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Rangers fall at home to Montreal in potential playoff preview

Alexandra Russo

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Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The New York Rangers came into this game knowing that it could be a preview of the first round matchup of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they didn’t play like it was. A lackluster effort, combined with Lundqvist not being on top of his game sent the Rangers off the ice with a 4-1 loss. The Canadiens swept the season series with the win.

After a strong start to the first period, the Canadiens took a 1-0 lead a little over half the period in. Off a faceoff, Shea Weber took a shot that was deflected in front by Adam Clendening. The original shot was going wide, but Clendening accidentally deflected it past Lundqvist.

The Canadiens had a second quality chance with about five minutes left in the opening period. The puck trickled behind Lundqvist and in, but the whistle had already blown, so it stood only at a 1-0 lead. Read the rest of this entry

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Rangers take down Nashville for their fourth straight win; Henrik Lundqvist collects 399th win

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

  • 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.

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Vigneault earns 600th win as the Rangers topple Anaheim; Lundqvist makes 43 saves

Alexandra Russo

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The New York Rangers got Kevin Hayes back in the lineup and added two important points in a 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks at the Garden, so far winning the first two games of their four game homestand. Alain Vigneault earned his 600th win, becoming the 2nd fastest coach in NHL history to reach that number. Only Scott Bowman reached that total faster.

Oscar Lindberg set the pace for the Rangers early in the first period, scoring his second goal of the season on the team’s first shot on goal. Buchnevich put the puck in front for Lindberg, who wasted no time sneaking it past Gibson for a 1-0 lead.

McDonagh gave up the puck at the blueline on a Rangers’ power play, and Getzlaf went down on a breakaway. The Captain made up for his mistake, though, saving the puck with his foot and preventing a short-handed goal.  Read the rest of this entry

Chris Kreider’s OT winner gives Rangers the win; Lundqvist makes 36 saves

Alexandra Russo

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Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The New York Rangers played a hard-fought game against the Buffalo Sabres on the road and skated off victoriously with a well-deserved 2-1 overtime win.

After giving up three of the first four shots on goal, the Rangers started to look alive. They had a great scoring chance when the net was left open on one side, but they weren’t able to put it home. Nash had a two on one and almost a breakaway on a shift that included some beautiful moves in the Sabres’ zone. Nash was arguably the best player of the first twenty minutes and one of the best throughout the rest of the game.

Halfway thought the first period of play, the Sabres pushed the pace and tried shots from all angles. Their best one was when Evader Kane made a move on the Rangers’ defense and came down on a brief two on one. The pass to Gionta made it through, but Lundqvist stuck out his pad for a blocker save. The puck then flew in the air and couldn’t be batted down into the net, trickling just wide. Read the rest of this entry

The King Conquers The Kings: Lundqvist turns in third straight excellent performance

Marc Weissman

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Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Thanks to the outstanding play of a resurgent Henrik Lundqvist, the surging Rangers and their #1 goaltender won their 3rd game in a row as they defeated the LA Kings, 3-2, at Madison Square Garden last night.

Ever since he gave up 7 goals against the Dallas Stars a week ago, Lundqvist has gone from being Bronx cheered to Manhattan chanted as the Garden crowd showered Hank with throngs of “HEN-RIK!…HEN-RIK!” chants throughout the game. Hank and the much-improved Ranger defense have now given up only 2 goals or fewer in 3 straight games. This after yielding 4 goals or more in the prior 4 games.  Quite a turnaround indeed.

It was evident from the get-go that Lundqvist needed to be – make that would be – rock solid in his second start of back-to-backs as the Kings came storming out of the Zamboni gate like a team on a mission. The irony is, LA sits in the non-playoff #10 spot in the Western Conference. Yet they were the ones who registered the first nine shots of the game before the EC 4th seed Rangers even mustered one. Amidst his team’s typical slow start, Lundqvist gobbled up everything thrown his way, played the angles with precision, used his lightning reflexes to their fullest and aggressively challenged crease and non-crease invaders alike. Read the rest of this entry