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Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: ottawa senators

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

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

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

Keep it Rolling

That is what the New York Rangers hope to do tonight on Long Island when they take on the New York Islanders.

The Blueshirts have won three straight games and have done so with timely goal scoring, solid defense and great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist. Tonight against the Islanders, the Rangers will need those same three things to pick-up their fourth straight win.

The team will look to continue its winning streak without one of their best players, Marc Staal. In the team's 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, Staal took a puck just above his right eye in what was one of the most scariest puck-to-the-eye occurances in the sport. The Daily News reported that Staal will make a full recovery but is now out indefinitely.

Due to Staal's injury, the Rangers went out and claimed defenseman Roman Hamrlik off waivers. Hamrlik, 38, can hopefully add some offense to the team's blue line while also providing smart and solid defense in the team's own zone

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  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, roman+hamrlik

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

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

Stability and Consistency Lead Rangers to Victory

When it comes to winning a hockey game in the NHL, teams must be consistent in their play and have some stability whether it is with their offense, defense or goaltending.

Tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Rangers got the stability in goal they needed from back-up Martin Biron (30 saves) and consistently put pucks on net in a 3-2 victory in Tampa Bay for their first road victory of the season.. Considering that the Lightning were the best team in the Eastern Conference coming into this game and were putting pucks in the net left and right, it was an impressive victory for the Blueshirts.

In his first start of the season, Biron was exactly what he needed to be for the Rangers. He made the big saves when he needed to, slowed down the play when his team needed a breather and have the Rangers the kind of goaltending they needed against a very good Lightning hockey club.

On offense, Rangers' forward Derek Stepan scored his first goal of the season to knot the game up at 1-1 in the second period. For Stepan, it was a much needed goal as he had not scored since Game 6 against the Ottawa Senators in last year's first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The team also got an absolutely great goal from Rick Nash. On the play, Nash used his size and terrific puck-handling abilities to blow by Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman and beat Lightning netminder Mathieu Garon to give the team a 2-1 lead.

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  Tags: adam+henrique, carl+hagelin, derek+stepan, martin+biron, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, rick+nash, tampa+bay+lightning, taylor+pyatt

Derek Stepan: Continuing on Up on Broadway

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

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

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

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

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

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

It Finally Happened

That’s right folks. New York Rangers’ forward Marian Gaborik has “finally” gotten significantly injured as a member of the Blueshirts as we all found out today that he will need to have surgery on his rotator cuff and could miss up to six months.

This might explain why Gaborik struggled during the postseason this year. Gaborik admitted that he got hurt in Game 3 of the first round of the Ottawa Senators but he just tried to take care of it and play through it.

“I think it was Game 3 [vs. Ottawa],” he said when asked if he knew when the injury occurred. “I went into the boards behind the net shoulder-first. I think it was Game 3 or Game 4. I just tried to take care of it as much as I could.

“I don’t try to think about it. I try to play according to the situation. I don’t want to make excuses.

Unfortunately for the Rangers, this means that they will be without their 41-goal-scorer until at least sometime in December. For a team that struggled to score goals during the regular season this past year, this could end up hurting the the team a bit, even though Gaborik said he is going to try and return as soon as he can.

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  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, rick+nash, zach+parise

Devils’ Late Goal Sinks Rangers’ Comeback Efforts

At the end of the day, it does not matter how many goals you allow as long as you are the team that has more when the final buzzer sounds.

In tonight’s Game 5 between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden, it was Devils’ forward Ryan Carter’s goal with less than five minutes to go in the hockey game that lifted the Devils to a 5-3 victory. The Devils’ defense may not have been great but in the end, it was their offense that got the crucial goal to give their team a 3-2 series lead.

For the Rangers, it was the things that happened both early and late in the game that hurt them the most. In the first period, the Devils scored three goals on six shots (Stephen Gionta, Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac) to go up 3-0 less than 10 minutes into the hockey game. Then, in the third period, Carter scored the Devils to put them up 4-3 after the Blueshirts had gotten themselves back into the game and that was followed by a Zach Parise empty net goal with 1:32 to go in the hockey game.

Had it not been for those 15-minutes, this could have been a Rangers’ victory. Even when the club was down 3-0, they did not quit and battled hard to tie the game as they got goals from Brandon Prust, Ryan Callahan and Marian Gaborik.

The team was also able to take advantage of a somewhat shaky Martin Brodeur (25 saves) to get back into the hockey game. With that said, Brodeur battled to the end and made the big saves late in the third period when it mattered most and more importantly, he put his team one victory away from a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brandon+prust, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, martin+brodeur, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, patrik+elias, ryan+callahan, ryan+carter, stephen+gionta, travis+zajac

The Script Remains The Same

This appears to be the case for the New York Rangers as the team dropped Game 4 at the Prudential Center to the New Jersey Devils by a score of 4-1.

For the third straight series, the Blueshirts will go into Game 5 tied with their opponent. While this probably should not have happened against both the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals, the Rangers certainly deserve this fate after the way they played tonight.

The Blueshirts came out extremely flat in the first period and paid for it. The Devils picked-up two goals (Bryce Salvador and Travis Zajac) and were outshot 12-9 in the process. Had it not been for the strong play of Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist (26 saves), the period could have been much worse for the Blueshirts.

The team also racked up 41 minutes in penalties. While it was good to see the Rangers play a physical brand of hockey, spending that much time in the penalty box does not help anyone and only takes your best players off the ice for an extended period of time, something the Rangers cannot afford to do on any given night.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, bryce+salvador, henrik+lundqvist, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, travis+zajac, washington+capitals, zach+parise

Time to Go Off Script

For the New York Rangers, this postseason has been a story of deja vu.

There have been many similarities in each round from the number of games played, to the goal scorers in each game as well as the general outcome of each tilt. While this is certainly interesting, it is time for the Blueshirts to go off script.

In each series, the Rangers have taken a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 only to lose both times to the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals, respectively. In fact, only once in this whole postseason have the Rangers been able to win two straight games and that was back in Games 6 and 7 of their first round series against the Senators.

The Blueshirts are coming off a game in which they were badly outplayed by the New Jersey Devils, except for a portion of the third period when they got two quick goals from Dan Girardi and Chris Kreider. Luckily, the team got a terrific 36-save performance from their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist as he made extremely timely saves against the likes of Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, Adam Henrique and others.

The Rangers were also very lucky that the goal posts were on their side on Saturday afternoon. The Devils hit four of them and had at least one gone in, it could have been a much different hockey game.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, adam+henrique, brad+richards, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, ilya+kovalchuk, marian+gaborik, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, travis+zajac, washington+capitals, zach+parise

Lundqvist Stonewalls Devils’ in Game 3 Shutout

Once again in this year’s postseason, New York Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was the story for his hockey club as his 36-save performance help shutout the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 at the Prudential Center by a score of 3-0.

Much like in Game 1, except with a lot more shots in this afternoon’s tilt, Lundqvist stopped everything the Devils threw at him in the hockey game. He was especially good in the first period when he stopped several odd man rushes and made a terrific glove save on Devils’ sniper Ilya Kovalchuk in close.

Lundqvist also made several big stops in the middle frame to keep the game at 0-0 in the third period. The Devils outshot the Rangers 15-9 in that period but again were not able to put one past the “King”.

Then, in the third period, the Blueshirts found a way to put pucks past Martin Brodeur, who, like Lundqvist, was also have a solid game between the pipes for his hockey club. Rangers’ defenseman Dan Girardi put the team up 1-0 on the power play just over three minutes into the third period when a Brad Richards’ face-off win ended up in the back of the net off a Girardi snap shot that beat Brodeur stick side.

Two minutes later, the Rangers found the back of the net again when rookie Chris Kreider deflected a Ryan McDonagh shot past Brodeur for his fifth of the postseason and a 2-0 Rangers’ lead. While the Rangers did not generate a lot of offense all game long (22 shots), they were able to score two goals 1:57 apart.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, ilya+kovalchuk, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators

Why the Rangers Will Win Tonight

When it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there is nothing like the excitement, nervousness and other emotions that come to life in a Game 7.

Tonight, the New York Rangers and their passionate fans will be experiencing all kinds of feelings when they take on the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden.

For both the Rangers and Capitals, this game marks the second seventh game of the postseason that they will be participating in. The first time around, the Rangers were able to beat the No. 8 seed Ottawa Senators by a score of 2-1 while the Capitals, the No. 7 seed, were able to beat the No. 2 seed Boston Bruins in overtime by the same score of 2-1.

While the Capitals’ have had success against the Rangers in Game 7’s before, this year will be different and for the first time since the 1996-97 season, the Blueshirts will be headed to the Eastern Conference Finals. Here are the reasons why:

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, boston+bruins, brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals

Late Penalty Hurts Blueshirts Again in Game 4 Loss to Capitals

Much like it did in Game 2 at Madison Square Garden, a late penalty taken by the New York Rangers turned into the game-winning goal for the Washington Capitals in a 3-2 win in Game 4 at the Verizon Center.

This time, the culprit for the Blueshirts was Carl Hagelin. Hagelin took a two minute slashing penalty and Capitals’ defenseman Mike Green took advantage and ripped a slap shot past Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

For the Rangers, this game was a tale of two different teams. On one side, the Rangers’ played like a team that would rely on its goaltender Lundqvist to make timely save after timely save as well as a team that had no offense to supply.

On the other side, the Rangers played like a club that was willing to go to the net, get goals from the dirty areas and play disciplined hockey. Unfortunately for the Rangers, neither of these teams prevailed as the series will now head back to the Garden for Game 5 tied at two games apiece.

On the bright side, the team got a great performance from Artem Anisimov. Anisimov, who had been quiet for much of these playoffs, picked-up a goal and an assist and was more than present in this hockey game.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, artem+anisimov, carl+hagelin, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, mike+green, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, washington+capitals

Keep Pushing Through

This is exactly what the New York Rangers need to continue to do as they prepare for this afternoon’s Game 4 against the Washington Capitals.

Just three days ago, the Blueshirts pulled off a triple overtime win on a goal by Marian Gaborik. It was a goal that Gaborik needed to score, which will hopefully get him going, and it was a win the Rangers needed to prove to themselves that they could win at the Verizon Center in the playoffs after struggling to do so since Game 2 in April of 2009.

While the Rangers were able to come away with a big win in Game 3, that does not mean that they can take this afternoon off. It may not seem like it to some of you but believe it or not, this series is similar to the team’s opening round series against the Ottawa Senators. Like the first round, the Rangers split their first two games with the Capitals in this round and like in Game 3 against the Senators, the Rangers were able to come away with a victory against the Capitals in Game 3.

With that in mind, the Rangers need to take advantage of the 2-1 series lead they have now and use it to get a 3-1 series lead after this afternoon’s game. Of course, one can point out that the Rangers blew a 3-1 series lead in 2009 but this is a much different Rangers’ hockey club than the one that was on the ice three years ago.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brian+boyle, carl+hagelin, chris+kreider, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

In for the Long Haul

Based on the way the first two games have gone between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers, it appears that this series has the potential to be a long one.

Heading into tonight’s Game 3 at the Verizon Center, both teams find themselves tied at one game apiece. The Blueshirts took Game 1 by a score of 3-1 while the Capitals fought back and won Game 2 by a score of 3-2 to even up the series.

Neither team won their games in convincing fashion in this series. In Game 1, there were 32 shots combined between the two clubs and in Game 2, it could have gone either way.

For the Rangers, this should not come as a surprise. In their first round series with the Ottawa Senators, the Blueshirts and Sens found themselves tied in the series after Games 2, 4, and 6 before the Rangers came through with a victory in Game 7.

Tonight, the Rangers need to make sure that they do everything they can to not let the Capitals take over the series. While they have not exactly been firing on all cylinders, the Capitals do have an offense that is capable of exploding and controlling hockey games, something the Blueshirts need to try and prevent both tonight and in Game 4.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, washington+capitals

Rangers Come Up Short

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

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

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

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

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

Focusing on Round 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blueshirts Off to the Second Round

For the first time since the 2007-08 season, the New York Rangers are off to the second round after defeating the Ottawa Senators by a score of 2-1 in Game 7 at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers played “Ranger hockey” by blocking a ton of shots, playing physical, getting timely goal scoring and big-game goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist (26 saves). It was a style that they need to play tonight in order to win this tilt and luckily, the Rangers were able to implement it perfectly.

For starters, a lot of credit has to be given to the Rangers’ defense. Not only did they block a ton of shots and break up many passes, but they also helped score the only two goals of the game as both Marc Staal and Dan Giradi were able to put the puck in the net in the second period.

The line of Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan also had themselves a terrific game. While he has only played in five NHL games, Kreider is showing that he belongs in the NHL. He has speed, he has size, he has strength and soft hands, all skills that will make him a very, very, good NHLer.

Stepan, after not scoring a point in the first five games of the series, finished up the first round with 5 points (1G 4A). He is playing with a lot more confidence and is getting a lot of scoring chances playing with Callahan and Kreider.

Callahan played like a captain should always play. He played hard, physical and was able to help this team get into the second round of the postseason.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, boston+bruins, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

What the Rangers Need to do to Win Game 7

While the NHL regular season does not mean much when it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there are things that a team did during the regular season that helps when it comes to playing in hockey’s second season.

This is the case when it comes to the New York Rangers. Tonight, the Rangers will host Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Ottawa Senators. It is the Rangers’ first Game 7 at Madison Square Garden since they won Game 7 against the Vancouver Canucks in 1994 in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Rangers were extremely successful in the regular season and the three games they won in their series against the Senators because they played “Ranger Hockey”. Ranger hockey is something that team head coach John Tortorella came up with and it has worked to a ‘T’ when implemented correctly.

For starters, playing Ranger hockey is all about having a team first mentality. This means that playing a physical brand of hockey and blocking shots are almost mandatory and when the Rangers have won in this series, they have done both extremely well.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh

Rangers Play Their Game to Extend Series to 7

When the New York Rangers play within themselves and play their style of hockey, they are an extremely tough team to beat.

The Blueshirts proved that tonight by beating the Ottawa Senators by a score of 3-2 in Game 6 to tie the series up at three apiece. The two teams will have two days off before meeting on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden for a Game 7.

The Rangers played the game the right way tonight and the way that they played all season long. They were able to capitalize on their power play opportunities, got good performances from the likes of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider and were able to hold onto a two-goal third period lead. These are the things that made the Rangers successful in the regular season and proved tonight by playing this style of hockey, they can win games when they need to and when it counts.

There is a lot to be said about the play of Kreider. Kreider came to the Blueshirts after winning a National Championship with Boston College and has done nothing but stay in the lineup and show that he can play in the NHL.

Tonight, Kreider picked-up his first career Stanley Cup Playoff goal, a game-winning goal, in an extremely meaningful game. For the Blueshirts, tonight’s tilt was a do or die situation and Kreider came through looking like a veteran rather thank a rookie playing in just his fourth NHL/playoff game.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, chris+kreider, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, vancouver+canucks

Playing for their Playoff Lives

That is the position the New York Rangers have put themselves in after losing Games 4 and 5 to the Ottawa Senators, giving the opposition a 3-2 series lead.

Based on the way the 2012 postseason has gone so far, nothing should come as a surprise. Heck, the Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, three of the league’s best teams, have already been eliminated.

Another top team in the NHL has a chance to be eliminated tonight. If the Rangers lose tonight at Scotiabank Place, their terrific regular season will have meant nothing.

Throughout the regular season, the Blueshirts were a team that never gave up. They were able to protect leads, make comebacks late in third periods and played with a never say die attitude.

The Rangers will be playing for their playoff lives tonight and will need to have that same mentality that made them so successful in the postseason. If they don’t, it’s off to the golf course for a way too early offseason for the Blueshirts.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, carl+hagelin, craig+anderson, daniel+alfredsson, detroit+red+wings, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, vancouver+canucks

Rangers In Serious Trouble After Being Shutout in Game 5

Being that the New York Rangers were shutout 2-0 tonight by Craig Anderson and the Ottawa Senators in Game 5, that could be the understatement of the season.

The Rangers did a much better job tonight of getting pucks on net and crashing for rebounds but Anderson turned away all 41 shots that were thrown at him for his second career shutout. The Rangers are now just one loss away from elimination in what would be an extremely disappointing end to the Blueshirts’ season.

It is clear that the Blueshirts are struggling to score goals when it matters in this series. While Brad Richards had more than a handful of shots on goal, he was not able to put the puck in the net when the team needed him the most. Guys like Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan, Ruslan Fedotenko, and Brandon Dubinsky were all kept quiet and for a team that needs other players to step up and score goals, that is not a good thing.

The team’s power play also struggled tonight. While this is nothing new for the Rangers, the team’s power play was given a chance to succeed late in the third period but the club failed to generate a quality scoring chance and were not able to tie the game up and finished 0-4 on the night.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, craig+anderson, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ruslan+fedotenko

The Pressure Is On

This is exactly what the case is for the New York Rangers as they get set to take on the Ottawa Senators in Game 5 tonight at Madison Square Garden.

As a number one seed taking on an eighth seed, the Blueshirts and Senators are tied at two games apiece. While this fact may surprise many of you, it is actually quite easy to see why this series is tied heading into tonight’s huge tilt.

The Senators have been going hard to the net, making life miserable for Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist when it comes to him seeing the puck, and putting a ton of offensive pressure on the Rangers’ defense. They are also finding ways to get back into games when they are losing.

Tonight, the Blueshirts need to take some of the Senators’ game and make it their own. There needs to be more offense, more pressure on Senators’ Craig Anderson and they need to do a better job of sustaining offense in the Senators’ zone.

While all this sounds easy for the Rangers to do, it will not be. Yes, the team will have the home crowd on their side and yes, they are still expected to win this series.

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  Tags: craig+anderson, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, stanley+cup+playoffs+2012

Evened Up

That is exactly what the first round Stanley Cup Playoff series is between the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators after last night’s 3-2 overtime victory for the Senators.

The Rangers let an early 2-0 lead slip away as well as a 2-1 series lead and now, they will head back to Madison Square Garden for Game 5 tied up thanks to Senators’ forward Kyle Turris, who scored the game winner in overtime for his hockey club. Everyone knew that this series was not going to be easy for the Blueshirts and right now, the team is proving just that.

With that said, the Senators are doing everything right when it comes to their game. They are throwing plenty of pucks on Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist,l creating lots of traffic in front of the net, playing a physical brand of hockey and for the most part, doing a good job of allowing their netminder Craig Anderson to see the puck.

What’s concerning is the Rangers’ inability to hold a lead in this series. They struggled with it in Game 2 and now again last night, something that they did not do much of in the regular season.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, craig+anderson, henrik+lundqvist, kyle+turris, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators

Just Win

When it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the only thing that matters is winning hockey games.

It does not matter how you do it, if it was ugly or easy or if you were outplayed. The only thing that matters is subtracting from that number 16.

Tonight, the Rangers will look to cut their number to 13 as they get set to take on the Ottawa Senators in Game 4 tonight at Scotiabank Place. Should the Blueshirts win tonight, they will be able to close out the series in Game 5 on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

With Blueshirts’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist in the zone, the team will need to find a way to provide more offensive support for their superstar netminder. The “King” had to be perfect on Monday and the team was lucky he was as they scored just one goal (Brian Boyle) the entire game.

Players like Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and Brandon Dubinsky need to start producing. These guys were shut down by the Senators in Game 3 and have been quiet since their performances in Game 1.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, brian+boyle, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan

Lundqvist Wins Game 3 for the Rangers

Just like he did during the regular season, New York Rangers’ superstar goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was the main reason why the Rangers won a hockey game.

Only this time, Lundqvist was the main reason why the Blueshirts won a playoff game in making 39 saves to shutout the Ottawa Senators in Game 3 at Scotiabank Place. The win gives the Rangers a 2-1 series lead, a lead that they will look to extend on Wednesday night in Game 4.

Simply put, Lundqvist was outstanding tonight. He made the first save, second save and on occasion, the third save when he needed to help keep his team in the hockey game.

The “King” was especially good in the third period when he stopped 14 Senators’ shots. He made an outstanding save on a rebound shot from in close by Senators’ forward Kyle Turris which ended up sealing the shutout victory for the Blueshirts.

Had Lundqvist not been as good as he was tonight, this game could have been a much different story for the Blueshirts. The team had trouble generating sustained offense in the Senators’ zone and once again showed that they like to pass off good shooting opportunities.

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  Tags: brian+boyle, henrik+lundqvist, kyle+turris, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators

What is Shanahan Trying to Do?

From Neil Keefe at CBS New York:

Does Brendan Shanahan think he’s doing a good job because he makes videos to explain the infractions and the punishments he determines for the infractions? Because, if anything, the videos make his decisions look even more nonsensical. At least when Campbell was recklessly throwing around suspensions (or sometimes a lack thereof), there wasn’t video evidence of him narrating plays so we could see inside his inconsistent mind.

In Game 2 of the Rangers-Senators series, Matt Carkner dressed with the mission of fighting Brian Boyle and getting physical with Erik Karlsson, and I have no problem with Carkner dressing for this purpose. But when Boyle decided he wasn’t going to fight Carkner on the first attempt, Carkner decided he was going to fight anyway and sucker-punched Boyle and then continued to punch him as he went down to the ice. In the process, Brandon Dubinsky went to the aid of his defenseless teammate and was given a game misconduct for not allowing Carkner to finish a job that could have ended Boyle’s season or maybe even his career.

Carkner was suspended one game for a pre-mediated attack (which once again I don’t have a problem with since its part of the game, but square up or take care of it in the correct setting), but an attack against a guy who didn’t square up with him and led to Carkner doing what he was set out to do anyway. One game! Here’s what Shanahan said in his NHL.com video review of Carkner’s infraction.

Click here for more from Keefe.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brian+boyle, carl+hagelin, matt+carkner, neil+keefe, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators

Rangers Set for Game 3

While the team will be without one of its better offensive players for three games due to a suspension, the New York Rangers are set to take on the Ottawa Senators tonight in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.

The team found out yesterday that the NHL suspended Carl Hagelin for three games due to his hit to Ottawa Senators’ forward Daniel Alfredsson. Hagelin did not intend to injure a player he idolized but nevertheless, he did knock Alfredsson out for the rest of Game 2, which the Senators went onto win 3-2 in overtime.

This is a series that has gotten nasty and will more than likely be so tonight. Senators’ defenseman Matt Carkner was also suspended 1 game for “inflicting punishment on an unwilling combatant” in Brian Boyle just over two minutes into Saturday night’s tilt.

As Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella mentioned yesterday, the momentum is going to change throughout this series. Right now, with the series tied and getting back on the ice tonight at the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, the momentum might just be in the Senators’ favor.

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  Tags: carl+hagelin, chris+neil, craig+anderson, daniel+alfredsson, john+tortorella, matt+carkner, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators

Should Have Been Different

That can be said when it comes to tonight’s New York Rangers’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators in Game 2 at Madison Square Garden tonight.

After tying the game on a Nick Foligno goal with just over five minutes to go in the hockey game, the Senators went onto to score just over a minute into overtime on a goal by Chris Neil to tie the series 1-1. Given that the Rangers have always played well with a lead heading into the third period, this was not the way they wanted to end the hockey game.

For the most part, the team seemed to sit back in the third period tonight. The Senators outshot and outscored the Rangers in the final frame and seemed to keep the puck deep in the Rangers’ zone for long periods of time.

The Rangers’ power play also hurt them in this hockey game. Although the team did score once on the power play tonight (defenseman Anton Stralman), they were not able to cash in on their three other opportunities, including a five minute penalty to Senators’ defenseman Matt Carkner.

The Senators were also successful tonight because they were able to match the Rangers’ physicality throughout the game. The Senators finished their checks, took the body at all costs and made it feel like that it was an absolute war on the ice, which is what Stanley Cup Playoff hockey is all about.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, anton+sralman, matt+carkner, new+york+rangers, nick+foligno, ottawa+senators

Rangers Look for Game 1 Success to Carry Over into Game 2

Given the way that they played Game 1, the New York Rangers have every reason to come into tonight’s Game 2 with the Ottawa Senators in a very cocky manner.

However, that would not be this year’s team style. Throughout the regular season, the Blueshirts never let themselves get too high or too low and because of that attitude, it allowed them to stay focused on the task at hand.

Tonight’s task for the Rangers will be to play the same exact way they did in Game 1. This means getting good goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, getting big goals from their goal scorers in Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan, getting secondary offense from their depth players and playing disciplined.

On the other hand, there are some things that the Rangers could probably do better in tonight’s game. For starters, they need to generate more scoring opportunities on the power play. As most Rangers’ fans know, the team’s power play was inconsistent (that might be an understatement) throughout the regular season and often killed any momentum that they had until they started to click down the stretch. Special teams play is crucial in the postseason so the Rangers need to take advantage of any such chances they get this playoff season.

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  Tags: brad+richards, craig+anderson, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan

Rangers’ Offense Comes Up Big in Game 1 Win

Coming into the series between the New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators, no one really knew what to expect except for what was on paper.

In Game 1 tonight at Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers showed their fans and the league why they finished where they did in defeating the Ottawa Senators by a score of 4-2. For a Senators team that had dominated the Blueshirts at MSG the last few seasons, this was a nice change for Blueshirts’ fans.

There are several reasons why the Rangers won tonight’s game. For starters, the team got goals from players that are supposed to score goals. Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik, and Brad Richards all scored for the Blueshirts while the team also got a goal from hard-working forward Brian Boyle.

The team’s defense was also terrific for the Rangers’ tonight. As expected, the team came out and blocked a lot of shots, broke up a lot of passes, and let their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist see the puck.

Speaking of Lundqvist, he was solid in making 30 saves on 32 Senators’ shots. There is no doubt that he kept the team in the lead at 1-0 in the first 10 minutes of the second period and in general, made the big saves when the team needed him to do so.

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  Tags: brad+richards, brian+boyle, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan

So It Begins

Well folks, it is finally here. The New York Rangers embark on their playoff journey tonight as they get set to take on the Ottawa Senators in Game 1 at Madison Square Garden.

A lot has been said and debated regarding this series and for now, it is time to put that all aside. Believe it or not, what was said means absolutely nothing because as fans, you do not and cannot control what will go on the ice in this series.

While this series looks easy for the Blueshirts based on the regular season standings, it will not be such once it begins. Remember, the Senators won the regular season series 3-1 and while it may mean nothing now, there is no doubt that the Senators have a history of giving the Blueshirts trouble.

The Senators know how to put the puck in the net. With players like Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Erik Karlsson, there is no doubt that the Senators will be able to generate some offense on Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist.

With that said, the Blueshirts know how to play defense. They block shots, they play the body, they know how to move the puck out of the zone and were third in the league in goals against.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, carl+hagelin, daniel+alfredsson, derek+stepan, erik+karlsson, henrik+lundqvist, jason+spezza, marian+gaborik, milan+michalek, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan

New York Rangers Postseason Schedule

From NHL.com:

2012 EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS
SERIES A TIME (ET) #1 vs.  #8 Networks
Thursday, April 12, 2012 7 p.m. Ottawa at NY Rangers NHL Network, CBC
Saturday, April 14, 2012 7 p.m. Ottawa at NY Rangers NBC Sports Network, CBC
Monday, April 16, 2012 7:30 p.m. NY Rangers at Ottawa CBC, CNBC
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 7:30 p.m. NY Rangers at Ottawa CBC, CNBC
*Saturday, April 21, 2012 7 p.m. Ottawa at NY Rangers NBC Sports Network, CBC
*Monday, April 23, 2012 TBD       NY Rangers at Ottawa TBD
*Thursday, April 26, 2012 TBD     Ottawa at NY Rangers       TBD

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  Tags: new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators

Not the way to Go Into the Postseason

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

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

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

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

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

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

Big Game at The Mad House on Madison

With the New York Rangers struggling to find the consistency that made them so successful for much of the season, tonight’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks will be a big test for the Blueshirts.

In last night’s 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators, the team looked out-of-sync in all areas of the game. This also happened to be the case in the team’s 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

For the Rangers, this is coming at a bad time as both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference playoff race is heating up. The Pittsburgh Penguins, who will have Sidney Crosby returning in the very near future, are now just 6 points behind the Blueshirts while the Philadelphia Flyers are 8 points behind thanks to the fine play of their netminder Ilya Bryzgalov (finally, eh?).

The team needs to get back to forechecking better, something that Rangers’ forward Marian Gaborik mentioned to team beat writer Andrew Gross of The Record and Ranger Rants.

“I think so,” he said. “The support needs to be there. We have to create more forechecking in the zone. Also, we have to try to chip pucks in and create more odd-man situations.”

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, henrik+lundqvist, ilya+bryzgalov, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, original+six, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby, united+center

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

Biron to Start Tonight/Other line-up Updates

According to Andrew Gross, the New York Rangers’ beat writer/blogger for The Record and Ranger Rants blog, the Blueshirts have elected to go with Martin Biron in goal tonight to face the Ottawa Senators.

This sounds like the right decision considering that the Rangers take on the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow night. Remember, the Blackhawks scorched Biron and the Rangers in their previous meeting by a score of 4-2 so putting starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist in sounds like the right thing to do.

Gross also said that Rangers’ forward Brandon Dubinsky will not be in the lineup tonight due to sinus issues he is experiencing that could impact his skating. Dubinsky also said he still has some pain in his hand from the fight he had with New Jersey Devils’ forward David Clarkson on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center:

Brandon Dubinsky will not be in the lineup tonight against the Senators as he tells the media he is still having sinus issues that could affect his skating. Dubinsky said his hand hurts as well after fighting the Devils’ Ryan Carter on Tuesday. Dubinsky was holding nasal spray and also appeared to have stitches on his nose. Considering the Rangers do not have a morning skate tomorrow in Chicago, it’s very likely he’ll also miss the Blackhawks’ game.

Dubinsky also reported he’s been having trouble sleeping as a result of his injured nose.

 

 

 

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  Tags: andrew+gross, brandon+dubinsky, chicago+blackhawks, david+clarkson, henrik+lundqvist, martin+biron, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ranger+rants, the+record

Time to Step Up

This is exactly what the New York Rangers need to do as they prepare for three games in four night’s starting tonight with the Ottawa Senators.

There is no doubt that the Blueshirts have been inconsistent of late. They have allowed at least three goals or more in their last three games and clearly did not play well against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center.

The Ottawa Senators have given the Rangers’ some trouble this season and are currently one point behind the 6th place Devils. They have a powerful offense that is dangerous and knows how to put the puck in the net.

With that in mind, the Rangers will need to get their defense back in order in a hurry. Again, 13 goals allowed in the last four games will not win you any games in this league.

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  Tags: brad+richards, chicago+blackhawks, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins

Going Over the Hudson

This is exactly what the New York Rangers will be doing tonight as the travel across the Hudson River to take on the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.

These two clubs last met last Monday at Madison Square Garden, where the Blueshirts took care of business and shutout the Devils by a 2-0 score. It was not the most exciting game as there was only 28 combined shots.

The Blueshirts are coming off a big 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Sunday afternoon at MSG. The team continues to get goal scoring from Marian Gaborik (32 goals on the season) and excellent goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, both of which have contributed greatly to the Rangers’ success this season.

Going forward, those two will have to continue to play better but others must step up and contribute a bit more. There is no doubt that Brad Richards can create scoring chances and setup teammates (27 assists).

With that said, it would be nice to see him do that on a more consistent basis as well as putting the puck in the net a bit more. Yes, Richards has 18 goals and yes, 7 of them have been game winners but this team needs to see a bit more goals from him if they want to have success in the postseason.

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  Tags: anders+nilsson, boston+bruins, brad+ricahrds, brandon+dubinsky, henrik+lundqvist, madison+square+garden, marian+gaborik, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, prudential+center

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

How About Six?

That is what the New York Rangers will be looking to do tonight against the hot Ottawa Senators.

The Blueshirts have won five in a row and are currently playing a great brand of hockey. The club is getting timely goal scoring, great defense and excellent goaltending from both Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Biron.

The team is also showing that they can win hockey games in many different ways. The Blueshirts can take a team down in regulation, overtime, or a shootout while also being able to come from behind or hold a lead going into the third period.

On the other side, the Ottawa Senators are also playing some great hockey. In their last 10 games, the team is 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and has won two straight. Through 44 games, the Senators are 23-15-6, which is good for fifth in the Eastern Conference.

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  Tags: atlantic+division, eastern+conference, henrik+lundqvist, martin+biron, montreal+canadies, new+york+rangers, nhl, northeast+division, ottawa+senators, toronto+maple+leafs

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