Game Wrap-ups

Goal breakdown: Rangers playoff bound after Captain Cally wins it in overtime

This was one wild game. The Rangers dominated the Canes –except for the overtime– and needed a lucky bounce in the third period just to tie the game and send it to overtime. After that, it took a bad angle shot on a backup goalie off his angle to seal the deal and send the Rangers to the playoffs. This team is now 9-3-1 in April, and while we’ve said the bounces would start going their way, and it happened quite literally tonight. On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Canes 0

Wide open in the slot.
Wide open in the slot.

Michael Del Zotto started this with an outlet pass from inside the Rangers zone to Ryan Callahan at the Canes’ blue line. Cally touch passed it to Carl Hagelin, who took it to the half boards and hit a streaking Derek Stepan at the high slot. Nicolas Blanchard was the one that Stepan beat down the middle to get that wide open.

Rangers 2, Canes 0

Zuccarello distracting in front, loose puck goes unnoticed.
Zuccarello distracting in front, loose puck goes unnoticed.

Mats Zuccarello, who did a great job playing the agitator in this game, drew the ire of the Canes by tussling with Jeff Skinner. The little tussle drew the attention of Marc-Andre Bergeron. As all this is going on, the Rangers gained the zone and eventually worked the puck to the left face off circle. Derick Brassard skated behind the net, where Jiri Tlusty let Brassard go. After the puck took a few funny bounces, and with Zuccarello still drawing the attention of Bergeron, Brassard was able to skate around the net and pick up the loose puck and bury it into the empty net.

Canes 1, Rangers 2

McDonagh in No Man's Land, leaving a two on one down low.
McDonagh in No Man’s Land, leaving a two on one down low.

With the Canes on the power play, Ryan McDonagh found himself in No Man’s Land as the Canes gained the zone. With Hagelin already pressuring Eric Staal on the entry, McDonagh attempted to pressure him as well. Staal simply dumped the puck laterally to Bergeron, and McDonagh’s misplay left Dan Girardi alone to cover both Tlusty and Skinner. After a nifty passing play, the puck was in the back of the net. Nothing Henrik Lundqvist could do.

Canes 2, Rangers 2

Four on one and the one wins.
Four on one and the one wins.

This goal is just baffling. The Rangers had Kevin Westgarth outnumbered on the boards by the Canes blue line by a four to one advantage. Inexplicably, Westgarth was able to move the puck up to Tuomo Ruutu, and the Canes had an easy two-on-one. Ruutu has a great shot, and this is another one where Hank had no chance. This goal begins and ends with that board battle that had Westgarth beat out four Rangers for the puck.

Canes 3, Rangers 2

Four deep, lucky bounce right to Eric Staal.
Four deep, lucky bounce right to Eric Staal.

Del Zotto made a nice pinch to keep the zone and take advantage of five Hurricanes deep, but his shot/pass to the middle took an unlucky bounce off Tlusty’s skate and right to Eric Staal. Staal and Tlusty came down two-on-one, with Staal getting the puck to Tlusty at the top of the circle. Tlusty teed it up and ripped it past Hank. No chance again.

Rangers 3, Canes 3

Bounces started going their way. Literally.
Bounces started going their way. Literally.

With the Rangers on the powerplay, they finally gain the zone and work the puck to Brad Richards for a shot from the point. The boards in Carolina are live, and the puck bounced off the boards right back out, and Dan Ellis actually kicked the puck in as he was resetting himself. Crazy bounce, but it’s about time the Rangers got one of those.

Rangers 4, Canes 3

That's a whole lotta net.
That’s a whole lotta net.

Ryan. Callahan. Playoffs.

They are in. It took them 47 of 48 games, but they are in. The Senators won, they are in. With the win, the Rangers moved to the #7 seed in the East, since the Islanders lost. The Rangers have the tie breaker on the Sens, so if the Sens lose their game in hand on the Rangers, then the Rangers get the #6 seed.

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  • Sloppy game. Not the type of defense you want to see going into the playoffs.

    Blowing a 2 goal lead against an inferior foe. Not good.

    After they were winning 2-0, they seemed to ease up on the throttle.

    I was listening to the Canes announcers since I live in FLoriduh and caught it on NHL Center Ice. During the first period, they were admiring Hank, then things certainly turned around. They were sickened by the Rangers late Power Play in the 3rd. There were several non calls especially against Nash, so perhaps this was a make up one.

    Irregardless, which I know is not a word, we got lucky.

    We dominated with shots in the 3rd period, and looked as though we were going to cling to a shootout, when Cally did his magic.

    I still want to have a better record than the Fish Stix.

    • They switched to a 1-3-1 after the second goal and only had one fore checker going in. Once they tied it up they switched back but lost the momentum.

  • I wasn’t able to watch the game tonight but after the first period I got a text that Zuke was doing his best Theo Fleury impression.

    So they are in the playoffs with a game to go. I’m sure they will sit Hank against the Devils. It sounds like he could use a breather at this point. I’m going to that game so I hope it’s not a complete bore!

  • Any word on Clowe?

    He took an elbow to the head; didn’t look serious, but then he could barely make it over the bench. He looked dazed.

    5 minutes later, during a tv timeout, he had to be helped across the ice to the tunnel.

    That’s a huge loss, and an unfortunate aspect of tonights otherwise exciting win.

  • Happy to be in the playoffs, but cant help but wonder about this squad. 2 losses in regulation to florida, pre and post trade deadline. PP got a lucky goal tonight, but continues to suck.

    Anyway, happy to be in the playoffs and seeing that everyone else is super mediocre in the east besides penguins gives me hope

    Just makes you wonder how well our team could be doing if we had a coach who actually coached offense and a PP. ‘

    Either way, no team wants to see us and hopefully staal returns. Likewise, nash needs to wake up as he sleep walked through the last 2 games.

    • Why would anyone vote down Evan’s post? I don’t think anything he said is controversial. Is Sullivan still coaching the power-play? Even General McClellan was fired faster by President Lincoln for failing to get his own high powered team going.

      Actually, that is a pretty good analogy: McClellan sitting with his powerful army around the periphery of Richmond, not having the skill or courage to go for it – like Nash, Richards, and Del Zotto passing the puck back and forth parallel to the blue line on the power play.

    • Evan – I look at offense in two ways. You have the skill set and creativity that these players have and then there’s the part that comes into coaching. I use the word manufacture. Are we doing the job on our forecheck to create scoring chances down low? Are we getting in the blue looking for the tips? Are our point shots getting through?

      But in terms of telling them what to do off the rush or where to take their shot, I have no right to even go near that because that is their god given ability! That is their creativity! Anticipation skills are huge for offensive players. You don’t want to get in the way or over coach that. With the team concept you talk about the manufacturing part of offense.”

      • yes i remember that torts quote and it is total horse sh*t. Yea i am assuming that teams like the penguins, canucks and blackhawks who dominate on the PP just let those guys go out and do whatever they want? No they coach a system. Notice how last night we finally scored on the PP cause richards unloaded a point shot? Why do we not do that more?

        haha and 4 dislikes. i said i am happy to be in the playoffs, everyone in the east is mediocre and no one wants to face us. Yea sounds about right that 4 of you would put me down for no reason.

        • Richards “unloading” is the right word: like a dump truck unloading a half-ton of manure. If one reviews the goals of his hat-trick, its not that they were lucky that is important – its that he shoots with the strength of a girl. Such weak shots; move along folks, nothing to see there.

  • Good to make the playoffs, but would have rather had a “statement game” instead of an overtime win. Team needs to play all 60 minutes like first 20. I just do not see the heart and killer instinct in this team this year.

  • Cally wins this for us, Hank almost lost this as well.

    We are starting from a clean slate, Hank, play up to your standards, we can do big time damage.

    If there is a hockey god, let the Pens be swept in 4!!!!!

  • KEEPING IT REAL…!!!! Am I glad we finally clinched playoff spot…YES…BUT…Would I feel completely different if we clinched vs Florida..YES…I said 2 weeks ago, that going down the stretch to get in, and then to be competitive once we are in, requires HANK to be the Vezina Goalie he was last year, and be our MVP…Problem is, he has not been that, and anything short of that, we will be out in 1st round….!!!!!

  • We’re in !! But as some unexpected glaring weaknesses in the past 2 games – hank has not played particularly well; and, the penalty killing has deflated the team. Seems like now we cant hold a lead — what up with that?
    Gotta buckle down; hit; clean out the crease; stop the odd-man rushes and play a low scoring type game that Hank wins for us. That’s our formula and we better stick to it. Go Rangers!!!!

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