively committed all night long. He was there when it mattered.

Then there’s Rick Nash. Nash looked to test Ray Emery at every opportunity (given he was shaky to begin, it was the right thing to do) and as the game developed Nash looked to go to the net with more frequency and could have scored as he cut to the net from the left. Nash also got an assist, as reward for his consistent performance on the night. If Nash drives to the net with more regularity the Rangers will be that much more dangerous.

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Rangers take Game One over Flyers with dominating performance

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The Rangers and Flyers met in the playoffs for the first time since 1997, and the Rangers drew first blood. New York scored three goals in the third period en route to their 4-1 win at MSG. Brad Richards had a fantastic night, notching a goal and two assists. Martin St. Louis had two assists. Carl Hagelin scored a goal and drew a four-minute high sticking penalty that the Rangers scored twice on. The fourth line did their thing, playing solid defense and stifling Claude Giroux and the high-powered Flyers offense.

Henrik Lundqvist was forced to make only 14 saves, with just one of those coming in the third period. The Rangers absolutely dominated the game, and Hank just had to sit back and make the saves when he had to. If the Rangers continue to play like this, it will be a short series.

On to the goals:

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Metro Division Semis Game 1: Flyers at Rangers

Photo: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Photo: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff hockey is upon us. The Rangers and Flyers will see each other in the playoffs for the first time since the Legion of Doom bowled over the Rangers in 1997. For a complete preview of this series, including the systems Craig Berube has the Flyers playing, check out this post by Suit. Justin wrote a post on Steve Mason’s goaltending style, but he’s not playing tonight for the Flyers. Instead the Rangers will get Ray Emery, which gives the Blueshirts an even larger edge in net.

The Rangers will be without Chris Kreider for the duration of the series, but Ryan McDonagh will make his return to the lineup after dealing with a shoulder issue that cost him the final five games of the season. Jesper Fast will skate for Kreider, and after a bit of a scare, Derick Brassard will indeed be in the lineup.

Rangers Lines:

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The Rangers will be a dangerous team in the playoffs

Photo: LoHud

Photo: LoHud

The title and story sounds familiar. The Rangers will be a dangerous team in the playoffs. The usual reason is because Henrik Lundqvist can steal a series, something he’s done multiple times in the past. But the Washington Capitals are not in the playoffs this year, so there needs to be a different narrative. This year’s team  looks different. This team is one of the hottest in the league heading into the playoffs. This year, the #fancystats put them up there with the best.

Puck possession and PDO (SV%+SH%) are two stats we use regularly around here. It’s been proven many, many times that teams that drive puck possession are teams that are successful. Teams with a high PDO (over 100) generally were “more lucky” and have abnormally high SH% or SV% (or both). Teams that rode those to the playoffs generally fizzle out early, as the luck runs out and their SH%/SV% regress to the mean. This may seem complicated and a bit of an abstract concept, but Exhibit A is the 2011-2012 LA Kings. Exhibit B is the 2013-2014 Toronto Maple Leafs, who didn’t even make the playoffs.

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