Talbot To Start Tonight vs Blues

Cam Talbot gets the start between the pipes tonight at The Garden as the Rangers (5-4-1) take the ice against the St. Louis Blues (6-3-1).

Just in front of Talbot will be a pair Rangers making their 2014-15 debuts, thanks to two injuries suffered Saturday night against the Jets. Captain Ryan McDonagh separated his shoulder and may miss three to four weeks of action. Kevin Klein suffered a bruise to his foot and will sit tonight. They’ll be replaced by Conor Allen and Dylan McIlrath, who were called up from Hartford of the AHL yesterday and will be wearing the Rangers jersey for the first time this season tonight.

It has been hard for head coach Alain Vigneault to send out six healthy defenseman lately; Dan Boyle is still out with a broken hand suffered on Opening Night against St. Louis, and John Moore is serving a five-game suspension. Matt Hunwick and Michael Kostka have been replacing them.

It’ll be Talbot’s first start since a loss October 11th at Columbus.



Rangers Fall to Jets; Two Defensemen Injured

The New York Rangers lost in a shootout Saturday night at The Garden, to the Winnipeg Jets. Evander Kane scored in the fourth round of the shootout to give the Jets a 1-0 win. The Jets improved to 5-5-1, while the Blueshirts fell to 5-4-1.

But the more depressing news from Saturday was that two Rangers defensemen left the game in the first period with injuries, depleting an already shorthanded unit. Ryan McDonagh sustained a separated left shoulder at 11:46 of the first period when he was driven hard into the boards by Kane. Kevin Klein left at 3:12 of the first with a foot bruise after blocking a shot.

With Dan Boyle still out with a broken hand, and John Moore serving the first game of a five-game suspension, that left the Rangers with only four healthy defensemen for the remainder of the game. And leaves them with lineup questions going into their next game, against St. Louis at The Garden Monday night.

Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec was named the game’s Number One star and with good reason; he stopped all 38 shots he faced. Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers played well, stopping 25 shots.

In the overtime, Pavelec gave up a goal to Mats Zuccarello, but stopped Rick Nash, Dominic Moore and Martin St. Louis. Lundqvist allowed a goal to Blake Wheeler, but made saves on shots by Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little, before giving up the game-winner to Kane.

In the continuation of a bad trend, New York went 0-for-5 on the power play, and are now 2-for-28 this season.

Rangers Back On The Ice Tonight

A well-rested Rangers team is back in action tonight, for the first time since their stirring comeback win over Minnesota Monday night. The Blueshirts will host the Winnipeg Jets at The Garden [7pm ET on MSG].

The Rangers (5-4-0) have won 4 of their last 5 games. The Jets are 4-5-1, and tonight’s game is part of a four-game road trip for Winnipeg, much of it spent in the tri-state area; they beat the Islanders in Uniondale, LI Tuesday, but lost to the Devils in a shootout in Newark Thursday. After tonight’s game in NYC, they’ll play the Blackhawks in Chicago  tomorrow before heading home to Winnipeg.

With defenseman John Moore serving a five-game suspension, Michael Kostka will be in the lineup; with Moore out and Dan Boyle still recovering from a broken hand, New York only has six healthy defensemen on the roster.

Hopefully the long layoff hasn’t cooled off Rick Nash. Nash has nine goal in nine games, 2nd in the NHL behind Anaheim’s Corey Perry, who has ten goals.



Moore Suspended Five Games

The Rangers are going to have to do a little lineup shuffling on defense yet again. On Wednesday John Moore was suspended by the league for five games, for his hit on Minnesota’s Erick Haula during Monday’s win over the Wild. Moore was given a match penalty and tossed from the game after he elbowed Haula 7:12 into the 2nd period. Haula missed the rest of the game and did not play in Minnesota’s game Tuesday.

Moore may have gotten the five games because he has been suspended before. He was given a two-game suspension during last spring’s Eastern Conference Finals against Montreal, for a hit on Dale Wiese of the Canadiens.

The Rangers are already thin on defense; Dan Boyle broke his hand October 9th, in the team’s opening night win over St. Louis.

The Blueshirts are back on the ice Saturday night, when they host Winnipeg.

Furious Comeback Gives Rangers 5-4 Win

I know we’re only nine games into the 2014-15 season, but it’s hard to imagine the Rangers having a better period than the 3rd period last night at home against Minnesota.

Down 3-0 at the start of the period, the Blueshirts staged a furious comeback, rallying for a 5-4 win against the Wild at The Garden. Mats Zuccarello scored the game-winner, his first goal of the season, with 3:11 to play.

The first two periods were rough for New York. They were outshot 24-8, and goals from Nate Prosser, Matt Cooke, and Jason Pominville gave Minnesota a three-goal advantage. It didn’t look like the night would end well.

But Kevin Klein got the Rangers on the board 2:52 into the 3rd period on a snapshot from the blue line. New York closed it to 3-2 about two minutes later on Rick Nash‘s 9th goal of the season.

The Wild slowed the Rangers’ rally down 5:35 into the period when Jason Zucker scored to make it 4-2 Wild. Brassard made it 4-3 with his 4th goal of the season, with 12:06 to play.

Eight tense minutes went by, with the deficit stuck at one. Then 19-year-old Anthony Duclair notched the 1st goal of his NHL career, streaking down the ice and scoring with 3:48 to play, evening the score at 4-all. And 37 seconds later, Zuccarello scored the game-winner.

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 shots in the win, and is now 5-3-0 on the season.

Two Rangers were tossed from Monday’s game; Chris Kreider received a major penalty for boarding defenseman Jonas Brodin late in the first period and a game misconduct. John Moore was ejected midway through the second for a blatant hit to the head of forward Erik Haula that resulted in a match penalty.

The Rangers are back in action Saturday night against Winnipeg.




Win Streak Snapped at 3 as Rangers Lose to Habs

Going into last night’s game against the Canadiens in Montreal, it was understandable to think that the Rangers had their work cut out for them. The Habs had the best record in the Eastern Conference at 6-1-0. The Canadiens were playing at home at the Bell Centre, where they were 3-0 for the season. The Blueshirts were facing Montreal for the first time since beating them in last spring’s Eastern Conference Finals. And Montreal’s goaltender Carey Price was healthy again and playing well.

It all proved to be too much, as Price stopped 34 shots and Montreal beat the Rangers, 3-1.

Before Saturday’s game, fans observed a moment of silence to honor Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, two Canadian soldiers who were killed in separate attacks this week in Ottawa and Quebec.

The Rangers gave up a shorthanded goal to Tomas Plekanec midway through the 1st period, to trail 1-0. Carl Hagelin then evened the score with about three minutes to go in the period, on a rebound off a Dan Girardi shot.

Lars Eller broke a tie midway through the second period, to give Montreal a 2-1 lead, and Max Pacioretty added a goal in the third to seal the win.

The Rangers are 4-4-0 on the season; 2-2-0 at home and 2-2-0 on the road. They start a four-game home stand Monday night against Minnesota.

Rangers Face Canadiens in Montreal Tonight

The Rangers are back in action tonight, on the road in Montreal to face the Canadiens. They’ve been idle since Tuesday night’s overtime win over New Jersey in Newark. The Blueshirts [4-3-0] are riding a three-game winning streak and face the Habs for the first time since the Eastern Conference Finals, when New York eliminated Montreal in six games.

The Canadiens, also riding a three-game winning streak, have the best record in the Eastern Conference, at 6-1-0 [12 pts].

19-year-old Anthony Duclair, a native of Montreal, will be back in coach Alain Vigneault‘s lineup after sitting out the past two games.

Rick Nash leads the team in scoring with eight goals and nine points; he is now 2nd in the NHL in goals; Anaheim’s Corey Price scored a hat trick Wednesday and added a goal last night and leads the NHL with nine.

Klein Goal Lifts Rangers to OT Win

Down 3-1 to the Devils in the 3rd period last night, it felt like it wasn’t going to be New York’s night. But the Rangers picked themselves off the mat, so to speak, and rallied for a 4-3 overtime win across the Hudson in Newark. Kevin Klein‘s goal, off a beautiful pass from Chris Krieder, was the game-winner.  It was New York’s third straight win, and pushed them above .500 for the first time in nearly two weeks.

The Rangers got on the board in the 1st period on a goal from Kreider; Amazingly, it was the team’s first power-play goal of the year, after an 0-for-17 start in the first six games. The Devils tied it later in the 1st on a power-play goal by the ageless, 42-year-old Jaromir Jagr.

The Devils added two more power-play goals [Adam Henrique in the 2nd, Jon Merrill in the 3rd] to make it 3-1. Chris Mueller cut the score to 3-2 on another power-play goal [five power-play goals in this game!], and Rick Nash tied the score at 14:32 on a backhander in front of the net. It was Nash’s NHL-leading 8th goal of the season; he didn’t score his 8th goal last season until January 6th. NHL Player of the Month for October, anyone?

Henrik Lunqvist got the win in net for the Rangers, stopping 28 of 31 shots.

The Rangers are off until Saturday, when they take the ice in Montreal against the Canadiens.


Lundqvist, Rangers Blank Sharks

One could argue that Sunday night’s 4-0 win over San Jose was the Rangers’ best performance of the season thus far.

One could counter by saying it was an October home win again a team the Rangers should beat.

Henrik Lunqvist stopped 33 shots, and the Blueshirts scored two goals in a four-second span of the 2nd period, on their way to their 2nd straight win. They evened their record for the season at 3-3-0.

The first period was scoreless, but did feature a nice play from Matt Hunwick, who saved a goal by swatting away a puck that had gotten past Lundqvist before it crossed the goal line.

Carl Hagelin made it 1-0 Rangers at the 13:10 mark of the 2nd period, and Martin St. Louis and Rick Nash scored four seconds apart in the period’s final minute. That tied the record for fastest back-to-back goals in team history. It was Nash’s NHL-leading 7th goal of the season; the winger scored when Sharks goalie Alex Stalock came out too far to stop a long Nash shot and misplayed the puck. Nash put the rebound past him for a 3-0 New York lead.

Kevin Hayes scored the Rangers’ final goal, in the 3rd period; it was his first goal of the season.

Lunqvist looked sharp and posted his 51st career shutout.

The Rangers are back in action Tuesday night, in Newark, against the Devils.


Rangers Snap Losing Streak, Top Hurricanes in Shootout

Exhale, Rangers fans.

Yes, it was a home win over the injury-depleted Carolina Hurricanes, but a win is a win. Rick Nash scored the winning goal in a shootout and Henrik Lundqvist came up big when it counted, as the Blueshirts recorded a 2-1 win over Carolina last night at the Garden, to snap a three-game losing streak.

Trailing 1-0 midway through the third period, Derick Brassard scored his third goal of the season – and third in the last three games – to tie the score. Neither team scored in overtime, and in the shootout, Nash was the only skater to score, which was enough for the Rangers to post their first home win of the season.

After allowing 17 goals in the last three games, the defense seemed like a more cohesive unit.  Head coach Alain Vigneault juggled his defensive lineup Thursday; the pairing were Dan Girardi-Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Klein-Marc Staal, Matt Hunwick-John Moore. After the game, Staal told the media, “We were better in our end. We didn’t give up as many quality chances in the middle of the ice, so we were better that way. We won a game. We got two points.”

Lundqvist, who had allowed six goals in back-to-back games, had 29 saves. He lowered his GAA from 5.41 to 4.09.

One troubling stat; the Rangers are now 0-for-16 on the power play for the season, after going 0-for-5 Thursday.

Next up: after two days off, the Rangers will host San Jose Sunday afternoon at 5pm.