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Rangers fall at home to Montreal in potential playoff preview

Alexandra Russo

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Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The New York Rangers came into this game knowing that it could be a preview of the first round matchup of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they didn’t play like it was. A lackluster effort, combined with Lundqvist not being on top of his game sent the Rangers off the ice with a 4-1 loss. The Canadiens swept the season series with the win.

After a strong start to the first period, the Canadiens took a 1-0 lead a little over half the period in. Off a faceoff, Shea Weber took a shot that was deflected in front by Adam Clendening. The original shot was going wide, but Clendening accidentally deflected it past Lundqvist.

The Canadiens had a second quality chance with about five minutes left in the opening period. The puck trickled behind Lundqvist and in, but the whistle had already blown, so it stood only at a 1-0 lead. Read the rest of this entry

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Rangers look to extend win streak against Columbus; Buchnevich back on the second line

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

  • New York Rangers (36-18-1, 73 PTS) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (35-14-5, 75 PTS)
  • The Rangers scored three unanswered goals to erase a 2-1 deficit against the Colorado Avalanche, securing Henrik Lundqvist’s 400th career win in the process. He became the quickest goalie in NHL history to reach that mark and the first non-Canadian to record 400 wins. Kevin Klein scored twice, Rick Nash scored the game winner and Kevin Hayes scored into the empty net to seal the win. That marked the Rangers’ sixth consecutive win.
  • The Rangers won all four games of their homestand, a big accomplishment considering how lackluster they had been at MSG this season. They are now 18-11-1 at home and 18-7-0 on the road.
  • Columbus won their last game, a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Boone Jenner and Cam Atkinson both scored, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 35 of the 36 shots that he faced to secure the win. The Blue Jackets have been a .500 team since their franchise best 16 game win streak, not being able to string many wins together.

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Rangers “Klein” aboard the Henrik Express to bury the Av’s

Marc Weissmanhank-400

Thanks to a pair of rockets launched by Kevin “Optimus” Klein and a stellar, 32-save performance from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers defeated the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden Saturday night, 4-2. The win was the Rangers’ 4th straight at MSG, 5th in a row overall and by backstopping his team to victory, King Henrik reached the 400 NHL wins mark during in his illustrious, 12-year career on Broadway. Even more impressive is that it only took Hank 727 games to record those 400 wins, making him the fastest to ever reach that milestone in league history. Faster than the likes of HHOFer Martin Brodeur (735), 3-time Cup champ Chris Osgood (742), 7-time Vezina winner Jacques Plante (753) and 3-time Conn Smythe winner Patrick Roy (753.) In addition, Henrik is just the 3rd goaltender to ever record 400 wins with one team, Brodeur (NJD) and Tony Esposito (CBH) being the others. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers go for the homestand sweep against the Avalanche; Lundqvist in search of 400th win

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-vs-avalanche-12-31

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

  • New York Rangers (35-18-1, 71 PTS) vs Colorado Avalanche (15-34-2, 32 PTS)
  • The Rangers are coming off of a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators in the third game of their homestand. Chris Kreider, Michel Grabner and JT Miller scored the goals for New York while Henrik Lundqvist made some impressive and timely saves, stopping 34 of the 37 shots he faced while securing his 25th win of the season.
  • Colorado has had a really tough season so far. After dismissing Patrick Roy in the offseason after the team had faltered in the two seasons after they went 52-22-8 in 2013-14. But now they have just 15 wins in 51 games and are firmly entrenched in last place in the league. They lost to the Penguins, 4-1, in their last game, with the only goal coming from Gabriel Landeskog. They had won two games in a row prior to the loss against Pittsburgh.

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JT Miller has played his way into untouchable status

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The Rangers have been fortunate to have quite a few talented young players blossoming at the NHL level recently. Kevin Hayes is emerging as a top six quality center, racking up primary points and playing a much better two-way game. Chris Kreider set a new career high in goals and is emerging as a fantastic power forward. And Brady Skjei is far outperforming offensive expectations while playing a very solid defensive game.

But JT Miller’s steady development and consistency over the last three seasons has been the most exciting, and he might be evolving into a franchise player.

Miller, 23, has played parts of five seasons with the Rangers and has improved in each and every one of them. In the 2012-13 season under John Tortorella, Miller was largely a fourth line player, not earning the trust of the former head coach and tallying four points (2-2-4) in 26 games. It was much of the same in Alain Vigneault’s first season as well, recording six points (3-3-6) in 30 games and playing just four playoff games in the team’s run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Read the rest of this entry