Monday, December 22, 2014

Ho Ho Ho! Six In A Row! The Rangers beat Hurricane

The Rangers did a solid for backup goaltender Cam Talbot this week – signing him to a one year contract extension as he approached unrestricted free agency.  And Cam returned the favor – turning in a home shutout of the Carolina Hurricanes to sweep the weekend home-and-home series and extend their winning streak to 6.     

Unlike Saturday night – on Sunday the Rangers scored first – with Captain Ryan McDonagh rocketing a beautiful pass from Derek Stepan past goaltender Anton Khudobin to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead that they would never build on – but never relinquish either.

Khudobin played well enough to be one of three selected stars of the game – stoning the Rangers on many several great chances including one scramble in the Carolina crease – that upon later replays appeared to cross the line.  But in real time the Toronto Goal Judges ruled it no goal and so the Rangers in the end had to settle for one goal.

But the Ranger defense and Cam Talbot made that one goal hold up.

In the end the Rangers outshot the Hurricanes 31-18, including just 4 Carolina shots on goal in the first and third periods.  So Cam Talbot just had 18 saves to make – but he made them all.   Khudobin played brilliantly, dispelling a potent ranger attack that pressed throughout the match.  In the end it was a battle of backup goaltenders – although it would have been fun to see our Cam vs. theirs.

Carolina reminded me of the Rangers under Tom Renney, great motivated defense but not enough offence.    It’s so much nicer under Alain Vigneault where we can score some goals and not have to be perfect on defense every night.

Of course – we were perfect on D this time – and the Rangers got the 1-0 win and their 6th straight

Did Special teams decide this Game?  The Rangers were 0-3 on the powerplay but killed of the lone Hurricane’s penalty.  So I guess it’s “no”. 

Where we stand:  The Rangers at 17-10-4 now hold possession of 3rd place in the Metro Division – tied with the Capitals at 38 points – but holding a game at hand and an additional regulation win versus the Ovechkins.

Now What?  Next up is the same team we’ve been battling with for 3rd in the division – the Washington Capitals – who we face Tuesday.    

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