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Monthly Archives: April 2015

Rangers move on to Round 2 with thrilling overtime win at MSG

Bobby Bevilacqua

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The Rangers sent the Penguins packing on Friday night, securing a 2-1 overtime victory courtesy of Carl Hagelin. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

In front of a raucous crowd at Madison Square Garden, Carl Hagelin’s wrist shot sent the fans into a frenzy, and sent the New York Rangers to the second round of the 2015 playoffs. For the second consecutive year, the Rangers eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins from the playoffs, this time doing it in just five games.

The Rangers haven’t really been able to close out series quickly in recent memory, so this gives some of the players who are banged up extra time to rest. The last time the Rangers won a series in less than six games was back in 2008, when they beat the New Jersey Devils in five games.

Every game in the series has been a one goal game, and all four Rangers’ wins were 2-1 victories. The Rangers became just the second team in NHL history to win a playoff series without scoring three goals in any of the wins, and the first team in the 2000’s to do so. Read the rest of this entry

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Rangers aim to close out Round 1 at MSG; No lineup changes for the Rangers

Bobby Bevilacqua

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The Rangers are back at MSG for Game 5, looking to close out the series in five games for the first time since 2008. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

For the first time since 2008, the Rangers will attempt to end their first round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in five games on Madison Square Garden ice, searching for their third consecutive playoff win.

The Rangers have not won a series in less than six games since the 2007-08 season, when they defeated the New Jersey Devils in five games, a series famous for the creation of the “Sean Avery rule,” when he screened Devil’s goaltender Martin Brodeur by waving his hands and stick in his face.

After sweeping the two games in Pittsburgh before returning home, New York has their best chance in years to close out a series early. And like an article from Fulltilt NYR pointed out, we could be seeing a very different kind of game tonight. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers comeback to win Game 4 in overtime; Hayes’ first playoff goal is a winner

Bobby Bevilacqua

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The Rangers were ecstatic when Kevin Hayes scored the overtime winner, giving the Rangers a commanding 3-1 lead over the Penguins. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Kevin Hayes’ first career playoff goal could not have come at a better time, lifting the Rangers to a 2-1 overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at the CONSOL Energy Arena, and sending the Blueshirts back to Madison Square Garden with a commanding 3-1 series lead.

Although the Rangers had dominated first periods in this series, Penguins head coach Mike Johnston vowed that his team would come out with more fire, and play a better first 20 minutes. Pittsburgh did exactly that, completely outplaying the Rangers in every facet of the game, and limiting them to just two shots on goal in the period.

After the game, several Rangers including Lundqvist, Staal, Kreider, and others all said that Alain Vigneault really laid into the guys, firing them up and jumpstarting their performance in the second half. And around the 12 minute mark, Vigneault’s squad began to start playing their game again, leading to a Brassard goal in the second period and Hayes’ overtime winner. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers look to put stranglehold on Penguins in Game 4

Bobby Bevilacqua

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The Rangers are hoping to jump out to a 3-1 series lead, something they have not been able to do in past seasons. A win tonight would put them in a good position heading back to MSG. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

In past seasons, the Rangers have struggled to put space between themselves and their opponents in playoff series, but they are presented with the opportunity to do exactly that tonight against the Penguins in Game 4 at the CONSOL Energy Arena tonight.

After a strong showing in Game 3 that led to a 2-1 win for New York, the Rangers and Penguins are back at it tonight in another very important game for both teams. A win tonight would put Pittsburgh in a stranglehold with the series heading back to Madison Square Garden.

Game 3 saw a much better effort from the Blueshirts, a game that was centered around strong defensive play, puck management and possession, and an aggressive forecheck which led to just 11 shots on goal from Pittsburgh in the first two periods. When the Penguins made a strong push in the third period, Henrik Lundqvist stood tall in net for the Rangers. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers need to keep aggressive mindset if they want to win

Bobby Bevilacqua

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If the Rangers want to get back to the Finals, they’ll need to come out every night with the “hunters'” mentality, and playing aggressively every night. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

“The hunter becomes the hunted.”

It’s a common expression used in literature, film, and in everyday life that is used to describe the tables being turned, representing the little guy rallying to defeat his aggressor.

But one may not think of it in terms of the NHL playoffs, let alone the New York Rangers. But as the series against the Penguins progresses, this saying keeps showing signs of validity.

Coming into the playoffs, the Rangers were viewed as favorites to get back to the Stanley Cup Final following last year’s run, backed up by the fact that they had the league’s best record, capturing the Presidents’ Trophy for the first time since 1994.

Being “the hunted” is a situation that the Rangers have not been in all that often. In years past, the Blueshirts have embraced the underdog role in the postseason, a role they thrived in last season. Being the favorites to win it all brings a lot of pressure, and it’s uncharted territory for most of the players on this team. Read the rest of this entry