Alain Vigneault on today’s game…“It was definitely, for both teams, a playoff type game. Everybody was bunched together and Detroit plays that type of game where there isn’t a lot of space or room on the ice. They are a team who are champions, at I guess it must be legal interference because the referees don’t call penalties, but they are real good at taking you off stride and getting in front of slowing you down. You have to fight through that and you have to make sure you make the high percentage plays and keep making those plays and that’s what we did. That last shift at the end of the second period was a real big momentum shift for us. We took charge there and came right out in the beginning of the third and scored. After that we had a few breakdowns, and when we did Hank, like he has done real well with this year, he’s made the key saves and we just kept going from there.”
Henrik Lundqvist on today’s game…“It felt really good to play a solid 60 minute game and come back home after a big win in Carolina. It was important for us to beat this team. They’re right behind us. We discussed it yesterday; we took the option not to skate, whatever it takes right now to prepare for each game like in the playoffs. That’s the way it feels right now. We approach every game like a must-win. So it’s fun to be out there and play, and I thought we played a really strong game again. All over the ice we put a lot of pressure on them. We played really well in our own end. I think in the first ten minutes they got a couple odd man rushes but after that we kind of adjusted and played a lot better.”
Brad Richards on Henrik Lundqvist’s 300th win…“It’s great for him. He’s been the face of the franchise and will continue to be that, and that’s why. He’s only been in the league eight or nine years and it seems like it’s 30 or 40 wins each year. That’s stability for the organization and a great accomplishment for him.”
2:51PM: First Period:
- Brian Boyle 5 (Assists: John Moore 10, Dominic Moore 10)
- Chris Kreider 15 (Assists: Ryan McDonagh 23, Derek Stepan 32)
- Chris Kreider 16 (Assists: Derek Stepan 33, Ryan McDonagh 24)
- 3: Derek Stepan
- 2: Chris Kreider
- 1: Henrik Lundqvist
- Derek Stepan is a player that has been up and down this year but one that the Rangers need to be at this best, the way he was last year, for the Rangers to assure themselves of a playoff spot and potentially make a run.
- Chris Kreider falls into a bit of the same category as Stepan but his drop off, during a first full season in the NHL, has been a little bit more expected and understandable. When not scoring Kreider can still impact the game with his speed, physical play and willingness to mix it up in front of the net.
- Henrik Lundqvist didn't need to make a bunch of big saves tonight but he stopped everything that Detroit put his way. He picks up win number 300, ties Eddie Giacomin for the all-time shutout record and could tie and own the wins record by next Sunday's game against San Jose.
- Good for Brian Boyle and the fourth line to get a goal. That line has been mostly effective in their role creating energy and it's nice to see them rewarded with a goal.
- Two straight wins for the Rangers but now 6 of the next 7 on the road.
Notes via the Rangers:
- The Blueshirts have posted a record of 35-26-4 overall (74 pts), including a 16-15-4 mark at home this season.
- The Rangers finished their season series against the Red Wings with a 3-0-0 record, including shutouts in each of their last two meetings. The last time the Blueshirts swept the season series against the Red Wings when playing them more than once in a season was during the 1985-86 season (3-0-0). That was also the last time the Rangers won three games against the Red Wings in a single season. The last time the Rangers shutout the Red Wings twice in one season was in 1970-71.
- The Rangers’ shutout streak against the Red Wings is now at 144:58, dating back to 19:49 of the second period on Oct. 26, 2013.
- The Blueshirts have allowed two goals or less in 38 of 65 games this season, including 15 of their last 21 contests, and in six of their last eight at home. New York is 30-8-0 when holding opponents to two goals or less. The Blueshirts have held the Red Wings to two goals or less in each of their last four meetings.
- The Rangers’ penalty kill held the Red Wings scoreless in three power play opportunities (5:24). New York has not allowed a power play goal against in the last four games (nine times shorthanded), and has tallied three shorthanded goals over the span. The Blueshirts’ penalty kill is 15-16 (93.8%) in the last six games.
- Lundqvist has held opponents to two goals or less in 12 of his last 17 games (12-4-1, 2.00 GAA, .933 Sv%, 2 SO), and is 14-5-2 in his last 21 (2.17 GAA, .928 Sv%, 2 SO). Today’s game was the 12th time this season he posted 30 or more saves, improving to 9-2-1 with a 2.07 goals against average, .943 save percentage, and two shutouts in those contests.
- Chris Kreider notched two goals and four shots, and posted a plus-two rating in 12:30 of ice time. The two-goal performance was his second career multi-goal game. Kreider has notched three goals and four points in the last five games, and is now tied for second on the team with 16 goals this season.
- Derek Stepan tallied two assists to extend his assist/point streak to six games (one goal, eight assists), and posted a plus-two rating in 16:56 of ice time. He has recorded 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in the last 16 games, and is now tied for second on the team with 44 points this season.
- Ryan McDonagh recorded two assists to extend his point streak to four games (three goals, two assists), and posted a plus-two rating in a team-high, 22:49 of ice time. He now ranks fourth on the team with 24 assists this season.
- Brian Boyle notched the game’s opening goal at 5:14 of the first period and was credited with three hits in 9:54 of ice time. He has tallied two points (one goal, one assist) in the last three games, and is now three points shy of his 100th career point.
- John Moore registered an assist, two shots, and two hits in 15:37 of ice time. He has recorded an assist in each of the last two games, and he now ranks third among team defensemen with 10 assists this season.
- Dominic Moore tallied an assist and two shots in 11:38 of ice time. He has registered three points (one goal, two assists) in the last three games.