Dec 13, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) adjusts his mask after making a save on a shot from Ottawa Senators left wing Ryan Dzingel (not pictured) in the second period at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)
Dec 13, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) adjusts his mask after making a save on a shot from Ottawa Senators left wing Ryan Dzingel (not pictured) in the second period at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

At the end of the second period of the Rangers 10/31 game against Vegas, Joe Micheletti remarked, "until this team learns how to defend and do a better job defending it's going to be a tough go."

The Rangers rank 9th in shot attempts allowed and 5th in shots on goal allowed (all situations), and at 5 on 5 they rank 4th in shot attempts against and 2nd in shots on goal against. (Natural Stat Trick)

Over the course of the season, in all situations, the Rangers have had

  • October: 760 shot attempts for, 729 against, 417 shots on goal for, 413 against, 40 goals for, 46 against
  • November: 675 shot attempts for, 734 against, 378 shots on goal for, 387 against, 41 goals for, 30 goals against
  • December: 689 shot attempts for, 844 against, 401 shots on goal for, 480 against, 37 goals for, 27 against
  • January: 223 shot attempts for, 259 against, 121 shots on goal for, 141 against, 7 goals for, 10 against

Following a Rangers win over Tampa Bay in early November, Henrik Lundqvist said that everything starts in their own end and that the Rangers play well when they stop forcing things, stick to the game plan and make simple plays with the puck.

After beating the Red Wings right after Thanksgiving, Lundqvist said that when the Rangers control the middle of the ice they defend better, break out better and add more speed.

Alain Vigneault said after the Rangers beat the Capitals that they need to play in the frame of mind of moving pucks quickly and getting up the ice quickly.

Mika Zibanejad said that lately the Rangers have been turning the puck over because they are trying to do too much and that they need to clean up some areas of their game. (NY Post)

Adam Rotter: The defense as a whole has been bad for the Rangers for a while and the only thing that has saved them from plummeting in the standings is their goaltending. Ultimately Henrik and Pavelec are the last line of defense but the Rangers are forcing their goalies to play at a near superhuman level most nights because of the poor decisions and poor positioning from the players in front. They need to stop forcing things, they need to make better decisions with the puck and they need to play a simple game. If they can do that then they should be able to cut down on the amount of time they spend in their zone and instead spend that time trying to create offense.


GEICO SportsNite: Rangers 00:01:54
Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk will undergo surgery to repair his torn meniscus, an injury that has been nagging him since the fall.
Tags: Kevin Shattenkirk

Alain Vigneault met with the media earlier on Friday after practice and said (NYR):

  • "it's something that we have known for a while and have had discussions with Kevin. Ultimately it's his decision and medical staff and after trying to play through it he felt that it was time to get it fixed. That is what we are going to do. There is no precise timeline, obviously it's indefinite but it will give an opportunity for a guy like Tony to come up and get some ice time and an opportunity for someone else to try and help us win some games."
  • On DeAngelo, "I talked to Keith this morning and he said that in the last couple of weeks he had been very solid, very solid at moving the puck out of his end, good on the PP. He felt that, at this time, he was probably playing his best hockey since he had been in Hartford."
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Sep 18, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Lias Anderson (50) during warm up before game against New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 18, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Lias Anderson (50) during warm up before game against New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Lias Andersson said that it was the Rangers who decided to keep him in North America and that while this is where he wants to play, it hasn't yet been decided if he will remain here for the rest of the season. (Hockey Sverige)

The Rangers announced earlier today that Andersson was being assigned to Hartford after he was loaned to Frolunda at the start of the year.

Andersson said that he hopes to be able to play in a few weeks and can now lift his arm, "which is a step in the right direction," after being injured at the World Juniors. (Hockey Sverige)

Tags: Lias Andersson
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Kevin Shattenkirk met with the media to discuss his knee surgery and said (NYR):

  • "I have a meniscus tear in my left knee. Something that I have had all season and trying to play through and it's come to a point now where looking at all the options, trying to stick it out or make it through the season with the way that it's been going, I think it's the right time to get surgery and handle it and take care of it before it becomes something that we don't want to do down the line that could put me out for a crucial part of the season."
  • On the timetable, "it's kind of indefinite right now, I will go and see the doctors today and talk through the surgery and get a better idea from them. It's definitely not something that will put me out for the remember of the season. That is why we are approaching it now and taking care of it now. Get the surgery on Monday and go from there and try to rehab as soon as possible."
  • Did it hurt your play, "it's been painful and something that I have been able to, with the training staff here, manage the pain and what really has been the x-factor is that it limits me off the ice as far as training and keeping my body in the normal shape that I normally can. I feel that because of it my left leg is getting a lot weaker and not allowing me to play my game and have the escapability and explosiveness in my skating that anyone will tell you is a big part of my game. I feel like recently it's been something that has been glaring. It's the point where we needed to decide whether we were going to do this and it's the right thing to do in the long run."
  • On the emotions of the decision, "it's tough. I think that thinking about this year, you want everything to go perfectly and I think I have been trying to battle through this for a lot of reasons and when it came down to it, today and talking about it, you have to think about yourself and I have been worried about a lot more things, trying not to disappoint a lot of people, me included in that. It's hard to be leaving a team, it's never easy to be sidelined, you are not around the team as much or hang around with the guys or feel that camaraderie. I also feel like what I was putting out on the ice, I wasn't giving the guys on the team the best that I had and that almost makes you feel even worse. You don't want to disappoint a teammate and I think that this is the first step to get back to where I am and have a meaningful impact on this team down the stretch." 
  • "It's been going on since around the end of September into early October. We did a cortisone shot before the season which helped and started to wear off right around 8-10 weeks or so. We tried another PRP injection over the bye week and it's just the inflammation and everything started to creep back in. It's been going on all season, something we have been trying to progressively attack and it hasn't responded the way we hoped it would.
Tags: Kevin Shattenkirk
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New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

12:39PM: Shattenkirk met with the media and said that he expects to return this season and that he didn't want to risk surgery later on that would cause him to miss a "crucial part of the season."

He said that the injury has been bugging him since the end of September, had a cortisone shot, did a PRP injection over the bye week and that his knee hasn't responded the way they hoped.

On his game, Shattenkirk said "I also feel like what I was putting out on the ice, I wasn't giving the guys on the team the best that I had and that almost makes you feel even worse. You don't want to disappoint a teammate and I think that this is the first step to get back to where I am and have a meaningful impact on this team down the stretch." 

Tags: Kevin Shattenkirk
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Oct 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the Vegas Golden Knights and New York Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Oct 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the Vegas Golden Knights and New York Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

11:23AM: Kevin Shattenkirk is not skating today. (NYR)

11:07AM: Tony DeAngelo is on the ice at Rangers practice today after being called up. (Brooks)

Kevin Hayes and Marc Staal are also on the ice and Hayes is skating in a non-contact jersey. (Brooks, Zipay)

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Oct 7, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo (77) skates out with the puck from behind his own net against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Rangers 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Oct 7, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo (77) skates out with the puck from behind his own net against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Rangers 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

The Rangers have called up Tony DeAngelo and Daniel Catenacci from Hartford and have also assigned Lias Andersson to the Wolf Pack.

From the Rangers:

  • DeAngelo, 22, has skated in 29 games with the Wolf Pack this season, registering two goals and 11 assists for 13 points, along with 17 penalty minutes. DeAngelo ranks second among Hartford defensemen in points per game (0.45) and is tied for second among team defensemen in points in 2017-18. He has recorded 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his last 16 games, and he posted a six-game point streak from Dec. 8 at Providence to Dec. 22 vs. Providence.

    Tags: Anthony DeAngelo, Lias Andersson
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Jan 18, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane (9) and New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) have words during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 18, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane (9) and New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) have words during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Following the second period last night, the Rangers and Sabres were tied at two after the Rangers had blown leads of 1-0 and 2-1.

The shots were 18-17 Buffalo at 5 on 5 after two periods but the scoring chances were 18-12 Rangers

Rick Nash said that the Rangers spoke in the locker room about how knew they weren't at their best but needed to get the two points before their road trip.

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Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the win over Buffalo and said:

  • On the Nash, Buchnevich line, "in the last two games they have supported one another real well and made little plays, those subtle plays that don't get noticed, board plays, down low plays that enable them to get rush chances and they have been able to get in the forecheck and create some turnovers like they did on the last goal. They came up big for us at a key time."
  • On Nash, "he came ready to play again tonight, it's good to see that all of that hard work is getting rewarded. It's good for him but especially good for our team, we need the wins. Tonight I thought we came out real strong, had a good first period. They came back hard in the second but in the third we played to win. It's unfortunate that we got a little unlucky on Smitty's penalty but Hank came up big with a couple of key saves and we were able to get the job done. Good? Thanks guys, we are leaving for the road so I gotta go."
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GEICO SportsNite: Nash on win 00:00:20
Rick Nash, who has scored four goals in the past two games, talks about trying to stay focused after the Rangers' win over the Sabres.

The Rangers beat the Sabres 4-3 in a back and forth game, led by Pavel Buchnevich and Rick Nash. << Box score

First period:

  • 1:24 NYR Rick Nash; Assist: Pavel Buchnevich
  • 18:41 BUF Kyle Okposo (PPG); Assists: Sam Reinhart, Jack Eichel

Second period:

Tags: Pavel Buchnevich, Rick Nash
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Dec 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) skates during practice for the Winter Classic hockey game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Dec 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) skates during practice for the Winter Classic hockey game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

On Tuesday, the New York Rangers produced one of their most complete efforts in a while. Now, the key is following it up with another similar showing.

The Rangers get their opportunity for another win Thursday night when they host the Buffalo Sabres.

New York is looking to get consecutive wins for the first time since winning three straight Dec. 15-19. The Rangers are 4-5-2 in their last 11 games since then but are coming off a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

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Mar 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault directs his team against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Mar 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault directs his team against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

6:32PM: Alain Vigneault met with the media prior to tonight's game against the Sabres and said (NYR):

  • On Kevin Hayes, "he skated this morning. We will see how he responds to that tonight. Depending on how he responds he would have to practice tomorrow to be able to play Saturday. We will see how he comes in tonight. I know definitely that Marc won't skate tomorrow so he won't play on the weekend. After tonight's game, depending on the situation I would say that...after tonight, depending on how Hayes is, we feel that if Hayes can practice and play then we shouldn't need to call anyone up but if Hayes is doubtful then we will need to call up and extra player."
  • You would go out west with 6 D, "that is what we are going to have to decide after the game, what we are going to do there."
  • Should Hayes not have played against the Isles, "looking at it, after a couple of days, he felt good, docs felt he was alright. He played and didn't get through. Looking back maybe we should have given him a little extra time but it's easy to say that after the fact. When a player is good to go and medically cleared, usually players go."
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New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the New Jersey Devils during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the New Jersey Devils during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports)

1/18/18 | 6:32PM: On Hayes, Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers will see how he responds after skating today before determining if they want to call someone up before heading out west.

Vigneault said that if Hayes can practice tomorrow he will be able to play on Saturday but that if he is doubtful then they will likely call someone up.

He said that in hindsight maybe Hayes shouldn't have played last Saturday against the Islanders but at that time he was feeling good and was cleared by the doctors to play.

5:35PM: Hayes skated this morning and would need to practice tomorrow to be able to play this weekend in Colorado or LA. (NYR)

Tags: Kevin Hayes
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Dec 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate after defeating the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Dec 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate after defeating the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Following the Rangers win over the Flyers, many players noted how it was their best defensive performance in a while.

On Wednesday, Alain Vigneault said that he thought the Rangers did a lot of things "the right way" on Tuesday and that it has to carry over to tonight's game.

He said that he liked how the Rangers defended, how they played without the puck and that they were able to fill the back of the net.

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Jan 16, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) celebrates his goal during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Jan 16, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) celebrates his goal during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Rick Nash scored twice on Tuesday night ending a slump of 12 games without a goal.

He had 33 shots on goal in that stretch of 12 games without scoring.

Nash said after the game that he feels his game has been good but that he hasn't been able to put the puck in the net. (MSG)

Tags: Rick Nash
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GEICO SportsNite: Rangers happy 00:01:27
Alain Vigneault, Michael Grabner and Ryan McDonagh discuss the improvements the Rangers are making as they prepare for the Buffalo Sabres.

Alain Vigneault, Michael Grabner and Ryan McDonagh discuss the improvements the Rangers are making as they prepare for the Buffalo Sabres.
 


 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

On NBCSN, Bob McKenzie was asked if the Rangers would be open to hearing offers on captain Ryan McDonagh.

McKenzie responded with, "the Rangers are not committed to trading Ryan McDonagh. He is going to be 29 years old, he is under contract for one more year at $4.7 million but if you look at what the Rangers did last year and the trade of Derek Stepan, the buying out of Dan Girardi, they are reloading." 

He added, "they don't want to call it a rebuild because New York never wants to call it a rebuild but I would say that they are doing their due diligence just in the event they may be in a position, if the team falls right out of it, if they get an unbelievable offer on a guy like McDonagh. I think they will do that with all of their players, with McDonagh, Mats Zuccarello, who has a year left on his deal, and with pending UFAs Michael Grabner and Rick Nash."

McKenzie continued, "that doesn't mean they are committed to trading those players but they want to gauge now what the market is and what they might get back." 

Tags: Ryan McDonagh
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Sep 18, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Lias Anderson (50) during warm up before game against New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 18, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Lias Anderson (50) during warm up before game against New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Larry Brooks wrote on Tuesday night that the Rangers are considering putting Lias Andersson in Hartford following his shoulder rehab as opposed to sending him back to Frolunda in the Swedish League. (NY Post)

Brooks writes that it's possible that Andersson could join the Rangers at some point if he remains in North America. (NY Post)

Jeff Gorton said at the end of training camp that the Rangers were sending Andersson back to Sweden so that he could play a lot in the top-six.

Tags: Lias Andersson
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Alain Vigneault met with the media following practice on Wednesday and said (NYR):

  • On what was good last night, "definitely there are a lot of things that we did the right way, especially our play without the puck, how we defended in our zone, how we defended through the neutral zone. That has to carry over into tomorrow' game. We were able to find the back of the net a lot more yesterday than we had in quite a few of the last games. I think part of the reason we were able to do that is that we were sounder when we didn't have the puck. We need that to carry over and we played Buffalo once, it was a big game, it ended up the right way in OT. They are a good team so we will have to be strong."
  • On Staal and Hayes, "Marc won't be available tomorrow. We don't expect it to be long but it's day to day. Kevin is coming along, he is day to day, hopefully in the next couple of days he gets on the ice."
  • Who will fill in for Marc, "Kampfer will be in tomorrow. We will sort out our D pairs tomorrow. Kampf has played some good hockey for us this year when we needed him. He is skating well, moving the puck well and we feel real good about his game and what he brings."
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Oct 10, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) checks St. Louis Blues left wing Magnus Paajarvi (56) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 10, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) checks St. Louis Blues left wing Magnus Paajarvi (56) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

1/18/18 | 5:35PM: Marc Staal is out for both games this weekend. (NYR)

1/17/18 | 3:59PM: Alain Vigneault said that Staal won't be available tomorrow against Buffalo but that they don't expect him to be out that long.

Vigneault said that Staal did rehab today and is being considered day to day.

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Jan 16, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Michael Grabner (40) celebrates his goal during the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Jan 16, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Michael Grabner (40) celebrates his goal during the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Brady Skjei said after last night's game that both he and Henrik Lundqvist agreed that the win over Philly on Tuesday was the Rangers best "collective defensive game in a long time." (NYR Game Notes)

Skjei said that the Rangers came into the game with a chip on their shoulder and "something to prove" and that they were able to score five goals by "playing good team defense." (NYR Game Notes)

Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers put a big emphasis on defense and that they executed their goal of playing a 200ft game.

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New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers win over Philly and said:

  • On what stood out, "a couple of key moments in the game. Hank's big save when we were on the PP and then we come right back and score. That was, in my mind, a big turning point and then our first shorthanded goal of the year, a nice play by Peter to Paul and Paul, that was a real good shot. At the end of the day I felt that we played a much sounder game defensively and we got some real good looks offensively that we were able to capitalize on."
  • On the emphasis on defense, "there is no doubt that there was a big focus on that in the meetings this morning and the meetings prior to this game. The skill that Philly brings and how to adjust and do a better job, overall I think we did a real good job tonight."
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Jan 16, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) celebrates his goal during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Jan 16, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) celebrates his goal during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Rick Nash spoke on MSG after the game and said:

  • On his goal, "it was a good start but giving up the first goal takes the air out of the balloon. Personally, I feel that my game has been good, just haven't been able to put the puck in the net, tonight two go in."
  • On finally scoring, "it's only one game. It's not that big of a deal to me, it's what I am supposed to do. I will go back tomorrow, keep working on my game and try to come back even better against Buffalo."
  • On the win, "we forechecked with five guys, set up our neutral zone trap with five guys, defended with five guys. It makes such a difference when you are all on the same page and I thought we were tonight."
  • On winning puck battles, "any time you go into the corner you want to come away with the puck but the last few games it hasn't been that way. Something we focus on tonight and I think the guys did a great job.
Tags: Rick Nash
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GEICO SportsNite: Rangers' win 00:00:41
On GEICO SportsNite, Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqvist discuss the Rangers' 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden.

Rick Nash snapped a 12-game goalless drought and added a second tally to help the Rangers end a three-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. >> Box score


First period:

  • 2:06 PHI Jordan Weal; Assists: Radko Gudas, Wayne Simmonds
  • 6:30 NYR Rick Nash; Assists: Pavel Buchnevich
  • 16:50 NYR J.T. Miller (PP); Assists: Ryan McDonagh, David Desharnais
  • 19:50 NYR Paul Carey (SH); Assists: Peter Holland

Second period:

  • 10:49 NYR Michael Grabner
  • 17:48 NYR Nash; Assists: Marc Staal

Third period:

  • NONE
Tags: Rick Nash
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Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) takes a shot against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) takes a shot against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

1/16/18 | Elliotte Friedman writes that the Rangers will listen on McDonagh and Zuccarello, "but only if given good reason to pursue." (Sportsnet)

1/13/18 | On Hockey Night in Canada, Elliotte Friedman said "the Rangers in a playoff spot but got lit up by Matt Barzal and the Islanders earlier today, I think the Rangers are starting to look and say 'are there other moves that we can make, similar to the one with Derek Stepan and Arizona at last years draft."

He added, "I think you are taking a look at their UFAs, Nash, Grabner, David Desharnais. I think some of their contracted players, Zuccarello and McDonagh, no guarantee that they do it, but I think they are willing to listen.

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Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers right wing Michael Grabner (40) celebrates with the Rangers bench after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers right wing Michael Grabner (40) celebrates with the Rangers bench after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The goals are coming often for the Philadelphia Flyers and so are the wins.

The goals are coming infrequently for the New York Rangers and the losses are piling up.

The Flyers seek a fifth straight win Tuesday night when they head to Madison Square Garden to face the Rangers, who were outscored 12-4 in their last two home games. >> Read more

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Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) takes a shot against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) takes a shot against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

This season the Rangers rank 17th in the NHL in shots on goal at 5 on 5 and 12th in goals scored at 5 on 5.

Overall, at 5 on 5, the Rangers have the second worst shots on goal for percentage at 47%.

In all situations the Rangers are averaging 31.5 shots on goal per game, which is 16th in the league.

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Mar 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Peter Holland (13) prepares to take a shoot the puck during a shootout in a NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. The Coyotes defeated the Kings 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Mar 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Peter Holland (13) prepares to take a shoot the puck during a shootout in a NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. The Coyotes defeated the Kings 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Peter Holland will make his Rangers debut tonight and is slated to start the game on a line with Jesper Fast and Michael Grabner.

Alain Vigneault said that Holland tries to play a 200ft game and that both Chris Drury and Wolf Pack coach Keith McCambridge gave good reports on him.

Vigneault said that McCambridge praised Holland's work ethic and understanding of "the right way to play," that he was playing well in Hartford and "we just wanted to take a look at him."

Tags: Peter Holland
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May 2, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault coaches against the Ottawa Senators during the third period of game three of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 2, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault coaches against the Ottawa Senators during the third period of game three of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Alain Vigneault met with the media prior to tonight's game and said (NYR):

  • On Grabner, "back then, when he was just a young kid, the speed factor was way above standards. He has really worked at his game, his conditioning. He is a beats in the gym and he brings it on the ice and that speed, that extra gear permits him to contribute offensively and do the right things defensively. He has been a real solid player for us."
  • On Peter Holland, "A good two-way player, tries to play a 200ft game, good with the puck, has been having some good moments in Hartford. Keith spoke very highly of him as far as his work ethic and his understanding of the right way to play. We made a little move there and hopefully he can come in and contribute for us."
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 (Danny Wild)
(Danny Wild)

10:49AM: McDonagh is skating on the Rangers second PP unit at the morning skate. Rick Nash has also been moved to the front of the net on the first PP unit and JT Miller is on the second unit. (Cyrgalis)

10:40AM: At the Rangers morning skate on Tuesday, Ryan McDonagh is on the ice but Kevin Hayes is not. (Zipay)

The lines being used at practice are (Calamia):

  • Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich
  • Mats Zuccarello, JT Miller, Vinni Lettieri
  • Jimmy Vesey, David Desharnais, Paul Carey
  • Michael Grabner, Peter Holland, Jesper Fast

The players on defense are rotating. (Zipay)

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Rick Nash said on Sunday that the Rangers need to "stick together" and that doing that early in the season helped the team dig out from their bad start. (NYR)

Nash said, "we believe, we are a a team and we can't start to separate." (NYR)

Henrik Lundqvist said on Sunday that the Rangers need to "come together and start playing our best hockey" if they want to stay in the playoff race.

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Dec 21, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save on New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Dec 21, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save on New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

As of Monday morning, the Rangers have allowed (Natural Stat Trick):

  • The 2nd most shot attempts against at 5 on 5
  • The most shots on goal against at 5 on 5
  • The 9th most goals against at 5 on 5
  • The 2nd most shots on goal against per game, 34.2

In their last four games, the Rangers have allowed at least 32 shots on goal against at 5 on 5. (Natural Stat Trick)

In 18 of the last 19 games, in all situations, the Rangers have allowed between 30 and 47 shots on goal. (Natural Stat Trick)

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Mar 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Peter Holland (13) prepares to take a shoot the puck during a shootout in a NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. The Coyotes defeated the Kings 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Mar 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Peter Holland (13) prepares to take a shoot the puck during a shootout in a NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. The Coyotes defeated the Kings 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The Rangers have reportedly called up center Peter Holland from the Wolf Pack and sent Boo Nieves back to Hartford.

The Rangers acquired Holland for forward Adam Cracknell at the end of November.

After being acquired the Rangers sent Holland to Hartford with an eye on potentially calling him up during the season.

Tags: Boo Nieves, Peter Holland
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Henrik Lundqvist said after the loss to the Pens that Rangers have been dealing with this issues for the last month or so and that their battle level hasn't been high enough.

He said that he thought the Rangers had a better battle level against the Pens than the Islanders but that it needs to be "extremely high every night."

Lundqvist said that the Rangers keep talking about what they need to do but that there has been enough talk and they "just need to do it."

Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers "definitely need to play better, there is no doubt."

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Filip Chytil scored for Hartford on Saturday in the Wolf Pack's 4-2 loss to the Belleville Senators.

Chytil was a minus two and had five shots on goal.

It was Chytil's first AHL goal since November 18th, he had gone 8 games between goals and only recorded one point in that stretch.

Tags: Filip Chytil
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New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media following the Rangers loss in Pitt (NYR):

  • On the level of concern, "we definitely need to play better, there is no doubt. We need to try and duplicate what we did in the first period tonight. We came out, felt like we had good energy, a couple of good looks in the offensive zone but we weren't able to sustain it. Those two penalties in the beginning of the second period led to definite momentum on their part and we were never really able to recover. They came at us with a lot of speed and we had a tough time handling it."
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Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes the ice before playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes the ice before playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Henrik Lundqvist spoke after tonight's loss in Pittsburgh and said:

  • "The past month the level has not been high enough. You almost get tired of yourself trying to find the right thing to say, it's about going out and executing now."
  • "We talk about what we need to do and coverage and pucks deep and when we do that we are a good team, but enough talk, we just need to do it."
  • This was a step in the right direction, we had more energy and jump in our game."
  • "It comes down to awareness and being on your toes."
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Patric Hornqvist scores a goal past New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Patric Hornqvist scores a goal past New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Rangers lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 on Sunday at PPG Paints Arena. >> Box score


First period:

  • 3:14 PIT Patric Hornqvist; Assists: Carl Hagelin, Kris Letang
  • 15:17 NYR Michael Grabner
  • 19:06 NYR Brendan Smith; Assists: Vinni Lettieri, Paul Carey

Second period:

  • 13:15 PIT Dominik Simon; Assists: Daniel Sprong, Brian Dumoulin
  • 14:30 PIT Phil Kessel; Assist: Conor Sheary

Third period:

  • 12:33 PIT Sidney Crosby; Assists: Kessel, Jamie Oleksiak
  • 18:01 PIT Carl Hagelin (ENG)
Tags: Brendan Smith, Michael Grabner, Pittsburgh Penguins
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10:40PM: McDonagh is dealing with back spasms and is being considered day to day. (Cyrgalis)

7:30PM: McDonagh is OUT tonight against the Penguins.

12PM: Ryan McDonagh is 50/50 for tonight's game

Tags: Ryan McDonagh
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Mika Zibanejad score the Rangers' lone goal in their 2-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday night. (AP)
Mika Zibanejad score the Rangers' lone goal in their 2-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday night. (AP)

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers hold the two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference, but they seem to be heading in different directions going into their game Sunday night at PPG Paints Arena.

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New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault talks to reporters after a practice in Tarrytown, N.Y., Tuesday, April 25, 2017. The Rangers have advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and will open the series against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault talks to reporters after a practice in Tarrytown, N.Y., Tuesday, April 25, 2017. The Rangers have advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and will open the series against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media after the morning skate in Pittsburgh today and said (NYR):

  • On Kevin Hayes, "he felt fine last night before the game and during the game he felt pain come back and after he just wasn't feeling well. We decided to keep him home, treat him and we will see how he is doing tomorrow."
  • "I would say that it's a lot better than it was then when the original injury occurred but not good enough to play."
  • Is Carey back in, "yes."
  • What will the lines be, "still debating that in my mind."
  • On McDonagh, "it's a little bit more than 50/50. He's got an issue right now, didn't skate this morning and will be a game time decision."
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Jan 13, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the New York Islanders during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jan 13, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the New York Islanders during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

2:21PM: On Hayes, Alain Vigneault said today:

  • On Kevin Hayes, "he felt fine last night before the game and during the game he felt pain come back and after he just wasn't feeling well. We decided to keep him home, treat him and we will see how he is doing tomorrow."
  • "I would say that it's a lot better than it was then when the original injury occurred but not good enough to play."

11:39AM: Kevin Hayes will not play tonight against the Penguins because of a contusion. (NYR)

Hayes was 50/50 to play in yesterday's game, scored, was a minus one and played 16:53.

Tags: Kevin Hayes
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Dec 27, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) talks to defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) during the second period against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Dec 27, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) talks to defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) during the second period against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Alain Vigneault was asked yesterday if the loss to the Islanders made him question what he had in this Rangers team.

Vigneault said that there are players on the Rangers that have proven they have been able to perform and execute in the past, "but I'm more in it for what are you doing for me right now."

He added, "as a group we need to step up and need to step up with a much better game on the ice."

Ryan McDonagh said on Saturday that the Rangers need more guys willing to do whatever is necessary to win.

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Jan 13, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) battles for position against New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (76) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jan 13, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) battles for position against New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (76) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mats Zuccarello said that the Rangers played "stupidly" and that it was "embarrassing" to play the way they did at MSG. (Nettavisen)

Zuccarello said that the Rangers have had enough meetings and talks about how things need to change and that now it's time to "fold up your sleeves." (Nettavisen)

He said that he doesn't think the Rangers have played that well in the last 15 games and that the way Henrik Lundqvist has played has helped them earn points they probably didn't deserve. (Nettavisen)

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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss to the Islanders and said:

  • On the game, "we've got a huge game in front of us, divisional game, one of our top rivals and to make the type of mistakes that we made tonight, you don't give yourself a chance to win. Goals 1, 3, 4 we have numbers there, we just don't check. Goal 2, shot from the point that doesn't get through and our defenseman jumps in and gives them a 3 on 0. Barzal's line just dominated Mika's line the whole game, I got three of my top players there and they were dominated the whole game. It was definitely not a good game for us, give the Islanders a lot of credit, they got some good looks and cashed in."
  • Does this make you question what you have, "I think that in the past a lot of players have proven they have been able to do it, but I'm more in it for what are you doing for me right now. As a group we need to step up and need to step up with a much better game on the ice."
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Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) awaits the face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) awaits the face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

4:46PM: Rick Nash spoke after the game and said:

  • On what the leadership group needs to stress…"I think you have to trust that you have to put trust in your game plan and trust in your system. If we play our system right, they don't get all those odd-man rushes tonight. I think the leaders have to lead and everyone has to follow. This league is too good to have five or six guys going a night. You need to have all 22 guys."
  • On if he felt there wasn't enough trust in the system today…"I think we have a game plan every single night. And today it was we can't play into their speed, we can't turn the puck over, and we can't give up odd man rushes. That's on the players. I don't know whether it's mental or just not doing the right job. We have to figure it out in here as players."

4:11PM: Henrik Lundqvist said after the game, "It starts with yourself and trying to bring everything that you got.

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Nov 26, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) chases the puck against Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin (33) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 26, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) chases the puck against Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin (33) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The Rangers resumed their 2017 season with a disappointing 7-2 loss to the Islanders at home. Kevin Hayes and Mika Zibanejad scored the Rangers goals. 

First period

  • 6:06 NYI Anthony Beauvillier; Assists: Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle
  • 14:25 NYR Kevin Hayes (PPG); Assist: Rick Nash
  • 16:25 NYI Shane Prince; Assist: Scott Mayfield

Second period

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Jan 13, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Shane Prince (11) scores a goal against New York Rangers goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jan 13, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Shane Prince (11) scores a goal against New York Rangers goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Ondrej Pavelec was pulled after the Rangers allowed 3 goals in the first 7 minutes of the second period.

Pavelec allowed 5 goals on 20 shots.

Henrik Lundqvist replaced Pavelec in net and while getting ready he skated by the Rangers bench speaking to his teammates.

John Giannone said that the message was Lundqvist telling his teammates to pick their heads up, and not to quit with all the time left. (MSG)

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist, Ondrej Pavelec
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