Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Rangers Take Game 1

If you are or have been a fan of either the New York Rangers or New Jersey Devils for the past 20 years or so, than Game 1 between the two clubs in the Eastern Conference Finals was a very familiar story.

The Blueshirts were able to come away with a 3-0 victory thanks to third period goals from defenseman Dan Girardi, fresh out of college winger Chris Kreider and Artem Anisimov and solid goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist. For the Rangers, it was the fifth time that the team has shutout the Devils in the postseason as Rangers’ great Mike Richter shut out their Hudson River rivals once in 1992 (Game 4), once in 1994 (Game 2) and twice in 1997 (Games 2 and 4).

This was a typical Rangers’/Devils’ game. There was lots of tight checking, lots of blocked shots, and with the exception of the third period, not a lot of goals were scored. It was like a regular season game except for the fact that this is now the Conference Finals.

For the second time in as many games, the Blueshirts outplayed their opponent in the third period. The team forechecked hard, threw plenty of pucks on Devils’ Hall of Fame netminder Martin Brodeur (25 saves) and were able to not only get the first goal of the game, but they followed it up with an insurance marker just a few minutes later.

Rangers’ rookie Chris Kreider was involved on both goals. On Girardi’s goal, it was Kreider who carried the puck into the Devils’ zone and was able to feed Girardi, who was coming off the bench on a line change, with the puck who buried one past Brodeur’s right pad.

On the second goal, Kreider was able to skate in on the wing, receive a pass from Anisimov, and wrist one past Brodeur for a power play goal. The goal gave the Blueshirts a 2-0 lead and as one could imagine, some confidence to Kreider.

As mentioned earlier in this blog, the team got another solid performance from Lundqvist. Lundqvist, who made 21 saves, kept his team in the game in both the first and second periods and because of his goaltending in those periods, the Rangers were able to get a lead in the final period and hold on for a Game 1 victory.

The team also got the job done on the penalty kill. The Rangers killed off four Devils’ power plays and did a good job in blocking shots, getting in the passing lanes and letting Lundqvist see the puck.

Remember folks, it is only one game but nevertheless, it is a good start for the Rangers.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, artem+anisimov, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, martin+brodeur, mike+richter, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers

Comments

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I think you nailed it.  Lundquist kept them in it in the first two.  I thought NY looked tired and sluggish except for short bursts.  Falling behind had the potential to really deflate the team.  This looks to be another close hard fought series and should be a fun watch.

Posted by Them Bones on 05/15/12 at 09:40 AM ET

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About Goal Line Report

Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.

Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.

For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.