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Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: nicklas backstrom

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

Time To Take Control

This is what the New York Rangers need to do tonight in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Finals series with the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden.

With the Blueshirts coming off a 3-0 victory in Game 1 and the 1-0 series lead, the Rangers should try and do everything they can to take control of this series. Through the first two rounds, it never felt like the Rangers had the series well within their grasp and while this series is in no way easy for the team, they should be able to grab control of this series in a hurry if things go their way.

For starters, Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist is more than just on top of his game. While he did not face as many shots (21) as Devils’ Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur (27) did, Lundqvist made the big saves when he had to and was especially good in the second period when he made 10 saves, many of them of the difficult variety.

Secondly, the team has its forechecking game going again. This was evident on the team’s first goal by Dan Girardi when Chris Kreider got to the puck first and fed Girardi for the one timer and it was also apparent as the team won many puck battles along the boards.

It should also be mentioned just how good the Rangers’ defense has been in their last two games. The team held the Devils to just 21 shots in the game and 4 in the last period on Monday night in Game 1 and in Game 7 on Saturday night against the Washington Capitals in the third period, they held up the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Laich, Marcus Johansson, and Mike Green and gave them very little room to maneuver or shoot the puck.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, brooks+laich, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, marcus+johansson, martin+brodeur, mike+green, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, washington+capitals

Focusing on Round 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

One Game At a Time, One Win at A Time

This is exactly what New York Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said prior to Game 3 against their First Round playoff opponent, the Washington Capitals. At the time, the Blueshirts were down 2-0 in the series.

Fast forward to today and the tide has turned a bit as the Rangers find themselves down 2-1 with a chance to tie the series. Should the Rangers do that, it will be a whole new series and the Capitals will more than likely start to feel the pressure.

With that said, the Rangers obviously need to win first. To do that, the team will need to continue to neutralize Alexander Ovechkin while also keeping others like Alex Semin, Mike Knuble, Nicklas Backstrom, etc. quiet as well.

While the Rangers have not been able to put the puck in the net a lot this series (4 goals in three games), the Capitals haven’t been exactly lighting thr lamp either having scored just 6 goals on Lundqvist. As I mentioned in a previous blog, Lundqvist has not had to be the focal point of this series. The team’s defense has made sure of that.

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  Tags: alex+semin, alexander+ovechkin, bruce+boudreau, henrik+lundqvist, mike+knuble, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, washington+capitals

Blueshirts Get the Job Done Against the Capitals

When New York Rangers’ fans heard that Martin Biron was starting last night against the Washington Capitals, they all thought that head coach John Tortorella was giving the game away and hoping to pick up two points tonight against the Panthers.

As it turns out, they were wrong and the Blueshirts came away with a 2-1 shootout victory, thanks partly to some timely goaltending from Biron and a terrific defensive effort. The defense held the Capitals to just 23 shots and did a solid job of keeping the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, Mike Knuble and others quiet on their way to another road victory.

Fifty-two minutes into the game, the Rangers were down 1-0 until Marian Gaborik tied it up when a Dan Boyle shot ffrom the top of the circle hit off Capitals’ netminder Braden Holtby and then deflected off Gaborik’s shoulder and in. It may not have been Gaborik’s prettiest goal but it was a goal that the team needed and a goal that will hopefully get Gaborik going offensively on a consistent basis.

In the shootout, the team got two great goals from Mats Zuccarello (4/4 in the shootout this season and in his career) and the eventual game winning goal from Artem Anisimov, his first ever shootout goal, giving the team its second straight shootout victory.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, artem+anisimov, brandon+holtby, dan+boyle, florida+panthers, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, mats+zuccarello, mike+green, mike+knuble, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, washington+capitals

Lundqvist Leads the Blueshirts to 3-1 Series Lead

Its been said by hockey pundits and experts that you need goaltending to win in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Case in point: Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers.

Thanks to Lundqvist’s 38 saves last night, the New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals by a score of 2-1 in Game four to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. He was not only able to stop initial shot attempts, but he was also able to stop rebound attempts and frustrate the likes of Alex Ovechkin (who scored the Caps only goal), Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and Mike Green.

Through four games in this series, Lundqvist has stopped an incredible 141 of 149 shots, good enough for a 2.00 goals against average, .946 save percentage and one shutout. Simply put, Lundqvist is the main reason why the Blueshirts are one victory away from eliminating the Capitals in the first round.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, henrik+lundqvist, mike+green, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, rangers+reading, washington+captials

Keep it Going

Many hockey pundits and analysts figured that the Washington Capitals’ offense would dominate the New York Rangers in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. However, with two games in the books, the Blueshirts are up 2-0 with the next two games at Madison Square Garden.

Surprised? I’m actually not because I’ve written before that if the team could shut down the Caps’ big guns and get timely goal scoring against the Caps’ suspect goaltending, this team would have a chance win.

Through two games, the Rangers have gotten 67 saves (on 70 shots) from their star netminder Henrik Lundqvist, lots of blocked shots by forwards and defensemen alike, and timely goal scoring from their young guys (Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan). For the Rangers, this spells s-u-c-c-e-s-s.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, brandon+dubinsky, henrik+lundqvist, mike+green, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, ryan+callahan, simeon+varlamov, washington+capitals

Thoughts Heading Into Game 2

Tomorrow afternoon at the Verizon Center, the New York Rangers look to go up 2-0 in their first round series against the Washington Capitals.

While the Blueshirts were able to pick up a 4-3 victory in Game one on Wednesday night, there are a few things that the team will most likely look to improve upon:

- Limiting Alex Ovechkin. In Game one, Ovechkin fired 13 shots at Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Luckily, the “King” was on his game.

- Staying out of the box. Markus Naslund was guilty of taking three penalties on Wednesday night. The last thing the Rangers’ want to do is give the Capitals power play time with lethal weapons such as Ovechkin, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, and Sergei Fedorov.

- Face-offs. The Caps’ outclassed the Blueshirts in the face-off circle on Wednesday night. Hopefully, the return of captain Chris Drury will change that.

 

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, chris+drury, henrik+lundqvist, markus+naslund, mike+green, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, rangers+reading, sergei+federov, washington+capitals

All Eyes on The King

When the puck drops tomorrow night at the Verizon Center, all eyes will turn to New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist as the Blueshirts take on the Washington Capitals in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

If the Blueshirts are going to advance to the next round, the “King” will need to be at his best when he faces the likes of offensive machines Alex Ovechkin (56 goals, 54 assists, 110 points), Nicklas Backstrom (22 goals, 66 assists, 88 points), Alexander Semin (34 goals, 45 assists, 79 points) and stud defenseman Mike Green (31 goals, 42 assists, 73 points).

Lundqvist will face pucks from all angles and will have to steal at least one of the first two games of the series if the team wants to give themselves any kind of shot when the series shifts back to Madison Square Garden.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, atlanta+thrashers, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, mike+green, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, washington+capitals

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