Rangers end three game skid in shootout; Brassard scores in third straight game
In a huge game on home ice, the Rangers managed to comeback late and end their short losing streak with a win against the Hurricanes in the shootout.
Derick Brassard scored late in the third to tie the game at 1, which was his third goal of the season. It was also the third straight game in which he scored a goal. Zuccarello and Girardi both picked up assists, which was the first point of the season for the two of them.
Rick Nash’s four game goal streak ended, but he did come up clutch in the shootout, as he was the only player to score.
The first period was extremely slow. With most of their top players out, the Hurricanes implemented a controlling style of play. They also played the trap defense a bit, in an attempt to stop the Rangers from carrying the puck into the zone.
The Rangers had most of the pressure at the beginning of the first period, with the Hurricanes registering only 2 shots on goal in the first 11 minutes. But after Chris Kreider took a delay of game penalty at the 12 minute mark, the momentum shifted towards Carolina.
The Hurricanes finished the first period with 13 shots on goal, and 11 of the last 12 shots.
The second period was also a lot of the same type of play that went on in the first period. The Hurricanes and Rangers both traded penalties, with neither side scoring on the power play. The Rangers would finish 0/5 on the power play for the night.
Duclair wound up drawing two of the penalties for New York, but had a quiet night otherwise. He was not used much in the third period in favor of other players.
Carolina would break through first late in the second period. After over 36 minutes of scoreless hockey, Chris Terry got the puck from Ryan Murphy, and blasted a slap shot, which deflected off of either a Ranger or a Hurricane in front (video wasn’t clear), and the puck got past Lundqvist. Terry was credited with the goal.
The rest of the period was pretty quiet, except for one chance late in the period. Kevin Hayes, who had another solid game, made a pass back to McDonagh, who wristed it on net, but it was stopped by Khudobin.
At the end of the second period, Carolina also led the Rangers in faceoffs, 26 to 14.
The Rangers played much better hockey in the third period, and were rewarded because it.
The Rangers put a lot more pressure on the Hurricanes, getting pucks behind the net, getting the puck to the open man, getting quality shots on net, and playing solid defense.
Vigneault also was experimenting with the lines. At one point, he had Nash on the left, St. Louis on the right, and Kevin Hayes in the center. The Rangers really had trouble establishing anything in the first two periods, so Vigneault was just trying to get something going, as well as allowing St. Louis to get more shots on net.
The referees also made a bad call that could have ended the game earlier. After a shot on net, Khudobin attempted to bring the puck to himself so he could freeze it. But he lost control of the puck and it went to the right of him, with an open net, right where a waiting Anthony Duclair was. However, the official wound up blowing the whistle very quickly, cancelling out Duclair’s almost guaranteed goal.
The Rangers stayed composed and managed to tie up the game late. After a battle for the puck behind Hurricanes net, Mats Zuccarello did a nice job on the forecheck. Zuccarello collected the puck, and got it to Girardi at the point. Girardi, realizing that there were a lot of people in front of the net, made a nice read and shot a soft wrister into the crowd, where it was deflected by Mats Zuccarello and then Berick Brassard before finding its way to the back of the net.
This was Brassard’s third goal of the season, and his third straight game with a goal. Zuccarello and Girardi picked up their first assists of the season. The goal came 9:40 into the third.
Rick Nash also looked tremendous this period. Nash made countless plays where he stole the puck in Carolina’s zone, contributed to the forecheck, and getting tons of chances.
With Khudobin and Lundqvist stopping practically everything that headed their way, the game headed into overtime.
Overtime was also pretty uneventful, with most of the chances going to Carolina. The Rangers had some trouble carrying the puck into the Rangers’ zone.
In the shootout, the Rangers went first. Zuccarello’s trademark slow wrister was stopped, and Lundqvist made a stop on a backhand by Semin. Khudobin then stopped Stempniak with a right pad, and Lundqvist barely got enough on Terry’s wrister as he tried to sneak in through the pads.
And Rick Nash skated to center ice to take the puck. As he has done since the start of the season, Nash delivered in the clutch again, making a great move to fool Khudobin and slide the puck past him. Hank sealed it with a glove save on the wrist shot by Ryan Murphy to give the Rangers their first win at home this season.
It wasn’t a pretty win, but it was a win nonetheless, and one that really helped boostthe Rangers’ confidence. Henrik Lundqvist looked like “The King” again, making 29 saves on 30 shots and going perfect in the shootout. The only puck that got past him was a deflection.
Khudobin also played very well. Making 33 saves on 34 shots in the loss. However, it was not enough, as the Hurricanes could not manage to get their first win of the season.
It could be argued that Rick Nash was the best Ranger again. Nash did not register a point, but was all over the ice, contributing to the forecheck and creating tons of chances. He also came up clutch in the shootout to give the Blueshirts the win.
Kevin Hayes had another solid game, registering a few shots on goal and creating some dangerous chances for New York. He was even centering Nash and St. Louis late in the game, which shows how highly Vigneault thought of his play.
Hayes is a possession player. With his big 6-foot-4 frame, Hayes is hard to move off of the puck, and uses that to his advantage by getting the puck and keeping it, allowing him to shoot the puck or look for an open man.
The defense was also much better tonight, and did a better job blocking shots, clearing the crease, and limiting the Hurricanes’ chances. Ryan McDonagh may have had his best game of the year, registering 4 shots on goal, as well as 2 blocked shots and 2 hits as well as logging over 30 minutes of ice time.
Matt Hunwick also played today, and did a much better job than Kostka did against the Islanders. Hunwick will likely play again next game.
The Rangers did still struggle in some areas. The power play was not effective at all tonight, with New York going 0/5 with a man advantage, bringing them to 0/16 on the year.
New York also had trouble winning face offs, a problem that has been recurring through the first 5 games of the season. Carolina won 43 faceoffs, while the Rangers won only 23.
Both of these areas will need to improve as the Rangers face a tough San Jose Sharks team on Sunday in the final game of a four game home stand.
The Sharks are yet to lose in regulation, and suffered their first loss in overtime to the Islanders tonight in a shootout. San Jose has also scored 16 goals in their first 4 games, while allowing only 9. Those 9 goals came in the third and fourth game that they played.
Sunday’s matchup will be the Sharks’ third game in four days. They lost to the Islanders tonight, and they will face the Devils in New Jersey tomorrow night, and then head to Madison Square Garden for the Sunday game, which is also an earlier game than usual.
The Rangers will need the defense to play as well as they did tonight, and will need to start winning the key face offs, something they have struggled with all season. Whoever gets the call in net will also need to be sharp against a team where scoring comes from all over the ice.
One thing that happened in tonight’s game was the changing of the lines. After the Rangers struggled to get anything going, Vigneault scrambled the lines in order to see if one of them to score. The line of Kreider, Brassard, and Zuccarello was the one that broke through, a line that was not together at the start of the game.
I expect Vigneault to do the same thing in these next two off days, as he tries to see who works well together and establish chemistry.
The Rangers will face off against the Sharks on Sunday evening at 5 PM, as the Blueshirts look to string together two straight wins.
Posted on October 17, 2014, in Game Recaps and tagged Anthony Duclair, Carl Hagelin, Carolina, Carolina Hurricanes, Chris Kreider, Dan Girardi, Derick Brassard, Henrik Lundqvist, Home Opener, Huricanes, Kevin Hayes, King Henrik, Madison Square Garden, Marc Staal, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Michael Kostka, MSG, New York Rangers, NHL, NHL 2014-2015 Season, NY Rangers, NYR, NYR Season Opener, Rangers Season Opener, Rangersnation, Rangerstown, Rick Nash, Ryan Malone, Ryan McDonagh, The Duke, The Ranger Zone. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.