It was the usual start to the game that Rangers fans had become accustomed to. The Rangers were quickly down 2-0 after allowing a breakaway goal and a powerplay goal, their third straight goal allowed while killing a penalty. But all was not lost. The Rangers, even though they were down two, had the ice tilted in their favor most of the game. It was only a matter of time until they broke through.
And in the second period, they did just that. Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller scored two goals in 1:20, tying the game five minutes into the period. The Rangers pressed more, completely dominating even strength. They took the lead in the third on a Derick Brassard goal, and continued to dominate the overmatched Wild. Chris Kreider eventually sealed the deal with an empty netter.
Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t tested that much. He faced just 18 shots, but he came up big when they needed it late.
Wild 1, Rangers 0
Marc Staal mishandled the puck at the blue line, then tried to fire the puck through Ryan Carter. It was blocked to center ice, and Carter was already skating towards it, while Staal had to turn. Clear breakaway goal.
Wild 2, Rangers 0
After Staal took a penalty, the Rangers were again unable to stop a powerplay. Dylan McIlrath screened Hank, so the shot wasn’t seen. But the bigger concern was the apparent lack of communication, lack of anticipation, and slowness to the puck when it moves.
Rangers 1, Wild 2
Ryan Suter gave the puck away to Derek Stepan behind the net. Stepan got it in front to Ryan McDonagh, who had his initial shot hit Mats Zuccarello. McDonagh got the loose puck and tucked it under a diving Dubnyk for the goal.
Rangers 2, Wild 2
Great pressure from the Miller-Brassard-Fast line led to this goal. With some great puck movement, the puck eventually wound up behind the net for Derick Brassard, who held the puck a bit while J.T. Miller circled low. Brass lifted a nice saucer pass to Miller, who was untouched getting open, and Miller one-timed it over Dubnyk.
Rangers 3, Wild 2
Jesper Fast forced the turnover in the corner right to Miller. Miller made a great little pass to Brassard. And the Rangers had the lead.
Rangers 4, Wild 2
Chris Kreider empty netter.
This was just utter domination once they were down two goals. Minnesota looked like they packed up and went home. There’s some score effects at the end, but that’s normal.
See above. Same thing, just with quality as well.
Boy did Ryan McDonagh have a game. Every Ranger had a game. Except for Marc Staal. He had a rough one, and even then he was still barely in the negatives.
So few attempts for Minnesota. No wonder why they can’t score.
Not much variation from the liens for Alain Vigneault here. Interesting to see the fourth line, considering its makeup, still get some ice time with under five minutes remaining and a lead to defend. Odd to see Keith Yandle and Dylan McIlrath get what amounts to a double shift around the 50 minute mark as well.
This was the statement win the Rangers needed against the Devils the other night. That said, it was a strong win, and another strong performance at even strength without Rick Nash. If the special teams figure it out, the Rangers should theoretically catch fire.