If you want one word to sum up the New York Rangers tonight feel free to use sloppy. The Rangers were defeated 3-1 by the Boston Bruins and were second best in almost every facet. Throughout the season the goals in each game (as well as a brief game summary) will be broken down right here so keep on coming back. Let’s get in to it.
Boston 1 Rangers 0
The Rangers got caught on a line change for Boston’s first goal. David Krejci was fed the puck, cross ice, from Andrew Ference and being completely wide open, was able to get off a low shot from the boards which Henrik Lundqvist was only able to push out in front to a streaking Lucic who banked it home from the top of the crease around the fourteen mark of the first. It was a sloppy goal all round from the Rangers especially when you consider how Staal failed to cover Lucic in front. Missed coverage, easy finish.
Boston 2 Rangers 0
The Bruins got their second (midway through the second) once again, directly off a bad change by the Rangers. Following a breakout by the Bruins, essentially Dan Paille was wide open because the back checking Ranger was late back because of the poorly timed change. Whether it was traffic or a deflection (actually, both) Lundqvist was unable to stop Paille’s high shot which hit the post and proceeded to bank off Lundqvist before trickling over the goal line. Boston’s second was another sloppy goal conceded by the Rangers given the badly timed change and poor coverage. Several breakdowns occurred on the goal.
Boston 2 Rangers 1
This is what you pay big bucks for: As the Rangers broke out of their own zone the puck came to Nash who – driving to the middle – made a smart spinning move on the defenseman before getting a strong, low shot off. Eventually the puck came back to Richards and with his second attempt he sent a rising shot over Rask’s blocker to cut the lead to one. The goal featured a first point as a Ranger for Nash as well as Girardi’s first assist of the year. The goal was one of the very few times throughout the entire game where the Bruins seemed a little disorganised in their own zone.
Boston3 Rangers 1
The Bruins won a faceoff in the right circle by Bergeron, and as the puck came back to Johnny Boychuck the blueliner simply shot the puck back towards goal from near the boards, from just inside the blueline. With several players in front of Lundqvist and with possible multiple deflections (Richards then Bergeron) the Rangers goalie couldn’t see anything as it sneaked in on the right hand side. Cruel goal for Lundqvist to concede as his vision of the puck was minimal but good play from Bergeron to win the face off and head streak to the goal to block the netminder’s view. Simple, effective hockey.
The Rangers were sloppy; they were second best along the boards, physically overall and were unable to get much momentum offensively, barring a few extended shifts in the Bruins zone in the second half of the middle period. Despite this, the Rangers were unlucky. Two fortunate goals for the Bruins with two sloppy changes for the Rangers were critical factors in the game.
That said, the Rangers failed to capitalise on special teams including a potential game changing 5 on 3 while they relied heavily on the brilliance of Lundqvist. Indeed, despite being just the first game of the year Lundqvist sprawling glove save off David Krejci will be a save of the year candidate: awesome reflexes and side to side ability on show by the King.
The Rangers never managed to deal with the Krejci – Horton – Lucic line all night, got next to nothing from most of the lines and really only Richards, Nash and in spurts Gaborik were visible offensively for the Rangers. With the Penguins up next tomorrow night the Rangers will need to shake off what looks like rust. The Bruins seemed better prepared/ready to play and executed better. Boston deserved the victory even if the way it came about was fortunate.
Ranger of the game: Henrik Lundqvist – spectacular despite three goals against. (honourable mention to Rick Nash)
Must do better award: Carl Hagelin (invisible if it were not for the penalty box)