Henrik Lundqvist was in vintage form last night, stopping 45 of 47 shots as he stole this one for the New York Rangers. This was nothing short of highway robbery, especially in the first period when he made 22 saves and somehow the Rangers came out of it with a lead. Those 22 saves were more saves than the Rangers had shots on goal in the entire game, to give you an idea of how dominant the Canes were in this one.
This game was the Lundqvist show, but let’s not discount the offense and putting up three goals and an empty netter. Artemi Panarin, Brendan Lemieux, Adam Fox, and Pavel Buchnevich all scored in this one. Those are really the only two positives here, and I am usually not a fan of watching the Rangers get caved in. But boy was it fun to watch vintage Hank steal one. He’s still got it, folks.
Rangers 1, Canes 0
As Steve Valliquette pointed out on the broadcast, having the puck cross behind the net like that several times keeps the goalie blind to what’s in front. Add that to Panarin getting a half step on Dougie Hamilton and a perfect feed from Ryan Strome, and the Rangers escaped the first with a lead.
Rangers 1, Canes 1
Honestly this is just a great deflection by Hamilton. There wasn’t really a defensive breakdown, there wasn’t much Hank could do. Just a good play.
Rangers 2, Canes 1
As Vally said, deflections on shots in the air go in a lot more often than other deflections. Tony DeAngelo floated a wrister that Lemieux got his stick on.
Rangers 3, Canes 1
Buchnevich forces the turnover, drives the net, and tucks it home. Filip Chytil won’t get an assist, but his presence opens the lane and takes Brett Pesce out to cover him instead of the cutting Buchnevich.
Rangers 3, Canes 2
I could not find a gif of this one, and by the time I realized it I couldn’t find a video of it either and didn’t have my recording of it on my TV. Sorry folks. Sebastian Aho scored though.
Rangers 4, Canes 2
Fox empty netter.
So this is basically what you expect when you spend most of the game in your defensive zone. The amorphous blob for the Canes kind of looks like the country of Italy on a map, just rotated a bit.
Kudos to Lemieux and Brett Howden for being the only two players on the right side of the “good” median line here. Still not on the good quadrant, but in a game like this, that’s a win for those two. As for the rest of the team, well, you know.
The Blueshirts don’t play again until Sunday, which is probably good since they got their teeth kicked in. Hank made 45 saves last night and 35 on Wednesday night. For those keeping score, that’s 80 saves on 83 shots for a .964 SV%. Let’s just leave this here and that’s that.
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