Game Wrap-ups

Rangers Beat Bruins: Recap

Game day started well for the Rangers as Michael Del Zotto and Ruslan Fedotenko were both restored to the line-up to face the Bruins in the nationally televised matinee. Following that good news was a dandy of a match between two quality clubs. The Rangers were outplayed for two periods but stuck with it, refused to buckle and have a certain goaltender from Sweden in net. The Rangers won 4-3 on the back of Lundqvist, an ability to respond to adversity and being the proud owners of a quality penalty kill. 12 point lead on Boston? That will do nicely. On to the notes.

First Period

  • The Rangers started the game on fire; forcing numerous turnovers by the Bruins thanks to a relentless fore-check, their ability to win battles and because they were engaged physically. The Rangers looked to get to the net and that willingness would soon be rewarded.
  • The Rangers beginning could be summed up by one player: Brandon Dubinsky. He was clearly motivated, drew a penalty on Zdeno Chara because he looked to take the big Bruin on physically and crashed the net which helped with the Rangers second goal.
  • The good and the bad of Anton Stralman: Stralman scored the first Rangers goal (even though it looked to come off Fedotenko) following a rare turnover from Chara. After good pressure by the Rangers and a timely pinch by Stralman he threw the puck on net and beat a screened Thomas. Bad Stralman? Poor decision to toss the puck up the middle on the Bruins goal (hockey basics – down the boards when clearing), the turnover occurred right in front of Lundqvist and Pouliot scored on a quick shot which Lundqvist had no chance on.
  • The Rangers second goal was hockey 101. Hagelin’s speed allowed him to get the puck, Dubinsky’s willingness to crash the net caused havoc in front and Hagelin simply getting the puck on net resulted in the puck being deflected past Thomas.
  • It was a fast and furious first period for the most part with three fights. Despite the three fights it wasn’t a nasty game at this point. That said, if you offer the Rangers a trade-off of Lucic and Prust going off the ice for five they’d take it every time. Despite that, Prust shouldn’t be going at it with the much bigger, stronger Lucic.
  • Following the Boston timeout, goal and subsequent Lucic fight, the Bruins clearly carried the play for several minutes and had serious momentum. They dominated along the boards, had the Rangers penned in for long periods and peppered a very busy Lundqvist.
  • The Bruins were willing to shoot from everywhere during the first. Lots of point shots, lots of traffic in front and a simple ‘get it to the net’ attitude. Lundqvist – who had no chance on the Bruins goal – had to be very sharp, particularly in the middle of the period.
  • You want development? Del Zotto was shown on the bench listening to advice from Staal. Clearly the kid is listening, willing to take on advice. A few minutes later Del Zotto made a great read and pinch to keep the puck in the Bruins zone (a rare occurrence as the period progressed). Del Zotto, all season, has shown improved decision making ability.
  • Hockey rarity: thanks to a Brian Rolston slap shot on the Bruins PP late in the first, the period ended early and the time was tacked on to the second allowing MSG staff to fix a broken pane of glass. 2:53 was left in the period when the teams went to the intermission.

Second Period

  •  How not to set the tone for a period: an awful turnover by Dan Girardi led to the Bruins’ game tying goal. First he passed the puck up through center ice as he didn’t see Jordan Caron circling, then he went down to his knees and maybe screened Lundqvist on Caron’s shot that beat the Swede short side. Unfortunately the goal was nothing less than the Bruins dominance deserved.
  • A rare trip in to the Bruins end saw great pressure by the Rangers fourth line mid way in the second period.
  • The Bruins were flat out dominating the entire period, were a step quicker than the Rangers and controlled the boards with ease.
  • Perhaps the only highlight of the second period from a Rangers point of view was the big hit by Girardi that flattened Lucic.
  • The penalty kill, led by Lundqvist (of course) continues to be solid, harassing the puck carrier, clearing the zone and more often than not, giving Lundqvist enough sight of the puck.
  • At one stage the Bruins were shooting from both sides and each time they missed the net, gathered their own shots along the boards, setting up for the same play time and again. They repeated it for over a minute in what seemed like a powerplay. It wasn’t.
  • That said, the second period seemed like one long, twenty minute powerplay for the Bruins. They dominated the Rangers in every facet and had the Rangers on their heels throughout.
  • While Lundqvist was busy and able to stop everything bar the early game-tying goal, he did seem to be fighting the puck a little, giving up quite a few rebounds. A result of the Bruins pressure around the net?

Third Period

  • Third period saw Tortorella shake the lines up, as a result of the tilted play in the first two. Gaborik started with Hagelin and Richards at center.
  • The Rangers, essentially out of nothing, scored to re-take the lead early in the period. Why? Because Dennis Seidenberg made a bad decision. Having failed to keep the puck in the Rangers zone Seidenberg’s error gave the Rangers a three on one the other way. While Gaborik saw his initial shot saved by Thomas the puck eventually came back to him at the left post and he banked it in. Opportunistic play by the Blueshirts.
  • Up until his goal Gaborik was pretty invisible but goal scorers score goals and he didn’t give up on the play despite seeing his initial shot on the breakaway denied by Thomas. He made sure he was around the net and got rewarded. Gaborik was far more active after his goal and looked dangerous.
  • Small things: You know Dubinsky is playing well when he looks to shoot.  Six minutes in, he broke in and patiently waited for a chance to shoot which Thomas stopped. So often this year, Dubinsky would make the wrong decision and pass up the shot.
  • Shortly after the Gaborik goal Lundqvist made a huge stop on a Bruins breakaway. Another clutch stop by the 2012 Vezina winner.
  • With the game now end to end, Stepan had a great chance following some slick stick handling out in front but Thomas was equal to it.
  • The Rangers were much better in the third at getting the puck in deep, applying pressure and not allowing the Bruins to build much momentum. Unfortunately the Bruins scored a nifty goal to tie it up. Seguin caught Hagelin off balance, blasted past him to set up a three on two. Seguin gave it off to Lucic who set up Krecji who finished off the move. Nothing Lundqvist could do on the goal.
  • You want a great response to a goal? One of your own. Following patient play by Del Zotto down the left boards Stepan roofed one top right corner over Thomas. Nice pass from Del Zotto, great shot. The Rangers have scored a few similar goals in recent games (think: Dubinsky in Carolina, Anisimov a few games earlier)
  • Not a rookie: Carl Hagelin has a chance to shoot at the empty net as Thomas was pulled but patiently waited until he got over half way to avoid a potential icing. Clever play from the young Swede.
  • Cheap shot Artist. Milan Lucic never fails to disappoint. As time expired he tried to blindside Ryan McDonagh in to the boards behind Lundqvist. Naturally, McDonagh took exception to the hit so Lucic sucker punches the blueliner twice in the face. If the league had any sense of justice Lucic would get a game for his actions. Tortorella had to restrain John Scott at the end which was probably the right thing to do. Take the points, move on.

Random Thoughts:

  • The fourth line was pretty effective even if it was slower than a glacier.
  • Lundqvist was good throughout but got better as the game progressed, particularly with his rebound control
  • No complaints on the refereeing today. The delay of game was the right call.
  • This team refuses to give in even when it’s being dominated. Stacked with character and determination.
  • Carl Hagelin is going to be a star [I state the obvious]
  • Who fancies a President’s trophy?

My Three Stars

  • Henrik Lundqvist
  • Jordan Caron
  • Michael Del Zotto
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  • Boyle’s intensity from the bench after the post-game Lucic incident was nice to see from the big guy.

    • absolutely. It also serves as a great example how close knit this team is. Boyle was mad because one of his team mates was hit from behind.

      I thought Torts did the right thing with restraining Scott who wanted a piece of Chara. No need to let it get ugly and provide extra spice for future matchups when you’ve just worked hard to win 2 points.

        • I didn’t see it but heard it mentioned. I assume he was on the ice, near the bench – or on the bench – because surely if Torts had to go on the ice to restrain him the cameras would have picked up on that and shown it.

          • Definitely not worth leaving the bench over and getting a fine/suspension. Good call by Torts.

  • Starting to hate hearing that Lundy had no chance on a shot. Isnt that how great saves are made????

    • when your defense commit a turnover right in front of you and you have less than a split second to react, I think it’s a fair assumption you’ve no chance on some shots…

      • i don’t even know anymore. i saw that crazy pavelec glove save from the flyers game a week or so ago. no save is impossible for hank if he is on or near the crease ..

  • 12 point lead on the Bruins, solid game when it counted, nice goal by Gabby!

    We get another shot at Chara, and Lucic soon enough. Scott can have at it with Tonto Lucic, big man isn’t he, going after Prust? Prust showed again that he has cast iron gonads standing up to that ugly bast*rd!!!!

    The games outcome was great, but man we were out played for long stretches of the game, and I was getting worried there for our guys. Boston has some big cats on that team, and they will be tough in the play-offs for any team. To be honest with you, I really don’t want any part of them in any seven game series.

    • I’ll be honest, as great as the result was and the the determination this team shows, I worry about the potential of a long playoff run if we go through too many games being dominated like we were today.
      That said, we scored 4 goals on a very deep, big and talented Bruins team and never trailed despite not having the puck.

      And yes Walt… Brandon ‘its just pain’ Prust has massive balls… it seems!

      • I agree. I would love to see a stretch of games where we look dominating. We might have a stranglehold on the east right now but we aren’t exactly blowing anyone out of the water. I keep thinking back to 94 (I know that might be unfair to compare the two ranger squads but that’s the last time we won the presidents trophy) when we completely destroyed the islanders in the first round. I just don’t see this Ranger team taking that next step that elite teams take. That being said, I realize this wasn’t supposed to be the year this team takes a run at e cup so I should be happy with whatever they give us.

    • call me crazy but I would like to see a rangers-bruins series. just because the games are always so good between the two.

      I’m feeling pretty zen about the current team. it may not have a team-of-destiny thing going on and it may not win the president’s trophy and it may not even – gasp! – win the east in the end as hard as that may be to imagine, who knows, but it is a team that can beat any other one in the league in a 7 game series. and i can’t remember the last time i could say that.


  • I watched the game and you mentio Dibinsky playing well, you sure that we’re not watching a VCR of dome other game. He made at least 4 defensive end turnovers/misclears. The play for the goal was 110 percent Hagelin. If you look at the pass you see Dubinsky lunging at air and possibly closing his eyes as the snow shoots up. Dubinsky should be a healthy scratch once Cally is back.

  • Based on the comments above, we Ranger fans “climb a wall of worry, don’t we? Yet despite our kvetching, the boys just keep churning out gutty wins, and remain atop the East.

  • With three fights in the game – home come Scott did not have one? I was looking forward to it. Does he have a wrist problem? Saw the tape on his wrist.

    • Sometimes it comes down to no one accepting the fights (not wanting to fight Scott), sometimes it’s just timing. After the third fight, neither team probably wanted to get involved in one as it was a tight game.

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