Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Varlamov Steals One at MSG

Sometimes, all a hockey team needs to win a game is good goaltending.

That is exactly what the Colorado Avalanche got tonight from their netminder Semyon Varlamov in a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers. Varlamov stymied the Blueshirts in making 41 saves on the night.

Varlamov was calm, cool, and collected in between the pipes tonight for his hockey club. He was able to control rebounds, had an excellent glove hand, recovered to make second and third stops and was the main reason why the Avalanche won tonight.

For the first time in the last few weeks, the Rangers were getting offense from all of their lines. No one was afraid to shoot the puck tonight, the team crashed the net but unfortunately, were only able to beat Varlamov once on 42 shots.

While it was the team’s second straight loss, one that has allowed the Pittsburgh Penguins to stay two points behind the Blueshirts after beating the New Jersey Devils this afternoon, there were some other good things to come out of this game for the Rangers. For starters, a healthy Ryan Callahan and Michael Del Zotto returned to the lineup. Callahan was his usual self while Del Zotto tried to help add some more offense to the team.

Secondly, the team got a good performance out of their starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist allowed just two goals on 19 shots and played well enough to give his club a chance to win a hockey game.

Lastly, Blueshirts forward Mats Zuccarello had himself a good game. He scored the team’s only goal, helped create chances on the power player, was able to keep the puck deep in the zone on some shifts and was able to bounce back from getting hit.

The Rangers’ effort should not be questioned when it comes to this game. They played hard, generated plenty of scoring opportunities but ran into a hot goaltender in Varlamov. They probably feel like most of their oppositions after facing Lundqvist between the pipes.

Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, the Penguins will be in action tomorrow afternoon in Philadelphia to take on the Philadelphia Flyers. As mentioned earlier, the Penguins are just two points behind the Rangers with a win tomorrow afternoon in Philly, could find themselves tied with the Blueshirts for first in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.

The Rangers will be back in action on Monday night to take on the New Jersey Devils. The Devils beat the Rangers the last time these two teams met (March 6) by a score of 4-1 and will be looking to either stay put or move up in the Eastern Conference standings as they currently hold down the sixth spot.

The Blueshirts should use how they played this game and carry it into their game against the Devils because if they do, the puck should be able to find the back of the net more than it did tonight.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: colorado+avalanche, henrik+lundqvist+mats+zuccarello, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, semyon+varlamov

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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.