Alain Vigneault on tonight’s game…“That’s just hockey. You can talk all you want; you have to have those words become actions on the ice and the right kind of actions. Right now we are a .500 hockey team. When the other team scores a goal we don’t seem to have much of a push. I firmly believe this group is much better than that, but we are not showing it. We can talk all we want behind closed doors, but it’s up to everybody to find it.”
Henrik Lundqvist on tonight’s game…“It was a pretty tough game. They are a skilled team. Every time you play them if you lose the puck in the wrong area they are going to come and make some good plays to get in front of you. That second period obviously is what killed us. We have to talk about a few things. We know we are a good team, but we just have to get better.”
Ryan Callahan on looking ahead to next game…“We have to respond. This is not good enough at home. We have a long home stand, and now it takes the guys in here to respond and be better. It starts Tuesday night and that’s how we are looking at this. We have a challenge in front of us and now we have to answer it.”
9:36PM: First Period:
- Jason Chimera 6 (Assists: Martin Erat 9, Steve Oleksy 7)
- Steve Oleksy 1 (Assists: Jay Beagle 1)
- Mikhail Grabovski 9 (penalty shot)
- Nate Schmidt 2 (Unassisted)
- Benoit Pouliot 3 (Assists: Michael Del Zotto 4)
- This is another case of the Rangers being frustrating in all aspects of the game. They didn't create or sustain offense, they were sloppy defensively and as Joe noted on the broadcast, they weren't hard to play against. The Capitals won every puck battle and were more than happy to wait for the Rangers to make another ill-advised cross-ice fast that they could intercept.
- It's even more frustrating to see the Rangers squander the first two games of this home stand. They can't play like this at MSG if they want to be a playoff team. They are lucky that most of the Metro Division is as inconsistent as they are, but they are destined for a .500 record and an extra long summer if they can't get things figured out at MSG.
- The Rangers top players need to take accountability for how things have gone. They say the right things after each one of these games but then they get on the ice and it's the same story.
- Turnovers and puck management continue to be an issue and one that will continue to sink the team until they get it figured out.
Notes via the Rangers:
- The Blueshirts are now 15-15-1 overall (31 pts), including a 5-7-1 mark at home this season.
- New York has posted a combined record of 6-5-1 in back-to-backs this season, including a 3-3-0 mark in the second game of the set (1-2-0 at home). The Rangers are now 16-8-2 in the second half of back-to-back games dating back to the start of the 2011-12 season.
- The Blueshirts’ penalty kill was 2-2 (4:00) in the contest, and has now held opponents scoreless in 11 of the last 14 games (32-35, 91.4% over the span).
- New York won 29-57 faceoffs (51%) in the contest, and is now 99-175 (56.6%) on faceoffs in the last three games.
- Michael Del Zotto tallied an assist, and was credited with two hits and two shots in 20:38 of ice time, while making his return to the lineup after not dressing yesterday against New Jersey. He has now registered two points (one goal, one assist) in his last three home games.
- Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves and is now 9-12-1 overall, including a 4-6-1 mark at home this season. His shutout streak against the Capitals ended at 202:28, dating back to the beginning of Game 6 of their 2013 Eastern Conference Semifinal matchup. Lundqvist is now 2-2-0 with a 3.50 goals against average and .906 save percentage when posting 30 or more saves in a game this season.
- Lundqvist has now started on consecutive days 67 times in his career, posting a record of 41-19-7 with a 2.06 goals against average, .930 save percentage, and six shutouts in the second game of the back-to-back set.
- Dan Girardi registered a game-high, six hits, and was credited with two blocked shots in 22:38 of ice time. He leads the Rangers with 75 hits and 53 blocked shots on the season.
- Ryan McDonagh tied for the game-high with four shots and three blocked shots, and led all skaters with 24:53 of ice time. He leads the Rangers in average ice time, logging 23:39 per game.