The special teams for the New York Rangers really bailed them out, as they notched a shorthanded goal and a powerplay goal en route to a 6-3 win over the Florida Panthers. The game was dominated by the Panthers at even strength, but it was on the back of those goals that the Rangers were able to build a lead early on. The relinquished that lead after some poor play, but got the game winner from Dan Boyle on a fluke goal.

Considering this game featured two of the best goalies in the game, that this game was as high scoring as it was surprised a few. The goalies were sharp, as the goals that beat them were unstoppable shots/deflections. Neither team played exceptionally well, as both are known for limiting prime scoring chances and neither did so this game.

For the Rangers, the score is not reflective of the game they played. They were completely dominated at evens by the Panthers, and if not for the special teams goals early, this could have been a different game. That said, they came away with a W, so it’s tough to complain.

On to the goals:

Panthers 1, Rangers 0

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Ryan McDonagh had an awful turnover, giving the puck to Brad Boyes. McDonagh then failed to block the ensuing shot from Aleksander Barkov, which Hank stopped, Boyes picked up the rebound behind the net, as Barkov went around the attempting-to-block-the-shot McDonagh. Boyes hit him in the slot for the easy goal. Doesn’t help that Dan Girardi coasted and didn’t pick up Barkov once he got by McDonagh.

Rangers 1, Panthers 1

Another Nash shorty. Damn he’s good.

Rangers 2, Panthers 1

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A powerplay goal for the second powerplay unit, which is a rarity nowadays. Mats Zuccarello collected the puck along the boards and got it to McDonagh at the point. Jussi Jokinen fell down as McD got the puck back down to Zucc in the same spot, as Kevin Hayes slid to the high slot. The passing lane was wide enough to drive an 18-wheeler through, and Hayes beat Lu.

Rangers 3, Panthers 1

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Carl Hagelin’s pressure forced the Panthers into a turnover at the blue line, as the puck riccocheted from the near point all the way down to the far corner. Jesper Fast chased it down and waited for the play to develop. He eventually found Marc Staal at the weak side point, who beat Lu up high after going off Bergenheim’s stick. Brass was in front for the screen.

Panthers 2, Rangers 3

Staal stuck his skate out to try to block the centering pass from Sean Bergenheim after Dan Boyle lost his stick (which was after Hayes and Chris Kreider failed to clear). The puck deflected off Staal’s skate, off the crossbar, and then Dave Bolland whacked it in. No picture on this one, sorry.

Panthers 3, Rangers 3

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A powerplay goal for the Panthers. Boyes got the puck low to Bolland. Staal had to move to cover Bolland at the goal line, leaving the back door open, because Kevin Klein was way too high on the PK. Bolland had the passing lane to Brandon Pirri wide open for the easy one-timer. The yellow lines represent where the puck goes, the red lines/boxes represent where players go on the play.

Rangers 4, Panthers 3

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Dan Boyle forced Jokinen into a turnover in the defensive zone along the boards. After grabbing the puck, he threw it at the net, and it went off Willie Mitchell’s stick and thru Lu.

Rangers 5, Panthers 3

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Kreider dumped the puck into the opposite corner as Zucc and Brass went in to chase. They came away with the puck as Zucc got the puck to Brass at the faceoff dot, who then got the puck to Kreider at the high slot for the shot. Zucc was ready for the rebound, completely uncontested. He roofed it over a sprawling Lu to seal it.

Rangers 6, Panthers 3

Nash empty netter, his 31st of the season. Nash made a good play to toss the puck ahead of him while using his strength to fight off the defender (Pirri) and then skate the puck into the net.

Fenwick Chart:

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Boy did the Rangers get dominated. Special teams really bailed them out in the first two periods, scoring a shorty and a PPG to keep it close. At evens, the Panthers dominated. The Rangers did pour it on in the third though, so that’s nice to see.

Scoring Chances:

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Another example of how the Rangers were dominated. It wasn’t just quantity, it was quality.

Individual Corsi:

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More of the same. Only one line was a positive CF this game: Hags-Brass-Fast. Not surprising, considering the makeup.

Shot Locations:

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More of the ugliness here. The Rangers allowed a lot of prime scoring opportunities to the Panthers throughout the game, which reflects what we see above in the SCF chart. The Rangers really were lucky to come out of this game with the win, they were dominated at evens.

Shift Chart (temporarily unavailable:

McDonagh/Girardi got the Bjugstad line, which isn’t surprising as it’s their top line. Staal and Klein got the Barkov/Huberdeau line, which is also unsurprising. It’s worth noting that Glass and Stempniak were the two Rangers with the least amount of shifts. Sorry about this being unavailable, but WordPress wouldn’t let me upload it.

As mentioned above, it’s tough to complain about a win, even if it was a bit sloppy. But they won, and now they have sole possession of third place in the Metro. This was a critical game for the Rangers, who were the only Metro team active last night. They won one of their games in hand, and that’s really all that matters.

Of course, they can’t play like this against good teams and still win games.

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