Rangers top the Oilers for their third straight win; Henrik gets the shutout
The Rangers (14-10-4) won their second game in as many days, shutting out the struggling Edmonton Oilers (7-19-5) by a final score of 2-0.
The Rangers got some surprising news this afternoon, when it was discovered that Derick Brassard, second on the team in points, had contracted the mumps, now the 12th case in the NHL this season. With Brassard out, Vigneault had to make some changes in the lineup. Tanner Glass was reinserted into the lineup on the fourth line, and JT Miller was shifted to center, with Chris Kreider playing on the second line again.
The game was defined by both teams’ defense and goaltending, with not many chances for both the Rangers and the Oilers. Both sides did a great job of shutting down the neutral zone and closing of the passing and shooting lanes.
Dan Girardi scored the first goal of the game on a centering pass that wound up hitting off of Oilers defenseman Mark Arcobello’s skate. Carl Hagelin scored the empty netter late in the third period to seal the victory for the Rangers.
The first period started out very slow, with the Blueshirts playing like a team that had a game the night before. The Oilers had an early power play opportunity, but could not convert, and also looked a bit lethargic in the early stages of the period.
The Rangers first shot of the game came over 10 minutes into the first period, but they began to pick up their play after that.
New York broke through first, with Dan Girardi scoring his second goal of the season. Jt Miller won a puck battle along the boards and Zuccarello eventually came away with it. Rick Nash was able to work the puck behind the net and find Dan Girardi, who tried to center the puck to Mats Zuccarello, but wound up banking it in off of a defenseman’s stick, giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
Throughout the rest of the game, neither team had many chances to score. Halfway through the period, both teams had a combined 17 shots on goal.
Ben Scrivens played very well for Edmonton, bailing out his teammates after they committed costly turnovers, and making a great lunging right pad save on Ryan McDonagh. Scrivens finished with 20 saves.
Henrik Lundqvist started his second consecutive game, and was not tested often, making just 16 saves in the shutout. The Rangers defensemen played sensational hockey in front of Lundqvist, shutting down the Oilers throughout the game, a team that has now won just one game in their last 16 contests.
After another defensive third period, Edmonton pulled Ben Scrivens for the extra skater, but could not score. Carl Hagelin received the puck from Dominic Moore and put it in the net for a two goal lead, and his sixth goal of the season.
Although it wasn’t a pretty win, the Rangers found a way to win an ugly game on the road, which is exactly what a team that is looking to build consistency needs to do.
Dan Girardi’s goal marked the fourth consecutive game in which a Rangers defenseman has scored a goal. The defense had struggled to be a part of the offensive game for the Blueshirts, but that has recently changed.
Ryan McDonagh and Marc Staal both scored their first goal of the season against the Canucks, and Dan Girardi scored the only even strength goal of the game off of a lucky bounce, continuing the trend of scoring from the back end.
On Girardi’s goal, Rick Nash picked up the primary assist, giving him a total of 31 points this season (18-13-31) and extending his point streak to 10 games, a career high. Rick Nash also has at least a point in 23 of the Rangers 28 games, making him the most consistent player every night for New York.
Defensively, the Rangers were outstanding in front of Lundqvist. Ryan McDonagh led the way with four blocked shots and a plus-four rating. Dan Girardi, Dan Boyle and Marc Staal also played very well, with all of them recording two blocked shots.
JT Miller had another solid game centering the Rangers top line at times, and was noticeable at times. Chris Kreider also had a solid game, recording three shots on goal and four hits.
Although he was not tested often, Henrik Lundqvist stepped up and made some key saves, earning wins in both games of the Rangers back-to-back. Lundqvist has started both games of a back-to-back 70 times in the regular season in his career, and now has a record of 43-20-7 with a 2.01 goals allowed average, a .929 save percentage, and eight shutouts in the second game.
Lundqvist also stopped all 16 shots that he faced for his fifth shutout this season, tying him with Marc-Andre Fleury for first in the NHL. It was also his 55th career shutout, putting him in sole possession of 20th place on the all-time shutout list.
The Rangers next game will be on Tuesday night against the Calgary Flames (17-13-2), who are desperate for a win after dropping their last five games. The Flames were red-hot to start the season, but are looking for a win to get themselves back on track.
The Flames have some serious offensive threats, with defenseman Mark Giordano leading the team with 30 points (8-22-30). Jiri Hudler is right behind him with 29 points (12-17-29), and rookie Johnny Gaudreau, who played with Kevin Hayes at Boston College, and has 23 points this season (6-17-23).
1) Henrik Lundqvist – 16 Saves, 1.000 SV %
2) Dan Girardi – 1 G, 2 BS, +2
3) Rick Nash – 1 A, 4 SOG
Posted on December 15, 2014, in Game Recaps and tagged Alain Vigneault, Anthony Duclair, Calgary Flames, Carl Hagelin, Chris Kreider, Dan Boyle, Dan Girardi, Derek Dorsett, Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard, Dominic Moore, Edmonton Oilers, Henrik Lundqvist, Jesper Fast, John Moore, Johnny Gaudreau, JT Miller, Kevin Hayes, Kevin Klein, King Henrik, Madison Square Garden, Marc Staal, Mark Giordano, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Matt Hunwick, MSG, New York Rangers, NHL, NHL 2014-2015 Season, NY Rangers, NYR, Rangers Nation, Rangerstown, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, Ryan Miller, Taylor Hall, The Duke, The Ranger Zone, Vancouver Canucks. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.