This was one wild game. The Rangers dominated the Canes –except for the overtime– and needed a lucky bounce in the third period just to tie the game and send it to overtime. After that, it took a bad angle shot on a backup goalie off his angle to seal the deal and send the Rangers to the playoffs. This team is now 9-3-1 in April, and while we’ve said the bounces would start going their way, and it happened quite literally tonight. On to the goals:
Rangers 1, Canes 0
Wide open in the slot.
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With Winnipeg losing tonight in regulation to the Capitals, the Rangers had a chance to clinch tonight. Unfortunately, the Rangers just couldn’t cash it in despite dominating puck possession (+25 team corsi), out hitting the Panthers and forcing more turnovers.
The Rangers have 52 points with two games left to garner the 2 points needed to solidify a playoff spot. Winterpeg has 51 points, but they only have one game left. The Jets will face off against the Canadiens at home on Thursday, who have dropped two in a row and are 4-6 in their last 10.
Also at the edge of the playoff cliff are the Ottawa Senators who have 52 points as well, but they have three games remaining. On the positive side, should the Rangers win out, they may be able to nab the 6th seed depending on what happens to the Islanders. Lots of variables here.
On to the goals…
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The Rangers played one of their most complete games of the season as they eliminated the Devils from postseason contention, winning 4-1. The Rangers were the better team throughout led once again by Callahan and Stepan offensively with Henrik Lundqvist again in strong form in net. The Rangers are peaking at the right time. You have to enjoy the Devils mocks from the crowd toward the end. That feels good. So does seeing their head coach get ejected. This was a satisfying win for the Rangers. On to the goal breakdown.
Rangers 1-0; Ryan Callahan
The Rangers struck early; after getting in deep and generating pressure along the boards the puck caroms off the boards to Callahan who, stationed to the right of the Devils goal caught Brodeur off guard to bank it off his right skate in to the net. The goal was basically a result of immediate puck pressure and a strange bounce that Callahan was able to take advantage of.
Rangers 2-0; Derek Stepan
Traffic + puck possession = goals. The Rangers cycled the puck down low effectively then moved the puck to the blueline where it eventually came to Ryan McDonagh. As McDonagh wound up for a shot, two Rangers (Clowe and Stepan) went toward the net and created a heap of traffic in front of Brodeur. McDonagh’s shot from the right point appears to take a deflection in front from Stepan as Brodeur could see very little as the puck found its way in.
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Sorry this is late folks. As I said last night, none of us were available and I DVR’d the game to do the breakdown this morning. Problem was there were 12 effing goals to break down. Luckily, these goals were easy to break down, as the miscues or bounces were very obvious.
This was a very sloppy game all around, but the Rangers took advantage of more mistakes, more defensive miscues, more turnovers, and just awful goaltending from the Sabres to put eight goals up on the board. That said, Henrik Lundqvist was not sharp, Steve Eminger had a rough night, and the Rangers were just sloppy after jumping out to a six goal lead. It’s not often you give up four goals to a bad team and still find a way to win. On to the goals:
Rangers 1, Sabres 0
Derek Stepan had some good board work in the defensive zone to get the puck to Carl Hagelin. Hagelin just used his speed to burn by the defense, go behind the net, and throw it in front. The puck ricocheted a few times, the last one being off Adam Pardy, and wound up in the back of the net.
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The Rangers righted the ship in a big way tonight, routing the Panthers 6-1 in a must win game. The Blueshirts came out firing, and just completely dominated the Cats in every facet of the game. By the time the middle of the third period rolled around, it was clear that the Panthers had given up, as their breakdowns became more egregious and their effort level tanked completely. Their loss is the Rangers’ gain, as they got a much-needed two points. On to the goals, and again there will be no pictures, as life is getting in the way of it again. Sorry for that.
Rangers 1, Panthers 0
While on the powerplay the Rangers worked the puck deep, and an eventual shot by Ryan Callahan went wide. Rick Nash went to get the puck behind the net, and Derick Brassard –who initially fed the puck to Cally for the shot– went to the front of the net. Both Tomas Fleischmann and Jack Skille left Brassard unaccounted for in front, and once Nash got the puck to the slot, it was a simple tap in for Brassard.
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The Rangers came into Philly needing to continue winning to really secure themselves a playoff spot, and did the exact opposite. They laid the proverbial egg, and adding insult to injury, lost Brian Boyle to a leg injury. The Islanders, Caps, Sens, and Jets all won their games, which means the Rangers are now on the outside looking in for the playoffs. I still believe they will hold on for a spot, as they have a game in hand on Winnipeg, but this road just got a lot tougher.
No pictures tonight with the breakdown, sorry folks.
Flyers 1, Rangers 0
On the Flyers rush, Luke Schenn was Mats Zuccarello’s man, but Zucc left him to attempt to block the shot from Brandon Manning. The puck got deflected and took a few bad bounces right to Schenn’s stick, who beat an out of position Henrik Lundqvist. The goal itself is the result of a few bad bounces, but if Zuccarello stays with his man, then Schenn never gets that shot off.
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Mike Stobe/Getty Images
In his pre-game interview, John Tortorella was asked “what will it take to win this game?”. His response was that sometimes you can outplay the other guys and still not win. That’s exactly what happened tonight as the Rangers were able to escape Long Island with two points after being outplayed by a ridiculously fast Islander team. The 1-0 overtime win came on the back of Henrik Lundqvist’s first shutout of the season, and an absolute beauty of a snipe by Dan Girardi. Only one goal to break down in this one…
Rangers 1, Islanders 0
During the final minutes of overtime, the Rangers recovered the puck in the top of their defensive zone. Two quick breakout passes later and Derick Brassard carried the puck across the Islander blue line. Dan Girardi intelligently read the defense converging on Brassard and snuck in behind undetected. Brassard sauced a beauty between the D, and Girardi carried the puck toward the near side of the goal. He saw some open real estate above Nabokov’s right shoulder, and sniped it top corner, right off the elbow. Read more »
The Rangers deserved two points tonight if for no other reason than they held the Maple Leafs 24+ minutes without a shot on goal during the second period and into the third. Of course, once Toronto finally did get a shot at 8:05 of the final frame, the tying goal ended up in the back of New York’s net. But in the end New York picked up two extremely valuable points. They are now tied with the sixth place Senators and seventh place Islanders at 44 points, but don’t own the tiebreaker over either team. The Winnipeg Jets loom two points back in ninth, but have played one more game than the Rangers.
Henrik Lundqvist was the hero again, especially during overtime and in the shootout, but it was also Mats Zuccarello’s first big moment since re-joining the Rangers. Zuccarello’s game has clearly improved, but he’d yet to make a major impact on the scoresheet and was called out by coach John Tortorella in his pregame press conference. Zuccarello ended up scoring the only goal of the shootout off a quick wrist shot that beat Toronto goalie James Reimer five-hole. The Rangers are now off until Saturday when they’ll visit the Islanders in a tremendous rivalry game with playoff implications.
Maple Leafs 1, Rangers 0
Lundqvist made a pair of terrific saves on Clarke MacArthur and Nazem Kadri, but the Rangers were unable to escape their defensive zone. Dion Phaneuf gathered the puck at the point and slowly drove to the net. He tried to throw a pass toward the slot, but Ryan Callahan intercepted it on his backhand. Unfortunately, Callahan didn’t see Phil Kessel coming hard from his blind side and Kessel was able to pick Callahan’s pocket and sweep the puck by a surprised Lundqvist in one quick motion. It was Kessel’s third goal in two games against the Rangers this week. Read more »
Boy were the Rangers sloppy in this one. Michael Del Zotto had a very rough game, and had three separate miscues that led directly to Leafs goals. The Leafs aren’t elite, but they are good enough that if you make miscues like that they will capitalize. Rick Nash and Derek Stepan were able to keep this game interesting with timely goals, but they represented 50% of the players that weren’t sloppy (Mats Zuccarello, Anton Stralman). This was ugly to watch all around, and the Rangers came out on the losing end because of their sloppiness. On to the goals:
Leafs 1, Rangers 0
Stay with your man MDZ.
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The second period was the period where the Rangers finally broke through on Dan Ellis, scoring two goals in 30 seconds –one on the powerplay– and adding another powerplay goal 10 minutes later. Those three goals were more than enough for the Rangers, as Henrik Lundqvist was spectacular, especially in the closing minute of the second period. Hank eventually got beat in the third, but he was absolutely stellar in this game, making 48 saves in the process. He stole this for the Rangers, and this is the perfect time for him to begin doing so. On to the goals:
Rangers 1, Canes 0
3 of 4 guys chasing Richards.
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