Tag:

Neal Pionk

Nov 24, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) hits New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith (42) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 24, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) hits New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith (42) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Rangers scored two straight goals to start this game off, but the Capitals came right back to deliver a 5-3 loss at The Garden on Saturday. >> Box score

First period:

  • 9:12 NYR Jimmy Vesey; Assists: Jesper Fast, Kevin Hayes
Tags: Brady Skjei, Henrik Lundqvist, Jesper Fast, Jimmy Vesey, Kevin Hayes, Neal Pionk, Ryan Strome
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New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for the puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for the puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Three months ago almost every NHL preview did not have the Rangers and Islanders as two teams that would be fighting for the lead in the Metropolitan Division, but as we approach their first matchup Thursday night, it appears that neither team read, watched or listened those predictions -- the Isles and Rangers are tied for second place with 20 points, trailing only the Columbus Blue Jackets by two points for the division lead. 

Both teams have taken very different paths to get to this point. 

Let's start with the Islanders, who appear to have moved on from losing former captain John Tavares. The stability that Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have brought to the organization cannot be quantified. While this team is not the most talented, it does not get outworked, plays a much better defensive structure and is keeping the puck out of its own net. Thomas Greiss and Robin Lehner have provided stability between the pipes and the duo of Josh Bailey and Anders Lee have proven that they are not a product of their former captain...

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Chris Kreider, Jimmy Vesey, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Mika Zibanejad, Neal Pionk, Thomas Greiss
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New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for the puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for the puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Three months ago almost every NHL preview did not have the Rangers and Islanders as two teams that would be fighting for the lead in the Metropolitan Division, but as we approach their first matchup Thursday night, it appears that neither team read, watched or listened those predictions -- the Isles and Rangers are tied for second place with 20 points, trailing only the Columbus Blue Jackets by two points for the division lead. 

Both teams have taken very different paths to get to this point. 

Let's start with the Islanders, who appear to have moved on from losing former captain John Tavares. The stability that Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have brought to the organization cannot be quantified. While this team is not the most talented, it does not get outworked, plays a much better defensive structure and is keeping the puck out of its own net. Thomas Greiss and Robin Lehner have provided stability between the pipes and the duo of Josh Bailey and Anders Lee have proven that they are not a product of their former captain. 

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Chris Kreider, Jimmy Vesey, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Mika Zibanejad, Neal Pionk, Thomas Greiss
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Oct 23, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) is congratulated by New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) after scoring a goal against the Florida Panthers during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Oct 23, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) is congratulated by New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) after scoring a goal against the Florida Panthers during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Rangers overcame a 3-1 deficit in the second period by scoring four unanswered goals -- including three in the third frame -- for a 5-3 come-from-behind victory over the Montreal Canadiens. >> Box score

First period:

  • 0:23 MTL Tomas Tatar; Assists: Jordie Benn, Jeff Petry
  • 15:50 NYR Chris Kreider; Assists: Kevin Hayes

 

Tags: Kevin Hayes, Montreal Canadiens, Neal Pionk
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New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist makes a save against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist makes a save against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)

The Rangers scored twice in a 19-second span in the second period to beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. >> Box score

First period:

  • N/A

Second period:

  • 0:41 NYR Neal Pionk; Assists: Vladislav Namestnikov, Mika Zibanejad
  • 1:00 NYR Jimmy Vesey; Assists: Brett Howden, Jesper Fast

 

Tags: Jimmy Vesey, Neal Pionk, Buffalo Sabres
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Feb 13, 2018; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk (44) during a game between the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Feb 13, 2018; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk (44) during a game between the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Neal Pionk scored his second goal in two-games for Team USA in their 9-3 win over Norway.

Pionk had two shots on goal, a plus two rating and played 10:40, with 3:48 in the first, 4:27 in the second and 2:25 in the third.

Pionk was also called for hooking.

Tags: Chris Kreider, Neal Pionk
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Feb 13, 2018; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk (44) during a game between the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Feb 13, 2018; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk (44) during a game between the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Team USA defeated South Korea 13-1 at the World Championships on Friday.

Chris Kreider had an assist, 3 shots on goal, a plus one rating and a total of 13:43.

He played 5:09 in the first, 6:17 in the second and 2:17 in the third.

Tags: Chris Kreider, Neal Pionk
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Mar 3, 2018; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider (20) celebrates a first period goal against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports (Perry Nelson)
Mar 3, 2018; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider (20) celebrates a first period goal against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports (Perry Nelson)

Chris Kreider scored a PP goal for Team USA in their 3-2 OT win over Latvia in the World Championships.

Kreider had two shots on goal, played 12:24 overall and was called for holding 29 seconds into the game.

Kreider played 3:11 in the first, 4:37 in the second and 4:36 in the third.

Neal Pionk had one shot on goal in 11:58, playing 4:14 in the first, 4:41 in the second and 3:03 in the third

Tags: Chris Kreider, Neal Pionk
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Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) readies for play during the third period against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) readies for play during the third period against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

5:36PM: Kreider had a goal, an assist and was named as the Player of the Game for Team USA in their win over Denmark.

Kreider had four shots on goal, a plus one rating and 12:36 of ice time.

By period, Kreider played 4:54 in the first, 4:09 in the second period and 3:33 in the third.

Tags: Chris Kreider, Neal Pionk
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New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) looks on during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (Nick Wass/AP)
New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) looks on during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (Nick Wass/AP)

2:45PM:Kreider had two assists and was a plus one in 15:42 in Team USA's shootout win over Canada.

Neal Pionk had one shot on goal, was a plus two and played 16:10.

By period, Pionk played 5:52 in the first, 5:34 in the second, 4:44 in the third and did not see a shift in OT.

Tags: Chris Kreider, Neal Pionk
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Mar 24, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk (44) acknowledges the fan after being named the third star of the game and scoring his first career NHL goal in a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Mar 24, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk (44) acknowledges the fan after being named the third star of the game and scoring his first career NHL goal in a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Neal Pionk scored his first career NHL goal in tonight's win over Buffalo.

Pionk spoke after the game and said (NYR Game Notes):

  • On his goal tonight"It started with a great play all around by the forwards. I think Zucc entered the zone, kicked it out to Hayesy. Haysey dropped it to Ves and Ves made one heck of a play. All I had to do was tap it in."
  •  On realizing he scored his first NHL goal…"It's hard to believe it at first. It's just such a great feeling when those guys come get you and they all give you a huge hug. Something I will never forget."
  •  On Lindy Ruff's assessment that the more responsibility he gets, the more comfortable he seems…"I've handled that before in past seasons with previous teams. So when I get more responsibility it's about easing into it, not trying to be too complicated, and taking it game-by-game."
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Feb 13, 2018; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk (44) during a game between the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Feb 13, 2018; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk (44) during a game between the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Neal Pionk had three assists in Wednesday's win over Pittsburgh and led all skaters with 26:03 in the game.

Pionk, 22, has five assists in the past three games and eight points in the last eight games.

Since Pionk was called up, Alain Vigneault has said:

  • 2/14: He's a good skating defenseman, is willing to take a hit to make a play, has good poise with the puck, improved skating since training camp and a "smart young man" with a good understanding of the game.
  • 2/15: He can skate his way out of trouble, makes easy outlet passes and was got more ice time due to the injury to Steve Kampfer.
  • 2/16: Pionk, and John Gilmour, have made contributions in a "very positive way" and that the challenge for them will be being able to sustain and maintain their level of play on a consistent basis.
  • 3/12: "I've really liked his game, both with the puck and without it." Pionk is a "smart player, has a good "gap and "competes."
  • 3/14: Marc Staal was asked by Pierre McGuire about Pionk and said,"he was unbelievable tonight, I thought he played outstanding. He's been solid and getting better and better." (NBCSN)
  • 3/16/18 | Vigneault said on Friday, "I think that with Neal, he is a bright young man. He understands the game and I think he understands the percentages in the game. He is putting himself in a good spot, I really like his compete level, he competes hard. He has a good skill set and he can make that pass and there is no doubt that in college and prior to that he was considered an offensive defenseman and good on the rush, good on the PP. There is some upside there with him. We need to continue to work at his game and improve it."
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Feb 11, 2018; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman John Gilmour (58) skates away from Winnipeg Jets forward Nic Petan (19) during the second period at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Terrence Lee)
Feb 11, 2018; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman John Gilmour (58) skates away from Winnipeg Jets forward Nic Petan (19) during the second period at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Terrence Lee)

Through two games in the NHL, John Gilmour and Neal Pionk have played:

John Gilmour:

  • Calgary: 17:11, 2 shots on goal, 2 shot attempts blocked, 2 hits, 1 giveaway, 2 takeaways (12:24 at even strength, 2:46 PP, 2:01 PK)
  • Winnipeg: 12:45, 3 shots on goal, 3 shot attempts blocked, 1 missed shot, 2 giveaways (10:18 even strength, 2:27 PP)

Neal Pionk:

Tags: John Gilmour, Neal Pionk
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Sep 18, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers Neal Pionk (44) scores the game winning goal against New York Islanders goalie Eamon McAdam (34) in overtime 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 Neal Pionk (44) scores the game winning goal against New York Islanders goalie Eamon McAdam (34) in overtime at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Neal Pionk scored the OT winner for the Rangers in tonight's game against the Islanders.

To see the video, click below.

Pionk spoke after the game and said (NYR Game Notes):

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Chris Drury said that the Rangers have been looking at Neal Pionk for two seasons and that every team is looking for right handed puck moving defensemen. (NYR)

Drury said that Pionk's combo of "character, compete level and grit, to go along with the way he plays the game - both offensively and defensively - are the reasons why we wanted to add him." (NYR)

Gordie Clark said that Pionk was the top offensive college free agent defenseman on the market and said that he has the opportunity to be the right hand shot offensive defenseman the Rangers have been looking for. (NYR)

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Defenseman Neal Pionk said that he chose the Rangers after visiting with the organization, meeting the management team and speaking with Alain Vigneault. (Duluth News Tribune)

It was reported when he signed that around 20 teams were interested in Pionk.

Pionk said that he likes the Rangers style of play as well as the success they have had the past few years. (Duluth News Tribune)

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The Rangers have announced that they have signed defenseman Neal Pionk out of the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Pionk, 21, had seven goals and 27 assists in 42 games as a sophomore this past season and is 6-0, 190.

From the Rangers release, "He established collegiate career-highs in several categories in 2016-17, including games played, goals, assists, points, and plus/minus rating. In addition, Pionk helped Minnesota Duluth win the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Championship, and he also helped the team advance to the Frozen Four and the National Championship Game."

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