Stempniak’s Late Goal Saves Rangers

Lee Stempniak‘s second goal of the game, with only 2:14 to play, gave the New York Rangers a 4-3 win over Arizona Thursday night at The Garden. It was the Blueshirts’ fourth straight win, and they are 8-0-1 in their last nine. Arizona has now lost eight straight games.

Stempniak and Chris Kreider each scored twice for the Rangers. Sam Gagner scored twice for the Coyotes.

The Rangers dug themselves a very early hole, giving up a goal to Arizona’s Marc Arcobello 41 seconds into the contest. Kreider tied the game at 8:11 with his 15th of the season, a power play goal.

The Rangers had a couple of costly penalties in the final four minutes of the first period, and Coyotes took the lead. After Martin St. Louis was called for tripping at 16:20 and Kevin Klein was called for delay of game at 17:23, Gagner capitalized on the 5-on-3 advantage to score at 17:54, and make it 2-1. Gagner scored another power play goal at 19:20 to give Arizona a 3-1 lead after one period.

But the Rangers clawed their way back. Stempniak deflected a John Moore shot at 5:33 of the second period to cut the lead to 3-2. And Kreider’s unassisted goal with 12 seconds to go in the period tied the game at 3-all, setting the stage for Stempniak’s late heroics in the third.

The Rangers’ defense once again stood tall in the frenetic final minutes of the game. The Coyotes pulled their goalie but Ryan McDonagh and Dominic Moore and Dan Girardi helped keep the puck out of the net. Cam Talbot finished with 37 saves in the win.

The Rangers [now 38-16-6, 82 pts] head to Philadelphia for a game against the Flyers Saturday night.



Rangers, Talbot Blank Calgary 1-0

Cam Talbot and the Rangers withstood a furious late rally by Calgary and held on to shut out the Flames 1-0 at The Garden Tuesday night. It was Talbot’s 4th shutout of the season; he is now 7-1-2 since taking over for the injured Henrik Lundqvist.

The two teams were scoreless until the third period when Kevin Hayes got the Rangers on the board with his 12th goal of the season, off a beautiful pass from Derick Brassard at 3:00.

Talbot and the defense did the rest. The Flames pulled goalie Karri Ramo for an extra attacker in the game’s final minutes but couldn’t put one past Talbot, despite several excellent chances.

The Blueshirts [now 37-16-6, 80 pts] are a league-best 26-6-2 since December 8th. They’re back in action Thursday night at The Garden against Arizona.

Rangers Edge Columbus in Shootout

The Rangers squandered a 3-0 lead, were forced into a shootout, but managed to come away with the 4-3 win over Columbus Sunday night at The Garden. A much needed 2 points. Rick Nash scored in the third round and Cam Talbot stopped Cam Atkinson to seal the win.

The Blueshirts led 2-0 after one period, on goals by Kevin Hayes, at 5:57, and Martin St. Louis, at 8:06. St. Louis added a goal at 1:24 of the second period to make it 3-0 Rangers.

But 53 seconds later, the Blue Jackets got on the board, when Marko Dano scored to make it 3-1. And at 18:11 of the period, Artem Anisimov scored his 4th goal of the season to make it 3-2. What was looking like an easy finish was anything but.

In the third period, the Rangers managed only one shot on goal. The Blue Jackets, were the more aggressive team, and that paid off at 15:41 when David Savard scored on a long snapshot to tie the game at 3-all.

After a scoreless five minute overtime, the teams headed to a shootout. St. Louis and Nash scored for the Rangers. And Talbot stopped Atkinson, as Rangers fans everywhere exhaled.

The Rangers [now 36-16-6, 78 pts] are back on the ice Tuesday night at The Garden against the Calgary Flames.

Skapski Wins Debut as Rangers Top Sabres

Mackenzie Skapski made 24 saves in his NHL debut as the Rangers beat the Sabres Friday night in Buffalo.

Cam Talbot had started eight straight games in Henrik Lundqvist‘s absence, but Talbot was between the pipes for Thursday night’s overtime loss to Vancouver, so coach Alain Vigneault gave Skapski the start Friday.

It was an inauspicious start for Skapski though; sloppiness by the Blueshirts allowed Matt Moulson to score just 14 seconds into the game, on the first shot Skapski faced.

Skapski was rarely tested after that, though he made a few big saves in the third period; he faced only 25 shots on the night, and shut the Sabres out after those first 14 seconds for his first NHL win.

Carl Hagelin got the Rangers on the board at 5:51 of the first period with his 14th goal of the season, to tie the score at 1-all.

Rick Nash gave New York the lead 37 seconds into the second period with his 37th goal of the season, and Mats Zuccarello made it 3-1 at 8:05 on some nice passing by the Rangers. Derick Brassard had assists on both goals.

The Rangers [now 35-16-6, 76 pts] are back in action Sunday night at The Garden against the Columbus Blue Jackets.


Canucks Top Rangers in Shootout

The Rangers took a 4-3 lead into the final three minutes of the game, and wound up losing to the Canucks in a shootout Thursday night at The Garden. The Blueshirts gave up a goal to Henrik Sedin with 2:00 to play after Vancouver had pulled goalie Ryan Miller for a 6th attacker, and it paid off.

Following a scoreless five-minute overtime, the two teams headed to a shootout. Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan were both stopped by Miller, while Alexandre Burrows and Radim Vrbata scored in the shootout to give the Canucks the win.

The Rangers had the lead three different times in the contest; 1-0 [after a Stepan goal at 11:39 of the first period], 2-1 [after Rick Nash‘s 36th goal of the season at 11:00 of the second], and 4-3 [after Martin St. Louis and Carl Hagelin scored in a 21-second span of the third].

Cam Talbot, starting his eighth straight game, showed flashed of brilliance at times, but looked shaky at others. He made 24 saves, and is now 5-1-2 in those eight games.

The Rangers [now 34-16-6, 74 pts] head to Buffalo for a re-scheduled game against the Sabres.

Rangers Beat Islanders in a Wild One, 6-5

What a comeback! The Rangers and Islanders hooked up in a wild, high-scoring, playoff-caliber, highly entertaining game Monday night in Long Island, and the Blueshirts rallied from a 5-3 deficit to win 6-5. Kevin Klein scored the game-winner at 15:28.

The Rangers have won three straight, are 6-1-1 in their last eight, and are 23-6-1 in their last 30 games.

It didn’t start so well for the Rangers; John Tavares took a bad clearing pass by goalie Cam Talbot and scored just 11 seconds into the game to make it 1-0 Islanders. Frans Nielsen scored his 11th of the season at 11:46 to make it 2-0 Isles.

Ryan McDonagh got the Rangers on the board at 14:35, to cut the lead to 2-1.

In the second period, Johnny Boychuk of the Islanders let loose with a snapshot from the blue line at 1:20 to make it 3-1.

Then the Rangers would score two goals in 23 seconds to tie it. Chris Kreider made it 3-2 at 3:07 with his 14th of the season. McDonagh scored again, at 3:30 to tie the game at 3-all.

But the Islanders took the lead again, 4-3, on a goal by Ryan Strome at 7:41.

In the third period, Strome scored again, on a 3-on-1 breakaway, to make it 5-3 at 3:43.  Derek Stepan answered at 6:25, on a nice pass from Kreider, to make it 5-4, and Martin St. Louis made it a tie game again, at 8:02, with his first goal since January 10th.

With just under five minutes to go, Derick Brassard stole the puck, and found Klein, who gave the Rangers their first lead of the night at 15:28; his 9th goal of the season.

In terms of combined goals, it was the highest-scoring Rangers game of the season.

Talbot was busy, making 38 saves in the win.

The Rangers [now 34-16-5, 73 pts] are back at The Garden Thursday night when they host the Vancouver Canucks.



Four Goals in Third Period Give Rangers A Win

The Rangers scored four goals in the third period to break open a tie game, and Cam Talbot made it all stand up, as the Rangers topped the Arizona Coyotes 5-1 Saturday night in Phoenix.

The win gave head coach Alain Vigneault his 500th career win.

The teams enter the third period tied at one, but 79 seconds in, Rick Nash scored his 35th goal of the season to make it 2-1 Blueshirts. At 6:20, Tobias Rieder was awarded a penalty shot, with a chance to tie the game, but Talbot made the save.

At 11:54, Kevin Hayes made a great individual effort to score his 10th goal of the season, a shorthanded goal, extending the Rangers’ lead to 3-1. And Marc Staal made it 4-1 at 14:16 with a wrist shot past Coyotes goalie Mike Smith. It was Staal’s 4th goal of the season.

Lee Stempniak added a goal at 17:47 for the final margin. Chris Kreider was the other Ranger to score, 55 seconds into the second period.

Talbot, playing in his 6th straight game, made 34 saves for the win. He is 4-1-1 since becoming the starter.

The Rangers [now 33-16-5, 71 pts] face the division-leading Islanders Monday night.

Late Rally Gives Rangers Win Over Avalanche

At the end of the second period, the Rangers had a 3-1 lead, on the road, over the Colorado Avalanche and things were looking pretty good.

Then came the first twelve minutes of the third period.

The Blueshirts went those twelve minutes without getting off a shot on goal, and in that span, the Avalanche rallied to tie the game on goals by Jerome Iginla and Jan Hejda.

But then the Rangers awoke, getting late goals from Carl Hagelin, Rick Nash and an empty-netter from Ryan McDonagh to pull away and win 6-3.

Dan Boyle got the Rangers on the scoreboard, at 16:30 of the first period, with his 8th of the season. Then, early in the second, Kevin Hayes went end-to-end to score, in a great individual effort. His 9th of the season made it 2-1. After Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog made it 2-1, Mats Zuccarello scored at 16:02 to make it 3-1 Rangers. He now has had a point in seven straight games.

Hagelin’s goal, at 12:02 of the third, was the team’s first shot on goal of the period. It came off a nice pass from Hayes, who finished the night with a goal and two assists. Nash’s goal, at 15:42, was his league-leading 34th of the season, and gave the Rangers some breathing room, making it 5-3 Blueshirts. Nash scored while falling to the ice, after coming around from behind the net.

Cam Talbot was very good on the night, making 26 saves for the win.

The Rangers have gone 5-1-1 in their last seven games, to improve their record at 32-16-5 [69 pts]. Their four-game road trip continues Saturday night against the Arizona Coyotes.

Zuccarello, Rangers Top Toronto, 5-4

The Rangers squandered a two-goal third period lead, but rallied for a 5-4 win over the Maple Leafs Tuesday night in Toronto, as the Blueshirts started a four-game road trip on a winning note. Mats Zuccarello scored twice, including the game-winner at 14:04 of the third.

Dan Boyle got the Blueshirts on the scoreboard 2:57 into the game, off a great pass from behind the net by Derick Brassard. Zuccarello made it 2-0 at 10:27, with assists from Brassard and Rick Nash.

The Maple Leafs cut the lead to 2-1 only six seconds into a power play chance; Morgan Rielly scored his 6th of the season at 15:39. The Rangers outshot the Maple Leafs 17-6 in the period.

In the second period, Kevin Hayes made it 3-1 1:42 into the period, putting a pass from Marc Staal past Toronto goalie James Reimer. But the Maple Leafs needed only 26 seconds to cut the led to 3-2 when Stephane Robidas scored his first goal of 2014-15.

Dominic Moore made it a two-goal margin again with a shorthanded goal at 10:33, and the second period ended with New York holding a 4-2 lead.

In the third, the Leafs rallied to tie it. Rielly scored again, only :20 into the period, to make it 4-3. Then at 6:46 Daniel Winnik scored an unassisted goal when his wrist shot was deflected in, to make it 4-all.

Then at 14:04, Zuccarello scored what would be the game-winner, off assists from Nash and Moore. Nazem Kadri hit the post with three minutes to play, but the Leafs could not score the equalizer.

Cam Talbot made 29 saves for the win.

When New York leads after two periods, the team is 23-0-1 this season.

The Rangers [now 31-16-5, 67 pts] continue their road trip Thursday night in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche.

Hemsky’s OT Goal Gives Dallas 3-2 Win

The Rangers scored late in the third period to force overtime, but Ales Hemsky‘s goal 62 seconds into the extra session gave the Dallas Stars a 3-2 win over the Rangers Sunday night at The Garden.

After a scoreless first period, Jason Spezza gave the Stars a 1-0 lead when he scored a power play goal at 2:53. The Rangers finally got on the board at 15:27 when Carl Hagelin deflected a perfect pass from Kevin Hayes, to tie the game at 1-all.

But the Stars regained the lead at 18:05 of the second period, when Erik Cole put a wrist shot past Cam Talbot. It was Cole’s 14th of the season, and was also his 8th goal in the last 13 games.

In the third period, the Blueshirts threw shot after shot at Kari Lehtonen in the Dallas net, outshooting the Stars 20-2, but they didn’t have anything to show for all of those chances until 18:40, when Chris Kreider scored a powerplay goal to tie the game at 2-all.

The Rangers [30-16-5, 65 pts] now head off on a four-game road trip; at Toronto Tuesday, at Colorado Thursday, at Arizona Saturday, and at the Islanders Monday February 16th.