Game Wrap-ups

Talbot steals one over Florida as Hunwick, Sheppard net first goals as Rangers

The New York Rangers didn’t play their best game last night. They didn’t play their prettiest game last night. They looked like a team that was on the second of a back-to-back after a tough run against five playoff teams. But yet, they still found a way to beat the Florida Panthers in regulation by a score of 2-1. Cam Talbot was the story of this game, again, making a whopping 38 saves in the win.

While Talbot was sensational, it wasn’t all goaltending for the Rangers. The fourth line of James Sheppard-Dominic Moore-Jesper Fast carried the Blueshirts, scoring both goals and doing a fantastic job in the defensive end. Rick Nash did Rick Nash things in the first period, but it was the fourth line, without Tanner Glass, that scored twice and –along with Talbot– won the game for the Rangers.

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Panthers 0

Get the puck to the point, cut to the net.
Get the puck to the point, cut to the net.

The fourth line did their grinding here, and Sheppard made a good play to get the puck from behind the net to the point and then go to the net. Matt Hunwick’s shot deflected off Moore and right to Sheppard, who scored for his first goal as a Ranger.

Rangers 2, Panthers 0

Derek MacKenzie was slow to Fast on this play.
Derek MacKenzie was slow to Fast on this play.

The fourth line was at it again, this time retaining possession on the zone entry, and using their solid board work to move the puck around. The puck got to Ryan McDonagh, who pinched and took a hit to keep the zone. Fast and Moore went to work low, and after moving the puck from behind the net to Moore, Fast cut to the net. Moore found Hunwick at the mid-point, wide open, who ripped the shot through the Fast screen for his first as a Ranger.

Panthers 1, Rangers 2

Lots of people in front, but bad angle.
Lots of people in front, but bad angle.

I’d consider this to be a bad goal by Talbot. Brandon Pirri kicked the puck to his stick at a bad angle –following a faceoff win– and beat a surprised Talbot. Talbot was slow to react due to the screen.

Unblocked Shot Attempts (USAT)/Fenwick Chart:

Runaway for the Panthers.
Runaway for the Panthers.

The Panthers doubled up on the Rangers in terms of shot attempts. Team defense –in terms of shot blocks– and Cam Talbot kept this game in the Rangers’ favor though. Usually a lopsided chart like this means a win for the Panthers, but Super-Cam was here to save the day.

Scoring Chances:

Another runaway for the Panthers.
Another runaway for the Panthers.

The Panthers also doubled up on the Rangers in quality scoring chances, which makes sense since there was such a huge gap in shot attempts, you expect there to be a huge gap in quality chances too.

Shot Attempts (SAT)/Corsi Chart (Individuals):


This is pretty expected, with all of the Rangers in the negatives individually.

Shot Locations:

Also expected.
Also expected.

When you give up 80+ shot attempts, you’re going to see a chart like this one. This isn’t surprising.

Shift Chart:

Typical Alain Vigneault chart here.

This is normal Vigneault for you, with Girardi/McDonagh getting the tough matchups.

It wasn’t all positive last night. Martin St. Louis left the game in the third period with a right knee injury. There has been no update as of yet.

The Rnagers have now allowed one goal or fewer in their past five games and six of the past seven. Team defense and –more importantly– goaltending have been huge while the offense dries up a bit. The Rangers are now five points up on the Islanders with 95 points, and still have three games in hand. They are also two points up on Montreal with a game in hand for the Presidents Trophy (two games in hand on Nashville/Anaheim with same point spread). The Rangers just keep on winning.

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  • Maybe we found a new scoring line with our fourth line, how good is that???????

    Talbot was on his head last night, we couldn’t have dreamed this when Hank went down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • ….and I’m sure AV can’t wait to get Glass back in for Shep to add to that 4th line scoring punch and chemistry. 😉

      • Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure he will work Glass back into the line up. At this point, it seems like a matter of pride by the coach to stick to his man. I appreciate the loyalty, but it’s gotten beyond ridiculous at this point.

  • Even though I really like Lunquest,it’s to bad we didn’t see how good Talbot was before we gave Hank a prolonged kings ransom contract. Cams going to make some serious bucks next year wherever he ends up!

    • Talbot is on the Rangers next year. Contract is $1.6MM or thereabouts. If he keeps this up, he may play himself into being traded to someone who needs a starter…

  • Why worry about next year? This team has a chance to rewrite the team record book for wins and points. Enjoy it!!!!

  • This could easily have been that “trap game” that we came home and let down our guard at. Well, at least the 4th line and Cam didn’t. The more I watch Steppan, the more I question his value.

    Kreider was playing tough, but I can see that dirty streak in his game. Refs can too.

    Think MSL finally sits a game, but his replacement is T.Glass.

    They are playing like a team on a mission. Didn’t think J.Fast was as valuable as asset as he has become. Where would we be without Hayes/JT/Fast an Cam?

  • James Sheppard is a very good hockey player and he needs to play every night. Talbot was superb & let’s give Hunwick some love because he’s been mostly good all year. Very reliable 7th D. If MSL is hurt I’d like to see Lindberg come up. That kid is ready for the NHL.

  • So how often has this happened? Three stars of the game – the 13th forward, the 7th defenseman, the backup goaltender.

  • Not that I want MSL to be injured bad, but I honestly hope that he has to sit it out about 2-3 games. You will see Stepan and that line get going. Its MSL that makes that line horrible. He turns over the puck more than anyone on this team. Making bad passes or bad puck decisions is all he does.

    I have been saying this all year…..I wish there was a stat for the last player to touch the puck before a turnover. MSL would be # 1.

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