Game Wrap-ups

Kreider, Stempniak lead comeback over Arizona

The New York Rangers scared everyone a bit, but managed to score three unanswered goals in the final two periods en route to a 4-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes. The Rangers surrendered two powerplay goals to Sam Gagner late in the first period, which gave the Yotes a 3-1 lead heading into the break. After that, Lee Stempniak scored twice and Chris Kreider scored his second of the game to give the Rangers the win.

Mike Smith had a very strong first period, robbing both Tanner Glass and J.T. Miller, and at that point –coupled with the Gagner goals– you thought this would be a wasted opportunity for the Rangers. But it was not so. The Rangers rallied from behind –like they seem to do a lot this season– and ensured that they came away with the two points.

Cam Talbot was solid in net, although he did allow a bad goal, stopping 37 of 40 Arizona shots that a porous Rangers defense allowed. Let’s remember that the game itself wasn’t pretty, and the Rangers really didn’t play┬ásolid defense all game. They gave up a ton of quality scoring chances to a team that really doesn’t generate offense. But a win is a win.

On to the goals:

Yotes 1, Rangers 0

Not much Klein or Talbot could do here.
Not much Klein or Talbot could do here.

Rick Nash didn’t see Mark Arcobello coming off the bench, which allowed David Moss to hit him entering the zone. Arcobello got Talbot moving from left to right, then shot back the other direction, under his blocker, for the first goal.

Rangers 1, Yotes 1

Ryan McDonagh led the rush on this beauty of a powerplay goal, dropping the puck to Mats Zuccarello at the red line. Zucc gained the zone, then dropped to Dan Boyle at the point. Boyle got the puck back to Zucc along the boards, who one-touched it to Kevin Hayes at the top of the circle for a mini 2-on-1 with Kreider. Hayes made the defenseman commit, then slid the puck around him to Kreider who beat Smith.

Yotes 2, Rangers 1

Bad angle, no challenge from Talbot. Ugh.
Bad angle, no challenge from Talbot. Ugh.

I know this is a 5-on-3 goal, but Talbot needs to stop this one from Sam Gagner.

Yotes 3, Rangers 1

Guess no one wanted to cover Gagner here.
Guess no one wanted to cover Gagner here.

Mark Stone’s pass, while on the 5-on-4 from the above goal, deflected off Hayes’ skate right to Gagner in the slot. Gagner had time to kick the puck to his forehand, turn, and shoot before someone got to him. Can’t really blame Talbot on this one.

Rangers 2, Yotes 3

Gagner turned the puck over to John Moore at the top of the circle. Moore quickly shot the puck, which Lee Stempniak deflected past Smith.

Rangers 3, Yotes 3

Yea, he gone.
Yea, he gone.

5 mishandled the puck at the blue line following an Antoine Vermette faceoff win, and Kreider was off to the races. Only two people can catch him in this league, one plays for the Rangers, and the other is Erik Karlsson. Kreider got his own rebound following Smith’s save and tied the game.

Rangers 4, Yotes 3

Hockey 101: Don't leave someone this open in front.
Hockey 101: Don’t leave someone this open in front.

Hayes won the offensive zone faceoff, and after a few shot attempts and a few seconds of Arizona running around, Hayes wound up with the puck in the high slot. He turned and got the puck in front to Stempniak who had absolutely no one near him. Stemp had two attempts to get the puck by Smith for the winner.

USAT/Fenwick Chart

Pretty even in terms of quantity.
Pretty even in terms of quantity.

This game was a lot closer than it should have been. Arizona isn’t a good team this year and they are already preparing for the Conor McJesus lottery. This was certainly a high event game though, with lots of shot attempts from both teams (over 50 each) at even strength.

Scoring Chances

Arizona had more quality chances.
Arizona had more quality chances.

This tells a much different story than USAT/FF. The Yotes had much higher quality chances, as the Rangers decided to take a day off from playing defense. Guess they figured they played tight once against Calgary and didn’t need to again last night. They lucked out here.

Individual  SAT/Corsi

nyr ari cf copy
What a game for the fourth line.

The fourth line had a very, very strong game. Yes, that includes Tanner Glass, who almost scored early on. It was the best game I’ve seen the fourth line play –when Tanner Glass is on the line– all season.

Shot Locations

nyr ari shots
The Rangers usually don’t allow this many shot attempts from the slot area.

This shows what we see above: The Rangers didn’t play well defensively and allowed a lot of shots from high quality areas. Better teams beat them in this game.

Shift Locations

nyr ari shifts
Normal AV shifts here.

Typical Alain Vigneault matchups here, with McDonagh and Girardi getting the Doan/Vermette line. There’s not much else to matchup on from the Yotes though.

Well, the Rangers are in first place for now, and have gone 27-6-2 in their last 35 games. That’s really good. Superb even. Not many teams will be able to keep pace when you get 56 of 70 possible points. There’s still 20 games left in the season, so a lot can happen. But if you told me the Rangers would lose once in regulation in three weeks without Henrik Lundqvist, I would’ve slapped you.

Sometimes, you just gotta find ways to win. That’s something this team has done all year.

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  • That pass from Hayes to Kreider was just beautiful.

    For a while last night Smith looked like a wall, and no one was putting anything past him. Once Kreider scores, then J Moore’s shot, that deflected by Stemp goes in, I started to feel a bit better. That second Stemp goal also very pretty, but the truth be known, the dogs should never have been ahead from the start the way they were. So be it, we win, Kreider gets two, Stemp gets two, and I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but Glass even played a decent game. Now let’s kick the snot out of Filthadelphia this week-end, and eliminate them from the PO contention !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • TG a plus player for a game .. Hags didn;t play well tonight also Boyle and the rest of the D men . One more game to play and then we see what team we take into the PO Just hope TG dosen’t somehow score a goal against Phila and stat in the line up when Fast gets back . Stepniak was on for Miller on the shift he scored the Winner. He can play some O when paired with O players .What do we do in the next 3 days .If we pick up someone with over 2M we need to lose a roster player . Can’t we just do a little magic like TO did yesterday , think that was a good move for each team . At least Columbus gets a player they can play in Clarkson seems Hortons contract even being LTR they still were paying him his contract was not insured . TO can afford to pay it . We should have done that with TG .We could afford that also , didn;t think you could something like that. Trade TG to Boston for Marc Savard Win Win Win.Wish it was Monday already and Zucc /Miller /Hags are still hear

  • Didn’t they say before the game that a flu bug was going thru the defense? Maybe that explains some of the bonehead plays they made last night. Talbot made some nice saves, but I don’t agree he was solid last night. He looked shaky to me; and not just on the first goal. He seems to have problems picking up the long shots. He did a lot of flopping last night, and seemed to be guessing on a lot of the shots. But hes the backup, right? You expect that. And whats better: they find a way to win! That’s all you can ask for right now. They ain’t gonna be pretty! Just win your home games, and hope for the best on the road.

  • Thought Hayes Kreider J Moore all played well last night . Hope they keep J Moore pass Monday . He is no worst than G and Staal right in giving up the puck . Not a great game by the D but take the win and run with it .Would you rather keep Hayes at Center or put him on wing next year. Talbot looks like he could use some contacts for the long shots . He dosen’t seem to pick them up well just saying .
    Who stays and who goes from this group. And you know Slats will make a signing or two over the summer . Think you let Duclair and Buch start in Hartford . Don’t know if they resign Stepniak on the cheep . And can they fit MSL /Zucc /Hags /Stepan /J Moore all under the cap. Interresting summer coming up a lot will depend on the SCP and if we win it all or not

  • I wonder if anybody noticed, but on the game winner, Stempniak was the one that sneakily pulled the stick from Smith while tangled with a d-man, and the puck finds him a split second later. Veteran play there.

  • It may be that NHL goaltenders stop the second goal more often than not, but Shane Doan’s presence uncovered on the doorstep makes it a bit more complicated than just stopping Gagner. Perhaps Hank is better at trusting Staal to prevent a pass and focusing, but it’s not an easy task.

  • Trade Rumor – I keep seeing the Avs Jan Hejda name associated with the Rangers. Anyone have insight on him?

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