Rangers earn second consecutive shutout victory; St. Louis picks up two points
For the second game in a row, the Ranger (9-7-4) shutout their opponent, this time against the best team in the NHL, the Montreal Canadiens (16-6-1).
New York vastly outplayed their opponents, controlling play for almost the entire game. They outshot Montreal 34-21, had 15 takeaways, and lit up Dustin Tokarski for five goals, all while shutting down the Habs with tremendous defensive play.
Martin St. Louis was the offensive catalyst for the Rangers, assisting on Derek Stepan’s goal in the second period, and then scoring himself later on. St. Louis’ two points puts him at 998 for his career.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 21 of Montreal’s shots to earn his fourth shutout of the season, and his eighth win of the year.
The Rangers started out with an early power play opportunity, where they had three shots on net but could not score.
The Blueshirts managed to keep the puck in Montreal’s zone for long periods of time, stopping the Canadiens in the neutral zone and not allowing them to use their speed.
Their effort paid off, with the Dominic Moore and the fourth line cashing in off of the faceoff for the first goal of the game.
The Rangers won a faceoff and Fast pushed the puck forward. Tanner Glass shot the puck at Tokarski, and was able to get his rebound back to Dominic Moore, who shot it through the pads of Tokarski for the first goal of the game.
It was Dominic Moore’s first goal of the season, Tanner Glass’ first point as a Ranger, and Jesper Fast’s first career NHL point.
One thing that I noticed was the use of the bottom two lines in the first period. Vigneault used the lines of Hagelin-Hayes-Duclair and Glass-Moore-Fast quite often, and both lines did a tremendous job of shutting down the Canadiens top lines and creating scoring chances.
Montreal would get a power play opportunity, but the Rangers penalty kill came up big, and the Blueshirts headed into the locker room with a 1-0 lead.
In the second period, the Rangers came out strong again, scoring just 35 seconds into the period. Derek Stepan scored his second goal of the season off of a fantastic backhanded pass from Martin St. Louis.
Stepan had a takeaway in the neutral zone, and Chris Kreider carried it into the Canadiens zone. After passing it off to St. Louis, he made a great backhanded pass to Stepan, who fired a wrister over the shoulder of Tokarski, making it 2-0 in favor of the Rangers.
New York would continue to pile on the pressure, and nearly scored on a few occasions. Rick Nash hit the post on a wraparound chance, and Tokarski stopped chances from Kreider, Zuccarello, and Tanner Glass.
As well as creating chances, the Rangers were playing great defensive hockey. The Blueshirts did not give Montreal any space, and consistently blocked off the passing and shooting lanes. The Canadiens really could not get anything going.
Martin St. Louis would reward the good defense, scoring in the third period on a takeaway of his own. The Rangers won a puck battle against the boards, and chipped it out of the zone. St. Louis lifted the stick of Alexei Emelin and took the puck to the front of the net, where he went top shelf on Tokarski, making 3-0 New York.
The second period was probably the best of the game for New York. The Rangers held the Habs to five shots while getting 14 of their own, as well as converting on two of their opportunities.
The third period was mostly the same, with the Rangers controlling the majority of the play.
The third line worked hard all night, and they were rewarded. Kevin Hayes got the puck into the offensive zone, and wheeled around, making a pass to Anthony Duclair. Duclair kicked the puck to his skate, and made a gorgeous cross-crease pass to Carl Hagelin in front, and he tapped it in for his fifth of the season, and the Rangers fourth of the night.
New York would add one more goal, as Rick Nash scored again, netting his 14th goal of this early season. Derick Brassard made a great outlet pass through the neutral zone, and Nash scored on a tough breakaway chance, using the backhand to get it past Tokarski, giving the Rangers a five goal lead.
Nash’s goal ties him with Steven Stamkos for second in the league in goals.
The other highlight of the period was Kevin Klein dropping the gloves with former Ranger Brandon Prust. Prust ran into Lundqvist while chasing a puck (incidental contact) and Klein defended his goalie. It was an awesome gesture to see, and Klein is quickly growing into a fan-favorite as well as a player-favorite.
Overall, it was a complete effort from the Rangers tonight. Every one of the Rangers lines scored a goal in tonight’s game. In fact, every single Rangers forward tallied a point in the game. The last time that happened was on December 17th, 1980 against Winnipeg.
The defense was also great, and Lundqvist made 21 saves in a shutout. Every Ranger put forth a good effort and it showed, as New York was able to topple the best team in the NHL.
Some credit also needs to go to Alain Vigneault. During the broadcast, John Giannone noted that despite being up 4-0, AV was constantly coaching the team, keepimg 30 second shifts, and keeping the intensity up so that they could play a consistent 60 miniutes. Shortly after that, Nash scored, and having two straight consistent efforts really helps the Rangers.
It starts with defense. Although Henrik wasn’t tested much tonight, he was strong when he needed to be. His fourth shutout of the season ties him with Marc-Andre Fleury for most in the NHL.
The Rangers defensemen all played great, most notably Marc Staal. They all were able to shut down every aspect of the Canadiens offense, as well as supporting each other on the ice. Although Henrik and Talbot played well, the Rangers defense has been tremendous in the last two games.
The Rangers fourth line had a great game. After receiving a lot of criticism for not producing enough, they answered tonight, scoring the crucial fourth goal on a second effort. Dominic Moore scored his first of the season, and Glass and Fast picked up their first points of the season. The bottom line has worked hard the last two games, and have played well recently.
The third line consisting of Carl Hagelin, Kevin Hayes, and Anthony Duclair also turned in a strong game. Duclair proved again why he belongs in the lineup, making a great play to get the puck to Hagelin for his goal. This line has a lot of potential to blossom into a great line as Kevin Hayes and Anthony Duclair develop throughout the season.
Derek Stepan continues to produce since his return to the Rangers lineup. Stepan notched his second goal of the season, giving him seven points (2-5-7) in his eight games this season. Stepan’s return adds depth down the middle, solidifies the second line, and helps the Rangers on their power play. Stepan has been great in the lineup.
Chris Kreider had a very strong game that was much needed from him. After being held off of the scoresheet for six games, Kreider tallied two assists tonight, giving him 12 points on the year (4-8-12). Kreider came close on a few opportunities, and hopefully built some confidence tonight.
Martin St. Louis is red-hot as of late. The 39-year-old winger has played tremendously since he was shifted back to his natural right wing position. His goal tonight gave him eight this season, and seven in his last 10 games. St. Louis also has 998 career points, which means he could potentially reach 1,000 when the Rangers face off against the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
And finally, Rick Nash is an absolute monster. He scored his 14th goal of the season against the Canadiens, and has 21 points on the season (14-7-21). It seems like Nash is just scoring at will, and it’s a great sight for the Rangers.
Following one of their most complete efforts of the season, the Rangers will head into Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning again. The Lightning beat the Rangers last week by a final score of 5-1, in a game where New York really struggled. It will also mark Martin St. Louis’ first return to Tampa Bay to face his former team.
1) Martin St. Louis – 1 Goal, 1 Assist
2) Henrik Lundqvist – 21 Saves, 1.000 SV%
3) Dominic Moore – 1 Goal
Posted on November 24, 2014, in Game Recaps and tagged Alain Vigneault, Anthony Duclair, Buffalo Sabres, Carey Price, Carl Hagelin, Chris Kreider, Dan Girardi, Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard, Dominic Moore, Henrik Lundqvist, Jesper Fast, John Moore, Kevin Hayes, Kevin Klein, King Henrik, Madison Square Garden, Marc Staal, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Matt Hunwick, Montreal Canadiens, MSG, New York Rangers, NHL, NHL 2014-2015 Season, NY Rangers, NYR, P.K. Subban, Philadelphia Flyers, Rangers Nation, Rangerstown, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tanner Glass, The Duke, The Ranger Zone. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.