Alain Vigneault on tonight’s game…“The first half of the game, we might have been up 2-0, 2-1 after they scored. That was mostly because of Hank’s [Henrik Lundqvist] play. We can analyze the game and know that even though we were up 2-0 after the first period, they had been the better team. I thought for the second half of the game we played well, played a fast pace, and took over in the second half. We were able to carry the play into the third and win the game.”
Henrik Lundqvist on getting hit with the puck…“I was getting ready for the shot and I could feel a stick pull up my helmet so I lost vision of the puck. I had a bad feeling because I could kind of see the puck coming, then I lost track of it. When I got hit, it’s obviously extremely painful and it’s hard to breathe for a couple minutes. I got very lightheaded and got a little worried the first minute or so but they told me just to breathe and I slowly started to feel better. The first couple of minutes it was more for me to see if I was going to start to feel better after a while and slowly I did. I had some headaches the rest of the game but I guess that was normal because I couldn’t breathe there for a little bit. That was a reaction.”
Ryan McDonagh on the team’s play in the second half of the game…“We were being a little simpler in the offensive zone. (In the beginning of the game) We had some time there and we weren’t putting the puck towards the net as much, looking for a little bit too pretty of plays. As the game went on, we just started throwing pucks there, making them defend off the shot, spend a little more time (in their end) and wear them down. It kept us from giving up time in our zone too.”
9:28PM: First Period:
- Rick Nash (29) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE
- SHG - Dominic Moore (4) Backhand shot - ASST: Ryan McDonagh (13)
- Brad Malone (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Ryan Murphy (6), Patrick Dwyer (5)
- Chris Kreider (11) Tip-in - ASST: Kevin Hayes (11), Mats Zuccarello (17)
- Dan Boyle (5) Slapshot - ASST: Carl Hagelin (10), Jesper Fast (5)
- 3: Dominic Moore
- 2: Chris Kreider
- 1: Henrik Lundqvist
- At a certain point in the second period the switch finally flipped for the Rangers and they returned to playing the way they were when they were winning. The first half of the game though had an ugly look and feel to it for the Rangers even though they were up 2-0. Things changed in the second period as the Rangers started to use their speed and actually spend time in the offensive zone.
- That scene with Henrik Lundqvist in the second period was frightening. He went down in so much pain that it seemed like a foregone conclusion Cam Talbot would come in. Instead, Henrik took his time, stayed in and made a bunch more big saves. He is, and has been, the leader of the Rangers for many years and his staying in is another example of the type of competitor that he is.
- It seemed like new life was given to everyone when the lines got jumbled in the middle of the game. Kevin Hayes looked the best he has in weeks, Mats Zuccarello was making plays, Chris Kreider was excellent, Jesper Fast was getting offensive chances.
Game notes via the Rangers:
The Rangers have won 21 of their last 29 games (21-8-0), including 19 of their last 26 games (19-7-0) and 17 of their last 22 contests (17-5-0). The Rangers have also earned at least one point in 31 of their last 43 games (27-12-4), including 24 of their last 33 games (22-9-2).
- The Rangers have won 15 of their last 16 games against the Hurricanes, dating back to Feb. 22, 2011 (15-1-0 record). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it is the first time the Rangers have defeated one team at least 15 times over a 16-game span in franchise history. New York has outscored Carolina, 55-27, over the span (51-27 in regulation/OT). The Blueshirts have also won nine consecutive home games against the Hurricanes, dating back to Jan. 5, 2011. The Rangers have outscored Carolina, 29-9, over the last nine games between the two teams at MSG (27-9 in regulation/OT).
- The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in 15 of their last 17 games against Metropolitan Division opponents (14-2-1) and have won 11 of their last 13 intra-division games (11-2-0). New York has posted a 14-4-1 record against teams in the Metropolitan Division this season. The Rangers have registered an 18-4-1 record in their last 23 games against Metropolitan Division opponents, dating back to Mar. 21, 2014.
- As of the conclusion of tonight’s game, the Rangers rank third in the NHL in goals against per game (2.30) this season. New York also ranks fifth in the NHL in goal differential (plus-27).
- The Blueshirts have allowed one goal or fewer in each of the last two games, in six of the last 12 games, in eight of the last 17 games, and in 10 of the last 21 contests. The Rangers lead the NHL in games with one goal or fewer allowed (48) since the start of the 2013-14 season.
- The Rangers have tallied the first goal of the game in 12 of their last 17 games, in 15 of their last 21 contests, and in 29 of 47 games this season. The Blueshirts have posted a 23-4-2 record when recording the first goal of the game in 2014-15.
- The Rangers have posted a 21-0-1 record when leading after two periods this season. New York has registered a 135-1-9 record in its last 145 regular season games when leading after two periods. The 145-game stretch began with a 3-1 victory vs. New Jersey on Feb. 6, 2010.
- New York was 2-for-2 (4:00) on the penalty kill and tallied a shorthanded goal in the game. The Blueshirts are 55-for-64 (85.9%) on the penalty kill over the last 23 games and 65-for-76 (85.5%) over the last 26 games. As of the conclusion of tonight’s game, the Rangers are tied for sixth in the NHL in shorthanded goals (five) this season. New York has posted a 10-0-1 record when outscoring its opponent on special teams in 2014-15.
Post-Game Notes_3 Stars
- Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves in the contest to record his 24th win of the season. The Rangers’ all-time wins and shutouts leader has now recorded 333 career NHL wins, which puts him in a tie with Nikolai Khabibulin for 20th on the NHL’s all-time wins list. He has made at least 30 saves in five of his last six appearances, and in six of his last eight appearances. Lundqvist has registered a 15-4-0 record, along with a 1.76 GAA, a .939 SV%, and 1 SO in his last 19 appearances, and he has allowed two goals or fewer in 15 of his last 18 starts. He has also posted a 7-0-0 record, along with a 0.97 GAA and a .967 SV% in his last seven home games against the Hurricanes.
- Chris Kreider registered a goal, led all skaters with four takeaways, and led all Rangers with four shots on goal in 15:12 of ice time. He has tallied a point in seven of the last 13 games and has recorded a goal in six of those contests (six goals, four assists over the span).
- Dominic Moore registered a shorthanded goal, which was the game-winning goal in the contest, and recorded two shots on goal in 12:22 of ice time. He has notched two special teams points (one power play assist, one shorthanded goal) in the last three games. Moore has registered two game-winning goals this season, which is one shy of tying his career-high (established in 2010-11).
Post-Game Notes_Blueshirt Breakdown
- Rick Nash tallied the first goal of the game, recorded three shots on goal, and was credited with two takeaways in the contest. As of the conclusion of tonight’s game, Nash is tied for first in the NHL in goals (29) and ranks third in the league in takeaways (46). He is the only player in the NHL who ranks third or higher in both goals and takeaways this season.
- Dan Boyle tallied a goal, tied for the team-high with three blocked shots, and recorded three shots on goal in 19:56 of ice time. He ranks second among Rangers defensemen in goals (five) this season. New York has posted a 21-8-2 record with Boyle in the lineup in 2014-15.
- Ryan McDonagh recorded a shorthanded assist, was credited with two hits, and blocked two shots while skating in a team-high 21:09 of ice time. As of the conclusion of tonight’s game, the Rangers’ captain is tied for first among NHL defensemen in shorthanded points (six) since the start of the 2013-14 season.
- Mats Zuccarello notched an assist and posted a plus-two rating in 16:40 of ice time. He extended his assist/point streak against the Hurricanes to eight games (10 assists over the span). Zuccarello leads all skaters with four assists and four points in the season series between New York and Carolina in 2014-15.
- Kevin Hayes recorded an assist, registered three shots on goal, was credited with two takeaways, and won five of eight faceoffs (63%) in 13:31 of ice time. As of the conclusion of tonight’s game, Hayes is tied for sixth among NHL rookies in even strength points (17) this season.
- Carl Hagelin tallied an assist, registered two shots on goal, and was credited with two hits in 15:37 of ice time. He has recorded four points (two goals, two assists) over the last four contests.
- Jesper Fast notched an assist and recorded three shots on goal in 14:01 of ice time. He has registered an assist/point in two of the last three games (two assists). Fast, who logged 45 seconds of shorthanded ice time in the game, has skated in more ice time while shorthanded (35:19) without being on the ice for a power play goal against than any other player in the NHL this season.