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Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: carolina hurricanes

Seeding On the Line for the Blueshirts

While the New Jersey Devils might not look at this afternoon's game as a meaningful one, it will be the opposite for the New York Rangers.

The Blueshirts might have clinched a playoff spot in their 4-3 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night but what is still to be decided is what spot the team will finish in. It is said that come playoff hockey time, the regular season does not matter but for the Rangers, they should do everything they can to get a higher seed.

As of this writing, the Rangers find themselves in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. That would mean that they would play the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round, which should be something the team should try and avoid given the Penguins' dangerous offensive arsenal and the way they have played the Blueshirts this season.

Should the Rangers beat the Devils, however, it will make things very interesting in terms of seeding. With a win, the Rangers would have 56 points,  which would give them one more point than the New York Islanders and possibly two more points than the Ottawa Senators, who take on the Philadelphia Flyers tonight and the Boston Bruins tomorrow.

If the Rangers manage to take the sixth spot, they will end up facing the Washington Capitals. The Rangers have met the Capitals in each and every postseason they have been in since 2009, with the Rangers winning one of their three series against the Caps.

Should the Rangers finish in seventh, it could mean a series with an Original Six franchise in the Bruins or Montreal Canadiens. Coming into tonight's slate of games, the Bruins and Habs are tied with 61 points but the Bruins have a game in hand.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, carolina+hurricanes, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, washington+capitals

A Glass Half Full Look at the Blueshirts

When it comes to New York Rangers' fans and the way they view their favorite hockey club, it is always an extreme point of view.

Either fans are in love and ecstatic about their hockey club or they absolutely despise and are fed up with their so called favorite NHL team. There is never a middle ground.

With two games remaining and just one win needed to clinch a postseason spot in the ever tight bottom portion of the Eastern Conference standings, it is time for a glass half full look. Believe it or not, there are things to like about this Blueshirts' hockey club.

For starters, the team has perhaps the best goaltender in the NHL in Henrik Lundqvist. For the last month or so, Lundqvist has been the team's best player and his statistics reflect that. 

In 41 games this season, Lundqvist is 22-16-3 with a 2.08 GAA (seventh in the league), a .926 save percentage (fifth in the league) and one shutout. He is always the main reason why when the Rangers' win and night in and night out, he gives his team a chance to win a hockey game.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+callahan

Where is the Rangers’ Playoff Team?

That is what New York Rangers' fans must be wondering after watching their favorite team lost to the Florida Panthers by a score of 3-2.

After scoring 18 goals in three games, the Rangers' offense came up one short tonight in Florida. Panthers' goaltender Jacob Markstrom was solid in making 36 saves and him and the rest of his team was able to survive a late Rangers' power play and a late Rangers' goal by Derick Brassard.

Even though the team had 36 shots on goal, many of them were not of the quality variety. To beat a goaltender like Markstrom, a player needs to be patient and look for the holes because when it comes to Markstrom, there is plenty of room to score goals as he came into tonight's game sporting a 3.26 GAA.

One Blueshirts' forward who seemed to struggle tonight was Carl Hagelin. Hagelin seemed lost and took just two shots on goal.

The Rangers' power play was also a let down. With little time remaining in the third period, the Rangers' had the man advantage and just could not generate a quality scoring chance. Come playoff time, assuming the Rangers get in, this kind of play will be unacceptable. 

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  Tags: carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, derick+brassard, florida+panthers, jacob+markstrom, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets

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

Big Week on Tap for the Blueshirts

With spring now in the air, it is certainly starting to look like playoff hockey around the NHL.

This is especially the case for the New York Rangers. This past week, the Blueshirts were extremely impressive in picking up seven out of a possible eight points in wins over the Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins (had a shootout loss to them as well) and the Carolina Hurricanes.

Watching the Rangers' this week, some familiarity was definitely present. In fact, in watching how the Rangers' played this week and looking at the performances they got out of certain players, one could even say that it felt like last season.

This past week helped catapult the Blueshirts into the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. The team is just two points behind the sixth-seeded Ottawa Senators and is also four points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs.

There are several reasons why the Rangers have had success of late. For starters, Blueshirts' netminder Henrik Lundqvist has been absolutely fantastic. The "King" is 6-2-2 in his last 10 games, has not allowed more than two goals in those 10 games and has posted great numbers with a 1.57 GAA and a .947 save percentage in those games.

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  Tags: brian+boyle, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, derick+brassard, henrik+lundqvist, henrik+lunqdqvist, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, ryan+clowe, toronto+maple+leafs, winnipeg+jets

Lundqvist Steals One in Carolina For the Blueshirts

It is always said in the NHL that to win hockey games, you need good goaltending.

Tonight, New York Rangers' netminder Henrik Lundqvist went above and beyond for his club in making 48 saves to help his team to a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. For the Blueshirts, the two points keeps them in seventh place in the Eastern Conference and two points behind the Ottawa Senators and four points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs.

While the Rangers did get goals from Derek Stepan, Ryan Callahan, Rick Nash, and Brian Boyle, this game was won by Lundqvist. Time and time again, Lundqvist was in the right position to bail out his hockey club's defensive miscue's while also being the team's best player on their penalty kill.

Lundqvist stopped 14 shots in both the first and second periods and was simply spectacular in stopping 20 of 21 shots in the third period. The Hurricanes buzzed around in the Rangers' zone all night long but because of Lundqvist's great play between the pipes, did not have too much to show for it.

After losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in a shootout last night, there was some concern regarding Lundqvist's hamstring. Lundqvist showed tonight that he is as tough as they came and went out and played not only one of the best games of this season, but perhaps in his entire career.

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, jaromir+jagr, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, toronto+maple+leafs

Every Point Matters for the Blueshirts

When it comes to this part of the season, every single point matters to NHL teams that are either in a playoff spot or on the outside looking in.

This is exactly the case when it comes to the New York Rangers. With six total points up for grabs between Monday and Friday, the Blueshirts probably surprised many by picking up five.

The Blueshirts picked-up their fifth point tonight in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The game was nasty and chippy at times but the team found a way to get a point out of it and got three out of a possible four points against the top team in the Eastern Conference.

This is something that the team needs to build on and run with. With newcomers Ryan Clowe, Derick Brassard and John Moore, the Rangers have some new blood in their lineup and with this new lineup, the team has picked up three important points in the standings and did so by playing hard, scoring timely goals and not doing anything stupid to take themselves out of the game.

With tonight's tie, the Rangers move into 7th place in the Eastern Conference with the New York Islanders. The team is now just four points behind the fifth and sixth place teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators.

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, derick+brassard, john+moore, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+clowe, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals

Keep Moving Forward

When it comes to the New York Rangers as a franchise, we have seen many consistent themes each and every season.

One of those themes has to do with streaking. Going into Thursday night's game against the Florida Panthers, the Blueshirts have won two straight games in beating the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night and the New Jersey Devils last night.

With the two victories, the Rangers find themselves in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with the same amount of points that the sixth place Carolina Hurricnaes and seventh place Toronto Maple Leafs have (32). What this means for the Blueshirts is that they need to keep moving forward and keep picking up two points whenever possible.

As I mentioned above though, the Blueshirts seem to run into a theme of winning a few and then losing a few. Prior to the Rangers winning two straight this week, they had dropped their last three games and were outscored 9-2 in those three tilts.

In a shortened season such as this one, the Rangers cannot afford to be up and down. Yes, the team currently holds a playoff spot but because of their extremely inconsistent play this season, they could just as easily be in the bottom seven of the Eastern Conference.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, toronto+maple+leafs

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

Tough Test on Tap Tonight for the Blueshirts

Past the quarter mark of the season, every game from here on out is going to get tougher and tougher as the league inches towards the Stanley Cup Playoiffs.

Tonight at Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers will have a tough test of their own when they take on the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens are currently 10-4-1 and find themselves atop the Northeast Division and one point behind the Eastern Conference leading Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Canadiens also come into tonight's game having won four straight. In those four games, the Canadiens have outscored their opponents 12-4 and have picked-up two shutouts in the process.

At the other end of the ice, the Blueshirts are not doing too shabby either. The club is 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and while they currently sit in the eighth spot in the East, they are not that far behind the fifth place Boston Bruins.

The Rangers are coming off a 2-1 win over the visiting Washington Capitals on Sunday night. The Blueshirts got terrific goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, great play out of Carl Hagelin and a clutch power play goal in the third period by Derek Stepan.

The game might have been one of the Rangers' best efforts of the season. They threw plenty of pucks on net, did not take many stupid penalties, were perfect on the penalty kill and did all the little things a hockey team needs to do in order to win games.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, 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

Gaborik-Richards-Hagelin Line Gets it Done in Win Over Hurricanes

When it comes to the National Hockey League, there have been many get trios when it comes to offensive lines.

While they may not be considered great right now, the New York Rangers’ line of Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, and Carl Hagelin sure got it done for their hockey club tonight in the team’s 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden.

The trio combined for a terrific 9 points. Richards, who looks like a brand new player out there, had two goals and three assists. After tonight’s tilt, Richards has 23 goals and 30 assists for 53 points, good for second on the club.

Gaborik, who continues to contribute to the Rangers’ offense on a nightly basis, had a goal and two assists. With his three point performance, Gaborik now has 34 goals (3rd in the league) and 30 assists for 64 points, good for tops on the team.

Hagelin, the rookie, is showing just what kind of offensive ability he has by playing with two of the team’s top two forwards. Hagelin picked up a goal and two assists and now has 32 points (13 goals and 20 assists).

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  Tags: brad+richards, cam+ward, carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins

UPDATE: Biron to start tonight/Focus on the Now

UPDATE: According to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants, New York Rangers’ back-up goaltender Martin Biron will start tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes while starter Henrik Lundqvist is out with the flu.

From Earlier

This is what the New York Rangers need to do when it comes to tonight’s game with the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden.

It would be very easy for the Blueshirts to simply forget about tonight and turn their attention to Thursday night’s tilt with the Pittsburgh Penguins. With Sidney Crosby announcing that he will definitely be in the lineup for that game, it would be even easier to do so.

With that said, the team must continue to take things one game at a time. The Rangers are coming off a 4-3 overtime win over the New York Islanders on Sunday night and hopefully, will use it as a start of another winning streak.

In order to get back on the winning track, Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist needs to find the consistency that has made the league’s top goaltender this year. Lundqvist has allowed 13 goals in his last four games, something that I am sure lundqvist will try and remedy quickly.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

A Win is a Win

That is exactly what can be said of last night’s 4-3 overtime win by the New York Rangers over the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden.

While the Rangers were/are on top of both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, last night’s game was one that the Rangers needed to get two points in order to distance themselves from the Pittsburgh Penguins, who visit the Rangers and MSG on Thursday. The team was able to do so by getting big performances from their two big offensive players in Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.

Richards had three points last night on two goals (his 20th and 21st of the season) and an assist. His goals are the perfect example of what happens when you put the puck on net and what he can do with the puck.

Gaborik’s 33rd goal of the season came when the Rangers needed it the most and that was in overtime. It was his seventh game winning goal of the season and one that helped the Blueshirts get back on the winning track.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins

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

What is Going on with Biron and the Blueshirts?

This is something that has to be asked after the New York Rangers lost to the Ottawa Senators tonight by a score of 4-1 .

Tonight, Rangers’ back-up goaltender Martin Biron allowed three goals, two on four shots in the first period, and did not look too comfortable out there. While I said earlier that it was smart to start Biron against the Senators tonight rather than the Chicago Blackhawks tonight, I now wonder why the team did not start Henrik Lundqvist in tonight’s inter-conference game and have Biron go in the non-conference game.

Anyways, in his last six games, Biron has lost two games in regulation, lost two games in overtime and has allowed 18 goals. While he did manage to win two games in this six game span (Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning), he has looked shaky, allowed a few soft goals and has lost games that the Rangers probably could have won with Lundqvist between the pipes.

This is not to take anything away from what Biron has accomplished this season. He is 11-4-2 and has pretty decent stats for a back-up goaltender in the NHL. With that said, it would be nice if he could play a bit better so that may be team head coach John Tortorella can have the option of resting Lundqvist a few more games before the team enters the postseason.

While Biron was not great against the Senators tonight, neither was the rest of the Rangers’ hockey club. Ryan Callahan, who scored his 26th goal of the season tonight in the first period, played well as did Artem Anisimov. Unfortunately for the Rangers, no one else on the team followed suit.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, carolina+hurricanes, chicago+blackhawks, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, tampa+bay+lightning

Three In a Row for the Blueshirts

With starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist given the night off, and team captain Ryan Callahan, out day-to-day with a bruised foot, back-up goaltender Martin Biron needed to give the New York Rangers a strong start against the Carolina Hurricanes, especially considering the way he had played in his last few starts.

As it turned out, Biron came up big for the Blueshirts in a 3-2 victory in Carolina. After allowing the Hurricanes’ only goal of the game in the second period, Biron really shut the door and played a solid game in making 21 saves.

For Biron, it was his 11th win of the season. In 17 games, Biron is now 11-3-2 and continues to show team head coach John Tortorella that it is okay to rest Lundqvist.

The team also got a solid performance out of the Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov line. Gaborik picked-up his 30th goal of the season as well as an assist for points 54 and 55 on the season. Stepan also had a strong game in adding two assists while Anisimov scored his 12th goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1 in the second period.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, boston+bruins, brandon+dubinsky, carolina+hurricanes, daniel+girardi, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh, steven+stamkos, tampa+bay+lightning

Going to Carolina

The New York Rangers will be in Raleigh tonight to take on the Carolina Hurricanes as the team looks to extend its winning streak to three games.

The Blueshirts are coming off a 2-0 shutout win over the New Jersey Devils on Monday night at Madison Square Garden. The team allowed just 13 shots in Henrik Lundqvist’s eighth shutout of the season, which is just two more than their lowest recorded total on home ice back in 1981 against the Calgary Flames when they only allowed 11 shots.

It will be important for the team to play a full 60-minutes as things do not get any easier for the Blueshirts heading into the stretch. They take on the Hurricanes tonight, the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow night and the Boston Bruins at MSG on Sunday afternoon.

Luckily for the Blueshirts, this team has played as a cohesive unit all season long. They battle for each other, they stick up for each other, they play together as a team and because of this, have been one of the league’s top teams all year.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, calgary+flames, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, tampa+bay+lightning

Not the Most Exciting But a Win Is A Win

This is exactly what can be said of last night’s 2-0 shutout by the New York Rangers over the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden.

The team’s combined for just 28 shots on goal (yes, you read that right) with only two finding the back of the net. Luckily, it was the Blueshirts that found the back of the net on goals by Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan.

Callahan and Hagelin have become quite the dynamic duo for the Rangers since being put on the same line. They both hustle, they both forecheck, they both go hard to the net and they both have the offensive ability to create offense.

With his goal last night, Callahan now has 25 on the season. While Callahan was a scorer in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with the Guelph Storm, no one was quite sure what he would be able at the NHL level. Now, it looks like he may be able to crack the 30-goal mark.

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  Tags: carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, ilya+kovalchuk, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan

Rangers Continue to Win

The New York Rangers are starting to show the National Hockey League that for the first time in years, they have some real offensive depth.

The club’s offensive depth really came out last night in their 5-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. The team had five different goal scorers in Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh, Sean Avery and Michael Sauer.

With the win, the Blueshirts improved to 14-5-3 on the season, good enough for fourth in the Eastern Conference. Believe it or not, the team is also just three points behind the Eastern Conference and NHL leading Pittsburgh Penguins.

For the Rangers, last night’s game could have easily been a trap game. It could have been one where the team played to the level of their opponent and missed the opportunity to pick up the two needed points.

Luckily, the Rangers reversed the trend and played a solid road game to pick up their fourth straight win. On the other side, it was the Hurricanes’ fifth straight loss and second under new head coach Kirk Muller.

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, kirk+muller, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, michael+sauer, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh, sean+avery, tampa+bay+lightning

Bring on The Hurricanes

With the way the New York Rangers are playing right now, this is the kind of attitude they should have when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight in Raleigh.

Coming into tonight’s tilt, both teams are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The Blueshirts are 8-2 in their last 10 games, have won three straight and are 13-5-3 on the season, good enough for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

At the other end of the spectrum are the Carolina Hurricanes. Having just fired Paul Maurice, Kirk Muller’s Hurricanes are second to last in the East with a 8-14-4 record and are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games.

The Blueshirts are coming off a game in which they beat the NHL’s best team in the Pittsburgh Penguins. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, the Blueshirts got strong performances from the likes of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, Carl Hagelin and Henrik Lundqvist.

In all, the Rangers are playing with a ton of confidence and defenseman Michael Sauer said as much to The Record’s Rangers’ beat writer Andrew Gross.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, kirk+muller, marian+gaborik, michael+sauer, new+york+rangers, paul+maurice, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan

Rangers Win Barn Burner Over The Penguins

The New York Rangers passed a big test last night at Madison Square Garden by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins, No. 1 in the Eastern Conference, by a score of 4-3.

Most importantly, the Rangers’ best players played like they were suppossed to last night. Brad Richards had a goal and two assists, Marian Gaborik had a goal and an assist, and Ryan Callahan also had a goal and an assist.

The team also got another strong performance out of rookie Carl Hagelin. Hagelin picked up his third NHL point on a great assist on John Mitchell’s goal and also had a team high six shots on goal.

Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist did what he had to do in making 24 saves on 27 shots for his tenth victory of the season. Lundqvist was especially good in the first period making 13 saves on 14 shots.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundvqist, john+mitchell, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan

Rangers Show Determination in 5-1 Win Over The Hurricanes

This is exactly what the New York Rangers used to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 5-1 at Madison Square Garden tonight.

A determined Rangers’ club came out in the third period and broke a 1-1 tie by scoring four unanswered goals. Defenseman Dan Girardi started it with a power play goal followed by a goal nine seconds later from Brandon Dubinsky (his first of the season) and just shortly after, Ryan Callahan made it 4-1 when he scored on a Hurricanes’ delayed penalty. Then with just under two minutes to go in game, Brad Richards cashed in on a giveaway by Hurricanes’ netminder Cam Ward to seal the team’s sixth straight victory overall and fifth straight win on home ice.

After a slow start to this game, the Rangers put the pressure on the Hurricanes and kept it up for the rest of the hockey game. The team had just 8 shots in the first period but because of their willingness to put pucks to the net, drive to the crease and get in good position, they ended up finishing the game with 40 shots on goal.

Dubinsky had a solid game for the Rangers. He showed confidence with the puck, made some great plays for his linemates and now that he got his first goal of the season, will definitely have less pressure on himself heading into the team’s next game.

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  Tags: brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, sean+avery

Stepan Line Gets it Done in Win Over the Senators

The New York Rangers’ used the offense created by the Derek Stepan line to defeat the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa last night by a score of 3-2.

Derek Stepan picked up a goal and two assists. His other linemates Marian Gaborik had two goals and Artem Anisimov picked-up two assists. In all, the line combined for 7 points and was a threat to score and create offensive opportunities every time they were out on the ice.

Gaborik is on fire. He now has 9 goals and is playing like he did in his first season as a Blueshirt. He is showing tremendous speed, a nose for the net, and of course, a terrific shot.

Stepan is also starting to put together a solid season. He has a tremendous amoutn of patience with the puck, he drives to the net and is also defensively responsible.

Anisimov has also stepped up his play. He has great hands and a lot of offensive skill to offer. He just needs to do so on a consistent basis.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators

Rangers Look to Extend Win Streak to Five in Ottawa

Back on October 29, the Ottawa Senators came back from a 4-1 defecit to defeat the New York Rangers by a score of 5-4 in a shootout at Madison Square Garden.

Fast forward a few weeks later and the Blueshirts are a much different hockey club. The team is currently on a 4-game winning streak and is playing more responsibly in their own zone and when it comes to discipline.

According to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants, Henrik Lundqvist will be back between the pipes for the Blueshirts. He will be coming off his 5-3 vicotry over the Montreal Canadiens last Saturday night and will more than likely look to bounce back from his average performance against the Senators back in late October.

Last time these two clubs met, there were some questionable hits. One resulted in the loss of Senators’ captain Daniel Alfredsson as Wolski caught him with his head down.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, carolina+hurricanes, daniel+alfredsson, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, wojtek+wolski, xenon+konopka

All About Hope Now

The New York Rangers did what they had to do this afternoon in defeating the New Jersey Devils by a score of 5-2 at Madison Square Garden.

With the victory, the Blueshirts finished the regular season with 93 points, putting them up two points over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight and should they lose in regulation time or overtime, the Rangers will clinch the final playoff spot and prepare for a first round matchup with the first place Washington Capitals.

It was great to see hard-working guys like Chris Drury, Brandon Prust, Ryan McDonagh and Vinny Prospal all beat future hall-of-fame netminder Martin Brodeur. For Drury, it was his first goal of the season and a big one at that. He also did well on face-offs and overall, was a positive factor for the Blueshirts this afternoon.

For McDonagh, it was his first career NHL goal. It could not have come at a better time for the Blueshirts as it gave them a 3-2 lead in the second period as well as a game-winning goal for #27.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, brandon+prust, carolina+hurricanes, chris+drury, dan+bylsma, john+tortorella, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+mcdonagh, tampa+bay+lightning, vinny+prospal

Out of Their Hands

That is exactly what it has come to for the New York Rangers after being shutout tonight by the Atlanta Thrashers by a score of 3-0 at Madison Square Garden.

Since it is Thursday night, that means I did not get to watch the game as I had my weekly men’s league hockey game. With that said, it was extremely disappointing to come home and see that the blueshirts lost to a team that is not even fighting for a playoff spot.

With that said, and based on the highlights on NHL on the Fly, it appears that the Thrashers got the better of the scoring chances and that the Rangers were flat. This is somewhat surprising considering the huge effort they delivered on Monday night at the Garden when they defeated the Boston Bruins by a score of 5-3.

Now, prior to the team’s regular season finale against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday afternoon, the Rangers will be scoreboard watching tomorrow night. The ninth place Carolina Hurricanes, who are just two points behind the Rangers, take on the Atlanta Thrashers tomorrow night in Atlanta with an opportunity to tie the Rangers in points heading into Saturday. The Hurricanes then close out their season on Saturday night with a home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, boston+bruins, carolina+hurricanes, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, tampa+bay+lightning

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

Pressure On in a Must Win Game

Losing two straight games will do that and the New York Rangers now find themselves in a must win situation in Philadelphia this afternoon against the Flyers.

The ninth place Carolina Hurricanes find themselves just one point behind the Blueshirts after beating the New York Islanders last night and look to be getting hot at the right time. On the other hand, you have the Rangers who are coming off a 6-2 loss at the hands of the New York Islanders and are now heading into two extremely tough games against the Flyers this afternoon and the Boston Bruins tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden.

This afternoon’s tilt will have a real playoff feeling and the Rangers will need to treat it as such. The Flyers have not been playing great of late but will be looking to improve their play heading into the first round of the playoffs.

If the Rangers want to have any kind of success this afternoon, one thing they will have to do is get their offense going again. The team has scored three goals in their last three games and have not done enough to generate the kind of offense that is needed to put the puck in the net.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers

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

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

Rangers Blank Panthers in Big Win on Garden Ice

It certainly wasn’t the most exciting hockey game but the New York Rangers did what they needed to do in shutting out the Florida Panthers by a score of at Madsion Square Garden.

The win gives the Blueshirts points 83 and 84, is their fifth straight victory and also marks Henrik Lundqvist’s 10th shutout of the season as well as his 32nd win on the year. All big things happening for the Blueshirts right now and with the way the team is playing, it is certainly well deserved.

The Blueshirts had plenty of scoring chances throughout the game but Panthers’ netminder Tomas Vokoun was up to the task time and time again. That is, until Rangers’ forward Brandon Dubinsky put in a great pass from Ryan Callahan and gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead close to eight minutes into the third period.

The team also got strong performances from the line of Brandon Prust-Brian Boyle-Ruslan Fedotenko as that line peppered Vokoun all night long, forechecked hard, generated scoring chances and play well on both sides of the puck. Marian Gaborik also had another strong night as he had four shots on goal, showed a lot of speed and looked more and more like the Gaborik of last season.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, buffalo+sabres+and+montreal+canadiens, carolina+hurricanes, dan+boyle, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, tomas+vokoun

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 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

Rangers’ Shutout Capitals for the Second Time in Big 6-0 Victory

Going into tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals, many New York Rangers’ pundits and fans did not know what to expect. Both parties worried about the team being without Marc Staal and Marian Gaborik as well as facing a potentially potent Capital’s offense.

May be this was a good thing as the Blueshirts dominated the Capitals on the scoreboardc in a 6-0 shutout victory. Believe it or not, this was the Rangers’ second shutout over the Capitals this season as the team shut them out back in December in a 7-0 romping.

Besides picking up the shutout, the best thing to come out of this game for the Rangers’ was their success on the power play. The team went 2-for-3 on the man advantage with goals from Erik Christensen (he had two goals and an assist in the game) and Derek Stepan. Believe it or not, the team’s power play has been a lot better of late and that is because they are being more aggresive and throwing more pucks on the net. Hopefully this trend will continue for the Blueshirts.

Speaking of Christensen, he played like a man on a mission tonight. He had three points, was around the net a lot, he had four shots on goal, played on the power play and was effective. Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella needs more of this from Christensen as the team continues to build their playoff push.

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, erik+christensen, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, michael+sauer, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ryan+mcdonagh, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals

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

Rangers Pick Up Big 4-3 Shootout Victory over the Hurricanes

There was no question that the New York Rangers needed to come out of Carolina with two points tonight.

The team was able to do just that with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Carolina Hurricanes after Wojtek Wolski tied the game with less than two minutes to go and then scored the game winner in the shootout to give the Blueshirts two big points in the Eastern Conference Standings. With the win, the team now has 68 points and is just one point behind the sixth place Montreal Canadiens.

This was a game that reminded me a lot of how the team was getting all those wins in the first half of the season. They worked extremely hard, threw pucks at the net (43 shots for the game), forechecked, got timely offense, solid goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist (30 saves) and ultimately, were able to get two big points.

The game had a playoff-like feel to it and the Blueshirts treated it as such. The team is going to have to do this for the rest of the season as the games are only going to get tougher as we get closer to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals, wojtek+wolski

Time to Get The Rangers’ Offense Going

It seems like this has been a key theme for the New York Rangers during the second half of the NHL season.

Unfortunately, the Blueshirts have had trouble doing so on a consistent basis, which will need to change fast especially if the team finds out Marian Gaborik will be out of the lineup for a bit (should know more today). Tonight, the team will need to start up its offense against the eighth place Carolina Hurricanes in Carolina tonight.

The Hurricanes are just two points behind the Rangers in the Eastern Conference standings and are 15-10-3 on home ice this season. With that said, the Rangers will have a hill to climb tonight if they want to get two points before taking on the Washington Capitals on Friday night.

As I mentioned up top, this team needs to start scoring goals. The Blueshirts need guys like Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Wojtek Wolski, Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle, and Vinny Prospal to all start putting the puck in the net with regularity.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, carolina+hurricanes, jim+cerny, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, vinny+prospal, wojtek+wolski

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