FINAL SCORE: New York Rangers – 3 Vancouver Canucks – 1
FIRST PERIOD: Coming into tonight’s game, head coach Alain Vigneault just wanted to come into the game, win and move on. He didn’t want any of the emotional drag of coming back to Vancouver, and told reporters that he got the emotions out in the preseason when the Rangers visited. That being said, there were a few notable line changes after the Rangers 5-0 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night. Henrik Lundqvist was back in net and in the first period was forced to make some crucial saves to keep the Rangers in control of the game. Dominic Moore, the Rangers nominee for the Masterson trophy was put on a line with other former Tampa Bay Lightning players, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis. All that aside the play for the beginning of the period was fairly back and forth, with both goalies making good saves. However, the Rangers fourth line came to play as it always does lately, and Dan Carcillo scored a goal off of a scramble in front to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. After more back and forth between the two teams, the Rangers received an opportunity on the power play. After almost a minute had gone by on the power play the Rangers finalized capitalize when Benoit Pouliot put his 13th goal of the season past Eddie Lack and gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead. As the period came to an end, the Rangers led in shots 12-11, and 2-0 in goals.
SECOND PERIOD: I don’t know what John Tortorella said to his players in the locker room (probably something very loud, and angry no doubt) but they came into the second period ready to play. After spending quite some time in the Rangers, US Olympian and Canucks star Ryan Kesler scored a one time shot to cut the Rangers lead to one. Vancouver is a team that is currently on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, so their desperation really shined through in their play this period as they were doing anything possible to chip away at the Rangers lead. During game play, Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello both took fairly hard hits that sent them limping to the bench, Zuccarello even went to the locker room for about one minute, but both players turned out to be fine. The battle went back and forth, with the Rangers having one really good chance from Derick Brassard, Pouliot and Zuccarello that could not be put home, and the Canucks having plenty of chances that were fought off by Lundqvist. As the period came to it’s end, the Rangers led 13-11 in shots for the period, 25-22 for the game, and 2-1 on the scoreboard.
THIRD PERIOD: The beginning of the third period seemed to be all Vancouver, in fact the whole period seemed to be Vancouver. After starting the period on a power play that they failed to capitalize on, the Rangers seemed to sit back a little bit and let the Canucks have their way with the period. Carl Hagelin took a penalty with 7:04 gone by in the period that was killed off, but just as that penalty ended Brian Boyle took one of his own. However, on the second penalty kill Rick Nash and St. Louis broke in on a 2 on 1, Nash slid the puck across to St. Louis and FINALLY he scored his first goal as a New York Ranger and gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead. So after some push back by the Rangers the Canucks really began to push the pace to try and make up a two goal lead. Their best chance of the night came with less than three minutes left but Lundqvist made two sensational saves to keep the puck out of the net. The game came to it’s end but not before Ryan McDonagh was injured in the corner and skated to the locker room, stay tuned to MSG networks or the site to find an update on McDonagh.
Well that’s it New York Rangers fans! The team takes two points and grabs a three point hold on second place in the division.
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