Game Wrap-ups

Quick third period goals doom Rangers

rangers islanders isles
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Rangers played a solid game last night, but weren’t able to hold on to their 1-0 lead in the third period, giving up a pair of goals in relatively quick goals, blowing their 1-0 lead in the process. An empty net goal made the final score 3-1 in what was probably one of the worst third periods we’ve seen from the Rangers in a while. In addition to giving up the goals, they couldn’t generate anything offensively for most of the period, as the Isles shut it down with a 1-4 forecheck.

I think the flow of the game changed when the refs didn’t allow Dylan McIlrath and Matt Martin to fight at the end of the second period. McIlrath came out aggressive in the third and took a penalty that eventually led to the game winner, and that was all she wrote from there. In the end, three minutes killed the Rangers. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.

As always, you can view the full videos on our video page here. All GIFs are on nyrgifs.comfiltered under the date of the game. On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Isles 0

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Dan Boyle to Jesper Fast to Chris Kreider to Kevin Hayes to Marc Staal, who started it with the pass behind the net to Boyle. What a brilliant passing play.

Isles 1, Rangers 1

nelson goal

Hayes had a rough shift on this one. He turned it over at the blue line, then almost took a tripping penalty, then forced a bad pass to Keith Yandle that eventually went to Brock Nelson, then screened Hank.

Isles 2, Rangers 1

leddy goal

Nick Leddy took advantage of Derek Stepan covering for Marc Staal, who crept too far over, and darted to the net with John Tavares skating behind the net. Easy goal for him.

Shot Attempts


The Rangers really controlled the flow of the game for a while, but it’s amazing how three minutes makes the game look different. One thing to note is the second period from 30-35 minutes. Lots of shooting from both teams there. The game had a good flow to it.

Scoring Chances


The Rangers not only held overall flow of the game, but were getting good chances too. But again, those three minutes in the third swing a game. Two bad shifts, two goals, one loss.

Individual Corsi

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Kevin Klein had one heck of a game paired with Ryan McDonagh, who also had a solid game. That pair and Keith Yandle were far and away the best players on the ice for the Rangers all game, forwards included.

Shot Locations

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This chart follows suit with what we saw above. Good number of chances in close for the Rangers that were either blocked or stopped, and few chances like that for the Isles. Usually you win these kinds of games. Usually.

Shift Chart


One thing I’d really like to focus on here is that last powerplay for the Rangers. Keith Yandle played the full two minutes, something we’ve been wanting for a long, long time. The problem: Look at the forwards he was primarily with. He didn’t get the top powerplay forwards until the last 30 or so seconds. That’s not ideal.

The overall takeaway here is that the Rangers played another solid game. Sure, the three minutes in the third cost them the two points, and it certainly stings. However this is a few games in a row with a solid on-ice process. The wins will come back with regularity soon.l0o

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  • No real offensive threats against a protective defense. Kreider has stone hands, Stepan was invisible and Hayes needs more days off. Can the Megan experiment stop now?

    We need a trade to wake these guys up.

      • I have actually liked Megna’s play. Problem is the AV shuffle. Megna is and was a huge upgrade over what Etem brought to the Rangers. Etem had an attitude problem I think. I wish Etem well and it looks like he is playing much better in Vancouver.
        Megna will be fine once he fits into a line on a consistent basis and gets to know his line mates

  • What a shame!

    McIlrath did well I thought, and he is so much less expensive then some other D-men.

    When will Henrik ask for a trade?

  • we played decent we had a lead up to the third period but again the bugaboo of inconsistency reared it’s ugly head hopefully they can turn it around tomorrow in Philly and then in Washington.

  • Isles converted on PP; we didn’t.

    I thought McIlrath looked like a caged lion that had been led out to get his meat. Got the better of him, but that is a risk after being benched 6 games and inserted into a highly emotional rivalry match. Away from that McIlrath was very effective, as usual.

    Kevin Hayes? Like the rest of the team, it’s a process and, for what it’s worth, I thought Yandle made a high risk drop pass in our slot to Hayes that understandably surprised him, and led to the Islanders player picking up the puck and scoring.

    We learn, and move on. No changes needed to the lineup other than reinstating Lindberg. I suspect though Megna is partly getting playing time for potential trade purposes. We shall see.

    • Hayes first turned the puck over, then took a tripping penalty (not called), then he made a poor pass to Yandle, who made a poor pass back that surprised Hayes.

      Its hard to argue that goal is not Hayes’ fault…

      Additionally, I think he had a really rough game all around

  • Can’t believe i’m saying this but the fourth line is playing very well , but that puts Fast on a scoring line which i don’t care for . Think maybe we switch him and Stalberg to see where that would go

  • Tough to swallow because it was against the Islanders, but I don’t have too many issues with the way the team played. I thought they were sound defensively, and when that’s the case, I feel so much better about the team.

    Some thoughts on the defense:

    Klein needs to play with McDonagh for the foreseeable future. They are clicking.

    McIlrath, while he did have a poor penalty leading to the go ahead goal, has to play more. He’s just a better player than Girardi right now, he just is. Not only that, he rounds out the pairings so much better than Girardi does. Girardi has no natural partner on this team, McIlrath and Yandle together just looks right.

    I will finish with my obvious thought of the day: If the Rangers can somehow find a trade partner for Girardi (pipe dream?), that opens up so much flexibility for this team in terms of personnel and cap. Question is, does Gorton/AV see it that way?

    • Don’t disagree RFiB….. but also don’t know how to answer the last question. To me- we don’t know what Gorton is thinking due to too little evidence. From what it seems we can tell, AV is not on board. Too many personnel decisions on record suggest he values Girardi over McIlrath……by a long shot.

      I don’t think that penalty last night helps things, rather will only validate AV’s mentality (bias). Penalty aside, McIlrath played a great game. He seems so much more comfortable in our own end than I thought he would be at this point in the year.

      As far as your pipe dream, I think there is still a market for G. Whether he will agree is one thing, whether the Rangers will retain some of his salary is another thing. I think both of those things can come true, though unlikely. Ducks would be a team I’m sure would take a gamble on him to stabilize their team in hopes of making a legit run. Not sure if they could fit him cap-wise. Aside from that, the CBJ connection has been talked about ad naseum. Not sure if the Jones acquisition crowds things on their blueline. EDM has the capspace and need on the blue line. Moral of the story- if the Rangers retain cap-space AND realize that salary relief is more important than fetching fair market value- then, yes, there is a deal out there to be made.

      My reason for optimism- until proven otherwise, I believe Gorton has his finger on the pulse here. Hopefully I am not just being naïve.

      • I can’t get any read on Gorton whatsoever. Just curious, what makes you think Gorton has his finger on the pulse? Wishful thinking or something else?

        • First off, I thought he handled the summer very well. Miller, Lindberg, Etem, Fast contracts were quick and easy. Stepan was done right too. (all Gorton if I remember correctly).

          Secondly, the Stoll and Stalberg signings were excellent.

          3rd….and biggest was sending Glass down initially. He was able to do so in spite of AV (I believe) and it is what we all wanted and what Sather would never give us.

          4th- has been willing to carry McIlrath even if AV wont play him. Same with Etem until the trade.

          He can’t set the line up, but he keeps the right players around for AV to use. TO me (us) it’s AV’s deployment and roster decisions which is questionable.

          So it could be wishful thinking, but at this point there’s nothing that Gorton has done to incriminate himself as the bad guy. Until he does, he gets the benefit of the doubt. Complete guess, but I believe he recognizes that either Girardi or Staal should be (have to be) moved. Whether that materializes is a whole ‘nother story

  • Once again when it counted the opposition forced their will on the Rangers who were seemingly inept to solve the defensive structure thrown at them(often seems to be the case). So frustrating that they could play so well for two periods and then sleepwalk through the third. Same thing happened in reverse with the Bruins, sleepwalking through the second and playing a great third. Makes one wonder what happens in the room between periods. DMac played really well but our PK, once a strength is going south. Maybe we miss Hagelin there, but the PKers are not doing the job. And once again the refs are atrocious in what Dave Maloney calls the “politically correct NHL.”

  • While that was a penalty by McIrath in today’s NHL it sure was a pansy call. An Islander did poke Lundqvuist and that was McIlrath’s response.
    I agree the refs should have allowed the fight to occur between McIlrath and Martin. That did change the complexion of the game. 2 mistakes occurred and both were buried in the 3rd period.
    I thought the 1st 2 periods were the 2 best periods of the season.
    Boy oh boy is Kreider and McDonagh both playing average. This in my opinion is because of confidence issues. Nash is playing very good hockey but can’t seem to finish. I would rather have this Nash though than the 42 goals last year Nash. As for Lundqvuist he is now in a position he can not make a mistake or this team is not going to win scenario.
    Also Halak played out of his league last night. He was brilliant and the star of the game.
    Rangers have to get their best players playing up to par or we will continue to decline.

    • I think McDonagh has been MUCH better, and has been one of the better players for the Rangers lately. I really like the McD/Klein combo right now, they are complementing each other well.

      Hard to argue with much else though.

  • Megna really needs to go back to Hartford… No reason he should be in over Lindberg absolute BS! Even tho Mcilrath took a few penalties I still am very pleased with him and the way he played last night love the aggressiveness and physicality he brings to the lineup. He needs to be in the lineup on a daily basis. He’s been one of our better dmen this season and I believe he would help stabilize the blue line. I sense a trade or 2 coming that will help this team. Hopefully I’m right and hopefully it’s very soon. It’s time for Girardi and Staal to go. We’re never going to win the cup let alone make a rum for it, With those 2 playing the way they are and their outrageous contracts/cap hits. COME ON GORTON!WORK SOME MAGIC SHOW US WHAT YOU GOT MAN! LGR!

  • It was a good game to watch – the pace was high and the intensity was strong for a regular season game.

    DMC played well – did you see him giving directions and making sure there was coverage there during one of the PP’s – that showed something.

    That being said, his penalty was critical to the outcome and showed that he has still has some learning to do. You can’t chase a guy up the boards after a whistle and pound him in the head and not expect to get penalized. I agree with Dave on the non-fight affecting the flow and it did perhaps lead to DMC’s mindset.

    I think that is the rub with DMC right now. He is such a monster physically and his instinct is to mix it up. But he needs to know when to turn it off and I don’t think he is there yet. That, (shall we say maturity?), comes with playing time and that is the Catch 22 for him. His penalty, whether deserved or not, now gives AV a reason to not play him.

    I thought Boyle especially and Staal were pretty bad on D.

    The double-turnover by Haze was pretty ugly but Yandle did not do him any favors and has to share the blame on that one.

    • Right with McIlrath. I’ll take the errors of youth (so to speak) when they are offset by play that is physically, positionally, and mentally better than the veteran.

      Those can be corrected. Declining abilities cannot.

    • Really good post FL-Swarty.

      Vigneault actually seemed quite ok with McIlrath’s penalty in the post-game commentary.

      The takeaway for me last night is it was a game one of the teams was going to win 1-0. We struck first and were setup to do that but gave the Isles some openings. The process to regaining top form must include re-learning what is needed to win 1-0. It seems like it’s been a long time since we’ve needed to do that, but that will be more like playoff hockey than winning 4-3 with a 3rd period come from behind victory.

      Bigger picture: we are still making progress in the right direction, and Jeff Gorton is still the most important person to the team’s future success. Status quo for me.

  • It wasn’t just the sequence turnovers or the Yandle pass that led to the goal. Watching the entire shift, Hayes was coasting. He appeared to put little effort into puck pursuit or protecting it when he did get it. We were commenting in my living room on just that as the turnover fest began. You could see the goal coming.

  • I don’t pretend to be a systems guru but often when the Rangers turn the puck over the forwards seem to be up near the blueline or out of the zone. On the Hayes-Yandle miscue goal, Kreider was way up the blueline and out of the play. As for coasting I’ve thought that there is a lot of that going on from multiple players, esp. when you see four Rangers with their eyes glued to the puck & oblivios to everything else.

  • Very interesting. Note some intelligent comment above about the Isles “imposing their will on the Rangers.” That speaks volumes and should NEVER happen. But this is our team right now. I stumbled on another cliché that seems to fit: most of our players do not have a sufficient “compete level”. Maybe that will quell some of the bloggers who think I am often looking to return to the Brawling ’70’s/80’s (was fun though, no?). We historically do not draft players with intensity, with compete levels. We have a roster of gliders to the puck who “try hard’, and now they cannot even finish. Even more galling is a number of this gliders are 6’3″+, and 230lbs+. Ridiculous. As for DMac, I have always been a fan, but am astonished at how adept he looks now. Not just adequate, but damned good, physicality aside. If you add in what he brings in physicality and “enforcement”, it is over the top. Remember also, that he allows Glass to be a 2nd option in that regard, at his size, rather than a guy that has to keep Matt Martin honest. DMac neutralized Martin last nite, and that was lucky for Martin, because if the refs had let them go, Martin would likely have been “pulverized” instead. Just some thoughts…..Bottom line: No win.

  • AV was fine with DMc. He put him right back on the ice. Hayes,sat his ass on the bench after that FCK up. Twice he should have gotten the puck out of the zone. Twice. He gets pressured and gives Yandle a pass which should never have been made. That loss is on Hayes. I did like his reaction of slamming his stick on the ice after the gaffes. Better than our 6 million dollar man reaction. I’m so tired of his ass. Please trade Stepan and Danny G for a young stud. Center or sniper, please. RNH or Yak.

    • Haze was on the ice at the end of the game though. This kid is a flippin head case. No surprise Chicago didn’t pursue him more. He actually looked engaged for the first 2 periods, had some hits even, then a full regression. That whole play is something you show to young players on what not to do ever. He is not a center, doesn’t give a rats arse about D. Put AND keep Oscar in there. WTF did this kid do to be sitting, while Megna plays no less.

  • Sad to say but Kreider and Hayes are the key to this team going forward this year and you can put Nash jn there also. Think we can book the Parade anyhow

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