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Lundqvist, Vesey star in gutsy comeback win over the Capitals

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-celebrate-a-goal-10-22

Photo courtesy of Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images.

After a poor start to the game, the Rangers’ offense sparked an incredible turnaround, and the Rangers (3-2-0) came away from the Verizon Center with a 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals (3-1-1).

The Capitals scored just 1:33 and followed that up with another goal from Ovechkin in the second period, as well as excellent goaltending from Braden Holtby. But the Rangers came out firing in the second period, fighting to get a 3-2 lead and having Henrik Lundqvist do the rest.

Here’s the recap with my thoughts and observations (GIFs of key plays at the end); Read the rest of this entry

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Raanta makes 32 saves as Rangers take down the Capitals

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers celebrate a goal 3-4

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After a tough loss in Pittsburgh, the Rangers (38-21-6) bounced back with a huge win over the league-leading Washington Capitals (47-13-4) on the road, thanks to a goal from Derek Stepan and 32 saves from Antti Raanta.

Before the game, it looked like the odds were stacked against the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist was injured, Marc Staal was coming back from the flu, there were a few other minor injuries, and they were playing the Caps. Not a recipe for success, but they found a way to win.

The Rangers bounced back from a loss again, and they haven’t lost back-to-back games since December 20th. Also, the Rangers didn’t allow Alex Ovechkin to score a goal, snapping a nine game goal streak against the Rangers Read the rest of this entry

Raanta in net for the injured Lundqvist as Rangers battle the Capitals

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs capitals 1=9

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After losing focus and falling to the Penguins last night, the Rangers (37-21-6) are back on the road to close out their brief road trip against the league-leading Washington Capitals (47-12-4), a team that’s winning at a historic pace.

The Capitals 47 wins have already passed last year’s total with 19 games left on the schedule. Their 47 wins through 63 games are the most for any team in NHL history, and their 98 points through that same span is the most since the Detroit Red Wings in the 1995-96 season, and they have an 18 point lead over the New York Rangers. Needless to say, the Rangers will have their work cut out for them.

Last night, the Rangers had a mental lapse for 1:39, allowing three goals and ultimately losing the game because of that. Against Washington, they’ll need a complete 60 minute effort because the Caps are built to win from the net out. Read the rest of this entry

Quick Hits: The Florida Panthers are legit, Winter Classic, Changing the Playoff format

Bobby Bevilacqua

Welcome back to Quick Hits, a series where I talk about anything and everything around the NHL. The NHL is approaching the halfway mark of the season, and there are some really interesting storylines. The Panthers are in first place in the Atlantic, the Ducks are one of the worst teams in the league, and the Canadiens can’t win without Carey Price.

If there’s anything you want me to talk about in the next edition of Quick Hits, leave it in the comments section below.

The Florida Panthers are legit

SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 1: Jaromir Jagr #68 of the Florida Panthers celebrates his goal with teammates Aaron Ekblad #5 and Brian Campbell #51 the Tampa Bay Lightning at the BB&T Center on March 1, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

Photo courtesy of Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images.

Before the season started, I predicted that the Panthers would make the playoffs as a wild card team. I didn’t foresee the Canadiens falling off without Carey Price, or the Lightning struggling, or Detroit playing around .500 hockey.

So to the surprise of just about everybody, it’s the Florida Panthers that lead the Atlantic Division. Dave Tallon has constructed a team with an excellent blend of youth and veteran leadership, constructed through the draft and some smart offseason acquisitions. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers cruise past Capitals to the top of the Metro; Hayes and Lindberg impress

Bobby Bevilacqua

henrik lundqvist and derick brassard 11-3

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

This game was billed as a low scoring, physical and heated battle between two bitter rivals, but it didn’t really turn out that way.

The edginess was there, but the Rangers (8-2-2) seemed to effortlessly cruise past the Washington Capitals (8-3-0), ending the Caps’ four game road winning streak and extending the Rangers personal win streak to three games.

The Rangers came away with a 5-2 victory in an entertaining and tense contest, with five different goal scorers helping them claim sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division. Read the rest of this entry