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Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: buffalo sabres

Richards Getting Hot at the Right Time for the Blueshirts

For most of this shortened season, things have not been easy for New York Rangers' forward Brad Richards.

For much of this year, Richards struggled in all areas of game whether it was on offense, on the power play, handling the puck, etc. A few times this season, Rangers' head coach John Tortorella even went as far to bench the Rangers' nine-year man.

With that said, it really is amazing how fast things can change. After picking up a goal and an assist last night in his team's 6-1 win over the Florida Panthers, Richards went out and scored his first career hat trick in helping the Blueshirts crush the Sabres by a score of 8-4.

If you are counting at home, that is four goals and an assist in the last two games. With his three goals tonight, not only is he in double digits, but he is starting to show that he is not afraid to put the puck on net.

In many games prior to these last two, Richards seemed afraid to put the puck on goal. He was clearly snake bitten and looked like he had lost confidence in his ability to put the puck in the net.

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  Tags: brad+richards, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, florida+panthers, john+tortorella, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers

Taking Care Of Business

That is exactly what the New York Rangers did tonight in their 6-1 victory over the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden.

Coming into tonight's tilt, the Panthers were the worst team in the league. Tonight, the Rangers took advantage of that and pounded the Panthers with six goals and got strong offensive efforts from several of their players.

For starters, Mats Zuccarello is continuing to show how he has improved his game. He goes hard to the net, knows how to use his speed, gets his nose dirty and tonight, he was able to score two goals.

The club also got a strong offensive performance from Derick Brassard. Brassard had two goals and gave the team an early lead when he scored the games first goal just over three minutes into the tilt.

Rick Nash did his part in this game by picking up three points with a goal and two assists. It will be important for Nash to continue to produce as the team needs him to score in this last stretch of the season. 

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  Tags: brad+richards, buffalo+sabres, derick+brassard, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, rick+nash, ron+rolston, winnipeg+jets

Back to the Drawing Board

After playing a perfect road game in a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon, the New York Rangers went out a dropped a 3-1 tilt to the Buffalo Sabres tonight in Buffalo.

The Blueshirts took a lot of penalties, could not cash in on the power play when given a gold opportunity to do so and could not find a way consistently to put the puck past Sabres' netminder Jhonas Enroth. Put these three things together and more often than not, the Rangers will be on the losing end of a the hockey game.

Staying out of the penalty box seemed to be a tough thing for the Rangers to do tonight. The team took four penalties in the second period alone and when a team is shorthaned that much, it usually does not need to productive or winning hockey.

Despite making 32 saves, the Rangers made Enroth look like Patrick Roy. For Enroth, this was his first win since 2011 and the Blueshirts made sure to put plenty of pucks at his chest or in other areas that were easy for Enroth to control the puck.

Lastly, the Sabres were able to shut down Rangers' forward Rick Nash and his 10-game point streak. Not only did Nash not score a point in this game, but he was also a -2.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, jhonas+enroth, new+york+rangers, patrick+roy, rick+nash, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets

The Perfect Road Game

That is exactly what the New York Rangers played this afternoon in their 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals.

The Blueshirts got timely goal scoring, played solid on defense, got a great game from back-up netminder Martin Biron, and did a good job at killing penalties when they needed it the most. With the exception of the first ten minutes of the game in which they looked like they were asleep, this was by far and away the best Rangers' road game of the season.

It was nice to see Rangers' forward Brian Boyle come through with his first goal of the season in the second period on a delayed penalty. On the goal, he showed patience with the puck, got into good position and showed why guys should not be afraid to put the puck on net. Hopefully, this goal will get him going.

The club also got another excellent game from Rick Nash. Nash used his size, helped create two goals and was responsible in his own end.

Another big factor in this tilt was the play of Biron. Biron was sharp in making 28 saves and did his job by keeping his team in the game, giving his club a chance to win, and stopping the pucks that he should stop.

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  Tags: brad+richards, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets

Making a Difference

Returing from a unpsecified injury after missing the last four games, New York Rangers' forward Rick Nash showed how much of a difference he can  make when he is in the lineup. 

In the last four games, all losses for the Blueshirts, the team's offense was quite stagnant. There were not enough pucks thrown on net, there was no creativity, there was no movement and there was not enough being done to generate quality scoring chances.

Insert Nash back into the lineup and the Blueshirts become a different hockey club as Nash creates offense in a variety of ways. Tonight in the team's 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, Nash got open for breakaways, made terrific moves with the puck to generate quality scoring chances, helped set up a goal, scored a highlight goal in the third period and was not afraid to put pucks on net whether it was from the outside, down by the crease or in the slot.

With Nash going hard and doing everything he can to generate offense, the rest of the team seemed to follow suit. In the first period, the Rangers tied a season high with 20 shots while allowing just three. 

Then in the second period, the Blueshirts continued to pile on the shots and wound up outshooting the Lightning 15-8. If you are keeping track, the team outshot the Lightning 35-11 through two periods.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, tampa+bay+lightning

The Value of Martin Biron

When it comes to hockey, there is no doubt that goaltending is a key cog in the machine that makes up a hockey team.

For the New York Rangers, the main cog between the pipes is Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist is everything a team could want in a starting netminder as he is consistent, plays and wins a lot of games, makes key saves at the right time, gets his team into the postseason and more importantly, makes them a contender in what is a very talented Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.

With that said, it is important that the machine has a backup cog in case something goes wrong with the main one or if it needs to be replaced so that it can rest. In the case of the Blueshirts, this particular cog is back-up goaltender Martin Biron.

Since joining the Blueshirts in the 2010-11 season, Biron has been a netminder that the Rangers can rely on to give them a chance to win when he is between the pipes. In his two seasons on Broadway, Biron has won 20 games, picked-up two shutouts and has posted impressive goals against averages of 2.13 and 2.46, respectively.

While the numbers clearly show that Biron is more than just your average back-up goaltender, there is a lot more to him than just the stats. For starters, Biron's experience as a starting goaltender for both the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers has helped him in his transition to being a full-time back-up NHL goaltender.

This is important because Biron knows how to prepare for games. He knows what it takes to start in games and he knows what he needs to do to be ready. When between the pipes for the Rangers these last two years, his preparation has shown with his steady play when team head coach John Tortorella puts him in net.

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  Tags: atlantic+division, buffalo+sabres, eastern+conference, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers

Derek Stepan: Continuing on Up on Broadway

When it comes to the New York Rangers, a lot has been said about the talented youth they now have both on Broadway and in Connecticut.

One such talented youngster, Derek Stepan, will be entering his third season as an NHLer, and will be looking to continue becoming an even better hockey player than he is now. With 45 (21 goals and 24 assists) and 51 (17 goals and 34 assists) points in his first two seasons, the ceiling has yet to be reached for the 22-year-old Stepan.

There is no doubt that Stepan is a gifted hockey player. Stepan has soft hands, an eye for the net, the ability to make passes and create plays as well as the ability to play well on both sides of the puck.

His abilities were on full display in his first game in the NHL. That night against the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo, Stepan scored a hat trick while showing the team and its fan that he could be a shining star on Broadway.

Stepan finished his rookie season with 21 goals and 24 assists for 45 points while playing in all 82 games in the regular season. In the playoffs, however, Stepan failed to score a point in a five game series loss to the Washington Capitals. 

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, derek+stepan, john+tortorella, marc+staal, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan

An E-mail Interview with Popular NHL Tweeter @NHLGossip

As you are all well aware of, Twitter is an extremely valuable resource when it comes to following the latest in the hockey world.

One such Tweeter who really seems to get that is @NHLGossip, also known as Chris Hueber. Hueber re-Tweets a lot of valuable hockey information and more importantly, is accurate when he does so. This guy is not a rumor monger and is someone who only re-Tweets what valuable and well known NHL insiders are saying.

Chris was kind enough to take time out of his busy Tweeting schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he came up with his Twitter account as well as his thoughts on the Buffalo Sabres and NHL free agency.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
CH: I grew up just outside of Buffalo and have always loved the Buffalo Sabres. I became a fan of the Sabres when I was old enough to have the patience to watch the games. I mean, the trap made the game so bad when I was really young that after the first period, I lost interest. I think I was about 8 when I got really into it. I loved watching guys like Brad May, Rob Ray and Matt Barnaby run around fighting every night. I also always liked watching Alexander Mogilny and Pat LaFontaine.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, nhl+gossip, rick+nash, twitter

Not Making It Easy on Themselves

The New York Rangers are certainly doing that when it comes to the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference lead as the team dropped a 4-1 game to the Buffalo Sabres last night at Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts ran into outstanding goaltending in Ryan Miller as Miller turned away 26 of 27 shots. With the win, the Sabres are now tied in points with the Washington Capitals, who currently hold down the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference.

With the loss, the Rangers now hold just a one point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins and a five point lead over the Philadelphia Flyers. And with all three teams playing tonight, picking up two points against the Toronto Maple Leafs is a must if the Rangers want to hold onto the top spot.

The Rangers did not play terribly last night. They generated plenty of scoring opportunities but just could not put one behind Miller when it counted.

The team’s best player last night was defenseman Ryan McDonagh. There is no doubt that McDonagh has plenty of offensive ability and soon enough, fans are going to be able to see that on a regular basis.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+mcdonagh, ryan+miller, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals

Looking to Close Out the Homestand with a Win Against the Sabres

Prior to the 7-game homestand, the New York Rangers knew that it would be a great opportunity to really establish home ice before the postseason and pick-up some points to help build on their Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings lead.

In six games so far, the Blueshirts have gone 4-2. The team has beat the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings while losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado Avalanche.

Tonight’s game between the Rangers and Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden is an important one for both clubs. For the Rangers, it is an opportunity to go back to being three points ahead of the Penguins as the Penguins beat the Nashville Predators last night by a score of 5-1.

For the Sabres, it is an opportunity to get two huge points to put them in the top eight in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres have been playing playoff hockey for the last month or so and have really turned their season around after a rough few months and after last night’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Penguins, the Sabres can move into the eighth spot over the Washington Capitals with a win.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, colorado+avalanche, derek+stepan, detroit+red+wings, marian+gaborik, nashville+predators, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

One Point Closer to the 100-point mark

Due to having a men’s league hockey game last night, I was not able to catch any of the New York Rangers 2-1 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings last night at Madison Square Garden..

Based on the highlights I did manage to see, I know that Rangers’ forward Brad Richards scored a nice first period goal and that team captain Ryan Callahan scored his 27th goal of the season on his 27th birthday in overtime to give his team a much needed two points. Both of these players continue to produce for their hockey club and come playoff time, that could end up going a long way.

What I can tell you is that based on the way the Pittsburgh Penguins are playing right now, the Blueshirts are going to need to continue to pick-up points in the standings. The Penguins are easily the league’s hottest team right now and are clicking on all cylinders.

The Rangers will be back in action tomorrow night to close out their homestand against the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres are currently tied with the Washington Capitals for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference so you know that they are going to be fighting hard to win the hockey game tomorrow night at MSG.

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  Tags: brad+richards, buffalo+sabres, detroit+red+wings, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan

A Must Win for the Rangers

This is exactly what tonight’s game at Madison Square Garden between the New York York Rangers and New York Islanders is for the Blueshirts.

For the first time this season, the Rangers are in the midst of a three game losing streak in regulation. This past week, the Blueshirts lost to the New Jersey Devils (4-1), Ottawa Senators (4-1) and Chicago Blackhawks.

Because of the losing streak, the Rangers are just four points up on the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team they will meet on Thursday at MSG. If the Rangers continue to play they are playing right now, Thursday night’s tilt with the Penguins could end up meaning even more than it already does.

However, it is time for the team to focus on tonight’s meeting with the Islanders. It will be the last meeting between the two clubs with the Rangers holding the edge in the season series at 3-1-1.

They may not be in a playoff spot but the Islanders are definitely competing every night. They work hard, they forecheck and they make life extremely tough for opponents, something the Blueshirts will have to deal with tonight.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, chicago+blackhawks, detroit+red+wings, henrik+lundqvist, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins

Rangers Quiet/Ready for Tonight

It appears that the 2012 NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone for the New York Rangers, with the team having acquired defenseman John Scott from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick.

So now, the Blueshirts will go forward with the team they currently have as team general manager Glen Sather and team head coach John Tortorella are showing that they believe in the hockey team they have. Given that the Blueshirts are first in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, it makes sense that team management and its coaching staff believe in this hockey club.

Now, the Blueshirts must focus on their big game tonight (7:30 p.m.) at Madison Square Garden against the New Jersey Devils. With both teams currently in a playoff spot, tonight’s tilt will certainly have a playoff feel to it as the Devils look to further advance in the Eastern Conference standings while the Rangers look to continue to have a firm hold on both the Atlantic Division and the East in general.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, chicago+blackhawks, glen+sather, john+scott, john+tortorella, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan

Rangers Look to Regain Focus Tonight against the Sabres

After last night’s 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Islanders, the New York Rangers need to get back on track with a win tonight against the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden.

For both teams, it will be a back-to-back situation as the Sabres are coming off a 2-1 shootout win over the Boston Bruins. The Sabres have a lot to play for as they find themselves just five points out of the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference after winning three straight and going 6-3-1 in their last 10 games.

While the Rangers may be first in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, this game should be important to them as well. Over the last week or so, the team has gotten away from the things that made them successful in the first place and that has really come through in their last four games against the Chicago Blackhawks (4-2 loss), Columbus Blue Jackets (3-2 overtime win), Pittsburgh Penguins (2-0 loss) and Islanders (4-3 shootout loss).

On the other side, the Sabres have been playing some terrific hockey. They are getting great goaltending from Ryan Miller, who now looks like his old self, while also getting a lot of offense from the likes of Derek Roy, Jason Pominville, Thomas Vanek, and Drew Stafford.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, buffalo+sabres, chicago+blackhawks, columbus+blue+jackets, derek+roy, drew+stafford, jason+pominville, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+miller, thomas+vanek

Disappointing Shootout Loss to the Islanders

While it may not have been in regulation and while the team got a point, it was essentially another loss for the New York Rangers 4-3 in a shootout to the New York Islanders.

This was simply a game that the Rangers should always have. Yes, the Islanders always bring their best effort against the Rangers but in the grand scheme of things, the Blueshirts need to win these games against the lower seeded New York Islanders.

While Rangers’ netminder Martin Biron was not terrible, he certainly was not great. This is the third straight start in which Biron has allowed three goals or more and is the second straight start in which Biron failed to help get the team two points.

Obviously, there is no real reason to panic given that the team is currently atop both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.

Looking at the positives, it was nice to see the Rangers’ power play go 2/5 for tonight. The team got power play goals from Marc Staal and Derek Stepan while Marian Gaboirk got the goal in between.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, derek+stepan, evgeni+nabokov, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers

Battle of The Hudson

While it always seems like the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils play a playoff brand of hockey when the two clubs meet, that will really be the case tonight when they will go at it at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers, who are on top of both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, are coming off of two straight wins over the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers. In those games, the club got excellent goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, played a physical style of hockey and won all the little battles within the game.

On the other side, the Devils might just be playing their best hockey of the season. The team from across the Hudson River has won five straight games and is putting the puck in the net with regularity, getting solid performances out of of both Ilya Kovalchuk and Martin Brodeur and playing with a swagger that has been missing from their game the last few seasons.

These two teams met last Wednesday night at the Prudential Center, where the Blueshirts lost a hard fought game 4-3 in a shootout. As I had mentioned last week, this was a game that the Rangers should have won so they will definitely be looking to get the two points tonight on home ice.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, henrik+lundqvist, ilya+kovalchuk, john+tortorella, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, steve+eminger

Heave Ho Four in a Row

That is what the New York Rangers will be looking to do this afternoon at Madison Square Garden when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers.

The teams have met three times already with the Blueshirts coming away with three wins, including winning the Winter Classic by a score of 3-2. The Blueshirts have also beaten the Flyers twice on home ice this season.

There is no doubt that the Flyers are going to come out as a hungry hockey club. In yesterday’s 6-4 loss to the New Jersey Devils at home, the Flyers gave the Devils a 6-0 lead before coming back to score four goals in the third period to make it an exciting hockey game.

This is a Flyers team that has a lot of offense. Guys like Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds, Jaromir Jagr and Matt Read can all put the puck in the net. Hartnell leads the club with 25 goals and Giroux is right behind with 20.

With that in mind, the Blueshirts are going to need to be ready to battle. The club is coming off a hard fought 1-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night in Buffalo and the team more than likely knows that if they play the way they did against Buffalo, they could be in trouble against the Broadstreet Bullies.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, claude+giroux, henrik+lundqvist, jaromir+jagr, matt+read, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, scott+hartnell, wayne+simmonds, winnipeg+jets

Lundqvist Does it Again

Coming into tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, you just knew that it was going to be a tough game for the New York Rangers.

The game lived up to that billing as the Rangers’ were able to come away with a 1-0 shootout win thanks to the shootout winner by team captain Ryan Callahan. However, the main reason the Rangers won tonight’s game was because of the goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist.

Lundqvist made 34 saves in regulation and stopped all but one of the shootout attempts taken by the Sabres in his second straight shutout (6th of the season…tied for first in the league). Simply put, Lundqvist played the way he always has this season for his hockey club.

Had it not been for Lundqvist’s terrific play, this could have just as easily been a shutout for Sabres’ goaltender Ryan Miller. Miller, who won last night over the Montreal Canadiens, was stellar in this game in making 29 saves and giving his team every chance to win a hockey game.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, detroit+red+wings, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, ryan+miller

The One That Got Away

Looking back at last night’s tilt between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, it was a game that the Rangers should have come away with two points.

The Blueshirts had three 1-goal leads that they let slip away in a 4-3 shootout loss at the Prudential Center. While these things happen in hockey, they are things that could have been prevented with better defensive coverage in the Rangers’ zone.

On both the Devils’ second goal and tying goal in the game, the Rangers appeared to be lost in their own zone. It should also be noted that Devils’ sniper Ilya Kovalchuk should never be given that much room in the offensive zone.

With that said, it was not a terrible game for the Blueshirts. They showed some offense and with better defensive coverage in their own zone in the third period, could have easily come away with their third straight victory.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, ilya+kovalchuk, martin+biron, martin+brodeur, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, prudential+center

Full Steam Ahead

That is the kind of attitude the New York Rangers should take after beating the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers over the weekend by a combined score of 10-1.

The team is clicking on all cylinders as they are supplying the offense, solid defense and getting timely goaltending from both Henrik Lundqvist by Martin Biron. Put that all together and you have part of the winning formula for the New York Rangers.

The other part of the formula is hard work. This is something the team is getting from the likes of Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan, Dan Girardi and even Marian Gaborik has been playing well on both ends of the ice.

With the two wins over the weekend, the Blueshirts improved their record to 17-6-4, good enough for fourth in the Eastern Conference. The team is also two points behind the conference-leading Philadelphia Flyers, something that should make the Winter Classic game between the two rivals even more intriguing.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan

The Perfect Road Game

That is exactly what the New York Rangers played last night when they defeated the Buffalo Sabres by a 4-1 score in Buffalo.

The team got two shorthanded goals, including an absolute beauty by team captain Ryan Callahan, as well as one from rookie Carl Hagelin, who had two goals in the game. Marian Gaborik picked-up a power play goal in the third period to close out the scoring for the Blueshirts.

The Blueshirts also got a strong performance from their netminder, Martin Biron. Biron made 32 saves to improve to 5-1 with a 1.79 goals against average, a .937 saver percentage and 1 shuout. With his strong play, Biron continues to prove that not only is he the perfect back-up for Henrik Lundqvist, but that he may as well be the best back-up goaltender in the entire National Hockey League.

Unfortunately, the Blueshirts do not have a lot of time to enjoy this victory as they will be back in action tonight against the streaking Florida Panthers. Back on November 23, the Panthers defeated the Blueshirts by a score of 2-1 in Florida and have only continued to play better as the Panthers are 16-8-5, good enough for third in the Eastern Conference and two points behind the first place Philadelphia Flyers.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carl+hagelin, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan

Getting Back on Track

That is something that the New York Rangers (15-6-4) will look to do tonight against the Buffalo Sabres (14-11-2) in Buffalo.

Buffalo is coming off a 2-1 overtime victory over the streaking Florida Panthers last night. It was a hard fought battle so there is no doubt that the Sabres may be a bit tired.

On the other side, the Blueshirts are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night. According to team beat writers, the team had a good practice yesterday before heading off to Buffalo for tonight’s tilt.

The Rangers come into this game having not won since last Saturday night when they defeated the Lightning by a score of 4-2. Since that game, the Blueshirts have lost to the Leafs (4-2 on Monday Night night) and the Lightning and picked-up one point in those two games combined.

Even with their recent “winless streak”, the team still sits fifth in the Eastern Conference with 34 points and is two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins (fourth in the Eastern Conference) and three points behind the Philadelphia Flyers (first in the Eastern Conference). If the team is able to pick up two points tonight, they will have a chance to move up a bit in the standings, which always feels good to any NHL hockey club.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, florida+panthers, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, toronto+maple+leafs

The One That Got Away

That is the perfect phrase to describe the New York Rangers’ 3-2 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning last night.

The Blueshirts had a 2-1 lead in the third period until former Ranger Dominic Moore tied it up with a shorthanded goal. The club also had several quality scoring opportunities to win the game in regulation and in overtime but unfortunately, were not able to bury their chances.

The team got strong performances from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan McDonagh and Artem Anisimov. Speaking of Anisimov, his goal celebration was completely unnecessary. Yes, it was a great goal but there is no need to taunt or show off. That kind of stuff is just not needed in the NHL and should be saved for the NFL and NBA.

Luckily, the team will be able to quickly forget about this game as they have two tough tilts on tap for this weekend. Tomorrow night, the Blueshirts will take on the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo and on Sunday night, will return home to take on the high-flying Florida Panthers.

With four points on the line and no wins in their last two games, this weekend will be the perfect opportunity for the Rangers to get back on right track.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, buffalo+sabres, dan+girardi, dominic+moore, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, tampa+bay+lightning

NHL Home Ice Takes in A Special Night in Buffalo

On Tuesday night, the hosts of Hockey This Morning on NHL Home Ice, Mike Ross and Mick Kern, had the pleasure of being invited to see the Buffalo Sabres take on the Winnipeg Jets at the First Niagra Center.

It ended up being a special and emotional night for all as it was also Dale Hawerchuk and Rick Jeanneret night as the two Sabres’ legends were being inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame.

“Rossy” was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to tell us how the night went.

PH: How did you and Mick Kern get invited to be at Dale Hawerchuk and Rick Jeanneret night in Buffalo?
MR: Actually, we got to pick the game. A few weeks ago, I got a call from Marc Heintzman of the Sabres Public Relations department saying that team President Ted Black had heard Mick and I talking about the renovations at First Niagara Center and was inviting us to pick a game and be his guest for a night. So we looked at the schedule and decided that seeing the Jets would be cool and in the end, it was a coincidence that Hawerchuk and Jeanneret were being honoured.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, dale+hawerchuk, jason+pominville, mick+kern, mike+ross, nhl+home+ice, rick+jeanneret, winnipeg+jets

A Tale of Two Games

I was lucky enough to be at last night’s game between the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins and let me tell you, it was like watching two different games.

In the “first” game, the Rangers were flat, did not generate many scoring chances, had terrible defensive coverage and trailed 3-0. It could have been more if not for the solid goaltending of Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist.

The second game was the complete opposite. The Blueshirts played with passion, forechecked, threw pucks to the net and cashed in on their scoring opportunities. In this particular game, the Blueshirts outscored the Bruins 5-0.

In the end, it was a 5-3 Rangers’ victory in one of the most exciting games of the season at Madison Square Garden. It was a game in which the team trailed 3-2 with less than four minutes to go, only to score three goals in the final three minutes as Brandon Dubinsky tied the game, Michael Sauer scored the game winner and Derek Stepan sealed it with an empty netter.

Truth be told, may be it was expected that the Blueshirts would come out flat. They played an extremely tough and grueling game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday afternoon and were obviously out of synch and tired.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, brandon+dubinsky, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, michael+sauer, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers

Rangers Turn Table on Flyers With 3-2 Shootout Win

Almost a year ago, the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the New York Rangers in a shootout, sending their team into the playoffs and the Blueshirts home for the playoffs and off-season.

Today, the New York Rangers turned the tables on the Flyers and defeated the Broadstreet Bullies 3-2 in a shootout, giving them points 88 and 89 on the season. With the two points, the Blueshirts now find themselves in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference with one more point than the Buffalo Sabres and three points more than the Carolina Hurricanes, who play each other this evening at 5:00 p.m.

Rangers’ forwards Erik Christensen and Wojtek Wolski, two guys who haven’t played great as of late, got the two shootout goals for the Blueshirts and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who made 32 saves on the afternoon, went two for two in the shootout in picking up his 34th win of the season.

It was a game in which the Blueshirts showed their mettle and played tough, blocked a lot of shots, were smart on the penalty kill and were not afraid to throw the pucks at Flyers’ netminder Sergei Bobrovsky. They played a typical road-style hockey game and in doing so, picked up their 24th road win of the season, tying the franchise record they set back in 1994.

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  Tags: boston+boston+bruins, braydon+coburn, brian+boyle, bryan+mccabe, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, daniel+carcillo, erik+christensen, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ruslan+fedotenko, sergei+bobrovsky, wojtek+wolski

A Wake Up Call

That is exactly what you can call the game between the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders tonight.

I had men’s league hockey tonight so I did not get to watch much of the game, so it was extremely disappointing to come home and see that the Blueshirts lost 6-2 to a team that is not contending for the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season. With that said, I am NOT taking anything away from the Islanders because they have come a long way in the last few months and have played some excellent hockey.

Based on reading the game reports, it appears that an Islanders’ 4-goal second period did the team in and put them behind the eight ball for the rest of the hockey game. What is even more concerning is the team’s recent struggles on offense as they only scored two goals tonight, none yesterday in a 1-0 shutout loss to the Buffalo Sabres and one in a 1-0 shutout win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon.

This is not the time to be struggling to put the puck in the net. The team still has four games left to play and their not exactly easy opponents as they take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday afternoon, the Bruins next Monday night at Madison Square Garden, the Atlanta Thrashers next Thursday night at the Garden (the Rangers SHOULD win that one) and the New Jersey Devils next Saturday afternoon at the Garden.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, boston+bruins, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers

Not Quite The Effort That was Needed

These are the perfect words to describe the play of the New York Rangers in their 1-0 shutout loss to the Buffalo Sabres last night.

The Blueshirts had trouble generating any consistent offense, did not throw enough pucks on Sabres, netminder Jhonas Enroth, who was making the start in place of Ryan Miller, who had an upper buddy injury. Enroth made 23 saves in picking up his first career NHL shutout, and an important one at that.

With the loss, the Rangers dropped down to the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference while the Buffalo Sabres moved up to the seventh spot. The Hurricanes, currently ninth in the Conference, are just three points behind the Blueshirts, who are back in action tonight on Long Island for a tilt against the New York Islanders.

One player who did show up for the Blueshirts was Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist made 34 saves and gave everyone a scare late in the second period when he took a puck off the right knee. He would not comment on it too much after the game only to say that he wants to be ready for tomorrow night.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, jhonas+enroth, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers

Another Big Game on Tap for the Rangers

Coming off a big 1-0 shutout win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternnon, the New York Rangers will be back in action tonight when they take on the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo in what is an important game for both clubs.

The Blueshirts are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference but are just two points up on the eighth place Buffalo Sabres. The Rangers are also now two points behind the Montreal Canadiens for sixth place.

The key for the Rangers will be to stay the course. They will need to continue to get balanced scoring, play disciplined hockey, play smart defense and get goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist if they want to have any kind of success against a very good Sabres hockey club.

Luckily for the Rangers, this is a road game and the Blueshirts have been one of the league’s best away from home ice. The team currently has 23 wins on the road and seem to play with a lot more confidence when not in front of the Madison Square Garden crowd.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, buffalo+sabres, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers

Blueshirts Shut out the Bruins in Important Road Win

Believe it or not folks, the New York Rangers are now tied with the sixth place Montreal Canadiens after shutting out the Boston Bruins in Boston by a score of 1-0.

Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist was solid once again in picking up his 11th shutout of the season. Lundqvist finished the game with 26 saves and was especially good in the third period when his team was outshot by a 12-1 margin.

The team also did a terrific job of blocking shots. At one point on the broadcast in the third period, Rangers’ announcer Sam Rosen said the team had blocked 25 shots. They probably finished with close to 30 in the game and showed just how important blocking shots can be, especially since the Bruins have guys who can fire the puck frome the point.

Offensively, the Rangers were quiet once again. Yes, they got a goal from Derek Stepan in the first period (his 20th goal of the season) but other than that, they were shut down by the Bruins’ defense and Bruins’ netminder Tuukka Rask, who had 22 saves on the afternoon and was the victim of a helpless offense.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, buffalo+sabres, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, toronto+maple+leafs, tuukka+rask

Original Six Tilt in Beantown

That is exactly what will be happening at 1 p.m. today as the New York Rangers will take on the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden in Boston.

The Blueshirts are coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden while the Bruins are coming off a big 7-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens. One team will be looking to score more goals while the toher will continue to do the things that made them successful in their last game.

As always, this is an extremely important game for the Rangers. Both the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes won last night so the Blueshirts are now just two points up on the eighth place Sabres. With a win this afternoon in Boston, however, the Rangers could end up tied with the Canadiens for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. The Canadiens take on the Washington Capitals tonight.

It will be interesting to see if Rangers’ forward Sean Avery will be in the lineup this afternoon. Based on reports from team beat writers at yesterday’s skate, it appears that there is a good chance that Avery will be back in the lineup. However, nothing was confirmed.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, sean+avery, washington+capitals

Good, but not Great

Good morning folks. Unfortunately, I did not get to catch the New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators game last night as I had a hockey game of my own to play in.

With that said, I was somewhat disappointed to come home and see that the Blueshirts lost 2-1 in a shootout to the Senators, snapping the team’s five game winning streak. Yes, the Blueshirts were able to pick up an important point but as always, there were two points to be had in this game and the Blueshirts failed to get the other one.

It was nice to see that Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist had another solid game between the pipes in making 29 saves. He seems to be on top of his game and right now, that is a very good thing for the Blueshirts.

It was also nice to see Rangers’ forward Brandon Prust pick up his 12th goal of the season. Prust works hard, is not afraid to go into the corners, sticks up for his teammates, goes to the net and has shown that he can contribute offense to this hockey club.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, brandon+prust, buffalo+sabres, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators

Rangers Look to Extend Winning Streak to Six

The New York Rangers will look to win a “trap” game once again when they take on the Ottawa Senators tonight at Madison Square Garden.

Going into tonight’s tilt, the Blueshirts have won five straight games and have done so with timely goal scoring, smart play in the defensive zone, being disciplined and solid goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist. That has been the winning formula for the Blueshirts all season long and if they use it tonight against the Senators, the team will pick up its sixth straight victory along with points 85 and 86.

The Rangers need to keep winning because the eighth place Buffalo Sabres are just three points behind and are starting to heat up at the right time. With that said, if the Blueshirts continue to win, there is a chance that they could catch the Montreal Canadiens, who are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference with 87 points.

It will be interesting to see how the lineup looks for tonight’s game. One question is will Sean Avery be reinserted back into the lineup? If I am Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella, I stay the course and keep him out of the lineup for at least one more game. The team is doing just fine without him and should not want to change much when things are going right.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, buffalo+sabres, john+tortorella, marc+staal, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, sean+avery

Avoiding The Trap Game

This is exactly what the New York Rangers need to do tonight at Madison Square Garden when they take on the Florida Panthers.

The Blueshirts are currently on a four-game winning streak and have a four point lead on the eighth place Buffalo Sabres in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The last thing this team needs is to lose to the Florida Panthers, a team that is out of the playoff race and looking to slow down any team that is trying to advance to the Stanley Cup tournament.

In the team’s last four games, they have shown that they can put the puck in the net, score on the power play, kill big penalties and get solid goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist on a somewhat consistent basis. Every one on the team is stepping up at the right time and one can only hope that it does not stop this week with their game against the Panthers tonight as well as against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, sean+avery, wojtek+wolski

Lundqvist Shines in Rangers 5-2 Victory Over the Penguins

Questionable coming into this afternoon’s tilt with the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist put on a show in Pittsburgh in a 5-2 Rangers’ victory.

Lundqvist was brilliant in making 38 saves and picking up his 31st victory of the season. He was able to control his rebounds, make second and third stops when he needed to and provided the kind of goaltending that any team needs to win a hockey game.

For someone who had a stiff neck, Lundqvist was a warrior for the Blueshirts and showed his club just how much he means to them and in turn, how much he needs them to help him in order to succeed. The team was able to do just that this afternoon and now, have a four-game winning streak.

With the win, the Rangers now have 82 points and are up four on the eighth place Buffalo Sabres (who also play today) in the Eastern Conference. The win also puts the Rangers just three points behind the sixth place Montreal Canadiens so the Rangers are making noise at the right time.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, buffalo+sabres, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan

Goals A Plenty in Rangers’ 6-3 Win over the Canadiens

This may be hard to believe but the New York Rangers’ have won three straight home games by outscoring their opponents by a 19-6 margin.

The Rangers’ latest victim was the Montreal Canadiens in a 6-3 victory. The team scored five goals in the first period with five different goal scorers in Artem Anisimov, Dan Girardi, Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik, and Brian Boyle. Vinny Prospal scored the team’s sixth and final goal in the third period.

With the win, the Rangers hit the 80-point mark and remain four points up on the eighth place Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes, who had a huge OT win over the New York Islanders last night.

For a team that struggles with offense, they certainly know how to beat up on team’s when given the opportunity to do so. Last night, the team took advantage of a Montreal Canadiens’ team that played the night before against the Tampa Bay Lightning and a somewhat tired Carey Price, who was yanked after allowing the fifth Rangers’ goal. It certainly was not Price’s fault as he had no help out there.

The team also got a strong performance from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who picked up his sixth consecutive 30-win season. With the 30th win, Lundqvist became the first goalie in NHL history to 30 or more games in his first six seasons in the league.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, benoit+pouliot, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carey+price, carolina+hurricanes, dan+girardi, evgeni+malkin, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, sidney+crosby, vinny+prospal, washington+capitals

Big Original Six Matchup on Broadway Tonight

There is nothing like an Original Six mtachup in hockey. There is the history between the two teams, a sense of rivalry, a game of importance and much more.

That will be no different tonight when the New York Rangers take on the Montreal Canadiens tonight at Madison Square Garden in what is a big game for both clubs. The Blueshirts are still seventh in the Eastern Conference with 78 points, just two points up on the eighth place Buffalo Sabres while the Canadiens currently hold down the sixth spot in the conference and are now just three points behind the Northeast Division leading Boston Bruins.

The Rangers have dropped their three previous meetings to the Canadiens so tonight will be important for the Blueshirts to beat the Canadiens. The Rangers come into this game having won four of their last five and having won two straight games on home ice.

The team is obviously playing with a lot of confidence now. They are putting the puck in the net, blocking shots, throwing the body, getting solid goaltending and playing a winning style of hockey.

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  Tags: alex+auld, boston+bruins, buffalo+sabres, carey+price, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers

Big Win for the Blueshirts

Tonight’s game between the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders was one that the Blueshirts needed to have on home ice.

Mission accomplished. The Blueshirts came out and beat the Islanders by a score of 6-3 and picked up points 77 and 78 on the season.

Believe it or not, the Rangers got three power play goals and a shorthanded goal tonight. Erik Christensen, Bryan McCabe (his first as a Ranger) and Marian Gaborik all connected with the man-advantage while Brandon Prust picked up the shorthanded goal in the first period to give his team a 1-0 lead.

With the win, the Rangers now have sole possession of the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference as the Carolina Hurricanes shutout the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 1-0.

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  Tags: brandon+prust, bryan+mccabe, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, erik+christensen, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins

Rangers Just Need to Win

It sounds simple, right? Especially with the New York Islanders coming to Madison Square Garden tonight, right?

Wrong. The New York Rangers will be facing a much different New York Islanders hockey club tonight, one that has won a lot in the second half of the season and one that does not look like an AHL team anymore.

For the Rangers, the task is simple - just win baby. The team is currently eighth in the Eastern Conference with 76 points. The Buffalo Sabres also have 76 points and the Carolina Hurricanes are ninth in the conference with 72 points. Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, those teams are in action against each other tonight so one of them will definitely be coming away with the all-important two points.

The last time the Rangers were at home, they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers by a 7-0 score while getting four goals from Ryan Callahan. Tonight, the Blueshirts will be looking for the same kind of offense to get the crowd going and excited about the team’s playoff hopes.

For that to happen though, the Blueshirts will need to be careful against these hungry Islanders. The Islanders have gotten terrific play from the likes of John Tavares, Michael Grabner, Blake Comeau, Matt Moulson and goaltender Al Montoya. Yes, the Montoya that was drafted by the Rangers back in 2004.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, mats+zuccarello, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, vaclav+prospal

Rangers Pick Up the All-Important Two Points in San Jose

It does not matter how you get them just as long you get them.

That is what the New York Rangers were able to do last night in their 3-2 shootout victory over the San Jose Sharks. It wasn’t pretty but the Blueshirts did not allow two deflection goals against to derail them en route to a victory.

At this point in the season, one point is not good enough for the Blueshirts and they showed that last night in San Jose. The team got goals from from Erik Christensen, Michael Sauer and in the shootout, got the winner from Brandon Dubinsky after Wojtek Wolski extended the shootout by scoring on Sharks’ netminder Antti Niemi in the third round of the skills competition.

The Blueshirts also got a terrific performance from their netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist made 31 saves in 65 minutes and then went and stopped five of six shots in the shootout to pick up his 28th victory of the season.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, columbus+blue+jackets, erik+christensen, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, michael+sauer, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, san+jose+sharks, toronto+maple+leafs, wojtek+wolski

Rangers Set to Go Shark Hunting

If you’re still up at 10:30 p.m. tonight, I hope you hockey/New York Rangers’ fans will tune into tonight’s game between the Blueshirts and the San Jose Sharks.

After losing to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night and having a few days off, the Blueshirts find themselves in tied for seventh/eighth in the Eastern Conference with the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately, the Rangers are also just two points up on the ninth place Carolina Hurricanes, making tonight’s tilt with the Sharks even more important.

Over at The Rangers Tribune, Nicholas Montemagno wrote about how he agrees with Rangers’ beat writer Larry Brooks on having team head coach John Tortorella unleash sniper Marian Gaborik. I could not agree more as it is imperative that Gaborik gets his offense going as now is not the time in the season to struggle offensively.

I also agree with head coach Tortorella when he says that it is all about the Henrik Lundqvist show now. Lundqvist needs to bring his A-game the rest of the way if the Rangers want to have any chance of getting into the playoffs. Lundqvist has been quite good over his last few games so hopefully, he will be able to keep it up down the stretch.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, mike+sauer, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh, san+jose+sharks, vaclav+prospal

All The Help They Can Get

This is what the New York Rangers need if the team wants to hold onto one of the top eight spots in the Eastern Conference.

Last night, the Blueshirts got some help from the Pittsburgh Penguins as the Penguins were able to defeat the eighth place Buffalo Sabres by a score of 3-1. With the loss, the Sabres sit at 72 points and remain two points behind the Rangers, who are in action tonight against the Anaheim Ducks.

Besides doing themselves a favor and coming up with two points against the Ducks tonight in Anaheim, the Rangers should hope that the ninth place Carolina Hurricanes, just three points behind the Blueshirts in the ninth spot, lose tonight to the Atlanta Thrashers. Given the way things have gone for the Thrashers lately, the best thing the Rangers could do tonight is pick up two points to go up four on the Sabres. If the Hurricanes win tonight, than the Rangers would still be three points up if they manage to beat the Ducks.

It is a lot of scoreboard watching but it is what makes this time of year so exciting for hockey fans. Could you imagine if the Blueshirts in the Western Conference? I am sure that many of you would have had a heart attack by now.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, atlanta+thrashers, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins

Stay The Course Against Anaheim

At this point of the NHL season, every single game matters if you are a team that is fighting for one of eight spots in either the Eastern or Western Conference.

This statement should hit home for the New York Rangers. Going into their game tomorrow night with the Anaheim Ducks, the team holds the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference with 74 points. This puts the team just two points in front of the eighth place Buffalo Sabres and three points in front of the ninth place Carolina Hurricanes.

With the Sabres playing tonight and the Hurricanes playing tomorrow night, a lot can change prior to the Rangers’ tilt with the Ducks tomorrow night. With that in mind, the goal should be the same: get two points at all costs.

The Blueshirts clearly played with that attitude on Friday night against the Ottawa Senators and Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Blueshirts went on to outscore the Senators and Flyers by a combined score of 11-1.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, los+angeles+kings, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan

Rangers Win By Playing Rangers’ hockey

In today’s 7-0 white-washing of the Philadelphia Flyers, the New York Rangers won by playing the kind of hockey that made them so successful earlier on in the season.

They forechecked, they hit, they blocked shots, they allowed their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to see the puck, they cleared rebounds and they got timely goal scoring. Normally, this is a good recipe of success for any team in the NHL but for the ost part, this has been a big part of the Rangers’ identity when they have won games this season.

This afternoon’s Ranger of the game was easily Ryan Callahan. Callahan picked up his first career hat trick en route to a 4-goal and 5-point game for the Blueshirts. He drove hard to the net, used his quick release to beat Flyers’ netminder Brian Boucher and with his hard work, managed to crack the 20-goal mark.

The team also got solid performances out of Vaclav Prospal (2 assists), Mats Zuccarello (2 goals), Artem Anisimov (1 goal and 1 assist) and Lundqvist (24) saves, who picked up his league-leading ninth shutout of the season.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, artem+anisimov, brian+boucher, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, san+jose+sharks, tampa+bay+lightning, vaclav+prospal

WIN - Nothing Else Matters

This is how the New York Rangers should approach tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators.

After dropping a 3-1 contest to the Minnesota Wild last night at Madison Square Garden, the Blueshirts now find themselves in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference standings, just two points ahead of the ninth place Buffalo Sabres and three points in front of the tenth place Toronto Maple Leafs. With that in mind, the Rangers’ have once again forced themselves to be in a tough situation tonight in Ottawa.

The Senators have nothing to play for. They pretty much know that they are not going to make the playoffs this season and as such, have been playing extremely loose and have become a tough team to play against. The Senators’ victory last night over the Atlanta Thrashers is a perfect example of this.

The Rangers, on the other hand, can feel the pressure mounting as April gets closer and closer. Every single game they play from hear on out is important and the team cannot afford to be giving points away. The team has to go into Ottawa tonight with a “WIN” mentality and except nothing less.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, jose+theodore, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers

Rangers Set for Minnesota Wild

Once again, the New York Rangers head into tonight’s game with the Minnesota Wild at Madison Square Garden needing to come away with two points in order to separate themselves from the eighth and ninth seed in the Eastern Conference standings.

Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, both of those teams, the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres, play each other tonight so no matter what, someone is going to come away with two points and inch close to the Rangers. With that said, if the Blueshirts can come away with two points themselves, they will certainly be in better position and have a bit of insurance.

The Rangers need to come out and set the tone early. They need to throw the puck on net, finish their chances, protect the lead if they get one and do everything they possibly can to win a hockey game because if they cannot, they could be in trouble when they take on the Ottawa Senators tomorrow night in Ottawa and the Philadelphia Flyers at home on Sunday afternoon.

For the Rangers, it will be important that players such as Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Wojtek Wolski, Mats Zuccarello, Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle and Vinny Prospal step up offensively. With Marian Gaborik still expected to be out of the lineup, these seem to be the guys that can put the puck in the net. Now, they need to do it on a consistent basis.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, vinny+prospal

Things Getting Tighter and Tighter for the Blueshirts

Last night’s 3-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres was a game that the New York Rangers had to have. Unfortunately, the team’s inability to finish hurt their chances of doing just that and as result, making things tighter and tighter for them as the team heads down the stretch.

Mats Zuccarello had a chance to tie hockey game with just under two minutes to go when Wojtek Wolski deflected a puck to the slot to Zuccarello. Zuccarello took it in all alone on Sabres’ netminder Ryan Miller only to be stopped by Miller’s glove. Had Zuccarello been able to lift it a bit higher, the game surely would have gone into overtime where anything could have happened.

The Blueshirts had the puck in the slot numerous amount of times in the third period but Miller was either able to make the save or be lucky enough to have one of his defenseman block it or have the Rangers miss the net. All in all, Miller made 29 saves in helping his team get to within three points of the Rangers in the Eastern Conference standings.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, florida+panthers, mats+zuccarello, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers, ryan+miller, wojtek+wolski

Rangers Set to Take on the Sabres

With the NHL Trade Deadline out of the way, it is time for the New York Rangers to focus on clinching a playoff spot in a very competitive Eastern Conference.

Tonight, the Blueshirts will take on the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden in an extremely important game for both clubs. The Rangers currently sit in the seventh spot in the conference with 70 points, just three points behind the sixth place Montreal Canadiens while the Buffalo Sabres are only two points behind the eighth-place Carolina Hurricanes.

With back-up goaltender Martin Biron out indefinitely due to a broken collarbone, it will be up to franchise goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to lead the team the rest of the way. Lundqvist has played well in his last three games and has given his hockey club a chance to win each one of them.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers

Four Points On the Line This Weekend/Staal Injury Update

UPDATE: From Andrew Gross via Twitter:

Staal out Fedotenko in McDonagh paired with Girardi tonight for Rangers.

From Earlier: The New York Rangers are back in action tonight in Washington against the Washington Capitals after defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in a shootout on Tuesday night.

It does not have to be said that this is once again a big game for the Blueshirts. The Rangers still sit in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of the eighth place Carolina Hurricanes and six points ahead of the ninth place Buffalo Sabres.

At the other end, the Capitals are currently fifth in the East with 74 points and are just three poitns behind the Southeast Division leading Tampa Bay Lightning. As such, this game is just as important to the Capitals as it is to the Blueshirts.

The Blueshirts will be without Marian Gaborik this wekend as it is believed he suffered a concussion sometime before playing against the Philadelphia Flyers last Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants said the following regarding Gaborik:

Marian Gaborik (concussion) has reported he’s feeling better but there’s no timetable for his return. Gaborik did undergo blood work back in New York to see if there were any “deficiencies,” though Tortorella wasn’t exactly clear on what deficiencies they might be testing for.

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  Tags: andrew+gross, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ranger+rants, ruslan+fedotenko, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals

Gaborik Update: Disappointing 4-2 loss for the Rangers

Marian Gaborik Update: From NBC’s NHL Extra Twitter Account:

An update on Marian Gaborik from earlier today, he left the game with a concussion.

From Earlier: In a game in which the New York Rangers outshot the Philadelphia Flyers 39-24, the Blueshirts managed to lose the game 4-2 at Madison Square Garden this afternoon.

A lot of credit has to be given to Flyers’ netminder Brian Boucher. Boucher was on top of his game in making 37 saves and was especially big in the third period when he stopped 14 of 15 Ranger shots.

With that said, however, this game was once again a perfect example of how the Blueshirts still lack some finish to their game. In the third period, Rangers’ forward Artem Anisimov could not get his stick on a cross crease pass on what could have been an easy goal.

Overall, it wasn’t a terrible game for the Blueshirts. They put plenty of pressure in the Flyers’ zone, put plenty of pucks on net but just couldn’t get the goal that mattered in the third period.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, atlanta+thrashers, brian+boucher, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals

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