Vigneault earns 600th win as the Rangers topple Anaheim; Lundqvist makes 43 saves
The New York Rangers got Kevin Hayes back in the lineup and added two important points in a 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks at the Garden, so far winning the first two games of their four game homestand. Alain Vigneault earned his 600th win, becoming the 2nd fastest coach in NHL history to reach that number. Only Scott Bowman reached that total faster.
Oscar Lindberg set the pace for the Rangers early in the first period, scoring his second goal of the season on the team’s first shot on goal. Buchnevich put the puck in front for Lindberg, who wasted no time sneaking it past Gibson for a 1-0 lead.
McDonagh gave up the puck at the blueline on a Rangers’ power play, and Getzlaf went down on a breakaway. The Captain made up for his mistake, though, saving the puck with his foot and preventing a short-handed goal.
Another fast start for the Rangers saw them go up by two on Zuccarello’s eleventh goal of the season just 1:06 seconds into the second period. Zuccarello took a shot that went wide, but Brady Skjei found it at the point before handing it off to Kreider. Number 20 in blue made a fast pass to Zucc, who put it home past a misplaced Gibson.
The Rangers kept on piling chances. Grabner had a breakaway, Hayes made some nifty moves around two Ducks but was denied by the stretching pad of Gibson, and there were numerous odd-man rushes. Despite it all, the Ducks were able to take advantage of a bad giveaway by the Rangers. Silfverberg was left all alone in front of Lundqvist and snapped it past his glove to cut the lead to 2-1, 6:14 into play.
Brady Skjei took a double minor with just over three minutes to go in the middle period, and the Rangers were able to kill it off in its entirety, as it spilled over into the third. Their power play saw only 2 shots on goal. With just over forty seconds left in the second period, the dynamic duo of Hayes and Miller combined to have a great scoring opportunity on a two on one. The feed to Miller was just a little too hard, and he couldn’t control the puck enough to put it in.
Shaw had a hard hit on Derek Stepan, where he hit his head into the boards, and Shaw did not receive a penalty. The teams skated four aside for two minutes on roughing penalties, and Michael Grabner, who means business this season, took advantage of it. J.T. Miller threw the puck in front of the net to Michael Grabner, who went on a short breakaway, his second of the game. The difference this time? Gibson wasn’t able to stop him and his hard shot, as the home team claimed a 3-1 lead, 3:45 into the period.
Kreider took a holding penalty, and shortly thereafter Hayes took a delay of game penalty, but the Rangers were able to complete the night 4/4 on the penalty kill against an impressive power play team.
Grabner notched his 25th of the season on an empty-netter that sealed the win for his team.
Nash’s third period chances were innumerable, and he played a strong game overall. Brady Skjei keeps piling on the points with his assists, which he had two of in this game. The aggressive forechecking remained strong throughout the game, and it was definitely a difference maker.
Henrik Lundqvist came up with a season-high 43 saves, strikingly different from the struggles he was going through a short while ago. His patience with positioning and trust in the Rangers’ defense, who did help him out at points, was phenomenal.
To look at the game objectively, the Rangers were outshot 44-20. This win was a product of capitalizing on their minimal chances and relying heavily on Henrik Lundqvist, who was fantastic. It’s great to get the win in this game, but you want to see a more even game from the Rangers moving forward.
The Rangers take on the Predators at 7:00pm on Thursday night. Be sure to catch the action as the Blueshirts look to win their fourth straight game.
1) Henrik Lundqvist – 43 SV, .977 SV%
2) Michael Grabner – 2 G, 6 SOG, 15:27 TOT
3) Mats Zuccarello – GWG, 14:54 TOT
Posted on February 8, 2017, in Game Recaps and tagged Anaheim Ducks, Henrik Lundqvist, Mats Zuccarello, Michael Grabner, New York Rangers, New York Rangers blog, NYR, NYR blog, Pavel Buchnevich, Rangers, Rangers blog, Rangers recap, Rangers vs Ducks. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.