The New York Rangers defeated the Calgary Flames today by the score of 4-3. For a box score, click here.
Bit of an odd game at the Garden this afternoon. I liked how the Rangers responded after going down quickly one-zip, with Nash collecting his own rebound to put a puck past Elliott. Defensively the Rangers were sound, clogging the neutral zone and forcing the Flames to make plays through the teeth of the defense. On the other side, the Flames had no idea how to deal with the Ranger forecheck. If this game was played in Calgary, you would say it was a solid road period.
The second period might have been one of the worst all season and there’s been a few of them. Incredibly, Lundqvist was stellar in net to keep the Rangers in it and the game tied at 1-1. The Rangers couldn’t complete a pass if their lives depended on it. I thought Zuccarello and Vesey in particular struggled tonight. Vesey has hit the rookie wall a bit earlier than I thought he would and he has to play out of it just like anyone else. Putting Vesey with Stepan and Nash however was a bit odd.
No one could’ve possibly anticipated a very chippy third period which featured two fights, five goals, Kris Versteeg getting tossed for not having his jersey tied down for his random fight with Buchnevich. It was a very chippy period in which the Rangers got in behind the Flames defense and generated chances which ended up behind Elliott.
Going back the Rangers being unable to move the puck, they did simplify their game in the third, making simple passes out of the zone. They still have some issues getting out of their end, evidenced by Lundqvist and Girardi’s passes to Flame players which resulted in Calgary goals.
Staal missed his first shift of the third period and AV mentioned sickness in the postgame. Is a sick Staal really worth playing over Clendening at this juncture of the season?
I thought the pair of fights gave the Rangers a bit of life, especially with the Flames trying to push back with the chippiness after Kreider’s laser over Elliott’s shoulder put the Rangers up for good midway through the third. Klein had the task of taking on Micheal Ferland after Klein buried Lance Bouma in front of the Ranger bench. Fast scored the game winner, burying a Miller feed from behind the net.
The Rangers have a tough stretch of Western Conference teams heading to MSG this week starting with the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.
(Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)