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Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: montreal canadiens

Easy As 1-2-3 for the Blueshirts in Win Over the Devils

That is the perfect description for the New York Rangers' 4-0 shutout this afternoon at Madison Square Garden over the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils did not seem to be interested in playing a meaningless game and that showed in their loss this afternoon. The Blueshirts were able to catch the Devils out of position on all four of their goals as the team simply took advantage of a poor Devils' performance today.

For Rangers' netminder Henrik Lundqvist, it was a relatively easy 20-save shutout. The shutout was his second of the season while the victory was his 24th of the season.

It may not be a 30-win season for the Blueshirts' 31-year-old netminder but given the way he played in the regular season, it could garner another Vezina Trophy nomination or even win. In 43 games, Lundqvist went 24-16-3 with a 2.05 GAA, a .926 save percentage and two shutouts.

The team also got strong performances out of the likes of Derek Stepan (one goal and one assist), Ryan Callahan (one goal and one assist), Rick Nash (two goals), and Brad Richards (two assists). These four players are going to have to continue their offensive production come next week in the postseason in order for this Rangers' hockey club to have success.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, brad+richards, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

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

All About Second Chances For Flyers’ Mason

When looking at the NHL as a whole, it is easy to see that several NHL netminders thrive when given a second chance to prove their worth.

As an example, one can point out the likes of Ray Emery (Chicago Blackhawks), Carey Price (2010-11 with the Montreal Canadiens), Craig Anderson (Ottawa Senators) and so on and so forth. One can probably name several players in this particular category.

With that said, one player who really needs a second chance the most is Philadelphia Flyers' netminder Steve Mason. Mason, who won the Calder Trophy as the league's rooke of the year in the 2008-09 season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, has struggled to find his rookie form and is now looking to do so in the "City of Brotherly Love".

Mason, 24, burst onto the NHL scene in the 2008-09 season and dominated the league. That year, Mason went 33-20-0-7 with a 2.29 GAA, a .916 save percentage and 10 shutouts in leading the Columbus Blue Jackets to their first postseason.

While Mason did not play well in that postseason, the Blue Jackets thought they had their netminder of the future. Unfortunately, the team was wrong.

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  Tags: carey+price, chicago+blackhawks, columbus+blue+jackets, craig+anderson, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, ray+emery, sergei+bobrovsky, steve+mason

Figuring Out New Ways to Win

More than a quarter past the season already, this is something that the New York Rangers need to do if they want to get into the postseason.

Tonight, the Blueshirts are in Montreal to take on the Canadiens. These two clubs met on Tuesday night in what was more of a chess match than a hockey game and the Canadiens escaped Madison Square Garden with a 3-1 victory.

There is no doubt that every point matters in this kind of season but the Rangers need to try and find ways to get two rather than one. While the team was able to get one point in their Thursday night 3-2 shootout loss to the Senators, it really did not help then standings wise.

Coming into tonight's tilt, the team is eighth in the East with 18 points, but just one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers. The Rangers are also 5-3-2 in their last 10 and while that is not terrible, it is not the play of a Stanley Cup contender.

With all of this in mind, Rangers' head coach John Tortorella must find different ways to get this hockey team going. Sure, they can get solid defense and excellent goaltending on a nightly basis but right now, it is not winning hockey games on a consistent basis.

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  Tags: christian+thomas, john+tortorella, martin+biron, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, tampa+bay+lightning

More Offense

If the New York Rangers want to have any kind of chance to both get into the postseason and go far in them, they will need a lot more offense.

In Tuesday night's 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, the Blueshirts probably had one of their worst offensive performances. There was no sustained pressure, not enough pucks thrown at Canadiens' netminder Carey Price and not enough flow to their game.

Things will not get any easier tonight as the team takes on the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa without one of their key offensive cogs, Rick Nash. Nash is out with an undisclosed injury and for Rangers' head coach John Tortorella, that means some serious creativity is going to be needed to come up with balanced offensive lines.

For whatever reason, scoring goals on a consistent basis has been a problem for the Rangers over the last few seasons. You can play great defense and get solid goaltending but without scoring goals, it will mean nothing and all go to waste.

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  Tags: carey+price, john+tortorella, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, rick+nash

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

Lundqvist Keeps Capitals at Bay in 2-1 Win

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting Back on Track

This seems to be a consistent theme for the New York Rangers this season, eh?

Tonight, the Blueshirts will take on the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. The Capitals come into MSG on a three-game winning streak while the Rangers are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday night at MSG.

Defensively, the Blueshirts will need to be at their absolute best tonight. This means no turnovers, blocking lots of shots, clearing the front of the net out for Henrik Lundqvist and being smart with the puck.

Speaking of Lundqvist, the team will also need him to be at his best. With a lineup that has Alex Ovechkin (five goals), Nicklas Backstrom (four goals), Troy Brouwer (seven goals), Mike Ribeiro (five goals) and Joel Ward (five goals), Lundqvist will have to stop lots of offensive weapons tonight.

As a team, the Rangers need to be clicking on all areas. When they get a lead, they need to hold onto it. The team needs to make better line changes and not take too many men on the ice penalties and lastly, the team's power play needs to start producing.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, henrik+lundqvist, joel+ward, mike+ribeiro, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, ottawa+senators, troy+brouwer, washington+capitals

An E-mail Interview with Montreal Canadiens’ Pro Scout Mark Mowers

When one retires from hockey, it is hard to stay away from the game one grew up playing and loving for so many years.

Mark Mowers, the newest pro scout for the Montreal Canadiens, knows the feeling. This is why he is happy to be back with an NHL team, which is something Mowers missed a lot when he retired from the game several years ago.

Mark was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, what it was like to play in the NHL and overseas, and what he will be doing in his new role with the Canadiens.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
MM: My family moved to upstate NY when I was 3 and my parents just got me involved.  A bit strange because neither played hockey, just hockey fans.

They would spend hours building the outdoor rinks each winter and I guess I never looked back.

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player? Why?
MM: My favorite team growing up was whoever Wayne Gretzky played for. So obviously it was Edmonton at first, then it was the Kings. Once he went to St. Louis, he kind of lost me. I also remember having posters of Guy Lafleur and Brett Hull.

 

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  Tags: mark+mowers, montreal+canadiens

Well-Shaped Roster Getting It Done

With the New York Rangers up 1-0 in their second round series over the Washington Capitals, it is easy to see that the Blueshirts are finally doing the right thing when it comes to shaping their roster.

This postseason is the example of that. The team and its head coach, John Tortorella, really want their youngsters to thrive and right now, several of them are doing just that.

However, the one that everyone is focused on heading into tonight’s Game 2 is Chris Kreider. Kreider, coming off a first star of the game performance in which he picked-up a goal and an assist, is showing the team and the rest of the NHL why he belongs in the league.

In the team’s 3-1 win in Game 1, Kreider scored his second game winning goal of the playoffs and showed how he can make a positive impact for this hockey club. At just 21 years of age, it is an impressive start and one that needs to continue if the Blueshirts want to keep on having success in the postseason.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, chris+higgins, chris+kreider, john+tortorella, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ryan+mcdonagh, scott+gomez, washington+capitals

Rangers Continue To Roll

They may have already clinched a playoff spot and they may have somewhat of a tight grip on the top spot in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference but the New York Rangers are on a roll right now.

Tonight, the team won its 50th game of the year by beating the struggling Montreal Canadiens by a score of 4-1 at Madison Square Garden. The team got another strong performance out of both Marian Gaborik (1 goal and 1 assist) and Brad Richards (1 goal and 2 assists) while also getting the goaltending they needed from Henrik Lundqvist (19 saves on 20 shots).

Gaborik and Richards are on fire at the right time for their hockey club. Gaborik picked up his 39th goal of the season and added an assist while Richards added his 25th goal of the season as well as two assists.

It may have taken a long time for Gaborik and Richards to work well together on the same line but it just goes to show you that patience is everything in the NHL. Yes, Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella broke the pair up earlier in the season but was smart enough to put them together later on when their games were both going strong.

Another Rangers’ player who is on fire, believe it or not, is defenseman Michael Del Zotto. Del Zotto picked-up 2 goals (his first 2-goal game of his career) and an assist and now has 10 goals and 31 assists for 41 points on the season.

While his defensive game still needs some work, Del Zotto has had a terrific bounce back season for the Blueshirts this year. He looks a lot more confident with the puck and his offensive game looks much like it did in his first season in the league back in 2009-10.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, steven+mcdonald+extra+effort+award

Rangers Set to Take on The Canadiens

Things are certainly in flux when it comes to the Montreal Canadiens these days.

Their GM was fired yesterday, their head coach will more than likely be gone after the season and the team is currently in last place in the entire Eastern Conference. Not so rosy, right?

This should be good news to the New York Rangers as they look to build up on their five point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins for first in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference when they take on the Canadiens tonight at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts are 7-3 in their last 10 games and are on a three game winning streak heading into tonight’s tilt.

The Rangers are coming off a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets, a game in which they showed their never say die style. The team came back from a 2-0 deficit and scored four unanswered goals to win the hockey game.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, winnipeg+jets

King of The Hill

That is exactly what the New York Rangers are tonight after their 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets in Winnipeg.

This was a gutsy performance by a team that never quits. Tonight, the Blueshirts came back from a 2-0 deficit on goals by defenseman Michael Del Zotto (1 goal and 1 assist) and team captain Ryan Callahan (1 goal and 1 assist).

After that, it was the team’s scoring depth that took over the game. Brian Boyle (1 goal) scored the game-winning goal just over three minutes into the third period followed by a power play goal from Derek Stepan (1 goal).

It is performances like tonight that the Blueshirts are going to need if they want to succeed in the postseason. There could be nights when the likes of Marian Gaborik (2 assists) Brad Richards (1 assist) and even Callahan (1 goal and 1 assist) are shut down so when that happens, the team’s scoring depth needs to step up and take care of business.

Speaking of taking care of business, Rangers’ starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist did that tonight by stopping 22 of 24 shots for his 38th victory of the season. It was his 250th career win, which puts him tied for 44th on the all-time wins list by a netminder with the legendary Johnny Bower.

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  Tags: brian+boyle, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, johnny+bower, michael+del+zotto, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, winnipeg+jets

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

Holding Onto the Top Spot

That is what the New York Rangers continue to do as the team picked-up a 3-0 win over the Nashville Predators last night at Madison Square Garden.

Due to playing in a hockey game of my own, I was not able to catch any of the game. With that said, it was nice to see Henrik Lundqvist get another shutout and the team come out with a much better defensive performance than they did against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday night in Montreal.

It was also nice to see that John Mitchell scored another goal for the Blueshirts. No one really knew whether or not Mitchell would fit in with this Rangers’ team but he has come in and gotten the job done by working hard every night, forechecking hard, going to the net and cashing in on opportunities when they present themselves.

This is a team that continues to show that it can respond well after a loss. Too many times in the past few seasons would the Rangers follow up a loss with another bad game but this season, team head coach John Tortorella has seemed to keep that to a minimum.

With the win, the Rangers improved to 29-11-4 for 62 points. The team has a one point edge over the Detroit Red Wings for first in the league and a three point edge over the Boston Bruins for first in the Eastern Conference.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, detroit+red+wings, evgeni+malkin, henrik+lundqvist, james+neal, john+mitchell, john+tortorella, montreal+canadiens, nashville+predators, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Rangers Impressive in Shutout win over the Leafs

It may not have been the most exciting game but the New York Rangers got the job done tonight with a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

For the Rangers, it was important for the club to get their offense going and for the most part, the team did just that tonight with goals from guys who do not score many of them (except for one guy). The Blueshirts got goals from Mike Rupp (4th goal of the season), Brian Boyle (his first goal in 22 games and 3rd goal of the season) and Derek Stepan (10th goal of the season and an assist).

Rangers’ netminder Martin Biron also had a solid game for his hockey club tonight. Biron picked-up his second shutout and 9th win of the season. While he was not bombarded with shots, Biron was good when he needed to be in making 19 saves and also adding his third assist of the season on Stepan’s goal.

With the win, the Rangers improved to 28-10-4 with 60 points. That has them first in the Eastern Conference (three points ahead of the Boston Bruins) and as of this writing, first in the NHL, one point ahead of the Vancouver Canucks.

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  Tags: bell+centre, boston+bruins, brian+boyle, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, joffrey+lupul, martin+biron, mike+rupp, mikhail+grabovski, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, phil+kessel, toronto+maple+leafs, vancouver+canucks

Time to Start Again

That is the kind of attitude the New York Rangers should take after losing to the Ottawa Senators tonight by a score of 3-0 at Madison Square Garden.

After winning five straight game, the Senators brought the Blueshirts back down to earth and gave them only their fourth loss on home ice this season. For the Rangers, it was their second loss the Senators at the Garden this season and like the last time, was probably a game that they could have won.

However, with the way Senators’ netminder Craig Anderson played, it would have been tough for anyone to beat the Senators tonight. Anderson made 34 saves en route to his first shutout of the season and his 22nd win of the season as well.

The Rangers definitely had their chances to put the puck in the net but just could not finish. This was especially the case in the third period as the team was all around Anderson but could not find the back of the net.

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  Tags: craig+anderson, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, phoenix+coyotes, toronto+maple+leafs

Rangers Continue to Roll

No matter what the game is or who the team is playing, the New York Rangers always seem to find a way to win.

The team did just that last night in a 2-1 shootout win over the Phoenix Coyotes at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts probably could have won the game in regulation time if not for the outstanding goaltending from Coyotes’ netminder Mike Smith (31 saves) but since that did not happen, they won in the “skills competition”.

With the win, the Blueshirts improved to 27-9-4 along with picking up their fifth straight win and their 10th victory in their last 11 games. Not bad for a club that no one really knew how good they were going to be prior to the season starting, eh?

The Rangers really are playing to their identity. They work hard every night, they battle, they stick up for each other and because the team is doing all of this, they are finding ways to win hockey games.

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  Tags: derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, mike+smith, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, phoenix+coyotes, radim+vrbata, toronto+maple+leafs

War On Ice: New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers

When it comes to the greatest rivalries in the National Hockey League, many fans will point out the obvious ones whether is the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, and so on and so forth.

One rivalry that deserves attention is one that will get just that on Monday afternoon at the 2012 Winter Classic, the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers.

When the NHL decided that the 2012 Winter Classic would be between the New York Rangers and the host Philadelphia Flyers, I do not think they thought that at this point in this season, it would end being such a big tilt.

The New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers have one of the greatest rivalries in the league. However, over their 44-year history of playing against each other, it has turned into more than a rivalry.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, brandon+prust, chicago+blackhawks, detroit+red+wings, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, toronto+maple+leafs, wayne+simmonds, zac+rinaldo

An Intriguing Tilt at The Rock

That is exactly what tonight’s game between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils is shaping up to be.

Both clubs are playing well, in the top eight in the Eastern Conference and are only separated by three points. Sounds like old-time Patrick Division hockey, eh?

The Blueshirts are coming off a dramatic win over the Phoenix Coyotes. In the game, Marian Gaborik picked-up two goals and nine-year man Brad Richards scored the game winning goal at the buzzer to help his team pick-up the all important two points.

On the other side, the Devils are coming off a 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. The Devils are on a four-game winning streak and looking to make it five against ther rivals from across the Hudson River.

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  Tags: brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, phoenix+coyotes

Rangers in Need of Some New Blood and a Quick Turnaround?

It appears that is what team management and the head coach feel as the New York Rangers have recalled both John Mitchell and Carl Hagelin up from the Connecticut Whale.

With two straight losses to the Montreal Canadiens and the Florida Panthers, the Blueshirts will look to get back on track late this afternoon against the Washington Capitals. While the Capitals have been a streaky this team season, they certainly know how to bring the offense and with the Blueshirts’ springing leaks in the defensive zone the last two games, one would expect the Capitals to do the same tonight.

With that in mind, the Blueshirts decided to call up Mitchell and Hagelin not only for some potential new blood, but to replace forward Andre Deveaux, who will more than likely receive a fine from the NHL for his hit on Panthers’ forward Tomas Fleischmann.

As posted yesterday, both John Mitchell and Carl Hagelin have been recalled from Connecticut (AHL) in anticipation of Deveaux’s absence. I suspect Mitchell, for sure, will be in the lineup today and it wouldn’t shock me if Hagelin was as well. The other fourth-liners from Wednesday’s game, Brian Boyle and Sean Avery, would probably be the first options for a healthy scratch if coach John Tortorella decides to play both call-ups.

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  Tags: andre+deveaux, carl+hagelin, florida+panthers, john+mitchell, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

Bound To Happen

This describes the game between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

The club did not have their legs, failed to put any real offensive pressure on Canadiens’ netminder Carey Price and certainly did not help netminder Martin Biron. All in all, it was a sloppy hockey game that with a 7-game winning streak, was going to happen sooner or later.

With that said, the team is going to need to put this one out of their minds fast as they have a tough schedule coming up. The team will be in Florida on Wednesday night to take on the high-flying Florida Panthers followed by a game against the Washington Capitals on Friday at 4:00 p.m. and then the next day, the team will be home for a Saturday afternoon tilt with the Philadelphia Flyers.

This is exactly why the Blueshirts need to forget about Saturday night’s game and focus on their upcoming games against three really good hockey clubs. To win these games, the team’s offense will obviously need to step up and the defense will need to play more responsibly in their own end.

There is no reason to hit the panic button as this game needed to happen for the Rangers. They needed something to bring them back to reality and show them that they are nowhere near to being a perfect hockey team.

It is what it is so it is back to focusing on the hear and now for the Blueshirts.

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  Tags: florida+panthers, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

No Lundqvist Tonight for the Blueshirts

According to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants, The New York Rangers will start goaltender Martin Biron tonight against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.

Marty Biron, from Lac St. Charles, Que. said it’s “always special” to play in the Bell Centre but not just for a “French-Canadian kid.” He talked about the history of the building, the Original Six matchup, the games he’s played in Montreal, including a playoff run with the Flyers. He also talked about his teammates saying they have full confidence in him, saying it was a “partnership” among all the players, that he had confidence in the defensemen, the defensemen had confidence in the forwards, etc.

Coach John Tortorella, asked about playing Biron tonight, which means Henrik Lundqvist will have a minimum of eight days between starts, said it was Biron’s turn and he also worried about resting Biron too long. Biron’s last game was a 3-0 win over the Jets on Nov. 6. Tortorella said it had nothing to do with Lundqvist’s struggles in the Bell Centre.

Here is some more good stuff on the Rangers’ back-up netminder.

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  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, martin+biron, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers

Bring on the Habs

The New York Rangers will be looking for their eighth straight win tonight when they take on the Montreal Canadiens in Montreal tonight.

In their previous meeting, the Blueshirts rode a 3-goal first period en route to a 5-3 win at Madison Square Garden. Considering that the Canadiens are not playing in a back-to-back situation, this has the potential to be a very different hockey game.

It should also be a different game for the Blueshirts because of how much they have struggled at the Bell Centre. The club is 1-4-2 in their last six visits and have played extremely sloppy hockey there, especially in front of netminder Henrikl Lundqvist.

However, this might also be a much different Rangers’ team. The Rangers are in the midst of a 7-game winning streak in which they have gotten contributions from all areas of the ice and have once again found their identity, which is a hard working hockey club that never gives up and does what it needs to do to win.

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  Tags: montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers

Seventh Heaven for the Blueshirts

That is what the New York Rangers are in after defeating the New York Islanders last night by a score of 4-2.

With excellent goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, great penalty killing and timely goal scoring, the Blueshirts were able to pick up their seventh straight victory to improve to 10-3-3 on the season. It certainly was not an easy victory by any means for the Rangers.

The Rangers were undisciplined last night and gave the Islanders power play chance after chance to get the lead but thanks to the stellar play of Lundqvist, the Islanders were not able to cash in. Lundqvist (31 saves) and his never say die athleticism helped the Rangers steal two points last night on Long Island.

It was also great to see Rangers’ 9-year man Brad Richards come through in the clutch with the go ahead goal with just less than five minutes to go in the hockey game. This is why the team got him and right now, at least, he is delivering.

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  Tags: brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, sean+avery

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

Rangers Extend Winning Streak To Three

The New York Rangers used a 3-goal first period to defeat the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 5-3 at Madison Square Garden last night.

Knowing that the Canadiens had played on Friday night against the Ottawa Senators, the Blueshirts came out and took advantage of a tired Canadiens’ team. The team got goals from Erik Christensen, Dan Girardi and a terrific goal from Michael Del Zotto to go up 3-0.

After that, the Canadiens found their legs and made it an interesting hockey game by cutting the lead to 3-2. However, instead of giving up the lead entirely, Rangers’ center Brad Richards came through and scored to make it 4-2 off a great shot from the slot, a place he has scored all his goals from this season.

While the Canadiens did end up cutting the lead to 4-3 late in the third period, Ryan Callahan sealed the game with an empty net goal. For the Rangers, it was there third straight win and more importantly, third straight win on Garden ice as the team improved its home record to 3-1-1.

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  Tags: brad+richards, dan+girardi, erik+christensen, john+tortorella, martin+biron, michael+del+zotto, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, sean+avery, winnipeg+jets

Rangers Start Another Winning Streak

The New York Rangers have started a bit of a winning streak after deating the Anaheim Ducks last night 2-1 in a shootout, giving them two straight wins in as many games.

Much like when the two clubs met in Sweden back in early October, this was an exciting game that saw timely goal scoring, some good physical play and great goaltending from Jonas Hiller and Henrik Lundqvist. The only thing that was different was that the Rangers turned the tables and won in a shootout on Marian Gaborik’s (yes, you read that right) goal.

Believe it or not, the Rangers probably could have won this game in the third period or even in overtime. Ryan Callahan had a clear breakaway in the third period and was absolutely stoned by Hiller. In overtime, the Rangers’ created a tic-tac-toe play with Gaborik, Michael Sauer and Ryan McDonagh but McDonagh put the puck wide over the net.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, henrik+lundqvist, jonas+hiller, marian+gaborik, michael+sauer, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh

Staying Consistent

This is something the New York Rangers need to do in order to be successful and win hockey games this season.

With that in mind, Rangers’ bench boss John Tortorella will be sticking with the same lineup that won on Monday night against the San Jose Sharks tonight when his team takes on the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden. For the Blueshirts, that would be something consistent and something that they would hope to sustain.

What this does mean is that Rangers’ pest Sean Avery will not be playing tonight for the Blueshirts. This is understandable considering how the team played in its 5-2 win over the Sharks as it would not make much sense for Tortorella to change things when the team played well with a particular lineup.

The Rangers need to build on their win from Monday night and continue to lay the same kind of hockey. That means getting the puck to the net, driving to the net, playing responsibly in their own end and staying out of the penalty box. For the Rangers, those things are a recipe for success.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, sean+avery, winnipeg+jets

Are the Rangers in Trouble?

The answer to that question is a resounding no.

At 3-3-3, the New York Rangers certainly have not played their best in this young season and at the same time, have yet to click on all levels. That is the good thing.

The bad thing is that the way has played in their last two games against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators, both losses at Madison Square Garden. Their play in the third period in both games is also alarming.

In their loss to the Senators on Saturday afternoon at MSG, the team blew a 4-1 lead in the third period and lost 5-4 in the shootout. In a game that the team scores four goals, gets solid performances from both Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik and is at home, it should have been a Rangers’ victory.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, brad+richards, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, san+jose+sharks, sean+avery, toronto+maple+leafs, winnipeg+jets

What Happened to Scotty Gomez?

That is what every hockey fan is probably wondering after NHL centerman Scott Gomez showed so much talent with the New Jersey Devils.

It seemed things changed when he went to the Rangers as an unrestricted free agent in the 2007-08 season. Sure, he tied for the team lead in points with then captain Jaromir Jagr but he just was not the same player he was as a Devil. He certainly he had his share of assists that season but he did not score as many goals as he did with the Devils and just did not seem like the player that fans were used to seeing excel like he did in previous seasons.

The same can be said of the following season. In 2008-09, Gomez put up just 58 points (16 goals and 42 assists) and ended up being traded to the Montreal Canadiens in the off-season.

Things have not been much better in Montreal. In his first full season with the Habs, Gomez had 59 points (12 goals and 47 assists) and 14 points (2 goals and 12 assists) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. While those numbers are not terrible, they are still not numbers that matchup with his current cap hit.

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  Tags: montreal+canadiens, scott+gomez

A Potential First Round Matchup for the Ages?

Over at RLD Hockey today, I blogged about which two teams I’d like to see go at it during the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

You can either click here to go to the blog or continue below.

The historic rivalry of Boston-Montreal

By Patrick Hoffman

The best matchups in the Stanley Cup Playoffs usually feature two teams that are rivals and have a history of playing big games against each other as well as games during the season that were exciting with great goals, saves, hits and of course, fights.

Based on these elements, it is easy to see which two teams would provide the best first-round matchup of this year’s postseason: the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, montreal+canadiens

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

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

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

What to do with Sean Avery

When New York Rangers’ forward Sean Avery was scratched on Saturday night against the San Jose Sharks, many pundits and fans alike figured that he would come out and play a heckuva game against the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.

Unfortunately, both were wrong as Avery struggled in last night’s 6-3 victory over the team’s hated rival. He took three penalties, one of which led to a John tavares power play goal in the third period, and only got just over seven minutes of ice time.

One has to wonder what team head coach John Tortorella thought of his play last night. If I am Tortorella, I would hesitate to put him in the lineup against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night as the last thing you want to do is give the Canadiens a bunch of power plays.

With that said, however, Avery is someone who works hard, can generate scoring opportunities and keeps the opponent on edge. Avery is one of the best when it comes to throwing an opposing team off its game.

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  Tags: john+tortorella, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, sean+avery

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 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 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

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

A Closer Look at The Hertiage Classic with Scotty Wazz

Scotty Wasilewski of The Face-Off Hockey Show and The Strangest One of All, was kind enough to share his experience of covering the Heritage Classic with us.

PH: First off, tell us about your thoughts when you decided you were going to cover the Heritage Classic for The Face-Off Hockey Show?
SW: The only thought was that I was lucky enough to be living in Calgary and able to get the nod from the NHL brass (who were fantastic at this event, by the way) to be able to get into this experience. It really worked out well for the show as Jonny and Marc (the other co-hosts) were able to get up to Pittsburgh to cover the Winter Classic. We had “Classic” year, to use a horrible, David Caruso-esque phrasing.

PH: What was it like seeing McMahon Stadium turned into a hockey rink/arena for a few days?
SW: Football fields make the best hockey rinks, and McMahon is no different. They had to bring in some rafters for one of the endzones, as the CFL doesn’t have as much capacity as NFL field. The set-up was great, they did a bang-up job on making everything surrounding the rink very festive and capturing the essence of the outdoor game in Canada.

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  Tags: calgary+flames, heritage+classic, montreal+canadiens, scotty+wasilewski, the+face+off+hockey+show, the+strangest+one+of+all

Old Time Hockey, Eh?

The game between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night is the perfect example of why hockey can be so great.

It had big hits, plenty of fights, highlight-reel goals and it was one of the best rivalry games of the season between two Original Six franchises. It was old time hockey at its absolute best.

With that in mind, the National Hockey League needs to find a way to take advantage of the Original Six Franchises and give them more games to play against each other. Just look at the rivalries that are available to showcase:

- Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens
- Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers
- Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
- Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks
- Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
- Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

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  Tags: boston+bruins, chicago+blackhawks, detroit+red+wings, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, original+six, toronto+maple+leafs

Where is the Rangers’ Power Play?

In a 2-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens yesterday afternoon, it was the power play that lost the game for the New York Rangers.

The Blueshirts had four power play opportunities and were only able to put one shot on Canadiens’ netminder Carey Price. Yes, the Canadiens’ penalty kill was very aggressive and did a terrific job in clogging ...up othe defensive zone but the Rangers need to be heckuva lot more effective with the man advanatge going forward.

The Rangers may not have the most talented group of forwards but they do have guys that can shoot the puck such as Marian Gaborik, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, and Artem Anisimov. They also have some talent at the points in Dan Girardi, Michael Del Zotto, Marc Staal and Matt Gilroy who can get pucks to the net.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, carey+price, dan+girardi, john+tortorella, marc+staal, marian+gaborki, matt+gilroy, michael+del+zotto, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan

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