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Rangers head back home to battle the Lightning; Kreider doubtful

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

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

AV spreading ice time and opportunities will be key to Rangers success

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-celebrate-a-power-play-goal-10-13

The Rangers opened their season with a 5-3 win over the Islanders, showing signs of improvement in many aspects of their game that was expected of them following their offseason moves. The power play looked great, the defense and penalty kill looked structured, and all four forward lines were effective.

With the addition of players like Pavel Buchnevich, Jimmy Vesey, Brandon Pirri and Michael Grabner, the Rangers added a lot of speed and talent to their forward groups, which seemed to make Alain Vigneault structure his lines differently.

Rather than opting for a traditional structure, with a physical, checking fourth line and placing all of the talent on the top two lines, Vigneault had a balance of scoring, defense and skill across the four lines. Having four lines was something that many blogs, including my own, wrote about as a possibility. And last night, it worked extremely well. Read the rest of this entry