Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rangers Douse Flames 5-2 for 4th Straight Win

Playing their third game in four nights the Rangers flew past the Calgary Flames – bombing them for 5 goals and completing a sweep of their three game western road swing.
The first period featured a pair of unusual unassisted Ranger scores.

After a series of Ranger breakaways that netted nothing (three in the first minute) – followed by a shorthanded flurry by the Flames that had them dominating the Rangers despite the extra skater - New York finally cashed in on a puck that traveled nearly half way around the rink on the boards.  It started as a dump into the Ranger zone on a line change.  Calgary shot the puck around the right hand boards – Lundqvist tried to slow it and missed – and the puck continued around the left boards and rocketed to center.  At the point – Rick Nash - the Ranger’s leading goal scorer – realized the opportunity and headed into the Calgary zone as the puck reached him like a perfect pass.  Caught in a line change – the Flames were late covering and Nash skated right in on Karri Ramo.  From there Rick deked the Flame’s goaltender, crossed left in front of him – drawing contact from Calgary’s late-arriving defenseman – and directed the puck around Ramo’s right pad and into the net.   

The Game stayed 1-0 until the final seconds of the first.  With time running down and the Rangers with the man advantage – Zuccarello fired a slapshot that Ramo handled – but as Russell – his defensemen – tried to softly feed the pack back to his goalie – Chris Kreider darted forward and skimmed the puck down Ramo’s leg and into the net at 19:52.

In the 2nd Nash got his 2nd of the night off a pretty Stepan feed for a 3-1 lead.  And then Stepan scored himself on a pretty wraparound at 11:15 that sent Ramo to the showers for the night trailing 4-1.  In came Hiller and the Flames battled back for their first goal less than a minute later.  Still the Rangers and Lundqvist stiffened their defense and they headed to the final period with a 4-1 lead

The third period was scoreless despite offensive pressure by the home team.  Then – with a lengthy 4+ minutes to go – the Flames pull their goalie.  And for the second time in recent memory – Carl Hagelin used his smarts and his speed to score an empty netter for the 5-1 lead with three minutes to go.  This put Hiller back in the net.  But then – after a Marc Staal cross checking penalty – Calgary scored with the extra skater at 18:45 and it was 5-2.

For some reason, the Flames – who had pulled their goalie at 4-1 with 4 minutes to go – declined to do so at 5-2 with a minute 15 to play.   And so, soon enough time expired and the Rangers had their 4th straight win.

Assists for Stepan, Girardi, St. Louis, Hayes, Stempniak, and yes Lundqvist.  J.T. Miller left the game and went to the locker room - but later returned to the bench and played – a welcome sight with Brassard out of the lineup with the Mumps (the 14th NHL player to catch the Mumps this year). 

Hank ended up stopping 29 of the 31 shots he faced for a save percentage of 0.935%.

Did Special Teams Decide This Hockey game?  Well, the Rangers had a Power Play goal – a shorthanded goal and an empty netter while only letting up one PPG to the Flames.  On the other hand – even strength they outscored Calgary 2-1, so you can go either way on this one.

Where We Stand: The Rangers rise to their season high of 15-10-4, which puts them in 3rd place in the Metro – tied with the Caps in points after Washington’s shootout loss, but with a game at hand.

Now What?  More days off for our heroes who rest until Saturday when they begin a home-and-home at the Hurricanes.

No comments:

Post a Comment