Game Wrap-ups

Goal breakdown: Rangers leave Jersey with two big points in regulation

The Rangers came into this game riding the momentum of solid second and third periods on Monday night. I mentioned on Twitter that this was perfect timing for a back to back, as it gives the Rangers less time to forget what they did right. This was a complete 60 minute effort in a very entertaining contest. The biggest thing is that the Rangers came away with two points in regulation, and leapfrogged the Devils in the standings. On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Devils 0

Heckuva goal by MDZ there.
Heckuva goal by MDZ there.

After what can only be called a wild sequence –a sequence that included an Ilya Kovalchuk shot that got deflected, went off Henrik Lundqvist’s stick, hit the post, and bounced away– the Rangers cleared the zone while on the kill. Johan Hedberg went to play the puck at the half-boards to try and limit the amount of time killed off, but was trapped by a forechecking Derek Stepan, who stole halted Hedberg’s play just enough that he had to retreat back to the net. Stepan worked the puck to the corner, and threw the puck to the front of the net in the air, where Michael Del Zotto was wide open due to bad backchecking. MDZ made a fantastic play to bat it out of the air and into the net.

Devils 1, Rangers 1

Two unlucky bounces = goal.
Two unlucky bounces = goal.

The Devils won a face off clean on the powerplay, and Ilya Kovalchuk wound up with the puck initially. He drops to Peter Harrold, who rips a shot from the point. The shot deflects off Cally to Zajac, who takes a shot that he flubs. The puck goes to MDZ, who attempts to clear the puck from the middle by kicking it, but it goes right back to Zajac, who fired it past Hank. The Devils got two lucky bounces, although some will point to Del Zotto’s kick as a bad play (it wasn’t good, but you could see what he was trying to do).

Rangers 2, Devils 1

Gotta cover the backdoor.
Gotta cover the backdoor.

The Rangers had a great cycle, and eventually work the puck to Dan Girardi at the point with about 30 feet of room on either side. Girardi spotted Carl Hagelin uncovered at back door, but instead of firing a pass, which likely would have been picked off, Girardi took a perfect “shot pass” off the end boards right to Hagelin for the easy tap-in. The Devils blew the coverage, as Hagelin should not have been that open at the back door. Both of the Devils’ defensemen went to Stepan in front, and neglected to find Hagelin (or Ryan Callahan, who was behind the net).

Devils 2, Rangers 2

Another unlucky bounce here.
Another unlucky bounce here.

Right after Rangers scored their second goal, the Devils fourth line created a good cycle on the next shift. Anton Volchenkov ripped a shot from the point that was going wide on the short side, but the puck hit Roman Hamrlik, and it wound up redirecting under Lundqvist’s glove for the goal. This one was just bad luck as well.

Rangers 3, Devils 2

All 5 Devils by the bench.
All 5 Devils by the bench.

These two teams went back and forth trading chances and phantom penalties for a good portion of this period. The Rangers got the puck deep in the Devils zone, and the Devils eventually cleared the zone, but made the mistake of not getting it deep in the Rangers zone. Del Zotto took the puck, and noticed the Devils were changing. MDZ fired a pass to Nash, who was cutting to the far boards, also recognizing the change. Nash broke in with Brad Richards on a 2-on-1, and beat Hedberg far side.

Depending on the outcome of the rest of the games tonight, the Rangers could sit in a three-way tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference, with a game in hand on each team they are tied with. This was a huge win, especially considering they got it in regulation and prevented the Devils from getting a point. Another great thing is that this was a complete effort for all 60 minutes. Let’s hope this isn’t a flash in the pan, and a sign of more consistent hockey to come.

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  1. How about Boyle being in no mans land on that first Devils goal? MDZ kicked the puck because his stick was tied up. Bet MDZ haters didn’t bring that up.

    Good win!

  2. Best performance for the full 60 in a long time. Gabi and Richards might not be scoring but they’re workin their asses off to make plays.

  3. Really great hockey game just in general. Very good goaltending on both sides as well. Hedberg and Henrik both made some outstanding saves.

    Also liked that there were no goons taking part in this on both sides. Sure the Rangers dressed Haley who would drop the mitts if challenged, and the Devils have Krys Barch who will do the same, but both sides didn’t have their usual goons over the years take part in some staged fights. Made the game flow so much better and the game overall more appealing IMO.

    1. I have actually been very impressed with Haley. Admittedly, I didn’t watch much of him while he was with the Isles and I thought he was just a pure goon. He can actually play some hockey and has helped fill in some of what we lost with Prust.

        1. I agree, I was just pointing out that I thought the guy was a talentless goon and have been pleasantly surprised.

          Ps what the hell is wrong with Asham anyway? 14 straight games missed with “back spasms”?

  4. Nash has shown the flash that we expected when we traded for him. The goal last night, made me think of Mess, and I just hope that this guys catches fire now for he stretch run.

    I read this morning that Chris Kreider is doing great. He is being put in situations that have been very benefical to him. He is being used on the PK, and has scored some three short handed goals. If this continues, we should see him before season’s end, and maybe he can make his contribution for the stretch run.

    The only negitive about last night’s game, it wasn’t against the Pillsbury dough boy!!!!

  5. Also remember Hedburg stood on his head quite a bit too, committed some robbery. Unlucky bounces and good goal tending happen, but this could have easily been a 4-0, 5-0 game.

    Now it wasn’t of course, but you have to like how they played most of the game. Hoping for the consistency tomorrow night…and maybe more pucks on net during glorious chances.

  6. So 2 wins in a row is the magic number when things get quiet around here? 40+ comments after losses and the Carolina game, 14 including this one and half of them are Dave’s replies.

    To be fair, I guess the site was down yesterday so maybe folks didn’t try after the game when it was up.

    By the way, good to have you guys back!

    1. Great win! Even more so because it was against the Devils. I only wish Brodeur was in net!

      1. Yeah, it was good to see them step up against them. Now let’s hope they can get themselves up for teams that are hated less!

        Definitely room for improvement, but the play is much better.

  7. I love it they complain when you complain And they complain when you dont. Gotta love it.

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