Game Wrap-upsPlayoffs

Carl Hagelin’s overtime winner propels Rangers to second round

The New York Rangers made us sweat, but it was Carl Hagelin’s goal in overtime that gave the Rangers the series in just five games. This was a very tight game throughout, with Henrik Lundqvist and Marc-Andre Fleury putting on a clinic in keeping your team in it. This was a much better 60+ minute showing for the Rangers, who came out flat two nights ago but still managed to eke out a win, as both teams played a fast-paced, physical game.

All four games that the Rangers won came at a 2-1 score, with the final two coming in overtime. There’s not much else to breakdown. Enjoy it folks. On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Pens 0

derek stepan
Courtesy of

The Rangers finally scored on the powerplay. The entire unit did a good job with puck support and keeping possession. Eventually the puck got to Dan Boyle at the point, who put a shot on net that Marc-Andre Fleury mishandled, and Derek Stepan was there to bang home the rebound.

Pens 1, Rangers 1

nick spaling
Courtesy of

Honestly, there’s not much wrong here. J.T. Miller smothered Nick Spaling, who got credit for the goal, and Matt Hunwick deflected the Sidney Crosby pass. The explanation about why this wasn’t goaltender interference was given as, “Contact was made after the puck was in the net.”

Rangers 2, Pens 1

carl hagelin
Courtesy of

Carl Hagelin. Game, set, match. So long Pittsburgh. Hats off to Dominic Moore on this shift. Same with the other guys on the ice. Moore worked hard along the boards. Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh did a great job keeping the puck and continuing to get it deep. Jesper Fast with a great job of drawing guys to him and moving to open ice.

USAT/Fenwick Chart

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Even game mostly.

The Pens had an edge, albeit a slight one, for most of the game in raw shot attempts. The difference wasn’t large at the end, especially when you see that scoring chances were even. The Rangers defense did a good job of limiting –to the best you can limit Crosby and Malkin– attempts to the outside for most of this series, but last night was all Hank.

Scoring Chances

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Again, pretty even.

Even Steven.

Individual SAT/Corsi

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Miller and Kreider with strong games.


This chart speaks very accurately for Chris Kreider and J.T. Miller, who had phenomenal games. Dan Boyle did as well. I have to be honest, it’s tough to gauge eye test with this chart on single game samples, but Kreider, Miller, and Boyle stood out for me.

Shot Locations

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The goalies really stole this show. Look at all these attempts in prime locations.

Shift Location

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Normal shift breakdown, the forwards were all jumbled after Zucc’s injury though.


You really can’t say anything negative about Dan Girardi this series. He and McDonagh played a phenomenal five games. Girardi takes a lot of flack around here, specifically from me, but wow was he good.

For the first time in recent memory, the Rangers won a series without it going six or seven games. Sit back, relax, and enjoy it.

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  • Girardi earned every penny of his contract. Except for Hank, Fast was the best Ranger on the ice last night, with Hags and Moore both close seconds. Miller was excellent as well.
    Lets hope Zucc is ok and we get Klein back for game 1 of the next round. We’ll need him no matter who we face, as both are big, physical teams with speed and talent. I think the Caps have better goal tending, but either will pose a huge challenge.

    Rest up men, it’s going to be fun!

    • Hope for the Islanders to pull that series out of their butts. The Rangers can/would beat the Caps just the same but what would happen is exactly what the Fish sticks are going through. The Caps are beating the heck out of them.

      Did anyone happen to catch that NYI goal where the two Capital players sandwiched John Tavares? Of course they peeled off their coverage to do so and allowed a goal against but they’re a mean bunch!

      The Caps are relentlessly going after Boychuk and Leddy. Hamonik is already out. If the Islanders manage to will themselves a win, they’ll be one spent group of players.

      I was hoping the Rangers weren’t sure about The extent of Zuc’s injury and he had some other ailments that kept him out at the end of the regular season. So I pray he was just held out to heel since the Rangers had the lead in the game and series. I hope it was just a chance to rest him and heal up for series two. He’s the perfect picture of who this Rangers team is. We need him and with him out and another player (assume Sheppard) the Rangers are not quite as good.

      I loved watching the dejected faces of the entittled Captain Crosby and he teammates. By Pens. Hello NYI/WAS

  • Not sure you don’t do everything within reason to tie up hags this summer. It’s not just the goals he changes the complexion of any line he plays on and is one of those true difference makers

    • The Rangers are gonna have to pay for that. Just like Stepan in the summer of 2013, Hagelin already signed his 2 year bridge contract. He’s going to want to get paid. He’s getting more expensive seemingly by the game now. I hope the cap is at least $73 mil. That still isn’t enough and it likely won’t be that much with the Canadian Dollar tanking. I wonder if we’re stuck with Boyle or if we could get out from under his $4.5 mil. Not looking all that great right now. Although he’s playing his best hockey of the season. There may not be enough money to sign Hagelin, especially if the Rangers win the cup.

  • Fist of all, congratulation the Rangers, and Hags for a great series.

    That stated, the Pens suck, and I’m glad that we eliminated that no class outfit. I also want to acknowledge that Floury played a great series for them, and if it weren’t for him they would have been swept .

    Now resign Hags already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Zucc, get well quickly…………

  • Absolutely agree Walt. Hags is the straw that stirs the cocktail. It’s almost like other teams forget about him because he’s often busy hounding, checking and doing little things. Then out of nowhere, due to speed and tenacity, comes a big thing.

    I really hope Zucc is okay. But it’s the playoffs so no time for bemoaning if not.

    Due to circumstances I was stuck in a loud bar in Boston watching the game instead of planted on my couch where I could listen as well as watch. I saw Kunitz try to remove Nash’s voice box and Crosby pitchfork Girardi, and yet Girardi gets the penalty. I made a post yesterday not defending, but rationalizing why Mcguire and crew are what they are. So I was interested to see how Pierre may have called this disgusting turn of events. Well Pierre, a big fail to you. Barely an utterance.

    • Agree with your comment about Kunitz, and Cindy, that is the reason for my take on their being a “no class organization”.

      I really didn’t want to get into that because the last thing in the world I wanted to do is sound like that pussy Cindy. Did you hear his post game interview, how they were short handed, and that is no excuse, but he used it anyway. Screw him, the Pens, and the broadcasters who praise him to no end.

      I wonder if the NHL front office makes these clowns in the studio blow his horn constantly. It has to kill Ed Snyder, the owner of Comcast-NBCS, and the Flyers, because the hate that those two teams have for each other is second to none……..

      I can’t wait for the Mc David kid to come in, and hopefully becomes the new face of the NHL. That sorry, purse swinging cu*t’s face of Cindy’s is getting old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Tell us how you really feel Walt? LMAO
        “That sorry, purse swinging cu*t’s face of Cindy’s is getting old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

      • If the Pens had a dependable defenseman on their Blueline, this would have been a much different series. I hate them and Crosby especially but they had no one to carry the puck up ice and make that quick deceiving pass out of the Dzone. On breakouts they often had forwards back there helping instead of flying the zone. They were playing with a hand behind their back.
        I was worried if they got Erhoff back and one more of their injured defenseman the whole dimension of the series may have changed. I’m sure we will soon hear what was wrong with Malkin. No way the Rangers could have shut him down 100% healthy, right!

  • Been quite sometime since I’ve been on the site. Great write up and always.
    This series has to be the best in years as far as Goaltending. Phenomenal, it was the Hank and Fleury series.

    Tough decision head for AV on Klein’s return, don’t want that decision.

    Keep up the great work

      • I agree, Klein was an integral part of the back end. He was the top scoring defenseman before he got hurt. Hunwick has been great filling in. Usually you can get a week or two from your 7th defenseman before the mistakes start but Hunwick has fit in seemlessly in Kleins’ absence. I look forward to Klein getting in because he finds a way to get his shots through bodies in front. That always led to more scoring from him and the forwards finding rebounds.
        Hunwick deserves a heads up the same as Talbot. Both did their jobs well for the Rangers and they were lucky to have them fill in so well.

  • This didn’t surprise me, winning in the playoffs is never easy but the Rangers are by far the better team here, so much deeper. The big surprise to me was MAF, I thought he was going to be the weak spot in the playoffs, boy was I wrong, he played brilliantly! I sure wish JT Miller scored a goal last night, he played his ass off, looking for him to really be a factor in the next round. Let’s go fishsticks, that would be a great round to watch! There really is nothing like watching two NY teams battle in the playoffs. How much more satisfying to raise the Cup after eliminating the Isles! Zucc is a warrior!

  • Yup, as much as I believe the Caps are a better matchup for us. Meaning, I think we would DESTROY Washington!

    On the other hand, the Isle´s scare the shit out of me!

    I still want to play the Isle´s for a variety of reasons. If we we’re to play the Isles that would mean they played a 7 game series, but most importantly, what it would do for the game of Hockey.

    Rangers vs Isles in the second round is going to be madness. When a BIG thing happens in NY, the WORLD hears and see´s it. Them series in the 80´s against the Rangers n Isles we’re absolutely epic and have been ingrained in my memory forever, although we were on the loosing most of the time lol.

    Can’t believe I’m going to say this but Go Isles!

    • I kept trying to say “Go Isles” but the words keep getting stuck in my throat. Sorta like I want to vomit.

      • I totally disagree with you.

        This Ranger team this year hasn’t had too many problems with the physical teams all year. We beat Chicago, Nashville,ST.Loius, Anaheim, LA etc. etc. It’s the quicker, finesse more technical teams that sorta play like us that we’ve had issues with like the Isles, Habs ,Detroit etc etc.

        This has been covered on here already.

        Not to mention other intangibles like, you know the Isles would step it up a few.nothches, just because…it’s the Rangers lol.

        If you think Washington is a harder matchup then the Isles, you are mistaken my friend!

        Also, please don’t tell me it’s because of Ovenchicken either, because we will easily stump him, just like we did to Cryby n Malkin….This Ranger team is so intelligently defensively responsible that practically anu of the four lines can stop him, let alone our top 4 d-men, which 3 of em have already proven just that twice already in the past 2 years alone, and you can make an argument that if anything Washington’s even weaker this yeat.

        • Totally agree. Both would be tough but feel much more comfortable vs Caps.

          Was there ever a doubt Caps-Isles would go 7? What a great series. Hope Game 7 is like the famous Game 7 of 1987…only this time with a Caps victory!

          • Oh yeah! I’m having a blast watching this game now. Very good pace, fast and very physical, firewagon Hockey out there.

          • Woops sorry about that fellers lol.

            What I was beginning to say is, that I may have to retract my statement about Washington arguably being worst this year. I think I’m wrong about THAT part. Barry Trotz has definitely had them playing better this year then last, but I’m convinced, I would rather face Wash over the Fishsticks.

            Isn’t this great for a change l?!?! We all get to kick back, watch and analyze and debate a potential team to play against, instead of having to worry about playing a game 7 every series lol.

        • Two home games vs. Washington this season: One clear loss and one win in which we were thoroughly outplayed in the third period. Is it a slam dunk that Washington would be tougher than the IsLOLes? No…but I think they’re the better team. Compare how each finished down the stretch.

          If you’re looking at intangibles…like IsLOLes stepping it up a notch because it’s the Rangers…well, methinks the Caps have a desire to exact some revenge on us after we’ve beaten them the last two times in the postseason.

          • I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in that one loss at MSG. Rangers were down Klein and MSL. They had a rough game the day before in Boston. They had lost earlier in the week to LA. They were in a massive slump (yes, that’s the kind of regular season it was….losing 3 out of 4 was a massive slump!). They looked gassed at that point. To me, throw that game out. They mostly outplayed the Caps in the other three.

            Im not sure who I prefer. It will be a tough matchup regardless. I just think the Rangers are more comfortable playing the Caps and have a system that can neutralize a star like Ovie. There will be a lot of emotion vs the Isles, which could be a good or bad thing. Either way, if the Rangers (and especially Zuc) are healthy, they will beat either team in 6.

  • Did anyone notice how bad St Louis looks out there. He looks tired and outmatched every shift. Time to let Marty go after a great career.

      • my guess is none of you have had a bad day at work, and I doubt you work with the quality of talent these guys play against. Just silly shit, guys!

        • Not just one game for MSL…he’s overmatched defensively and has become a turnover machine offensively. He’s been a great, great player, but the end is clearly near. I don’t expect him back next season, short of an extremely team-friendly deal.

          • I unfortunately have to agree and eat my words dating back to last year’s trade. Last year’s post season was everything I expected. Everything hes done since the summer has been surprisingly pedestrian

          • I dont know. Yes he’s slowed down for sure, but is still very effective out there.

            In case you forgot, or didn’t see….If it weren’t for MSL in OT in game 4 Hayes would not have scored. It was Martys pressure on the forcheck and his pass in front of that scram that eventually led to Hayes winner.

          • Agree again with Rob….just too much hate directed at Boyle and MSL. They have NOT played that bad. MSL had to step up and play major additional minutes with Zuc’s injury yesterday. I want Marty on the ice in OT when a big play from a savvy vet needs to happen. Same for Boyle.

            Obviously, they aren’t what they once were. But I predict we will be singing their praises on round 2.

    • I’ve said that before, and was against getting the retread in the first place. Oh well, he’s now our retread !!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Agreed. During the season, I kept saying that he had lost half a step, but it looks like a full step by now. (Not sure if he aged a little more, or because the competition is a stiffer in the playoffs.) Probably time for him to retire. There’s a lot of variation in athletes past 38–some of them can go 3 or 4 more years, some can’t. MSL looks like the latter category.

  • Craig, Super Maz,
    I’m not sure I agree. Respectful of your opinions, I think (as I’ve read already in our blog) that our team, like any winning team, is more than the sum of its parts. There’s a gestalt (I know, WTF is gestalt!) a spirit that this team has and I don’t discount the role that an experienced Boyle and a HOF’er MSL has on this team. Anyway, we’re all in this together as dedicated fans, so all I can say is: LGR!!!!!!!

    • They are hurting the team on the ice, make them asst coaches. Just a matter of time before one of their blunders costs us a game. It’s not like there aren’t options.

      • Okay, I’ll bite. Options. Klein back, Boyle out? MSL sits for Shepard? Other options? What do you suggest. A real question. I’m open to ideas and not being feisty nor facetious. You’re the coach. How do you play it?

        • Exactly, Klein for Boyle,
          Sheppard for MSL.
          I have no problem with that.
          I understand what Marty brings in experience and leadership, it’s just that he is not bringing anything on the ice.

          • As much as I’ve been on D. Boyle this season. I felt that he played his BEST game as a Ranger last night!

            In fact, AV was using him like crazy late in the third last night…..He is getting better!

          • You guys are treating Sheppard like he’s some up and coming star player. He’s a mediocre journeyman. Same for Hunwick, although he’s done a fine job filling in for Klein. No way do I sit Boyle or MSL. This team is WINNING with these guys IN the lineup. Why would you risk disrupting team chemistry. Remember what happened when Torts benched Richards (who truly WAS brutal)? Create chaos in the lockerrom and cost the coach his job.

            If you suddenly are slumping and you need a spark, I get it. Just keep the train rolling. If Klein is ready, in he goes in for Hunwick obviously. Sheppard ONLY plays if Zuc isn’t ready.

          • I’ve taken shots at MSL, but all in context. He’s simply not the player he was. Still, to say he should sit for Sheppard is ludicrous. Sheppard can’t even crack the 4th line.

      • Ha, JoeS! It’s okay for fans to dish out passion and emotion. Just need the coach to dwell in the land of logic. Isles or Caps? IMO neither can stop this train! Caps in 6, Isles the same. (Almost wrote “Isles may go 7, but don’t think my old heart could survive it!!

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