Tag: New York Rangers recap

Henrik Lundqvist Makes 43 Saves In Rangers 2-1 Win Over Carolina

The New York Rangers picked up another down to the wire type of win. Not a pretty one by any means but a win is a win. Some Rangers may disagree with the way the Rangers season has went thus far as they are 20th in NHL one game above .500 with 60 points in 59 games played.

The Rangers picked up an ugly 2-1 win Tuesday night vs the Hurricanes. The first goal came just as many it seems like have come from the Rangers this season off a body crashing the net and in. What hockey analysts would call puck luck. The Rangers went down 1-0 early in the second period until a flying Filip Chytil came down the right side throwing a puck on net hoping for the best as streaking Connor Brickley came crashing towards the net and the Hurricanes defenseman happen to push Brickley into the crease area making the puck bounce off Brickley’s chest and in to tie it 1-1.

As the game ensued after, nothing else was scored in the second period. The Hurricanes did head into the third period outshooting the Rangers 26-16. The Hurricanes have been one of the most shot heavy teams in the NHL this season but that was no match for 36-year-old netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Who was playing in his first game since February 12th. Lundqvist has not seen the crease for the Rangers last two games with a day rest in between each game it was odd not to see Lundqvist in net for Pittsburgh or Buffalo. Still without seeing game action since February 12th in which he lost 4-3 to Winnipeg. Lundqvist made 18 saves in the third period and 43 in the game. The Rangers went onto win 2-1 off a power play goal by Vladislav Namestikov (7). Another ugly, “grinder” type goal for the Rangers as the chaos ensued in front Namestikov managed to find the loose puck among four other bodies and slam it home for the game-winning goal.

With this win Lundqvist now moves to 448 wins in his career, six shy of Curtis Joseph for 5th all-time and 35 behind Roberto Luongo the only other active goaltender ahead of Lundqvist at the moment. Lundqvist is 36-years-old with two-years left on his contract. Judging off the health of Lundqvist, Luongo’s ability to play at 39-years-old we would have to assume Lundqvist is capable to do so as well.

Now, if Lundqvist does play out his last two-years and play until he is 39-years-old we can probably make the assumption that he will surpass Luongo. Personally I believe Lundqvist has another 20-25 win seasons in him. He has 17 at the moment and will more than likely finish with 25 wins this season and another 25 win season in the next two years. Either way Lundqvist Stanley Cup or not, Lundqvist is a future hall of fame candidate.

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Rangers earn 13th win over Ottawa Senators off goals from Andersson, Staal and Kreider

The New York Rangers people, sure it was a win over the Ottawa Senators but it is extremely satisfying to see this team score goals and have it done by people of all different names. As well as seeing this team play as a unit, everyone chip in and never give up or look out of it. 

The Rangers picked up their 13th win of the year vs the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden winning 4-2. It was a back and forth game until the end. The Rangers and Senators combined for 64 shots on net total, Rangers with 33, Senators with 31, neither team scored a power play goal as the Rangers went 0/4 and Senators 0/2. Despite the numerous turnovers between the two, the Rangers managed to pull ahead in this game and take control of third place in the Metropolitan division. 

First period scoring

Tonight’s scoring led off with Marc Staal (1). The play originally starts with a Staal shot that got blocked into the corner, Staal followed his shot kicked it to Mika Zibanejad behind the net, as Zib walked the front, Staal was back door waiting for a one-timer, where he netted the first goal of the game and of the year for him. The second goal of the game and the Senators first to tie it at one a piece was off the only Senator goal scorer of the night. Mark Stone, who led the rush in the zone and made a beautiful saucer pass to Brady Tkachuk coming in late to the zone, Tkachuk just threw it to the net as Stone cleaned up garbage for his 10th of the year. There was nothing in the second period just an even period where both teams registered 9 shots on net. 

Third period scoring

The third opened with nothing in the first 3.5 minutes until the Rangers struck first to make it 2-1 off a Lias Andersson goal and Ryan Strome assist. Music to Rangers fan ears. Andersson scored his first of the year off Strome’s second assist with the Rangers. This was an odd goal as it came off a shot from and just happened to bank off Andersson’s back and just like that the Rangers went up 2-1. Not a pretty way to score your first of the year but a goal is a goal for the young Rangers forward. The next goal was the Rangers to make it 3-1, off a two on one, Filip Chytil with Chris Kreider a simple, saucer pass over the defenseman right on Kreider’s stick made it 3-1 and Kreider’s 13th of the year, as well as the game winning goal. Senators scored late but it would not be enough. Mark Stone scored his second of the night but the Rangers would eventually score an empty netter to seal the deal and make it 4-2. 

Rangers can thank Henrik Lundqvist for his 29 save performance helping the Rangers get their 13th win and Hank’s 9th win of the year. Lundqvist improves to 9-7-2 on the year and a .927 save percentage. The Rangers hit the road to play in Ottawa on Thursday and Montreal on Saturday before returning home to face the Jets on Sunday. 

All around a gritty win for the Rangers getting insurance from Andersson, Staal and having their top performers show up when they need it most is exactly what has made the Rangers successful. The Rangers top players are there when they need them, Lundqvist is playing great and their role players are chipping in when it is needed. Another win, and another Ranger prospect making a mark on the game.

And THE RANGERS LOSE….. Again

You know the Michael Kay “THE YANKEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS WIN” at the end of every big Yankees game, that’s all that continues to ring through my head as I sit down and write about another Rangers lose.

This makes it now three in a row and seven of the last ten the Rangers lost. The sad thing is this was only a 2-1 loss and the Rangers held the lead for almost TWO full periods. The Rangers opened the scoring by none other than David Desharnais(6) assisted by Lettieri and Miller. Side note though David Desharnais has been honestly one of the most consistent players for the Rangers, let’s understand the Rangers brought him to be a fourth liner and bring a solid veteran presence and a fourth line grinder mentality. But the 31-year-old has contributed 23 points this season and is very capable of tallying 40 for the Rangers.

Anyways, sorry for my little Desharnais rant but the Rangers led the first 1-0, but got outshot, wait for it 21-9. They got outshot by 12 shots in the first and yet again Henrik stood on his head. The Rangers took five penalties, but also did not capitalize on three of their own power plays. The Rangers held the lead for 34 minutes, this game but unfortunately Tyler Seguin came in and absolutely tee’d one up to blow it by Lundqvist as the announcer says it best “Tyler Seguin a rolling puck dagger”, in which it indeed was a dagger to the Rangers, tying it up 1-1, ultimately sucking the life out of the group.

The Rangers did come out much better in the third out-shooting the Stars 11-7, but the Rangers lack of discipline and Tony De’Angelo’s two penalties really hurt the Rangers as Martin Hanzal(he’s alive?) scored his 7th of the year on the power play to give the Stars a 2-1 lead and eventually end the game.

It was not a pretty game for the Rangers and as I said yesterday in the pregame they came out slow and got outshot heavily, 34 to 21 in the first two periods. In the game the Rangers got outshot 41 to 32 and Lundqvist would turn away 39 of 41 shots, and still, picked up the loss, although he did receive the first star of the game.

Figure it out Rangers…

I am at a loss for words for this team it is frustrating because obviously, things need to be changed, but they are delaying the inevitable by holding off some trades, just run with the trades and make it known you want to move these guys ASAP. The way the Rangers look right now, a wild card spot is bleak, a top-three finish is not an option so battling for a wild-card spot is their only hope.

As Ranger fans do we even want that though? A wild card spot plays the first seeded team, loss in seven games possibly and not receive a solid first round pick. At this point, I think we all understand the Rangers are not winning the Stanley Cup, or possibly a game this month. The next four look like this for the Rangers, Boston, Calgary, Winnipeg, Minnesota. Yes concerned, can they win at least two of four, yes, will they? Who knows.

I just feel terrible for Lundqvist he has expressed that he wants to stay in New York, whether they are #1 or #31. The guy deserves better and right now he is getting the short end of the stick.

 

Time to panic? Rangers drop 4-0 to Toronto

Toronto Maple Leafs came into Madison Square Garden Thursday night after coming off a home game vs the Islanders Wednesday night. A back to back for Toronto had the Rangers hopes high and a hopeful win on the horizon.

First period…

Unfortunately, it did not turn out that way. 8:42 into the first period, Toronto’s rookie defenseman Justin Holl scored his second goal in two games to give the Leafs a 1-0 lead. Holl inked himself in Maple Leafs history being the only defenseman to score their first two goals in their first two games. Just 7:11 minutes later, Maple Leafs would score one more time off a James Van Riemsdyk(20) backhand goal infront of the net. This goal was just one of the examples of how poorly the Rangers played the first, a breakdown in the defensive zone gave JVR the room to sneak behind the defenseman in which Connor Brown fed him perfectly for a Toronto 2-0 lead.

Concluding the first period Ranger fans let the players hear it as “boos” echoed throughout the arena and the first period horn rang. A well deserved “boo” and a glimpse of what the rest of the season could look like.

And that’s the game…

The second period started off just 52 seconds with a Toronto goal, from the high slot off a blocked Kadri shot, left all alone for Marleau who rifles one past Lundwvist for a 3-0 lead. Even the announcers were confused as to how this goal went in, the Rangers played a terrible first, started the second off with an almost breakaway attempt by the Leafs and then a goal within the first minute. The questions among this goal though are, where are the Rangers, Kadri’s shot got blocked about 5 feet inside the blue and Marleau was just above the circle with literally not ONE Rangers player on him. The Rangers looked to be enjoying break still during this game. Toronto’s 4th and final goal of the game came off Zach Hyman driving to the front of the net for a nifty in close backhand goal. Again, we ask where are the Rangers? A step by Brady Skeji to start, where Skeji should not have stepped, Nylander chips it out to Hyman, who drives wide, drops it to Nylander for a pass back to Hyman and Hyman just goes walking in, no back check pressure, no eliminating lanes, Marc Staal played that terribly. All in all this was a terrible game for the Rangers.

The Leafs would not score in the third nor would the Rangers, the game would end 4-0. And filled with plenty of “boos” and upset Ranger fans and players. During the second period the Rangers first power play opportunity that period, they managed to get one shot on net, but besides that struggled to gain pressure in the zone and even break the puck out which resulted in yet another Ranger “boo”. This is terrible news for the Rangers, Lundqvist got yanked yet again this game, he allowed four goals on 13 shots, in came Ondrej Pavalec who stopped all 19 shots he faced. Lundqvist expressed his feelings in the post game conference. It seemed as if Lundqvist was upset but had no real answer.

Takeaways from the game 

The Rangers got out shot 32-25, went 0/3 on the power play, out hit the Leafs 23-10, blocked more shots, had less giveaways, but an substantial less takeaways (7 to 2 in favor of Toronto). This is not a good sign for the Rangers, because things do not get easier, as they travel to Nashville to play one of the best home teams in the NHL now.

After the game the Rangers were saying all the right things, Alain Vigneault said they had two good practices and they should have been better than that. Should of, could of, would of. Lundqvist put some of the blame on him saying he needs to be better than that. We understand he is hard on himself but the team in front of you needs to help also. Ryan McDonagh to conclude the post game conference said

“I think we let our guard down, even a few minutes within a period. A team like that will make you pay. We don’t have enough time and enough games here that we can afford to let down our guard and let down our structure and our playmaking ability when we have the puck.”

The Rangers now travel to Nashville Friday afternoon to face off against the Predators for a Saturday (2/3) game, puck drop will be 8:00 P.M. A day to rest, refocus and hopefully wake up a little bit.

New York Rangers pick up a timely win before All-Star break

The Rangers came into Thursday nights game on a major skid and a skid that has come at a bad time. The Rangers started this road trip in Colorado, dropping the first game before a three-game West-Coast trip is not a good sign. Following Colorado’s lose the Rangers started their West-Coast trip, with L.A. to start then Anaheim, both resulted in losses.

The final game of the road trip was vs San Jose, a team that is battling two injuries to their top guys, Joe Thornton and Martin Jones. The Rangers are battling their own injuries and their own problems in their play. Luckily Thursday night the Rangers welcomed Kevin Hayes back to the lineup, a much needed forward for the Rangers.

1st period… 

Coming into the game the Rangers were 24-20-5 just outside of a wild-card spot, on a three-game losing streak and struggling for a win. The game opened up with a goal from Kevin Hayes(11) just 5:45 into the game like we said before a much needed forward for the Rangers. And Hayes stepped up big time for the Rangers to get them off to an early lead. Just a minute later the Sharks would tie the game at one off the stick of Ben Goodrow(4), the first would include more Rangers offense then Sharks but ended in a tie at two. The other first period goals came from Logan Couture(19) at 10:56 and with minutes to play in the first Jesper Fast(8) tied the game at two. Shots were 12 to 7 in favor of the Rangers at the end of one.

2nd period…

The second would open with another Logan Couture(20) goal just 2:36 into the period, off a mishandle by Sharks Kevin LeBanc, a 1-on-2 situation, where the Rangers defense need to take the body and force the forward wide, instead they gave LeBanc the middle of the ice, Couture found the loose puck and buried it home. In due time, captain Ryan McDonagh scored his first goal of the season to tie the game at three, eight minutes following Couture’s goal. McDonagh(2) would yet again score just a 1:12 later on the power play off a simple wrist shot from the blue, traffic in front, Dell could not see the puck and the Rangers go up 4-3. Minutes before the period ended, Brady Skeji(3) scored the fifth goal to give the Rangers a 5-3 lead.

3rd period…

What looked to be a Rangers win, up two heading into the final period of play, 20 minutes to hold a lead and walk out of San Jose with a much needed two points and the monkey off their backs, did not come so easily. The third started again with a Sharks goal, this time Marc-Edouard Vlasic(8) scored off a wrist shot from a questionable angle, but somehow found it’s way in and just like that the Rangers lead was cut to one. (Side note that is Vlasic’s third goal and 7th point in the last five games). With two minutes to play, a one-goal game, JT Miller(11) came up with a timely goal to put the Rangers up two, leading 6-4. With just 50 seconds to play the Sharks would score off the stick of Tomas Hertl(14), cutting the lead to one, with 50 seconds to go in regulation. Luckily, thank god, the Rangers held off the Sharks for 50 seconds and collected their first win in four games and head into the All-Star break on a high note.

Keynotes:

  • Rangers took one penalty (2 PIMS)
  • Won the special teams game (1/3 on PP, 1/1 on PK)
  • Outshot the Sharks (29-28)
  • Scored the first goal (Hayes)
  • Played with urgency and desperation

For those that did not read the pregame post, I noted all those things, in order for the Rangers to see win. Rangers now get to rest, refocus and get ready for a long stretch this is a sprint folks and with the way the Metropolitan division is looking, nothing will come easy. The Rangers sit a point out of a wild card spot right now, with 32 games to play.

New York Rangers drop third straight to Anaheim

The New York Rangers came into Tuesday nights game on a two-game losing streak, struggling to win, and a playoff spot on the line. What may have looked like a possible Rangers win in the first period, turned out to be everything but that. Now, their third straight loss and seventh loss in ten games, the Rangers have dropped to four games above .500 and two points out of a playoff spot.

Where did things go wrong for the Rangers last night? Well a player that has been their MVP, their crutch and the oxygen to this team, let them down big time. Henrik Lundqvist. Now, Lundqvist, like I said, has been unreal this year, but this game he was dethroned off his crown. Allowing three goals on his first six shots, which forced the King out of his crease and in came Ondrej Pavelec. If you can not tell by my tone of voice, the Rangers lost Tuesday night.

Game summary, period by period…

Let’s backtrack here now before I blame it on all Lundqvist, it is a team game and the Rangers did allow the Ducks to score in the first 3 minutes of the game, by a player who has scored 20 goals in 291 NHL games played, J.T. Brown(2). Especially terrible since it came off a 2-on-1 straight shot from the faceoff dot from a fourth line grinder. Mistake one. The positive side though the Rangers showed resilience, everytime the Ducks score the Rangers answered, but allowing four first period goals it is hard to really get much momentum going. The Rangers first period goals came off the stick off Rick Nash, a nifty power-play goal in tight for his first and a simple battle in front, in the dirty areas, tapping one home for his second of the game(14,15). The Rangers would allow one power-play goal breakaway from Corey Perry, this was a defensive lapse as Branden Smith and Nick Holden allowed Corey Perry to get behind them for an easy breakaway goal. This would make it 2-1, Nash would score his second of the game(refer above) to tie it at two. The Ducks would again answer back with a terrible goal let up by Lundqvist and what would end his night. Andrew Cogliano came down the right side(as a lefty) and just did all he can to muscle it by Lundqvist high glove, it tipped off Lundqvist glove, and rolled in the net for a 3-2 Ducks lead. Moments before the first ended, Adam Henrique found himself all alone for a breakaway which would eventually be the game-winning goal and his 12th of the season. A terrible turnover by JT Miller in the neutral zone picked off by Ryan Getzlaf and in went Henrique for an easy goal.

The Rangers would hold off the Ducks for the second period and score the lone second-period goal 15:53 into the second, by none other than Michale Grabner, for a short-handed goal and his 21st of the year. The goal came off a bad turnover by Ryan Getzlaf, off balance and trying to keep the puck alive at the blue, Mika Zibanejad, intercepted the pass and tapped it to Grabner, who came in, looking five-hole the whole way and scored five-hole to cut the lead to one, making it 4-3.

The third though was all Ducks and consisted of very little Rangers offense as they were unable to score but did throw 12 shots to the net. The Ducks third period goals came off the stick of team leading Rickard Rakell(18) and captain Ryan Getzlaf(6). Rakell’s power-play goal was a 5-on-3 and something the Rangers could not do much about, a shot from the point save by Pavelec, scrambling for positioning, Rakell was able to get the puck above the goal line by an inch and just tap it in. Getzlaf was an empty net goal with 2:21 to play in the game and scored from center ice off a backhand. This would seal the deal as the Ducks beat the Rangers 6-3, handing the Rangers their third straight loss and now they head to red-hot San Jose for their final game of the road trip.

Postive’s though, not many but some, they did outshoot the Ducks and doubled their shot total compared to their past two games. The Rangers were able to muster 44 shots on net, outhit the Ducks(31 to 23), blocked more shots(9 to 4) had more takeaways(7 to 4), they outshot the Ducks in every period besides the second in which they both threw 14 on the net. The downfall of this game was the four first period goals and allowing two power-play goals, a shorthanded one and taking six penalties.

Rangers month of play after All-Star break…YIKES. 

The Rangers are now scrambling for answers, they have dropped three straight, sit outside of a playoff spot and are tied with the Islanders. They trail the Penguins and Blue Jackets by two points and the last team you want to play catch up with are back-to-back Stanley Cup champions. The Rangers need to figure something out, they have one more game until the All-Star break and when they return to action it is a full-on sprint. They return February 1st to face the Maple Leafs(playoff contention) on home ice. Then hit the road for a Texas road trip to face two very good Western Conference teams, Nashville and Dallas(PC). Return home to face one of the best teams in the NHL and another team that has been red-hot, Boston, Calgary(PC). Hit the road for a four-game road trip for Winnipeg, Minnesota, Islanders(PC), Ottawa. The Rangers close out the month of February with Philadelphia(PC), Montreal, Minnesota(PC), Detroit, Vancouver. The Rangers month of February consists of facing off against nine teams that are within playoff contention, yes that what PC means. If things do not look great now, I am not too sure what the month of February will bring Rangers fans. I think it is time to hit the panic button people.

Rangers drop both games in back-to-back

Game one of the back to back vs Colorado…

The first game the Rangers lost Saturday night was to one of the hottest teams in the NHL, understood, there was not much getting in between that team and a victory. Especially on home ice. The Avalanche opened the scoring with a beautiful tip in by Eric Johnson (7) from none other then the duo of Mikko Ratanen and Nate McKinnon. Just 9:00 minutes in and the Avalanche had the lead 1-0. And just 3:24 into the second period, the Hart favorite, Nate McKinnon scored his 23rd of the year for an Avalanche 2-0 lead.

The Avalanche controlled the entirety of the game and out-shot the Rangers 37-28. Food for thought the Avalanche have not trailed one second since the start of 2018, that means they have had the lead for every single game they have played during January. Back to the action. The Rangers down 2-0, capitalized on a power play goal from Pavel Buchnevich assisted by Mats Zuccarello and Ryan McDonagh. Heading into the third, a one goal game the Rangers were unable to muster any offense and only threw 11 shots on net. The Avalanche would eventually score an empty net goal to finish off the Rangers for a 3-1 win.

Game two vs Los Angeles Recap…

Game two of the back to back was against the Kings, a team that has lost six of their last ten games. This game has some history behind it as the Rangers and the Kings have met in the Stanley Cup back in 2015. That was three years ago, and a lot has changed since then.

The game started off with a David Desharnais(5) goal on the power play. The positive is the Rangers scored against the best penalty kill in the league, as well as the second leading penalty kill Saturday night(Colorado). Just 3:15 later the Rangers were able to score their second goal and final goal of the night, off a Jimmy Vesey(10) backhand. The Kings would go onto score three second period goals, one from Jake Muzzin(4), Mike Amadio(2) and the third Tanner Pearson(9). That was the story of the night, the Rangers allowed three power play goals, all in the second period and what was the crutch to their success.

They again got out-shot 30-23. Over the course of two games they could not manage to throw more than 30 shots on net in both games. This is not good news for the Rangers, yes they have been banged up these last two games, without Kevin Hayes, Marc Staal(really not much) and Kevin Shattenkirk. But the Rangers dropping two straight when they are in the hunt for a playoff spot is bad news. They now sit one point away from being knocked out of a playoff spot and were recently jumped by the Flyers for the first wild card spot. They continue their West Coast trip vs the Ducks and end with the Sharks. The good news coming out of this is, the Rangers do go another six-day break for the All-Star break and this could give them to get healthy, recenter their attention, get their focus back and make this final push for a playoff spot. From here on out it is a sprint and every game has playoff implications.

Rangers face off against Anaheim Tuesday night. A day break is needed, a win is needed, the season is closing in and the Rangers need to wake up.