Alain Vigneault on today’s game…“We came out real strong. Our guys were prepared to play. They followed the plan. They did what they had to do defensively, I thought, to keep that team as checked as good as I thought we could. They have three lines that can score and defense that can join the rush. I thought defensively we did what we had to do and offensively we did everything but finish. We had some great looks and open nets, but couldn’t pull the trigger. We threw enough pucks at the net to get a bounce or something, but we played a good game and we’re playing some good hockey. We just have to put it behind us and move onto the next one.”
Henrik Lundqvist on today’s game…“We definitely understand how important every point is right now. Again we go out there and play a really strong game against one of the best teams in the league, but it’s hard to be positive about things when you don’t win. Right now it’s about points. It’s not about playing great against good teams. It’s about finding ways to win and we didn’t tonight. It’s disappointing, but we have to regroup because there’s a lot of hockey left here. We have to get ready for the next one and we need two points in the next game.”
Brad Richards on today’s game…“I think he (Niemi) probably won them that hockey game. We came out with a lot of jump, we had a lot of chances, but still need more. The only thing we can do is try and figure out how to get more, more traffic, but I mean we had some looks that he saved or we just missed. Right now, it seems like that’s just the way it is, but we gave ourselves a lot more looks than the last three games where we weren’t creating much at all. That’s more our game. Still a lot of games left and we have to take that, build on that effort, and get right back to work.”
6:38PM First Period:
- Logan Couture 19 (short-handed) (Unassisted)
- Some nights the other goalie plays excellent and steps everything that you put on net. Henrik Lundqvist has done that before for the Rangers and Niemi did it for the Sharks tonight. The Rangers had plenty of "Grade A" chances but Niemi was excellent.
- The goal that didn't count probably should have counted but the rules state that it needs to be conclusive and Toronto didn't see it that way. It's all the more frustrating because of the Rangers lack of scoring lately and because it seemed like that was the only way they would beat Niemi.
- Marty St. Louis didn't register a shot attempt tonight but his line had some good scoring chances. Derick Brassard is snakebitten again after he was playing his best hockey before the Olympic break.
- Right now the Rangers aren't getting many points while the teams around them are. They have dropped, as of now, into the wild card are of the playoffs which is not where they want to be. It isn't where they want to be but with Columbus and the Flyers both having two games in hand, the wild card may be where the Rangers end up. That said, the Caps are only two points back of the Rangers.
- The Blueshirts have posted a record of 36-29-4 overall (76 pts), including a 16-16-4 mark at home this season.
- The Rangers’ penalty kill held the Sharks scoreless in one power play opportunity (2:00). New York has not allowed a power play goal against in the last eight games (21 times shorthanded), and has tallied three shorthanded goals over the span. The Blueshirts’ penalty kill is now 27-28 (96.4%) in the last 10 games.
- New York out-shot San Jose, 41-29, in the contest, including a 20-11 advantage in the first period. The Blueshirts have registered 40 or more shots in five of the last 13 games, and have been credited with 452 shots on goal over the span (34.8 shots on goal per game). The Rangers have now out-shot their opponent in seven of their last nine games.
- The Blueshirts won 35-63 faceoffs (56%), with four of five players posting a faceoff winning percentage of 50% or better in the contest.
- Dan Girardi registered three shots and tied for the game-high with three blocked shots in 26:20 of ice time. He has now been credited with 15 blocked shots in the last three games, and leads the team with 153 blocked shots this season.
- Ryan McDonagh tied for the game-highs with six shots and three blocked shots, and led all skaters with 27:18 of ice time. He has now logged 25:00+ of ice time in six of the last nine games, and leads the Rangers with an average of 24:41 of ice time per game this season.
- Derek Stepan registered three shots and won a game-high, 17-30 faceoffs (57%) in 16:55 of ice time. He established a new single-game career-high with his 17 faceoff wins.