Game Wrap-ups

Rangers skate with the best, get a point against Tampa

The Rangers played with one of the Stanley Cup favorites last night, and outplayed them for the majority of the game. The Bolts came out firing in the first period, completely dominating the Blueshirts from puck drop to the first horn. After that, it was all Rangers. The Blueshirts have no quit in their game, coming back from 2-0 and 3-1 leads to tie the game in the second before playing a scoreless third and getting themselves a point.

The Blueshirts lost in overtime thanks to a pick play by Nikita Kucherov, giving Victor Hedman open space for the goal. But it was still a fun game to watch and a strong game by the Rangers.

Brendan Lemieux played well in his debut. He’s certainly a very strong skater with some agitator to his game. If he drives possession and offense while playing this way, it’s going to be a good situation for the Rangers. He doesn’t need to be a top-six guy if he can be a great bottom-six guy.

Bolts 1, Rangers 0

Neal Pionk took the initial shot in the midsection and was clearly shaken up. In the time it took him to recover, he lost Tyler Johnson, who was all alone in front to take the Nikita Kucherov pass and roof it. That was a little rough luck for Pionk, but it was also his turnover 30 seconds prior that allowed the Lightning to keep the zone.

Bolts 2, Rangers 0

Some more bad luck, as Vlad Namestnikov took a shot off the ankle and was struggling to keep up, thus left the PK in shambles for the shift. Kucherov’s shot/pass was partially stopped, and Pionk was unable to tie up JT Miller in front, who had the easy tap in.

Bolts 2, Rangers 1

This is nothing short of a phenomenal finish by Mika Zibanejad.

Bolts 3, Rangers 1

Steven Stamkos made a nice move to lose Chris Kreider at the blue line and take the puck deep on the powerplay. Dan Girardi, who was low, drifted back and away from Brady Skjei, opening a passing lane for Stamkos. Girardi finished.

Bolts 3, Rangers 2

Vesey took the bouncing puck around Victor Hedman and just lowered the shoulder to outmuscle the defenseman and take it around Andrei Vasilevsky for the goal.

Rangers 3, Bolts 3

The Bolts had all five guys below the dots, but none picked up Boo Nieves, who took the Ryan Strome pass and put it off Vasilevsky, of the post, off Vasilevsky’s skate, and then in.

Bolts 4, Rangers 3

That’s a blatant pick play by Kucherov, but he had just passed the puck so I’m guessing that’s why there was no call.

Shot Heatmap

The Rangers owned the Lightning in the 2nd and 3rd periods, but that 1st period was so bad it still gave the Bolts the possession edge for the game. However both teams generated a ton of shots from right in front. There was a lot of back and forth here. It’s worth noting that the Rangers actually had more legitimate scoring chances than Tampa.

The Rangers now enter a stretch where they play every other night for quite some time, basically until the end of the season. They have one back-to-back with two days off after in March, followed by a three day off stretch immediately after. Then it’s back to every other day until the last two games of the year, which are back-to-back. It’s the home stretch of the tank, folks. Remember it will only get worse before it gets better.

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  • We all want the high pick, but dammit, how could you not like last night’s game.

    I was at MSG, and the crowd was so into it, supporting the team. Just like in past years. How could you not love the team’s effort?

    After period one, looking like they were going to get blown out, they strapped it on and battled like hell. Buch fighting, just great. Last night reminded me of the 201 Rangers: Short on talent but very high in heart.

    Lemieux was a factor, not on the score sheet, but in terms of energy.

    Hell, I even stayed for the OT, which I never do in a regular season game, especially for a late start.

    And then the refs ruined it, again. I that wasn’t a pick play in OT, then I don’t know what a pick play is. The refs must have wanted to go home. Brutal. And it cost the Rangers the game. The league continues to shame itself with disgrace,

    • Lemieux scrum/fight at the beginning of the 2nd period shifted the momentum to the Rangers for the latter part of the game. If he can score a timely goal once in a while, Rangers may have discovered “Avery-lite” for years to come. The kid played a terrific game!

      • I liked last night, and even though it was just one game, I think he might bring this most nights.

        10-15 goals makes this a home run.

  • They could just as easily rolled over after the first, but the kids showed some spunk. You have to love it. This is the very heart that was lacking under the old coach!!!!!!!! On a side note, ADA was all over the ice last night, very good game for the kid………….

    • Great observation, Walt. I was at the game last night, ADA was consistently on top of the puck, gave crisp passes in the d-zone and even better on the PP, and finally giving fans a glimpse of his terrific talent. ADA is proving he is a “keeper” on this blue line!

  • Great effort from the boys. DeAngelo keeps racking up points and good on Buch for dropping the gloves.

    I am guessing we will have something like 10-12mil in cap room after RFAs are signed so Panarin plus is unlikely. Question: if Lightning wins the SC and Dallas wins two series, should the Rangers trade one of those late 1st rounders along with one of our cap strapped D contracts for a bag of pucks? If I had 4 1st rounders I would. You cut one of the remaining 2 and we are in good shape next year and I awesome shape the following year.

    Related to the draft, Rangers May be positioned well to take two local boys playing for the U18 USDT, Zegras (Quinn recruited to BU) in the 5-7 pick range and Spencer Knight (G) in the 28-31 range. Both former Mid Fairfield Jr Rangers. Giddy up!

      • He is only 17yo but if I heard correctly he could be the first American born goalie that goes in the 1st round. You can never have enough good goalies in the system.

        • After #39 last year drafting a goalie is a sore subject…Knight will be great but there’s some real other good options down there in 24-28 that will fill some of our bigger needs. Alex Vlasic is a BU guy too. Nice call on Zegras! He’s going to be a great player and he may very well be an option for us.

  • Its nice to see effort. I liked the energy Lemieux brings. Seemed he lost a little bit of legs as the game wore on but that will change. They don’t quit and that’s the coach.

  • I was also at the game and felt that the first period was going to cause us to lose 6-0. But then we came out with some fight in the 2nd and low and behold a tie game after 2. Strong third where we had some chances. I think this team will never win those 3 on 3 OT alignments, as we never can have the best 3 out there. Maybe in a few years.

    This is a Coach Quinn point.

  • We bought out the wrong defensemen… 😉

    I am glad i decided to keep watching after the first, cause that was rough, they were simply crushed. Hats off to Quinn, he really pulled them together.

  • Unfortunately I only got to see the first period. I did watch the recap and glad to see how they rebounded in this game. They’ve been doing that a lot lately.

    You mentioned “Remember it will only get worse before it gets better”..I actually think that may not be the case. Since the Minnesota clunker this team has really played tough and with heart. They came back Multiple times vs Washington and came back against Tampa. Two of the best teams in he league. They lost the games, but pushed them to OT. I know the point snot helping, but that is pretty admirable. And as they improve those loses start to become wins.

  • I think we’re finally starting to see Quinn’s team develop. The change is most obvious in Vesey, Buch and ADA. Maybe Chytil will finally get the message, too. Talent alone isn’t enough in the NHL, because (almost) everyone has that. To succeed, a player has to also consistently bring effort and attitude, and a willingness to fight for his ice, every shift. This is the team we want our prospects to see when they walk into that locker room, the attitude we want them all to have, an understanding that they are going to stand up for themselves, and their team, or they’re going to sit. Toughness isn’t just about getting into fights, or taking penalties. It’s about putting on your big boy pants and working your tail off every night.

  • Here comes the chalk board nails scratching. The wonderful coach playing with 7 d. Smith actually looks better than Fast. Does anyone notice where Fast is there is no scoring. Where ever Fast is, becomes the 4th line.
    Lemieux, I love the hair. The devils son looks to be talented.
    Team played with heart.
    I know, when you see my posts you dogs start salivating, and you think its lunch time. How many , 10-15 downward knuckles?

  • I think some of Lemieux rubbed off on Buch last night …. and it was a sight to behold.

    Goof effort … and like Andy said, it may not get worse before it gets better. It was suppose to get worse numerous times already — and it hasn’t. What are they now, 10-8-3 in the last 21 games? It will be interesting to see what happens when Howden gets back and whether they cobble together a makeshift 2nd line that can score with some level of frequency — whether that’s centered by Chytil or Howden or Strome or or or …

    I’ll say it again, Rangers should tie up DeAngelo long term NOW while the cost is lower. If they don’t they’ll kick themselves in the arse later.

    Andersson looks better this time up, but he isn’t quite there — hopefully he gains that little extra this summer and works hard.

  • Buchnevich dropping the gloves was my favorite part of an overall good effort. After a clunker of a first period, the team got the message and went out and outplayed Tampa for most of the rest of the game. I loved the effort and young Lemieux looks like he was advertised.

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