Entries with the tag: Ondrej Pavelec
After attending last night's New York Rangers vs. Winnipeg Jets' NHL game at Madison Square Garden, it is easy to see who the real catalysts are for this Rangers' hockey club in terms of playing the game the right way.
Believe it or not, I am not talking about players such as Rick Nash (he has been great this season), Brad Richards or Marian Gaborik. While Nash is the only player that has really stepped up unlike Richards and Gaborik, even he is not doing what the players I am about to talk about are doing.
These Blueshirts are team captain Ryan Callahan and his linemate Derek Stepan. At 28 and 22 years old, respectively, these two players represent all that is right with the club as well as being a big part of the core of the franchise moving forward.
Callahan has always been an exemplary Ranger. He hustles, he blocks shots, he plays the body, he goes hard to the net and this season, has shown that he has soft hands.
For a team that is fighting to stay in the top eight in the Eastern Conference, the New York Rangers sure did not play with any kind of fight tonight in a 3-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets in Winnipeg.
It what has been a consistent theme this season for Blueshirts, the Rangers did not generate too many quality scoring chances, allowed too many quality scoring chances to the Jets and looked like they lacked the energy that is needed to win a hockey game.
Furthermore, Rangers' forward Marian Gaborik was denied on a penalty shot by Jets' netminder Ondrej Pavelec in the first period. Gaborik got in too close to Pavelec and ended up losing control of the puck, which was then smothered by Pavelec.
Smothered would be the perfect word to describe what the Rangers' play has been in these last two games. The club cannot find the open holes to generate quality scoring chances, cannot find good shots to get on the power play and then when they do get a scoring chance, they make the opposing netminder look like the next Patrick Roy.
This word would also describe what is happening to some of the team's top players. Guys like Gaborik, Rick Nash, and Brad Richards have been quiet in these last two games and if one of those guys is not scoring, that means trouble for the rest of the Rangers' team.
Last night’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers was one that the New York Rangers needed to come away with two points.
Simply put, they did not and managed to extend their winless streak to six games. It was a game that was essentially worth four points because it was against the Thrashers. With the loss, the Carolina Hurricanes are only three points behind in what has become an extremely interesting Eastern Conference race.
In their winless streak, the Blueshirts have lost four in a row. The team still holds the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference but are now just two points in front of the Thrashers, who hold the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
With a 2-1 lead in the third period, all the Rangers needed to do was play tight defense, stay out of the box, get big saves from Henrik Lundqvist and at the same time, push for an insurance goal. The Rangers were able to do three out of four and the one exception was one that hurt them the most.
Rangers’ defenseman Michael Del Zotto took a tripping penalty in the third period when he was not able ot control a bouncing puck along the boards behind the net and had to trip Nik Antropov as he came in alone on Lundqvist. The Thrashers were able to get a power play goal from Evander Kane, his second of the game, which gave the Thrashers a 3-2 lead and ultimately, the hockey game.
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Tags: atlanta+thrashers, brandon+dubinsky, evander+kane, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ondrej+pavelec, pittsburgh+penguins
Injury/Call-Up Update: According to team beat writer Andrew Gross, Mitch Beck of Howlings Today for the Connecticut Whale said that both Evgeny Grachev and Michael Del Zotto have been been called up by the Blueshirts to replace Brandon Prust and Dan Girardi, who are both day-to-day after getting hurt in tonight’s game.
This was one of those games where the New York Rangers really needed a big goal to salvage a hockey game and tonight, they got it from one of the most improved players in the league in Brian Boyle.
With just over six minutes to go in the third period, Brian Boyle beat an Atlanta Thrashers’ defenseman to a puck in the Thrashers zone and skated to his left and flicked a shot past Thrashers’ netminder Ondrej Pavelec to tie the game up at 2-2. This goal helped the Blueshirts get into overtime and evenutally, the shootout where Mats Zuccarello scored the winning goal, giving the Blueshirts a 3-2 victory and two very important points in the Eastern Conference.
The Blueshirts got a solid performance out of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who made 20 saves and stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout for his 21st victory of the season. He battled his way through the game and showed that when injuries amount, as the Blueshirts lost Dan Girardi (after fighting Andrew Ladd to stick up for his defense partner Marc Staal) and Brandon Prust (blocked a shot in the first period off his right shot) in the game, good goaltending can still win you hockey games.
This was an extremely gutsy victory for a team needing a win in a big way as injuries continue to add up. They continue to work hard and just do not quit, which is why they continue to pick up points when they need to.