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Rangers are playoff bound after dominating win in Ottawa: Glass scores first goal as a Ranger

Bobby Bevilacqua

See you in the playoffs.

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The Rangers were dominant in a win against the Senators, getting goals from four different player, including Tanner Glass’ first as a Ranger. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Following a disappointing loss on Tuesday against the Kings, the Rangers (47-19-7) skated to a dominating 5-1 win against the hottest team in the NHL, making the Ottawa Senators (37-25-11) and Andrew Hammond, also known as the Hamburglar, look like a much worse team than they actually are.

With the win, the Rangers moved ahead of the Montreal Canadiens for sole possession of the first place spot in the Eastern Conference, and tied with the Anaheim Ducks for first in the President’s Trophy race. They also became the first team to clinch a playoff spot, and are very close to clinching home ice in the Metropolitan Division.

New York also hit the 100 point mark for just the eighth time in franchise history, and did so in only 73 games. That is tied for the second fastest it has taken to get 100 points in franchise history.

Cam Talbot was back in net for the Rangers in what could have been his last game as the Rangers starter, and he was very strong again. Talbot allowed just one goal on 24 shots, and earned his 20th win of the season.

Talbot became the first goalie other than Henrik Lundqvist to record 20 wins in a season since Mike Richter in the 2001-02 season. This is just the fifth time in franchise history that the Rangers have had two goalies have won at least 20 games in the same season. The last time this happened was in the 1991-92 season with the goaltending duo of John Vanbiesbrouck (27) and Mike Richter (23).

Outside of the seven penalties and the six Ottawa power plays, this was about as close as the Rangers could get to a perfect game. With about seven minutes left in the first period, the Rangers took over, playing fantastic defensively, and not allowing the Senators to get anything going.

It took a while for things to build up in the first period, but the goals started coming very quickly, with three goals scored in just 2:02.

The first goal was scored by Chris Kreider on a beautiful play for his 19th of the season. After a Talbot save, Derek Stepan got the puck in his own zone, and spotted Chris Kreider streaking down the left wing. Stepan made a perfect pass off of the boards and right to the stick of Kreider, and his wrist shot beat Hammond short-side for the first goal of the game.

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Chris Kreider celebrates with teammates after scoring his first goal of the period, his 19th of the season. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

 

The happiness was short lived, as the Senators managed to score the equalizer just 19 seconds after the Kreider goal, and it was Curtis Lazar finding the back of the net for the fifth goal of the season. The puck was bouncing around the Rangers blue line, and Lazar was able to muscle it away from Keith Yandle and rifle a wrist shot to tie the game at one.

But again, the Rangers had an answer of their own, recapturing the lead just 1:43 after the Senators goal. On the rush, Chris Kreider passed it off to Rick Nash, and Nash stopped short, threading a perfect pass to Dan Boyle, the Ottawa native, who joined the attack. Boyle’s wrist shot snuck underneath the glove of Andrew Hammond for his ninth goal of the season, and the Rangers had a 2-1 lead.

New York would continue to pressure, scoring again with just a minute left in the opening period. Mats Zuccarello forced a turnover at the edge of the Senators defensive zone, and Derek Stepan collected the puck, traveling down the left wing. He placed a wrist shot up high on Hammond, and he had trouble with it. The puck popped over Hammond and fell behind him. Before he could reach back and cover it up, Chris Kreider, who never stopped crashing the net, beat him to it, tapping it in for his second goal of the period and a 3-1 Rangers lead.

With that goal, Chris Kreider hit the 20 goal mark for the first time in his career. He also picked up an assist on Boyle’s goal, giving him a total of 40 points this season, also a career high. It was just the fourth three-point game of Kreider’s career, as well as the fourth multi-goal game of his career, with two coming this season.

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Chris Kreider crashed the net on a Derek Stepan shot that was hard for Andrew Hammond to handle, tapping it in for his 20th goal of the season. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

 

From the second period onward, the Rangers were shutdown defensively, as well as very strong offensively, adding two more goals in this period.

The first goal in the second period came after just 1:42, and it was Mats Zuccarello scoring his 14th goal of the game, extending his goal streak to four games (2-3-5). The play started in the neutral zone, with Ottawa trying to chip the puck in deep. Instead, Keith Yandle intercepted the pass, firing a great pass through the neutral zone to Kevin Hayes. Hayes carried it on the attack, and then made a great pass across the ice for a Zuccarello one-timer, and a 4-1 New York lead.

The Rangers took three consecutive penalties starting at the 10 minute mark, including a brief 34 second 5-on-three Senators power play. The Rangers killed all three of them off, and right after killing off the third penalty, scored their fifth goal of the game.

Tanner Glass was in the box for a slashing call, and immediately skated towards the net when it was over. Dan Boyle got the puck in his own zone on the penalty kill, and noticed that the penalty time was almost up. He passed it to Kevin Hayes who was heading on the attack just as Glass left the box. Hayes made a great hold up move, and passed it off to a wide-open Tanner Glass, who rifled a wrist shot past Hammond for the fifth goal of the game.

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Rangers fans everywhere got what they were wishing for, as Tanner Glass scored his first goal of the season on a great hustle play late in the second period. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

 

It was Glass’ first goal as a Ranger, and his first in 85 games, with the last goal coming over a year ago. Hayes extended his point streak to four games (1-5-6).

Following this goal, the Senators pulled Hammond, putting in 20 year old Chris Driedger for his NHL debut. He actually played quite well, finishing with 10 saves and no goals against.

It’s impressive to see how the Rangers continue to rebound from either tough losses or bad games. They have not lost back-to-back games in regulation in over two months, becoming the definition of consistency with their 36-9-3 record since December 8th.

Chris Kreider was all over the ice tonight, and continues to impress in just his second full season in the NHL. It seems like he’s been around forever, but this is just his second full season in the league. He now has 20 goals, tied for second on the team, and 40 points, which is sixth on the team. One more assist would give him a career high in that category as well in this impressive season.

Kevin Hayes and Derek Stepan both had two assists in the game. Stepan’s pass on the first Kreider goal was perfect, and he placed the shot in just the right spot on the Kreider goal. Hayes’ patience was on display again, making great set up passes to Zuccarello and Glass. Out of the 24 assist he has this season, 22 of them are primary.

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Kevin Hayes has been really impressive in his rookie season, and has 22 points (8-14-22) in the last 27 games. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

 

It’s always great to see such a hardworking player like Tanner Glass get rewarded with a goal. While this has been a very frustrating season for him, maybe this is what allows him to get that monkey off of his back, and produce a bit more. Glass is a great teammate, a good locker room guy, and deserved a goal like this.

The Rangers will now head to Boston where they will take on the struggling Bruins in a Saturday matinee, and a chance to continue and shape what could be their first round matchup in the playoffs.

THREE STARS

1) Chris Kreider – 2 G, 1 A, +3, 5 SOG

2) Dan Boyle – 1 G, 1 A, +3, 19:38 TOT

3) Derek Stepan – 2 A, +3, 3 SOG

HONORABLE MENTION: Kevin Hayes – 2 A, +2, 2 SOG

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Posted on March 27, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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