- 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.
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
- 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.
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
- The Rangers improved to 35-18-1 with a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators, erasing an early 2-0 deficit with four unanswered goals.
- Henrik Lundqvist had another strong showing, making 34 saves on 37 shots, including some truly impressive ones throughout the game. He’s been phenomenal over the last eight games and looks a lot like his usual self. It’s nice to see him back to normal. The Rangers need this Henrik Lundqvist in net. He’s one win away from 400 for his career which would be yet another monumental achievement.
- Kevin Hayes, Michael Grabner and JT Miller had an outstanding game. This line is seemingly here to stay after combining for three of the four goals this night. Grabner scored his 26th goal of the season and is showing no sign of slowing down. JT Miller tallied another two goals, extending his point streak to five games, with nine points (2-7-9) in that span. Kevin Hayes showed off his playmaking skills, tallying three assists and giving him 39 points in 49 games. Hayes and Miller especially have fantastic chemistry, and this line is on fire.
- Chris Kreider passed his career high in goals with 22, continuing his outstanding season. This is the player that fans have been hoping to see for years. He’s using his size extremely well, getting to the front of the net and utilizing his shot well. His combination of skills and ability to score or impact the game in many ways keeps defensemen guessing and throws them off track. It’s only February and there’s still room for him to grow.
- Ryan McDonagh picked up another assist, giving him 31 points (2-29-31) so far. That puts him on pace for a career high 47 points. He hasn’t got the same attention or praise as his 14 goal, 43 point campaign in 2013-14. His defensive play has been keeping the Rangers afloat, and he’s back to a productive offensive force again.
- Overall, this was a better game than the Anaheim victory where they were severely outshot. The Rangers had a lot of good chances and it was relatively even. Much better in that category for the Rangers, and let’s hope it stays that way moving forward.