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Entries with the tag: braden holtby

Lundqvist Keeps Capitals at Bay in 2-1 Win

After getting off to a somewhat slow start, it appears that New York Rangers' starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is back to being himself between the pipes for his hockey club.

This was extremely evident tonight in the Rangers' 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. Lundqvist stopped 27 of 28 shots and picked-up his fourth straight win as he improves his record to 7-5 on the season.

Lundqvist was especially terrific in the third period as the Capitals beared down in the third period. The Capitals fired 11 shots at Lundqvist but the 30-year-old netminder stopped them all.

Before Lundqvist got on a roll in this game, it looked like the Rangers were going to blow the Capitals out of the water. The team outshot the Capitals 20-8 in the first period and yet, the club went into the second period down 1-0 thanks to the outstanding play of Capitals' netminder Braden Holtby.

That all changed when streaking Rangers' forward Carl Hagelin scored on a deflection to tie the game at one apiece. For Hagelin, it was his fifth goal in his last four games.

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  Tags: brad+richards, braden+holtby, carl+hagelin, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, michael+del+zotto, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, washington+capitals

Quiet on The Offensive Front for the Blueshirts

As everyone knows, goals are at a minimum in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

With the exception of the first round between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers, there have been many low scoring games in this postseason. This is due to tighter defenses, players diving all over the place to block shots and great goaltending.

While these things have certainly been a factor for the New York Rangers, they are not the only reason why the team’s offense has been very quiet in their second round series with the Washington Capitals.

For starters, the Rangers are not getting any secondary scoring. Guys like Ruslan Fedotenko, Brian Boyle, Brandon Prust, Derek Stepan, John Mitchell, Carl Hagelin, Mike Rupp, and others have all been stymied and have not been able to put the puck in the net.

This is a problem because it ends up putting a ton of pressure on the likes of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, and Ryan Callahan to put the puck in the net. While it is right to expect them to be able to put the puck in the net because of what they accomplished in the regular season or in past postseasons, that does not mean that they can come through whenever the team needs them to.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, braden+holtby, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, carl+hagelin, derek+stepan, john+mitchell, marian+gaborik, mike+rupp, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan

Game 7 It Is

With their 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 6 at the Verizon Center tonight, the New York Rangers now have to prepare themselves for their second straight series with a Game 7 on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

This should not come as a surprise given the way the Blueshirts played tonight. There was not enough urgency, some sloppy play in their own zone and overall, it did not look like a full team effort tonight.

It also did not help that the team was put behind the eighth ball just over a minute into the hockey game when Capitals’ captain Alex Ovechkin scored a power play goal. Just 1:13 into the tilt, Capitals’ hard-working forward Jason Chimera was taken down by Rangers’ defenseman Anton Stralman, which led to the Capitals’ power play and ultimately, the 1-0 lead.

Chimera was a factor on his team’s second goal as he picked up his fourth goal of the postseason. This is a player that plays hard all of the time, has terrific speed, and has shown that he has some offensive skill, something that the Rangers’ pluggers need to start showing like they did during the regular season.

The only player that seemed to show up tonight for the Blueshirts was goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist made 21 saves in a losing effort and did everything he could to give his team a chance to win a hockey game.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, alex+ovechkin, anton+stralman, braden+holtby, henrik+lundqvist, jason+chimera, new+york+rangers

Rangers’ Power Play Comes Through When It Matters Most

The New York Rangers power play for what seems like the first time all year long was a huge factor in their 3-2 overtime victory in Game 5 against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden.

Rangers’ defenseman Marc Staal scored a power play goal just 1:35 into overtime to take a 3-2 series lead. For the Rangers, the play was simple as they won the face-off back to the point and Staal just put the puck on net, which is what a team is supposed to do when they have the man advantage. 

However, this game looked like it was going to end up a 2-1 Capitals win. However, Capitals’ forward Joel Ward took an ill-timed high-sticking double minor with 22 seconds to go on Rangers’ forward Carl Hagelin.

The Blueshirts were able to capitalize on the first part of the power play with 6.6 seconds to go when Brad Richards scored off of Callahan’s third shot past Braden Holtby to tie the game up. For now at least, this goal will go down as Richards’ biggest goal as a Blueshirt.

When overtime started, the team still had over a minute to go on the power play and again, the team was able to come through. If there was ever a time for the team’s power play to start clicking, it was this game. On both goals, the team threw plenty of pucks on Holtby, which again, is something that a team is supposed to do on the power play.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, braden+holtby, carl+hagelin, joel+ward, john+carlson, marc+staal, mike+green, mike+rupp, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

Feeling The Pressure

This is something that the New York Rangers have to be undergoing as the team gets set for its Game 5 tilt tonight with the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden.

While the Blueshirts were the top team in the Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division and one of the best teams in the entire league, it has not been an easy postseason for this hockey club. Rather, it has been one where the Rangers, just like they had to in the regular season, have had to prove that they can handle tough situations, play comeback hockey and win games when it matters.

The team will be in that same kind of situation tonight for Game 5. Based on the way this series has been played so far, it has the makings of another seven game series for the Blueshirts and one that could end up proving to be difficult to win because the way the Capitals are playing.

The Capitals are essentially playing “Ranger hockey”. They are blocking a lot of shots, playing physical, breaking up a lot of passes in their own zone and capitalizing on mistakes made by the opposition.

In turn, the Blueshirts will need to figure out a better way to beat that system. This means finding ways around shot blockers, putting more pucks to the net on Capitals’ netminder Braden Holtby, crashing for rebounds, creating traffic in front of the net and being patient with the puck.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, braden+holtby, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals

Gaborik Comes Through in Triple OT

There was no doubt that going into last night’s Game 3 between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center, Blueshirts’ 41-goal scorer Marian Gaborik was having trouble putting the puck in the net.

Well, that changed last night and did so in very dramatic fashion. Gaborik scored a goal in the third overtime off a nice feed from Brad Richards to give his hockey club the 2-1 victory and a 2-1 series lead.

For the Blueshirts, it was their first triple overtime win since 1971 when they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden on a goal by Pete Stemkowski. The win also marked the Rangers’ first victory at the Verizon Center in the playoffs since Game 2 of 2009.

This was a game that could have gone either way. Both teams certainly played well enough to win but because Gaborik was able to come through and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was able to make one more save than Capitals’ netminder Braden Holtby, the result turned out to be in favor of the Rangers.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, braden+holtby, chicago+blackhawks, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, pete+stemkowski, washington+capitals

Rangers Come Up Short

That is what the New York Rangers did tonight in their 3-2 Game 2 loss of the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden.

After battling back from a 2-1 deficit on a goal by Ryan Callahan, Capitals’ team captain Alex Ovechkin scored the game winner on a power play with less than 8 minutes to go. The power play was a result of a holding penalty taken by Rangers’ forward Brad Richards.

With the win, the Capitals were able to even up the series at one game apiece as both teams will now prepare for Wednesday night’s Game 3 at the Verizon Center. The Rangers do not exactly have to go back to the drawing board but they must find more ways to make life difficult for Capitals’ goaltender Braden Holtby.

To beat Holtby, the Rangers need to do a better job of driving to the net and creating traffic in front of the net. On the first goal of the game, Richards drove to the net and was able to put a Marian Gaborik feed into an empty net. On the second goal, Rangers’ defenseman Michael Del Zotto’s shot from the point was redirected by Ryan Callahan a few feet outside the crease before getting by Holtby.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, alex+ovechkin, brad+richards, braden+holtby, jason+chimera, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

Focusing on Round 2

The New York Rangers will be doing just that tomorrow afternoon at Madison Square Garden as the team begins its second round series against the Washington Capitals.

For the Blueshirts, this playoff match-up has no surprises. The two teams met in both the 2009 and 2011 postseason and both times, the Capitals came away with the series victory.

The main difference is the seeding of these two clubs. The Rangers finished in the top spot in the Eastern Conference while the Capitals took the seventh seed.

For the Rangers to be successful in this series, the team will need to once again play “Ranger hockey”. The club will need to be all over the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom and Brooks Laich. As such, the Blueshirts should be prepared to block a ton of shots this series.

On the other side, the Rangers’ big offensive players need to step up and produce. Marian Gaborik really needs to start scoring some goals while others like Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider must continue to find ways to generate offense.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, brad+richards, braden+holtby, brooks+laich, chris+kreider, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

Not the way to Go Into the Postseason

While it is great that the New York Rangers finished first in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, last night’s performance against the Washington Capitals in a 4-1 loss at Madison Square Garden is not acceptable.

In the first period, the team was irresponsible on defense and got some questionable goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, which led to a 3-0 deficit after the first period. Lundqvist did not look like himself between the pipes as the first goal he allowed to Capitals’ team captain Alex Ovechkin should have been stopped and on the Capitals’ third goal, he looked completely lost.

The team’s first period ultimately took the team out of the hockey game. This was a game that the Rangers could have used to go into the postseason on a high note and as Presidents’ Trophy winners but simply put, it was not meant to be for the Blueshirts last night.

On a positive note, the team was able to create several good scoring opportunities on Capitals’ netminder Braden Holtby but Holtby was more than up to the task in making 35 saves. The Capitals’ will need more goaltending like that from Holtby if they want to beat the Boston Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, braden+holtby, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, washington+capitals

Who Will Win Washington’s Crease?

This is a question that many Washington Capitals’ fans have probably been wondering about since the team went out and signed UFA Tomas Vokoun.

There is no doubt that Vokoun has been one of the league’s best goaltenders over the last few seasons. Year in and year out, his goals against average, save percentage, shutouts, and shots stopped rank among the league’s best. Unfortunately for Vokoun, his success in the regular season has all been for naught as he was not able to get the Florida Panthers into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in any of the four seasons he was there.

With that said, he may get the chance to play in the playoffs should he play well enough in the Capitals’ crease this season. He has a terrific team in front of him that knows how to play good defense and of course, score goals with the likes of Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Semin, Brooks Laich, Mike Knuble and a slew of others.

However, it is not necessarily a guarantee that Vokoun will be the Capitals’ No. 1 netminder. He will have to compete with Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby, two very good young goaltenders, for that coveted spot.

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  Tags: braden+holtby, michal+neuvirth, tomas+vokoun, washington+capitals

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