The Rangers were down early against Nashville, spotting them a 2-0 lead before four straight goals gave them the lead for good. Kevin Hayes led the charge with a pair of primary assists that were just pretty passes. Henrik Lundqvist was magnificent again. He stopped everything he could stop in this game.
This was another strong game for the Blueshirts. They’ve been stringing together the strong performances lately, and very quietly have built a four game winning streak. They’ve done it on the back of Lundqvist, balanced scoring, and some better defense.
My internet was pretty terrible last night, so I couldn’t make gifs. So hooray for bullet points. Gotta change it up every now and then, right?
- Rick Nash has been solid this year. That drive to the net in the first was one of many this season. He got pinned to the ice after, and no call. For all Nash does, I feel like he never gets a call.
- Brady Skjei makes his gaffes as he learns, but that play on Victor Arvidsson as he came in on Henrik Lundqvist was solid. Hank stayed with Arvidsson too, but don’t discount Skjei’s development.
- Healthy reminder that Nick Holden is Kevin Klein 2.0. When the scoring dries up, you’ll notice his bad defense more and more. That giveaway in the first was just a small sample.
- On the Cody McLeod goal – Marc Staal had the giveaway that helped the Preds get the puck on net. Then Adam Clendening didn’t put a body on McLeod. It looked like Clendo moved so that Hank could see the shot, which is good. But he didn’t get to McLeod’s stick/body (bad).
- On the Calle Jarnkrok goal – Derek Stepan was the intended target of Rick Nash’s clear, but it went off PK Subban’s skate. The puck went right to Mike Fisher in the slot, who found Jarnkrok on the wing. Nothing Hank could do, as Stepan couldn’t recover in time.
- On the Grabner goal – JT Miller and Kevin Hayes forced that turnover. Grabner joined in and turned to give Hayes a target for the one-time. Phenomenal pass #1 from Hayes.
- On the Miller goal – Remember when everyone wanted to trade Hayes? That’s why he’s so good. He just held the puck until he could get it over to Miller. Grabner forced the turnover on this one.
- Grabner-Hayes-Miller. Reminiscent of Pouliot-Brassard-Zuccarello.
- Grabner now has 26 goals, on pace to break his career high of 34, set when he was with the Islanders. Kreider set a career high with his 22nd last night. Miller tied his career high in points (43) and will break his career high in goals (22). That’s the Rangers’ third line.
- On the Chris Kreider goal – Clendo gained the zone, and dished the puck to Kreider trailing. Kreider whipped it around and then circled to the front of the net, where Mats Zuccarello fired a shot to the slot that Kreider deflected.
- Charles Oakley chant at MSG after the Kreider goal. Well done.
- On the Ryan McDonagh goal – good things happen when you throw the puck at the net.
- On the Roman Josi goal – there were great passes made by the Preds on their 6-on-4 with the net empty. Hank couldn’t do anything on this one.
- Hank sure is finding his game at the right time. They really needed him to be Hank, because without him they don’t stand a chance. But with him being Hank, and a move or two to address the major issues on the blue line, this team can contend.
The Rangers have the NHL-worst Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, which ends their string of games against the Western Conference. After that, it’s the Blue Jackets and Islanders. Strap in, it’s going to get bumpy.