Trying something new here. Some thoughts on the game as we move through it. The New York Rangers are taking on the Buffalo Sabres in a Sunday night battle. Here are some in-game reax
-Given the current roster, I really like the lines tonight:
Nash Richards Hagelin
Callahan Stepan Pyatt
Miller Boyle Gaborik
Bickel Halpern Powe
Lines seem balanced and the top 3 have all had some solid chances.
-Power play is doing a lot of things better, but they are still not scoring. It’s a step in the right direction
-Much like the Tampa Bay game, the Rangers are out hustling, out working, and out shooting the Sabres. They just have to finish some chances.
-Michael Del Zotto creates a lot of offensive chances, but he needs to cut down on the long pass up the middle of the ice from his own zone. If he hasn’t gotten burnt yet, he will soon. It’s only a matter of time
– A choppy start to the 2nd period for both teams, not a lot of fluidity
-The Miller-Boyle-Gaborik line has a solid shift with some good offense about halfway through the period
-The Rangers, running out of gas ice the puck. This leads to a defensive zone breakdown off the face off and Buffalo takes a 1-0 lead with a nice shot by Drew Stafford over Hank’s glove. It wasn’t an outright face-off loss but it was another eye sore as it relates to the Rangers and draws. Richards seemed to win the draw but got outwork by his opponent who was able to reach around him and slide the puck back for the shot by Stafford.
-As much as much as I like the offensive lines, I really don’t like the pairing of Del Zotto and Stralman. Two offensive defensemen on together has to make you cringe a little, not saying they were responsible, but they were on the ice for the Sabres goal, making them both -1. I realize you want to have a top pair, but maybe splitting Girardi and Staal would cover some holes defensively.
-The Rangers have stood their ground after the goal, but they’ve still had the tables turned on them in this period. They seem like the team on their heels, the Sabres have outshot them and seemingly out hustled them.
-A ticky-tacky penalty call on Marc Staal, but the Rangers bring a solid kill with a couple of short handed opportunities.
-Ryan McDonagh has made a couple uncharacteristic mistakes, he’ll have to be better in the 3rd period.
-Solid start to the 3rd period for the Rangers. A few good shots and then hard work by Taylor Pyatt to draw a penalty.
-On the Rangers PP a dirty cross check of Brad Richards while Richards was facing the boards draws a 5 minute major and a game misconduct on Patrick Kaleta. Not sure it was intentional, but it was very dirty nonetheless.
-Right off the bat on the 5 minute major the Rangers win a huge offensive draw and go tic-tac-toe for a PP goal on the 5-3. Gaborik to Nash down low across the crease for a wide open Stepan who slams it in
-Following the 5-3, the Rangers capitalize again on the left over time on the 5 minute major. Rick Nash makes it 2-1 on the Rangers second PP goal of the game. Another assist for Marion Gaborik, making two on the night, good to see him on the board. Del Zotto chips in an assist as well.
-Towards the end of the 5 minute PP the Rangers seem to get a little tired and spread out, Buffalo takes advantage short handed and ties the game with some nifty puck work. 2-2
-Lots of action only halfway through the third period, a drastic change from the slow, disjointed flow of thefirst two periods.
– Another ticky-tacky call, this time on Rick Nash. He did get the hand, but you really don’t have to much to get a penatly in the NHL these days. The Rangers need a big PK in the worst way…. And they get it, with a long Stepan clear, the Rangers kill off the penalty and can get back to the business of trying to win the game
-Great play by Dan Girardi to prevent the game winning goal with about 40 seconds left, he dives on a Buffalo Sabres 2 on 1 to take away the pass
-Inexcusable penalty with less than a minute to go in regulation. Rick Nash flips it into the crowd for a delay of game and once again the Rangers backs are against the wall having to kill a penalty that will carry into overtime.
-Good 35 second penalty kill and the Rangers get a point and take the game to over time. 2-2 at the End of Regulation
-After a good start to the PK in overtime, the Rangers take another penalty. Dan Girardi catches a Sabre player facing the boards and gets called on a boarding call. No harm intended but Girardi could be hearing from the league. The Sabres now go on a rare 5-3 in overtime.
-The Rangers are able to kill the 5 on 3, and now must finish off the 5-4. For a league that usually has 4 on 4 overtime penalties sure make things strange.
-Phew. The Rangers kill 6 minutes of PP time in the last 10 minutes, including the end of the 3rd period and overtime. Love the effort, but they can’t put themselves in that position.
-Rick Nash with a great rush nearly ends it, but a great play by Tyler Myers to break up Nash’s move across the net.
-WOW. After a slow and grinding first two periods. The third period and overtime have been fast and furious. Overtime ends in a 2-2 tie and we’ll head to a shootout to see who gets the extra points
-Rangers shoot first
-Rick Nash (NYR) : scores. A beautiful back hand deke on a slow breakaway.
-Jason Pomminville (BUF): stopped. Slow lag breakaway with a quick shot good save by Lundqvist
-Ryan Callahan (NYR) : scores. Comes in hot, quick hands, deke, slips it under Miller’s pad
-Tyler Ennis (BUF) : stopped. Tries to deke Lundqvist, Hank rolls his pads and gets just enough to keep it out.
GAME OVER Rangers win 3-2 . F/SO
-Well I’m beat! After nearly being lulled to sleep in periods one and two, the game came alive in the third. It was a run and gun affair. The Rangers took advantage on the 5 on 3 and 5 minute major PP early in the third and scored twice. The Rangers can’t rely on getting those types of opportunities, yes they played a very good goalie tonight, but they need to find a way to score more goals period. There are too many big time names to struggle so much offensively. Yes, the stars need to score, but perhaps there is a better way to get more open opportunities.
-Henrik Lundqvist really dominated in the third period and overtime, and then into the shootout. He kept the Rangers in it and gave them a chance to steal an extra point in the shootout.
-Ryan Callahan was fast, phsyical, and dominant. He has had a great few games.
-What more can you say about Rick Nash. Sure he took a couple stupid penalties but when he turns it on, he’s a man amongst boys.
-Too close for comfort, but a win is a win. Including tonight the Rangers play 5 games in 8 days. Lots of hockey, and lots of points to be had. The Rangers need everyone they can get.
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