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Rangers close out the regular season with a home win over Detroit

Bobby Bevilacqua

dan boyle goal celebration 4-9

Dan Boyle celebrates after scoring his 10th goal of the season in the first period. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Despite already having their ticket punched to the postseason, the Rangers (46-27-9) came out strong and won their last game of the regular season, escaping some late drama and taking down the Detroit Red Wings (41-30-11) by a final score of 3-2.

The Rangers could have knocked the Red Wings out of a playoff spot, but luckily for Detroit, the Boston Bruins were blown out by the Senators, 6-1, in their last game of the season. That means that the Red Wings clinch a playoff berth for the 25th consecutive season, and the Flyers need two points to get back into the playoffs.

Despite a lackluster record on the road, the Rangers finished the season with a 27-10-4 record at MSG, and secured a point in 19 of the last 25 home games. Unfortunately, they will not have home ice advantage in the playoffs, but that record is still encouraging heading into the postseason. They also finished with 101 points, marking the first time since the 1971-72 season and the 1972-73 season that they have earned 100 points in back-to-back seasons. Read the rest of this entry

Lundqvist stellar as Rangers fall to Detroit in overtime

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers vs Red Wings 3-12

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The Rangers (39-22-7) came within an inch of beating the Red Wings (34-23-11), but instead came up on the short end of the stick with a 3-2 overtime loss at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Ryan McDonagh had a chance to win the game in regulation with the Detroit net empty, but his shorthanded shot from the other end of the ice hit off of the post. Detroit would score on the power play with less than 40 seconds remaining, and wind up winning the game in overtime.

Henrik Lundqvist made his return to the lineup, and the Rangers made him work entirely too hard. Lundqvist faced 43 shots, making 40 saves. He was the sole reason why this game wasn’t 7-2 or even worse. Read the rest of this entry

The Return of the King; Lundqvist back in net as Rangers battle Red Wings

Bobby Bevilacqua

henrik lundqvist side profile good pic 11-25

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After missing the last three games with neck spasms, Henrik Lundqvist is ready to take back his spot in the crease as the Rangers (39-22-6) take on the Detroit Red Wings (33-23-11) at the Joe Louis Arena in an Original Six matchup.

Likely joining Lundqvist will be Rick Nash, who has been out of the lineup since January 22nd with a bone bruise. He’s been skating and practicing this week and should be good to go for today’s game. In the likely event that Nash does play, he’ll skate with Eric Staal on the third line, marking the first time they’ll be playing together on the Rangers.

With the good news also comes some bad news. Center Derick Brassard is a question mark for today’s game due to the flu. He’s doubtful, and Kevin Hayes would slide to center if he doesn’t play.

The Rangers are coming off of a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres, with goals from Brassard, Zuccarello and Jesper Fast. However, they played pretty poor down the stretch and to start the game. The Rangers were outshot 36-26 and Raanta bailed out the team. They’ve split the last four games (2-2-0) but have won seven of the last 10 games.

This is the second of three meetings between the Rangers and Red Wings this season, and the first in Detroit. Back on February 21st, Henrik Lundqvist and the Blueshirts outdueled Jimmy Howard and Detroit in a 1-0 overtime win at the Garden, with Kevin Klein scoring the only goal of the game. Hank had 22 saves and Howard made 29 saves, benefitting from a disallowed goal from Kevin Hayes. Three of the last four games have been decided in overtime, and eight of the last nine games have been decided by one goal.

The Red Wings won their last game on Thursday against the Jets, but they had lost their last three games before that, getting outscored 14-6. The Red Wings are in a fight for their playoff lives, holding just a two point lead over the Philadelphia Flyers for the last playoff spot. Every game is crucial and the Red Wings need all the points they could get.

The 19 year-old rookie Dylan Larkin started out his season producing and hasn’t stopped, sitting in second place on the team in scoring with 40 points. He scored a goal on Thursday, giving him 20 for the season. He’s the first Red Wings rookie to reach that mark since current Captain Henrik Zetterberg did so 13 seasons ago. He’s a great skater and an offensive catalyst, and the Rangers will need to keep an eye out for him.

Detroit has another talented young player on their team named Andreas Athanasiou, a rookie taken in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL draft. Athanasiou hasn’t been up in the NHL for that long but his presence has been felt. He’s an incredible skater with blistering speed that can catch you off guard and enough skill to put one past the netminder, scoring three goals in the last five games.

For the Rangers, Rick Nash’s return will be a huge boost to the lineup. Alain Vigneault had him skating on a line with Eric Staal and Viktor Stalberg, creating a big line with speed and skill. Doing so will create matchup problems for opposing teams, because they’d have to figure out how to stop the two 300 goal scorers in Nash and Staal while also stopping the lines centered by Derek Stepan and Derick Brassard/Kevin Hayes. It’s probably be a game or two before Nash is back to his usual self, but pairing him with Staal and Stalberg puts him in a position to succeed.

It looks like Derick Brassard will be unavailable, which gives Kevin Hayes a big opportunity. Hayes has been stuck on the fourth line for the past few games, but he would be centering Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast today. He’s shown some signs of a resurgence before being thrown onto the fourth line, and he’ll get another chance to produce in the top-six today.

The Rangers and the Red Wings will faceoff at the Joe Louis Arena at 2 PM. The game will be broadcasted on MSG Network.

EXPECTED LINES

JT Miller-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello

Chris Kreider-Kevin Hayes-Jesper Fast

Rick Nash-Eric Staal-Viktor Stalberg

Oscar Lindberg-Dominic Moore-Tanner Glass

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Dan Boyle

Keith Yandle-Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

Klein scores in overtime to steal a win away for the Rangers

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers vs Red Wings 2-21

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Jimmy Howard did all he could, but the Rangers (34-19-6) wound up coming away with the overtime win on home ice against the Detroit Red Wings (29-20-11), with Henrik Lundqvist making 22 saves and picking up his 29th save and fourth shutout of the season.

This game was very much a goalie duel, with each team’s netminder making some stellar saves and playing very well in order to get the game into overtime. Hat’s off to Jimmy Howard, who made 29 saves and kept the Red Wings in the game, but is still searching for his first win since December 3rd.

The Rangers have earned a point in 10 of their last 11 games at MSG, and continue to dominate on home ice, now moving into a tie with the Blackhawks for most home wins in the league (22). Read the rest of this entry

Rangers lose a two goal lead to Detroit; Nash scores 17th of the season

Bobby Bevilacqua

cam talbot save 12-6

Cam Talbot made 31 saves tonight, but could not do it all, as the Rangers dropped their second straight game, losing to Detroit by a final score of 3-2. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

For the eighth time this season, the New York Rangers (11-10-4) gave up a lead, allowing the Detroit Red Wings (16-6-5) to score three straight goals, dropping their second consecutive game.

Rick Nash scored his 17th goal of the season, bringing his point streak to seven games. Nash now has 27 points (17-10-27) in the team’s first 25 games.

Cam Talbot allowed 3 goals on 34 shots, with the first two coming just 1:01 apart. Talbot had his shutout streak snapped at over 159 minutes. Talbot’s record fell to 2-3-1 with the loss. Read the rest of this entry