Thursday, February 5, 2015

Rangers Surge On – Beat Bruins 3-2

First of all – great hockey game.  The Bruins came in red hot at 10-1-1 and the Rangers were without Henrik Lundqvist in goal because of a medical issue related to the puck that hit him in the throat two games ago (he’s day to day).  So it was Cam Talbot and a resurgent Rangers on home ice against Boss-Town.

The game delivered as advertised.  Closely contested – with huge hits – fast skating – and great plays by both teams in all three zones.

The Rangers struck first – in the first – by NHL leading scorer Rick Nash.  Nash received the puck streaking up the left side, passed the Bruin defense heading into their zone and calmly crossed in from of Tuukka Rask and backhanded the puck into the net for a 1-0 Ranger lead.

But Boston fought back for a pair of goals (Lucic and Bergeron) and led 2-1 after the first, despite only getting 6 shots on Talbot, who’s save percentage was 0.667 after one.

In the second, the Rangers dug deep and kept the pressure on.  Zuccarello (please Glen – can we keep him?) muscled the puck to Kreider who made the perfect pass to Brassard streaking up the middle toward the net.  Derek slammed it past Rask from the slot and we were tied at 2.

Then with 3 minutes and change raining in period 2 –the Rangers regained the lead.  Nash carried the puck toward the Bruin goal for the left side and drew the Boston defense (and Rask’s attention) to him.  And instead of trying to extend his league-leading goal total –Rick gave up a good shot to give Stepan a great one – sliding the Ranger top center the puck in perfect position on the right side.  Stepan wristed it home at 16:56 and the Rangers had regained the lead 3-2.

From there it was on to a third period that had up-tempo action – great plays at both ends of the ice – and no goals.  In the end Talbot raised his save percentage to 0.900 and stopped the final 15 shots that came his way.  Then Rangers played tough, smart, and fast against a great and hot Bruins team to limit the opponent’s chances, and capitalize on their own.  Great night, great game, and Talbot fills in admirably for the King.

Uh, A Little Help?  Assists for defenseman Girardi (who played a good physical game) and Klein.  And assists for unrestricted free agents St. Louis and Zuccarello – and of course an assist on the game winner for Rick Nash

Did Special Teams Determine The Outcome Of This Game? You keep asking me that.  Both teams were 0-2 with the extra skater.  But the interference call against Boston drawn by Brassard at 13:24 of the third was a great momentum killer for Boston.

Where Do We Stand?  We are a wonderful 30-15-4.  That puts us 1 point behind the slumping Islanders with a game at hand.  As along as the Islanders don’t play us – they seem to struggle.  And were just 2 points back of the new first place penguins – with 2 games at hand.  The Caps are two points behind us and have played two more games.  And the line-of-death is a full ten points beneath us – currently the Florida Panthers. 

What Will Happen Next?  One for the road – on Saturday against Nashville and then quickly home for a Sunday matchup with Dallas (and Dave Pucks will be there).

Non Sequitur of the day:  Skapski!  With Hank unavailable – the Rangers dressed Hartford Goaltender Mackenzie Skapski in Ranger blue for the first time ever.  The redhead was clearly happy to be on bench with the big kids.   

No comments:

Post a Comment