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Entries with the tag: mats zuccarello

Taking Care Of Business

That is exactly what the New York Rangers did tonight in their 6-1 victory over the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden.

Coming into tonight's tilt, the Panthers were the worst team in the league. Tonight, the Rangers took advantage of that and pounded the Panthers with six goals and got strong offensive efforts from several of their players.

For starters, Mats Zuccarello is continuing to show how he has improved his game. He goes hard to the net, knows how to use his speed, gets his nose dirty and tonight, he was able to score two goals.

The club also got a strong offensive performance from Derick Brassard. Brassard had two goals and gave the team an early lead when he scored the games first goal just over three minutes into the tilt.

Rick Nash did his part in this game by picking up three points with a goal and two assists. It will be important for Nash to continue to produce as the team needs him to score in this last stretch of the season. 

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  Tags: brad+richards, buffalo+sabres, derick+brassard, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, rick+nash, ron+rolston, winnipeg+jets

Zuccarello to the KHL?

From Katie Strang and ESPN New York:

Although reports surfaced in the hours after the Rangers’ season-ending loss to the Devils that Norwegian forward Mats Zuccarello is bolting for Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, those reports appear to be premature.

Although Zuccarello has been contacted by the KHL’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk, no deal has been signed, his agent told ESPNNewYork.com Saturday morning.

It is believed that remaining in the NHL is still Zuccarello’s top priority, but he has reached an agreement in principle if that doesn’t pan out.

Click here for more.



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  Tags: mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers

Not Making It Easy on Themselves

The New York Rangers are certainly doing that when it comes to the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference lead as the team dropped a 4-1 game to the Buffalo Sabres last night at Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts ran into outstanding goaltending in Ryan Miller as Miller turned away 26 of 27 shots. With the win, the Sabres are now tied in points with the Washington Capitals, who currently hold down the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference.

With the loss, the Rangers now hold just a one point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins and a five point lead over the Philadelphia Flyers. And with all three teams playing tonight, picking up two points against the Toronto Maple Leafs is a must if the Rangers want to hold onto the top spot.

The Rangers did not play terribly last night. They generated plenty of scoring opportunities but just could not put one behind Miller when it counted.

The team’s best player last night was defenseman Ryan McDonagh. There is no doubt that McDonagh has plenty of offensive ability and soon enough, fans are going to be able to see that on a regular basis.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+mcdonagh, ryan+miller, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals

No Callahan and Del Zotto Tonight for Blueshirts

From Joe Yerdon at Pro Hockey Talk:

Captain Ryan Callahan and starting defenseman Michael Del Zotto will both miss tonight’s game against the Islanders with separate ailments. For Del Zotto, he’s still dealing with the hip injury that kept him out of action last week and kept him out of New York’s loss to Chicago on Friday. Callahan is still being bothered by the foot injury he suffered when blocking a shot two weeks ago. Callahan is one of the team’s top offensive weapons and when going without him has made life harder on the team.

On the upside, Brandon Dubinsky will play tonight. Dubinsky was having issues after getting hurt in a fight recently. Meanwhile, the Rangers called up offensive wizard Mats Zuccarello from the AHL. Zuccarello has 36 points in 37 games for the Connecticut Whale this season. Should the Rangers need help in the shootout, Zuccarello has the moves to help give them an edge.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, mats+zuccarello, michael+del+zotto, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan

Tweaking the Rangers’ first line

It might only be two games into the season but New York Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella might need to figure out a way to get his number one line clicking on all cylinders.

Through the first two games, Rangers’ forwards Marian Gaborik (1 assist) and Brad Richards (1 goal and 1 assist) have combined for just two points. While it certainly is not terrible, it is worth noting that the pair of extremely talented forwards is expected to produce in bunches this season.

So, what does the team need to do to get their line going? For starters, they should consider giving a shot:

- Derek Stepan: Stepan is someone who has the ability to put the puck in the net, forecheck hard and make offensive plays. Could be a great way for Stepan to establish himself as one of the club’s best wingers.

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  Tags: brad+richards, derek+stepan, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, ruslan+fedotenko

Avery Here to Stay?

That is certainly what it looks like as the New York Rangers sent Mats Zuccarello down to Connecticut today. Like the Rangers, the Connecticut Whale are preparing for Game 4 of their AHL Playoffs’ series with the Portland Pirates.

Here is what Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants had to say about it:

Zuccarello will be able to help the Whale in their first-round AHL playoff series against Portland. The Whale, like the Rangers, lost the first two games on the road before winning Game 3 in Hartford, 3-1, on Sunday. Game 4 is Tuesday, also in Connecticut.

After a much-hyped signing last offseason for the Norwegian Hobbit following his MVP season in the Swedish Elite League, there is some question as to whether the 5-foot-7 Zuccarello will ever be able to adapt his game to the NHL. Tortorella admitted before Game 2 that Zuccarello’s size was a concern in the playoffs.

The 23-year-old Zuccarello had six goals and 17 assists in 42 games for the Rangers and often showed fine playmaking ability, looking and making passes other players either wouldn’t attempt or could not complete. But he definitely struggled to score and though he was not afraid of physically challenging bigger players, his efforts often had little effect.

Avery has definitely played better as of late so it makes sent to send Zuccarello down to help out the Whale. What say you?

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  Tags: mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, sean+avery

Zuccarello sent Down to Connecticut

According to New York Rangers’ beat writer Jesse Spector of The Daily News, Rangers’ forward Mats Zuccarello has been sent down to Connecticut of the American Hockey League:

According to the AHL’s transactions list, but not yet confirmed by the team, the Rangers have sent Mats Zuccarello to Connecticut today, essentially ending the Norwegian rookie’s first NHL season after six goals and 16 assists in 41 games, with five shootout goals.

Zuccarello was a healthy scratch in back-to-back games before returning to the lineup for the Rangers’ 6-2 loss last night on Long Island. He played 12:58 in the game, posted a minus-3 rating and was co-point man with Erik Christensen during the 71-second 5-on-3 in the first period that the Rangers squandered.

Click here for more.

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  Tags: mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers

Zuccarello The Healthy Scratch as Avery Returns to the Lineup

According to Jesse Spector of The Daily News, Mats Zuccarello will be a healthy scratch this afternoon when the New York Rangers take on the Boston Bruins.

Replacing him will be Sean Avery, who has been a healthy scratch the last few games:

Mats Zuccarello will be a healthy scratch after sitting the entire third period on Thursday night, then playing just 26 seconds of overtime before missing his shootout attempt. Matt Gilroy also sits out today, his second straight healthy scratch.

This is the first healthy scratch of Zuccarello’s NHL career. The Norwegian rookie has played 40 straight games since making his debut on December 23 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s the fourth time Gilroy has been a healthy scratch in the last six games after playing 30 consecutive games.

Click here for more, including a pre-game press conference between team head John Tortorella and the team’s beat writers.

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  Tags: john+tortorella, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, sean+avery

Rangers Just Need to Win

It sounds simple, right? Especially with the New York Islanders coming to Madison Square Garden tonight, right?

Wrong. The New York Rangers will be facing a much different New York Islanders hockey club tonight, one that has won a lot in the second half of the season and one that does not look like an AHL team anymore.

For the Rangers, the task is simple - just win baby. The team is currently eighth in the Eastern Conference with 76 points. The Buffalo Sabres also have 76 points and the Carolina Hurricanes are ninth in the conference with 72 points. Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, those teams are in action against each other tonight so one of them will definitely be coming away with the all-important two points.

The last time the Rangers were at home, they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers by a 7-0 score while getting four goals from Ryan Callahan. Tonight, the Blueshirts will be looking for the same kind of offense to get the crowd going and excited about the team’s playoff hopes.

For that to happen though, the Blueshirts will need to be careful against these hungry Islanders. The Islanders have gotten terrific play from the likes of John Tavares, Michael Grabner, Blake Comeau, Matt Moulson and goaltender Al Montoya. Yes, the Montoya that was drafted by the Rangers back in 2004.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, mats+zuccarello, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, vaclav+prospal

Rangers Set to Go Shark Hunting

If you’re still up at 10:30 p.m. tonight, I hope you hockey/New York Rangers’ fans will tune into tonight’s game between the Blueshirts and the San Jose Sharks.

After losing to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night and having a few days off, the Blueshirts find themselves in tied for seventh/eighth in the Eastern Conference with the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately, the Rangers are also just two points up on the ninth place Carolina Hurricanes, making tonight’s tilt with the Sharks even more important.

Over at The Rangers Tribune, Nicholas Montemagno wrote about how he agrees with Rangers’ beat writer Larry Brooks on having team head coach John Tortorella unleash sniper Marian Gaborik. I could not agree more as it is imperative that Gaborik gets his offense going as now is not the time in the season to struggle offensively.

I also agree with head coach Tortorella when he says that it is all about the Henrik Lundqvist show now. Lundqvist needs to bring his A-game the rest of the way if the Rangers want to have any chance of getting into the playoffs. Lundqvist has been quite good over his last few games so hopefully, he will be able to keep it up down the stretch.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, mike+sauer, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh, san+jose+sharks, vaclav+prospal

Rangers Win By Playing Rangers’ hockey

In today’s 7-0 white-washing of the Philadelphia Flyers, the New York Rangers won by playing the kind of hockey that made them so successful earlier on in the season.

They forechecked, they hit, they blocked shots, they allowed their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to see the puck, they cleared rebounds and they got timely goal scoring. Normally, this is a good recipe of success for any team in the NHL but for the ost part, this has been a big part of the Rangers’ identity when they have won games this season.

This afternoon’s Ranger of the game was easily Ryan Callahan. Callahan picked up his first career hat trick en route to a 4-goal and 5-point game for the Blueshirts. He drove hard to the net, used his quick release to beat Flyers’ netminder Brian Boucher and with his hard work, managed to crack the 20-goal mark.

The team also got solid performances out of Vaclav Prospal (2 assists), Mats Zuccarello (2 goals), Artem Anisimov (1 goal and 1 assist) and Lundqvist (24) saves, who picked up his league-leading ninth shutout of the season.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, artem+anisimov, brian+boucher, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, san+jose+sharks, tampa+bay+lightning, vaclav+prospal

Rangers Continue to Get it Done on the Road

While the New York Rangers’ have struggled at home this season, there is no doubting that things have been quite the opposite for the team on the road this year.

Last night, the Rangers went into Ottawa and defeated the Senators by a score of 4-1 for their 20th road victory of the season. For the Blueshirts, they were obviously able to put the puck in the net, cash in on their chances, play smart defense and get great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, who made 28 saves on 29 shots to earn the No. 1 star of the game.

The team got goals from Vinny Prospal, Mats Zuccarello, Artem Anisimov, and Derek Stepan. These are players that the team needs to have score more and they were all able to come through last night, especially Prospal as he now has points in his last three games and has six points in his last six games as he looks to provide his team with improtant offense down the stretch.

This game showed that the Rangers can indeed get the important goals when they need to do. For example, after Zuccarello made it 2-0 in the second period, Anisimov went in and scored to make it 3-0 just 12 seconds later. The team never allowed the Senators to get back in the hockey game.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, vinny+prospal

Rangers Set for Minnesota Wild

Once again, the New York Rangers head into tonight’s game with the Minnesota Wild at Madison Square Garden needing to come away with two points in order to separate themselves from the eighth and ninth seed in the Eastern Conference standings.

Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, both of those teams, the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres, play each other tonight so no matter what, someone is going to come away with two points and inch close to the Rangers. With that said, if the Blueshirts can come away with two points themselves, they will certainly be in better position and have a bit of insurance.

The Rangers need to come out and set the tone early. They need to throw the puck on net, finish their chances, protect the lead if they get one and do everything they possibly can to win a hockey game because if they cannot, they could be in trouble when they take on the Ottawa Senators tomorrow night in Ottawa and the Philadelphia Flyers at home on Sunday afternoon.

For the Rangers, it will be important that players such as Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Wojtek Wolski, Mats Zuccarello, Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle and Vinny Prospal step up offensively. With Marian Gaborik still expected to be out of the lineup, these seem to be the guys that can put the puck in the net. Now, they need to do it on a consistent basis.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, vinny+prospal

Things Getting Tighter and Tighter for the Blueshirts

Last night’s 3-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres was a game that the New York Rangers had to have. Unfortunately, the team’s inability to finish hurt their chances of doing just that and as result, making things tighter and tighter for them as the team heads down the stretch.

Mats Zuccarello had a chance to tie hockey game with just under two minutes to go when Wojtek Wolski deflected a puck to the slot to Zuccarello. Zuccarello took it in all alone on Sabres’ netminder Ryan Miller only to be stopped by Miller’s glove. Had Zuccarello been able to lift it a bit higher, the game surely would have gone into overtime where anything could have happened.

The Blueshirts had the puck in the slot numerous amount of times in the third period but Miller was either able to make the save or be lucky enough to have one of his defenseman block it or have the Rangers miss the net. All in all, Miller made 29 saves in helping his team get to within three points of the Rangers in the Eastern Conference standings.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, florida+panthers, mats+zuccarello, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers, ryan+miller, wojtek+wolski

My Oh My How Things Changed on Broadway

Before the NHL Lockout during 2004-05, the New York rangers were all about having veterans and experience on the roster, even if it came at the expense of a younger player or prospect.

Fast forward about seven years later and the Blueshirts have completely changed their philosophy. A lot of this, believe it or not, is due to general manager Glen Sather along with former head coach Tom Renney and new head coach John Tortorella.

Today, the latter was raving about another Rangers’ prospect who he thinks should have already turned pro in Chris Kredier, MVP of the 2011 Beanpot Tournament:

“I wish he’d turn pro last year,” Tortorella said. “I hope he turns pro next year. I hope he’s with us. He’s a sophomore now and we’re anxious to get him involved in pro hockey. We think he’s got some good stuff to offer and we want to get him tracked up here with us as soon as possible.”

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, chris+kreider, derek+stepan, john+tortorella, mats+zuccarello, michael+del+zotto, michael+sauer, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh

Rangers Head Into Much Needed Break With 4-3 Loss to the Panthers

It certainly was not their best game of the season but it wasn’t exactly their worst as the New York Rangers fell to the Florida Panthers by a score of 4-3.

The Panthers got the game-winner when Panthers’ Mike Weaver took shot from the point that was going wide and instead, it ended up hitting Rangers’ forward Artem Anisimov’s shoulder and popped up in the air and landed behind Lundqvist to give the Panthers a 4-3 lead and ultimately, the victory.

While that was a negative for the Blueshirts, there were also several positives. Down 3-1 going into the third period, the Rangers’ battled back on goals by Brandon Prust and Dan Boyle to tie the game. For Boyle, it was his team leading 18th goal of the season, a number that I don’t think anyone expected him to have heading into the season.

Another positive for the Rangers was the play of Mats Zuccarello. Zuccarello picked up three assists. Zuccarello knows how to set-up his teammates, knows how to get to loose pucks and knows how to use his speed to create scoring opportunities, all skills that will allow him to have success in the NHL.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+prust, dan+boyle, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, michael+del+zotto, mike+weaver, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins

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

Injury Update/Rangers Earn a Point in hard Fought Game with the Thrashers

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.

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  Tags: andrew+ladd, atlanta+thrashers, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, ondrej+pavelec

Time to Start Going Goals

With the New York Rangers having dropped three of their last four games all by one goal, the time has come for the team to start putting the puck in the net at the right time.

The team will get the chance to do that tonight when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in an original six matchup at Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts need to come out and be offensive and aggressive for a full 60 minutes rather than just the last period of the hockey game, which was the case in back-to-back losses this weekend to the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers. Had the team played the way they did in the third period on both nights, we could easily be talking about a three game winning streak.

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  Tags: andrew+gross, artem+anismov, atlanta+thrashers, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ranger+rants, ruslan+fedotenko, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals, wojtek+wolski

Third Goal Hard to Come By for the Blueshirts

For the second straight game, the New York Rangers had trouble getting the tying third goal in a 3-2 loss, this time to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Down 3-0 going into the third period, the team got goals from Wojtek Wolski and Derek Stepan before Flyers’ goaltender Brian Boucher and the rest of his hockey club shut the door and skated off the Madison Square Garden ice with two big points, handing the Blueshirts their second consecutive loss of the weekend.

The Blueshirts lack of offense is becoming a growing concern in 2011 as the team has yet to score more than two goals. One player that is really having trouble is Marian Gaborik.

Gaborik is not finishing his chances, is having trouble getting the puck to the net and is being made an example of by head coach John Tortorella, as the coach benched him for part of last night’s tilt with the Flyers.

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  Tags: brian+boucher, brian+boyle, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ruslan+fedotenko, sean+avery, toronto+maple+leafs, wojtek+wolski

Rangers Pull Out Gutsy Win in Dallas

Facing one of the league’s best teams is always a daunting task in the National Hockey League for any hockey club.

With that said, the New York Rangers have proved to folks this year that they can work hard for their victories and they did just that in a 3-2 shootout win over the Dallas Stars last night in Dallas. For the Blueshirts, it was their league leading 14th road victory of the season and a victory that should prove to Ranger fans that this is a much different hockey club than last season.

Once again, the Rangers’ won with youth last night contributing in a big way. Artem Anisimov scored the tying goal mid-way through the third period with a terrific wrist shot that beat Stars’ netminder Kari Lehtonen and then in the shootout, Mats Zuccarello came through once again and scored the winning goal.

Folks, this Rangers’ team does not back down. Sure, there may be games where they are clearly outmatched but these Blueshirts always put in a good fight and do whatever they can to come away with at least one or two points. Last night, the Rangers’ were not overmatched but they were definitely facing one of the upper echelon clubs in the NHL.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, dallas+stars, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, st.+louis+blues

Rangers Win with Youth

For many years, New York Rangers’ fans wanted a team that worked hard every night, won hockey games and had a bunch of young players on the roster.

Believe it or not, Rangers’ general manager Glen Sather has succeeded in making that happen and it showed last night in the team’s 2-1 overtime victory last night over the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden.

The key players in last night’s victory are all home-grown Blueshirts and all contributed to a Blueshirt victory. Defenseman Matt Gilroy scored to give the Rangers’ a 1-0 lead off a great feed from Mats Zuccarello.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, carolina+hurricanes, dallas+stars, glen+sather, john+tortorella, mats+zuccarello, matt+gilory, new+york+rangers, st.+louis+blues

Blueshirts Set To Take on the Devils

Looking to repear their Monday night performance over the New York Islanders (7-2 win), the New York Rangers are set to take on the New Jersey Devils tonight at the Prudential Center.

What is amazing is that the games between these two clubs used to mean a lot when both were competitive. Unfortunately for the Devils, they are currently last place in both the Eastern Conference and the entire NHL.

What does this mean for the Blueshirts? Well, knowing the Rangers, it could be a trap game where the team gets outplayed by a far-lesser hockey club and misses out on picking up two crucial points.

With that said, this year’s version of the Rangers appear to be a much different hockey club. They work hard every night, they have stayed in most games they have played and believe it or not, they have won more often than they have lost this season.

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  Tags: john+tortorella, mats+zuccarello, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers

All About Hard Work for the Blueshirts

It may have been a 7-2 drubbing of the New York Islanders, but the New York Rangers certainly worked hard for their 21st victory of their season.

For starters, defenseman Matt Gilroy had a terrific game for the Blueshirts. He picked up his first two goals of the season, played well on both sides of the puck and looked poised and confident on the blueline. This is something that Gilroy needs to do conisistently but he certainly seems to be getting his game together at the right time for his hockey club.

It was another excellent game for grinders Brian Boyle and Brandon Prust. Boyle picked up his 13th goal of the season and added two assists for three points. As always, Prust worked hard, battled in the corners and generated several scoring opportunities for the Blueshirts.

The same can be said of Brandon Dubinsky and Derek Stepan, who are both having quite a season for the Rangers. Dubinsky scored his 15th goal of the season and added an assist while Stepan extended his goal-scoring streak to three games with his 11th goal of the season as well as picking up an assist.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, chris+drury, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, matt+gilroy, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers

Not a Game to Take Lightly

Tonight’s game at Madison Square Garden between the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders is one that the Blueshirts cannot afford to take lightly.

Believe it or not, the Islanders are 3-0-1 in their last four games and have won games the right way. They have worked hard, won battles in the corners, threw pucks to the net, scored the dirty goals and got terrific goaltending from Dwayne Roloson.

With that said, it will be up to rangers’ head coach John Tortorella to get the team prepared for a game that they should win, considering that they have taken two of three from the Islanders already this season.

As was reported last night, Rangers’ defenseman Michael Del Zotto will be a healthy scratch while Mats Zuccarello will once again crack the line-up and get a chance to add on to his solid performance in his first NHL game last week against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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  Tags: mats+zuccarello, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers

The Norwegian Hobbit Is Back!

From Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants:

Mats Zuccarello will be recalled for tomorrow night’s game against the Islanders after playing for Connecticut (AHL) today. That would have happened regardless of Marian Gaborik’s health and coach John Tortorella said, after talking to trainer Jim Ramsey, all indications are that Gaborik will be good to go tomorrow night. Tortorella added he’s not sure where he’ll put Zuccarello and Gaborik in terms of lines: he might be leaning toward keeping Zuccarello with Derek Stepan and Brandon Dubinsky because he liked the way that line played together in the 4-3 shootout loss to the Lightning.

“I thought he played well,” Tortorella said of Zuccarello’s game against the Lightning - two shots and an early do-or-die goal in the shootout plus a great backhand pass to set up Dubinsky. “There’s always that adrenaline. But he ups the talent level on our club. We have to give him another look based on the way he played.”

This is well deserved. Zuccarello played a solid first game of his NHL career on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He skated hard, generated scoring chances, showed some speed and scored, at the time, a critical goal in the shootout.

It’ll be interesting to see how he plays in his first experience with the Rangers-New York Islanders rivalry.


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  Tags: mats+zuccarello, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers

Blueshirts Looking Towards Tomorrow Night

Well wouldn’t ya know it? The New York Rangers will be back in action tomorrow night in their first pre-season game against the New Jersey Devils.

While the pre-season doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, it is a good chance for the team and its fans to see how players have either progressed or not improved, get a look at some potential lines and more importantly, it’s a great opportunity to see some hockey again since the Blueshirts haven’t played since losing to the Philadelphia Flyers in a shootout back on April 11.

According to Jesse Spector of the Daily News, Blueshirts prospect Mats Zuccarello is expected to make his Madison Square Garden debut tomorrow night against the Devils. It also sounds like Zuccarello is primed and ready to make an impression:

“On the first day, I felt like it was tough, and I wasn’t used to this stuff,” Zuccarello said. “After the first day, I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve done. I think the scrimmages have gone well. I’ve had some good passes, made some good plays. It will be nice to play a game.”

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  Tags: alexander+frolov, derek+stepan, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers


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