3:44PM: Quotes via the Rangers:
Alain Vigneault on today’s game…“It was definitely, for both teams, a playoff type game. Everybody was bunched together and Detroit plays that type of game where there isn’t a lot of space or room on the ice. They are a team who are champions, at I guess it must be legal interference because the referees don’t call penalties, but they are real good at taking you off stride and getting in front of slowing you down. You have to fight through that and you have to make sure you make the high percentage plays and keep making those plays and that’s what we did. That last shift at the end of the second period was a real big momentum shift for us. We took charge there and came right out in the beginning of the third and scored. After that we had a few breakdowns, and when we did Hank, like he has done real well with this year, he’s made the key saves and we just kept going from there.”
Henrik Lundqvist on today’s game…“It felt really good to play a solid 60 minute game and come back home after a big win in Carolina. It was important for us to beat this team. They’re right behind us. We discussed it yesterday; we took the option not to skate, whatever it takes right now to prepare for each game like in the playoffs. That’s the way it feels right now. We approach every game like a must-win. So it’s fun to be out there and play, and I thought we played a really strong game again. All over the ice we put a lot of pressure on them. We played really well in our own end. I think in the first ten minutes they got a couple odd man rushes but after that we kind of adjusted and played a lot better.”
Brad Richards on Henrik Lundqvist’s 300th win…“It’s great for him. He’s been the face of the franchise and will continue to be that, and that’s why. He’s only been in the league eight or nine years and it seems like it’s 30 or 40 wins each year. That’s stability for the organization and a great accomplishment for him.”
2:51PM: First Period:
- Brian Boyle 5 (Assists: John Moore 10, Dominic Moore 10)
- Chris Kreider 15 (Assists: Ryan McDonagh 23, Derek Stepan 32)
- Chris Kreider 16 (Assists: Derek Stepan 33, Ryan McDonagh 24)
- 3: Derek Stepan
- 2: Chris Kreider
- 1: Henrik Lundqvist
- Derek Stepan is a player that has been up and down this year but one that the Rangers need to be at this best, the way he was last year, for the Rangers to assure themselves of a playoff spot and potentially make a run.
- Chris Kreider falls into a bit of the same category as Stepan but his drop off, during a first full season in the NHL, has been a little bit more expected and understandable. When not scoring Kreider can still impact the game with his speed, physical play and willingness to mix it up in front of the net.
- Henrik Lundqvist didn’t need to make a bunch of big saves tonight but he stopped everything that Detroit put his way. He picks up win number 300, ties Eddie Giacomin for the all-time shutout record and could tie and own the wins record by next Sunday’s game against San Jose.
- Good for Brian Boyle and the fourth line to get a goal. That line has been mostly effective in their role creating energy and it’s nice to see them rewarded with a goal.
- Two straight wins for the Rangers but now 6 of the next 7 on the road.
From the Rangers:
- All-Time: 213-260-103-1 overall (136-94-58-0 at home; 77-166-45-1 on the road)
- 2013-14: Tomorrow is the third and final meeting this season, and the second of two meetings at Madison Square Garden. New York is 2-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road), following a 1-0 victory on Jan. 16 at Madison Square Garden. Each of their two meetings have been decided by one goal, including a 3-2 overtime victory on Oct. 26 at Detroit. The Rangers have out-shot the Red Wings, 33-18, in the second period, and have out-scored Detroit 3-0 after the second period. The Blueshirts’ power play is 1-5 (20.0%) in the series. Benoit Pouliot has tallied a series-high, two assists and three points, while Mats Zuccarello leads all skaters with two goals. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 38-save shutout in his only appearance, while Cam Talbot is 1-0-0 with a 1.85 GAA and .941 Sv%.
Around the trade deadline a few teams called the Rangers and asked about “feisty winger” Derek Dorsett but the Rangers reportedly had no interest in moving him. (Ottawa Sun)
Dorsett is signed through next season with a cap hit of $1.63 million. (CapGeek)
On Dorsett’s current situation, Alain Vigneault said on Saturday “Right now I look at the lineup and Dorse is a player who is ready to play and I am a big fan of Dorse and how he plays but the way that Boyler, Dom and Dan have been playing and our record with those guys as a line is really good so it’s tough to break up our four forward lines right now.”
The Wolf Pack beat the Albany Devils 4-3 last night:
- Conor Allen: 2 assists, plus one, 1 shot, slashing penalty
- Dylan McIlrath: minus one, 2 shots
- Ryan Bourque: 1 goal, 2 assists, plus 4, 3 shots
- JT Miller: 1 goal, 3 assists, plus 4, 1 shot
- Marek Hrivik: nothing on scoresheet
- Oscar Lindberg: 2 shots
- Jesper Fast: 1 goal, plus 3, 1 shot
- Danny Kristo: 1 shot
- 5:55 in the first
- 4:59 in the second
- 7:25 in the third
At 5 on 5, Zuccarello was on the ice for 16 attempts for, 18 against and 11 shots on goal for and 11 against. (ES)
Zuccarello started 50% of his shifts in the offensive zone and 50% in the neutral zone. (ES)
After the game on MSG, Alain Vigneault said “he didn’t miss a beat. he was real solid. Other than the penalty which could go either way I thought he played real strong.”
Anton Stralman rejected a contract extension offer that is believed to be three-years and around $9 million. (NY Post)
Larry Brooks writes that the rejection of the contract offer is “somewhat shocking” but the team will take another shot at an extension after the season. (NY Post)
An extension for Stralman would “seem to throw a detour into Dylan McIlrath’s” path to the Rangers. (NY Post)
Stralman is in the final year of a two-year deal that has a cap hit of $1.7 million.
For more on Stralman’s contract talk, CLICK HERE.
- On whether the original Team Canada snub caused him to go to Steve Yzerman and request a trade, “it was definitely part of it. When that happened I was crushed and it made me think about other things, made me think about myself and my family and coming to NY has been a discussion that me and my wife have had for many years. Certain things that happen in life that make you make a decision and for me when that happened I started thinking about the big picture and my family I felt that it was the best time for everybody and for me and for the Lightning to move on.”
- Concerns about tomorrow’s afternoon game, “we have played some afternoon games before but tomorrow is a little different because it’s 12:30 which is really 11:30 because we are moving the clocks ahead. I don’t see it being any different and having a 10:30 to 11:30 practice, you need to go out and practice well, you need to do what you need to do. Tomorrow you need to do what you have to do and there is two huge points up for grabs. Everyone should be ready.”
5 on 5 Rangers shot attempts:
- Total attempts: 54 for, 36 against
- Attempts on goal or that miss the net: 41 for, 27 against
- Shots on goal: 30 for, 16 against