Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rangers Fall To Devils 4-3 In Shootout Thanks To Unlucky Bounce

The Rangers lost to the Devils 4-3 in a shootout tonight after David Clarkson tied the game with under a minute left in the third period off of a fortuitous bounce of the puck off the end boards that gave him the puck alone in front of Marty Biron. For whatever reason, the boards were lively all night long and pucks were taking bizarre bounces left and right, but it's this one that will gain the most attention.

The Devils shot the puck in the Rangers zone from the neutral zone while going for a line change and instead of the puck going around the boards like it does 99.9999% of the time, it somehow hit part of the door where the zamboni comes out of and went straight across to the front of the Rangers net where David Clarkson was waiting alone. Give Clarkson credit for going hard to the net and being ready for anything - it's just a tough way to lose since the Rangers had the lead on three different occasions in this game.

Biron Starts In Goal Tonight Versus Devils, Staal Coming Along Slowly

In what would qualify to me as very surprising news, John Tortorella announced today that Martin Biron will start in goal tonight against the Devils in Newark. According to the Daily News, this will break a string of 32 consecutive starts for Henrik Lundqvist against the Devils. The last time Lundqvist wasn't in goal when the Rangers faced the Devils was Dec. 17, 2006 at Madison Square Garden. Kevin Weeekes started in goal that night and the Rangers lost to the Devils 6-1. Hopefully, tonight will have a much better outcome for the Blueshirts.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Team Chara Defeats Team Alfredsson 12-9 in All-Star Game, Gaborik Named MVP With Hat Trick

Marian Gaborik channeling his inner Artem Anisimov following his first goal against Henrik Lundqvist.

The talk coming into today was all about Daniel Alfredsson being the captain of his own team in Ottawa for the All-Star Game, but it was Marian Gaborik that wound up stealing the show when it was all said and done. Gaborik led Team Chara to a 12-9 victory with three goals and an assist in the game and was named the MVP of the All-Star Game following the contest. All three of Gaborik's goals came in the first period on Henrik Lundqvist.

Click below to read more on the game, and how Marian Gaborik paid tribute to Artem Anisimov after scoring his first goal in the game.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rangers Defeat Jets 3-0, Head Into All-Star Break First In Eastern Conference

The Rangers scored a goal in each period en-route to a 3-0 win against the Winnipeg Jets tonight, and ensured that they will head into the All-Star Break in first place of the Eastern Conference.

Henrik Lundqvist picked up his 22nd win and fifth shutout of the season and now trails only Jonathan Quick of the Kings for the league lead, who has six. Tonight, Lundqvist also tied Ed Kerr for second in New York Rangers history with 40 career shutouts. He now trails only Eddie Giacomin for the most in franchise history (49). Lundqvist wasn't tested much in the first two periods when the Jets had just 12 combined shots on goal, but he made several huge saves when he was called upon. If not for Lundqvist's efforts in goal, the outcome of this game definitely could've been different.

Concussions Still An Issue For Michael Sauer, Biron Out With The Flu

Some quick tidbits before the Rangers and Winnipeg Jets get underway in about a half hour at Madison Square Garden.

- Ryan McDonagh is OK after taking an ugly hit in Saturday's game against the Boston Bruins from Andrew Ferrence, who has since been suspended three games for the dirty hit on McDonagh. McDonagh will be in the lineup tonight, and the Rangers are very fortunate that he didn't suffer any serious injuries. The hit could've easily caused a concussion if McDonagh hit his head on the ice or damage to his shoulder that went head first into the boards, but it appears he's alright.

- Marty Biron was supposed to get the start in goal tonight, but he's sick with the flu and instead will be scratched from the lineup. The Rangers recalled Chad Johnson from the Connecticut Whale to dress as Henrik Lundqvist's backup tonight in the event of an emergency. I expect Johnson will be sent down within the next few days once Marty feels better.

- After skating Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday last week it appeared that Michael Sauer was on the right track recovering from his concussion, but those plans have to come a halt. The Rangers have shut Sauer down from all physical activity after experiencing concussion symptoms again after practicing three days straight. Certainly not good news, but with concussions it's impossible to predict how long it'll take to recover from it. I certainly hope we'll see Michael Sauer again this season, whenever that may be. Sauer's setback may prompt Glen Sather to be more active in trade discussions over the next month in looking to acquire another right-handed defenseman. Michael Del Zotto, if you recall, has spent the last few games playing on the right side with Marc Staal late in games when John Tortorella has cut down on Anton Stralman and Stu Bickel's ice time.

Also, a reminder that with the Knicks in action tonight the Rangers are on MSG2 (not MSG Plus). I'm not sure what channel that is for every cable/satellite provider, but I know for me it's channel 414 on Cablevision.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Rangers Fall to Senators 3-0

The Rangers lost to the Senators tonight 3-0 at Madison Square Garden, snapping their five-game winning streak.

The Rangers actually got out to quite a fast start in the first period and had what I thought were their best scoring chances of the game then. Wojtek Wolski, who made his return to the lineup today with Brandon Dubinsky out with a sore shoulder, actually looked very good playing with Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan and seemed to have a noticeable spark to his game. Craig Anderson played well in goal for Ottawa, but to be honest it seemed like most of the Rangers shots that got through were fired right directly into the center of his chest. The Senators also did a good job of clearing the crease and winning battles for loose pucks in front of the net.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Rangers Keep Rolling, Beat Penguins 3-1

Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves and Brandon Dubinsky and Brad Richards each had a goal and an assist each as the Rangers pushed their current win streak to four games with a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight.

Following last night's thrilling overtime win against the Panthers, the Rangers came out looking extremely flat in the first period tonight. I can't say they were playing lazy hockey because, honestly, they just looked dead tired. After a hard fought, emotional win in the Winter Classic on Monday and another hard fought victory last night, I thought from the looks of things early on that we were in for a letdown game. And not to make excuses, but I certainly would've understood it since every team has a bad day. But tonight was one of the many reasons why the Rangers pay Henrik Lundqvist the big bucks - to bail the team out and stand on his head when the rest of the team isn't quite playing as well as they should.