What a difference a night makes, eh? Just 24 hours after getting absolutely shelled by the Maple Leafs for 5 goals against in the 1st period alone, the rejuvenated Rangers and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist shook it off and turned in a big-time performance, shutting out the visiting Montreal Canadiens, 2-0, in front of a raucous October crowd at Madison Square Garden Sunday night. Lundqvist made 34 saves, several of the spectacular variety, to post his first shutout of the season and a Ranger-record 62nd blanking of his storied NHL career on Broadway. 2nd year D-man Brady Skjei came away with the fortuitous game-winner when his sharp angle pass intended for Michael Grabner caromed off Habs goaltender Carey Price and defenseman Shea Weber late in the first period to give the Blueshirts a lead they never relinquished. Meanwhile, $5.4M man Mika Zibanejad – now 2nd in the NHL in goals (4) and 1st in PPGs (3) – continued his amped-up play as the team’s new #1 center by snapping home a beautiful behind-the-net pass from sophomore linemate Pavel Buchnevich to seal the win in the 3rd period. Read the rest of this entry
1. There is nothing positive that should be taken from this game. This cannot be viewed as a look at the Rangers’ resiliency or battling through adversity and nearly completing a comeback. There should be no positive light shed on this game, and it needs to be treated as it was – a disaster.
The Rangers were manhandled by the Stars for 40 minutes, and they looked absolutely lost on the ice. They were outshot 27-15 and surrendered seven goals. Henrik Lundqvist was not at his best but there were consistent defensive issues from the defensemen and the forwards, which did not help at all. The Rangers woke up for the third period and the Stars went into a defensive shell, which explains the 25-4 shot advantage from New York in those 20 minutes. Winning one period but looking pathetic for the other two does not warrant any praise. Treating this game as anything other than a failure would be to ignore the many, many problems that this team has.
2. To emphasize, this team has many, many problems. There needs to be a change, or many changes, but not at forward. It’s not a coincidence that the scoring has gone up with the return of Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich. This is the best, most complete forward group that the Rangers have had in quite some time and it’s a group of forwards that could win a Stanley Cup. Read the rest of this entry
The Rangers (12-4-0) started off their two game road trip with back-to-back contests against the Flames and the Oilers, picking up two wins after a strange game last night in Edmonton.
Chris Kreider missed the game with what the team is calling an “upper body injury,” and just minutes before the game, it was announced that Pavel Buchnevich wouldn’t play because of back spasms. So Vigneault had to dress Adam Clendening in order to reach the required 18 skaters.
Somehow, someway the team managed to grind out a 3-1 win to pick up their 12th win of the season, and their seventh win in the last eight games. Antti Raanta was spectacular in his fifth start of the season, making 38 saves and improving to 4-0-0 with a .938 save percentage. Michael Grabner scored another two goals, giving him 10 this season, and Dan Girardi scored his third goal, which was the game winner. Read the rest of this entry
After a brief stop in Carolina that resulted in a 3-2 loss, the Rangers (5-3-0) look to get back to their winning ways when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning (5-3-0) at Madison Square Garden.
In that loss to Carolina, Mats Zuccarello scored both Rangers goals, giving him four this season. Pavel Buchnevich recorded an assist in his first game back from back spasms, and Ryan McDonagh also tallied an assist, on a marvelous stretch pass, to extend his six game point streak. Mika Zibanajad’s assist kept him at a point-per-game pace through eight games (2-6-8).
The Lightning played last night in Newark, falling to the Devils by a score of 3-1. Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed three goals on 20 shots and the team’s lone goal came from Tyler Johnson. Tampa Bay has had trouble with starting slow, and that happened again when they gave up two goals in the first period to New Jersey. Read the rest of this entry
After a two day break following two weekend wins, the Rangers (4-2-0) will aim to extend their win streak to three games when they take on the Boston Bruins (3-3-0) tonight at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers are dealing with a few early injury bugs, forcing them to insert Oscar Lindberg into the lineup ahead of time and place Pavel Buchnevich on IR. Alain Vigneault said that leading scorer Chris Kreider was having “a tough time moving” and that his neck spasms might keep him out longer than day-to-day. Buchnevich is on IR for the time being but has been practicing in a non-contact jersey, so he may be ready for Friday.
The Bruins had a few of their own injuries, having to make two call-ups in net for their game last night against the Wild. Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre both played in Boston’s 5-0 loss. Tuukka Rask may have tweaked his hamstring and Anton Khudobin is out for about three weeks so it’ll probably be those two again tonight. Read the rest of this entry