Feb 7, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 7, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Henrik Lundqvist will be the backup tonight as the Rangers play the Blue Jackets.

Lundqvist spoke after the morning skate on Monday and said (NYR):

  • "You can feel that you played 4-5 games in a short matter of time and it's nice to get the night off tonight and work yesterday in practice and today and focus on the next game."
  • Have you reflected on 400, "Saturday night I did, I spent a couple of hours, took it all in and enjoyed that moment. Then you move on, you don't want to get stuck, yesterday it was back to work and work on your game and get better but I definitely spent Saturday night taking it all in and answering all my buddies, lots of text messages so I spent half the night just answering people. It was a great moment, for that game and how it ended and the love that the fans showed me was special to me. It never gets old either, to have that feeling at the Garden and to win a big game and enjoy it with your friends and teammates."
  • Did you keep anything from it, "that puck I kept, shutouts, keep those pucks, some masks. I used two sticks for the game and one I will auction off for Garden of Dreams at Casino night. Right now you might not think much of it but it 10-15 years it might be fun to have those things sitting around somewhere."
  • You will play as long as Jagr, "I don't know about that. He is an example, he is one of the best to ever play, but he has so much passion and if you want to play for a long time, that is where it starts. How much do you love the game and how much can you really put in, of your time and effort, to really work on your game because you need to constantly work on your game, he is one of the best players ever to play and he still works on his game. He still works on his physique and there is always something and to be able to do that, mentally, you have to love it. That is why we play, because we love it."
  • You will play until you lose the passion, "yea. There are a lot of things that go into it. Right now I love the game, everything about the game, the travel, the teammates and meeting a lot of people and being part of the organization. Most of it, I just love to compete and being out there on the ice and in practice and in games and measure yourself against the best players in the world. It's a great feeling and exciting. As long as you feel that, physically I feel great too." 
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist

 (AP)
(AP)

Rick Nash scored twice, but Henrik Lundqvist allowed three first-period goals and was pulled to set the tone early as the Rangers fell to the Ducks, 6-3, on the road at the Honda Center on Tuesday night. >> Box score


First period:

  • 3:25 ANA J.T. Brown; unassisted
  • 11:09 NYR Rick Nash (Power Play); Assists: Mats Zuccarello, Pavel Buchnevich
  • 13:23 ANA Corey Perry (Power Play); Assists: Ryan Getzlaf, Cam Fowler
  • 15:14 NYR Rick Nash; Assists: Anthony DeAngelo, Mika Zibanejad
  • 16:21 ANA Andrew Cogliano; Assists: Josh Manson, Hampus Lindholm
  • 18:38 ANA Adam Henrique (Shorthanded); Assist: Ryan Getzlaf
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist, Rick Nash
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Jan 20, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) in the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Jan 20, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) in the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

10:59PM: Henrik Lundqvist was pulled after allowing 3 goals on 7 shots in the first 16:21 of tonight's game against the Ducks.

Ondrej Pavelec came into the game for Lundqvist and allowed a goal on the only shot that he faced in the remaining 3:30 of the period.

Lundqvist allowed a goal on a 2 on 1, a breakaway on the PP, and a goal to an open Andrew Cogliano when the Ducks came into the zone 2 on 3.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Dec 5, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) handles the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. New York won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Dec 5, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) handles the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. New York won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

On TSN, Darren Dreger said the following about the Rangers and the trade deadline:

  • On Rick Nash and Michael Grabner, "these are two players that are expected to be highly sought after. The Rangers are leaning towards being open for business from a trade front perspective because of their recent slide but it's going to take a lot to acquire Rick Nash. He has yet to be asked for his 12 team trade list."
  • On Ryan McDonagh, "there has been a lot of speculation around the Rangers defenseman. It's more more likely that if he gets dealt it's during the summer on the draft floor but again, Jeff Gorton is at least willing to listen."

For more on the Rangers and potential trade deadline moves, click HERE, HERE and HERE.

 

Tags: Michael Grabner, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh
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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)

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The New York Rangers are hoping to rebound from a tough loss on Sunday to the Los Angeles Kings when they face the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Tuesday night.

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

  • On Kevin Hayes, "he's day to day, working on his rehab and trying to get into the lineup."
  • Same lineup, "yes."
  • On the PK, "there were definitely some breakdowns on those, a major turnover by one of our defensemen that led to a direct goal there. We will address the issues of structure and we will address the execution when we have opportunities to get the puck down. PKing had been one of our stronger assets and it needs to get back on track here."
  • On tonight's game, "I thought that for the most part our defensive game was good, that is what we talked about prior to the game. Loved how we competed in the first period and played, we had some real good looks and what we need to do against good hockey teams, put three periods like that together. We were good in the third, had some looks, opportunities but the second period in the last game hurt us. Lets learn from it and lets bring a good game tonight."
  • Staal is good, "yes."
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Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith (42) 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 defenseman Brendan Smith (42) against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Brendan Smith has played in the last five games for the Rangers after sitting out the final game before the Rangers bye week and their first game after the bye.

Prior to coming back into the lineup, Alain Vigneault was asked about Smith and said, "he would be the first to say, I think, that he can be better. There are a lot of things we all like about Smitty, his energy, the way that he comes to play. But for this first half, I would say that it hasn't been what we expected, it hasn't been the same player that we saw last year.

In the five games since Smith has returned, he has 1 goal, a minus 2 rating, 18 PIM, 14 shots on goal and an average of 17:52.

Tags: Brendan Smith
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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)

3:13PM: Hayes is still skating with Steven Kampfer and Dan Catenacci, likely indicating that they are scratched. (Zipay)

Lundqvist is likely to start. (Zipay)

2:53PM: At the Rangers morning skate in Anaheim, Kevin Hayes is on the ice in a regular jersey but rotating in different spots. (Cyrgalis)

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 (AP)
(AP)

Igor Shesterkin has been named to Russia's Olympic team for the coming games in South Korea.

Elliotte Friedman wrote in late September that the Rangers are "quietly thrilled" that Shesterkin is making a case to start for Russia in the Olympics and noted that his coach in the KHL is also the coach of the Olympic team. (Sportsnet)

Chris Peters wrote in mid-November that Shesterkin has been a big part of SKA being the best team in the KHL (ESPN Insider)

Tags: Igor Shesterkin
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Sep 25, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Anthony DeAngelo (77) carries the puck during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Sep 25, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Anthony DeAngelo (77) carries the puck during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

In two games since being called up, Anthony DeAngelo has one assist and a minus two rating.

In those two games, DeAngelo has played:

  • Colorado: 15:29, 2 shots on goal, 4 hits, 4 blocked shots (5:16 in the first, 5:39 in the second, 4:34 in the third)
  • LA: 19:17, 1 shot that missed the net, 1 hit, 2 blocked shots (6:48 in the first, 6:18 in the second, 6:11 in the third with 3:23 on the PP and 40 seconds on the PK.)

In the two games, at 5 on 5, when DeAngelo has been on the ice for 24 shot attempts for, 38 against, 13 shots on goal for and 19 against. (Nat Stat Trick)

Tags: Anthony DeAngelo
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Jan 21, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) blocks a shot by Los Angeles Kings center Trevor Lewis (22) as New York defenseman Nick Holden (55) pressures Lewis in the second period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)
Jan 21, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) blocks a shot by Los Angeles Kings center Trevor Lewis (22) as New York defenseman Nick Holden (55) pressures Lewis in the second period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

The Rangers have allowed a total of five PP goals against in the past three games including three from LA in the second period on Sunday.

The Rangers were recently ranked 2nd in the league in penalty killing and as of early Monday they rank 12th.

The Kings had only scored one PP goal in the six games prior to last night.

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After one period on Sunday, the Rangers had a 2-0 lead after David Desharnais scored on the PP and Jimmy Vesey scored at even strength.

JT Miller said that the Rangers came out with the right mindset and played one of their best first periods in a while. (NYR)

Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers played a "real solid first period" and executed the plan they had before the game.

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Dec 15, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault watches his team take on the Dallas Stars during the third period at the American Airlines Center. The Rangers shut out the Stars 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Dec 15, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault watches his team take on the Dallas Stars during the third period at the American Airlines Center. The Rangers shut out the Stars 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

Alain Vigneault met with the media following the loss to LA and said (NYR):

  • On speaking with the refs at the end of the first and start of second, "it was just about their goaltender crossing the red line and coming to provoke a couple of our players. We played a real solid first period, the way we had talked about before the game. Not crazy about Smitty's penalty but our PK that had been a real good weapon for us let us down and they scored three goals and that was the difference in the game."
  • On the PK, "they got people in front and they shot the puck. We weren't able to get our coverage in front of the net and pucks found their way in."
  • On Smith's penalty at the end of the first, "not quite sure, I haven't watched the replay so I'm not quite sure what started the scrum. I did see quickly the shot from behind, refs are going to call that. I'm definitely not crazy about that penalty at that time the way we he played in the first."
  • On the hit on Smith, "I'm going to let the league deal with that, they do a good job in handling those."
  • On Henrik, "he played very well in the first period. A couple of them got through in the second."
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Los Angeles Kings left wing Tanner Pearson (70) scores behind New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, of Sweden, during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Michael Owen Baker/AP)
Los Angeles Kings left wing Tanner Pearson (70) scores behind New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, of Sweden, during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Michael Owen Baker/AP)

David Desharnais and Jimmy Vesey put the Rangers ahead early with first-period goals, but the team subsequently failed to score en route to a 4-2 loss to the Kings on Sunday night in Los Angeles.  >> Box score


First period:

  • 3:53 NYR David Desharnais (Power Play); Assists: Tony DeAngelo, Vinni Lettieri
  • 7:12 NYR Jimmy Vesey; Assists: Mats Zuccarello, Brady Skjei

Second period:

  • 0:30 LAK Jake Muzzin (Power Play); Assists: Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar
  • 6:13 LAK Michael Amadio (Power Play); Assists: Alec Martinez
  • 10:22 LAK Tanner Pearson (Power Play); Assists: Alec Martinez, Michael Amadio 

Third period:

  • 19:42 LAK Trevor Lewis (ENG); Assists: Drew Doughty
Tags: David Desharnais, Jimmy Vesey
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9:02PM: Alain Vigneault met with the media in LA prior to tonight's game and said (NYR):

  • On the lineup, "Grabs is good to go, so he is back in the lineup. Kevin Hayes, no, Marc Staal is a game time decision. He skated this morning and felt pretty good. He will take warmups and talk to Rammer and we will know after warmups."
  • Henrik in goal, "yes."
  • On the approach tonight, "we need to play, what I have said 1,000 times, the right way. Back to back nights, also a lot of games in a short amount of time. We need to make sure that our energy level is good on the ice, that is short shift hockey. Need to keep the shifts to 25-30 seconds, make sure we have fresh legs on the ice and our focus is going to be on defense first. We need to play a strong defensive game. Last night we were pretty good in that area and from playing a strong defensive game we should be able to get some offensive opportunities. We are playing against a desperate opponent, we need some wins. It should be a real good hockey games."
  • On why going back to Hank, "we had an afternoon game, he played well, he looks good and energized and wants to play."

8:30PM: Henrik Lundqvist starts in goal for the Rangers tonight against the Kings and the latest on the injured players are: (Giannone)

  • Kevin Hayes is doubtful to play
  • Marc Staal is a game time decision
  • Michael Grabner, who missed yesterday's game with the flu, is expected to play.

Hayes and Staal were both listed as 50/50 for the game.

Dan Catenacci comes out of the lineup for Grabner. (NYR)

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Jan 20, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) controls the puck in the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Jan 20, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) controls the puck in the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Pavel Buchnevich has four points during his three-game point streak.

Prior to the three-game point streak, Buchnevich only had 4 points in his prior 13 games.

From the Rangers Game Notes, Buchnevich "ranks second on the Rangers in points this season (30; 13 goals and 17 assists), and he is also tied for the team lead in points against Western Conference opponents this season (12; five goals and seven assists in 15 games)."

Tags: Pavel Buchnevich
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Jan 20, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) defends on a shot from Colorado Avalanche center Tyson Jost (17) in the second period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Jan 20, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) defends on a shot from Colorado Avalanche center Tyson Jost (17) in the second period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Following the Rangers loss on Saturday, Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan McDonagh and Alain Vigneault all said that they were happy with the team's battle level.

Lundqvist said that the Rangers came up short but worked "really hard against a really good team." (MSG)

He said that there are a lot of good things that the Rangers can bring to tonight's game against LA, especially the "work ethic and battle level." (MSG)

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Oct 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36), defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) and right wing Rick Nash (61) await a face-off during the first period against the Vegas Golden Knights at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Oct 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36), defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) and right wing Rick Nash (61) await a face-off during the first period against the Vegas Golden Knights at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Both Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello's names have been brought up in relation to potential moves the Rangers might make at the trade deadline.

Zuccarello's name has come up as someone the Rangers might listen to offers for and he said that based upon how he thinks he is playing, he isn't sure any team would want him. (Nettavisen)

He said that he only hears about these rumors because he is sent messages and told about them, adding "this is not in my hands. If so, I'll make the best of it." (Nettavisen)

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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 and said:

  • "I thought we competed hard, I agree with that. There were a couple of areas we addressed before the game that we needed to do, our forecheck being one of them which led to some turnovers but give them credit, they did a good job of collapsing in front of the net and taking our opportunities away. At the end of the day it was a hard fought game. They took that 2-0 lead, we are able to make it 2-1 on a couple of real good plays on our PP but after a good start at the beginning of the third, they brought it up a notch. We had a tough time there but had a couple of looks at the end but weren't able to score."
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Nov 2, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) shoots as Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn (55) defends during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 2, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) shoots as Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn (55) defends during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

6:24PM: Following the game in Colorado, Alain Vigneault said the following about the status of Hayes & Staal for tomorrow, "I would say that both Kevin and Marc are, at best, 50/50 for tomorrow. Grabs, I have no idea right now." (MSG)

10:14AM- Alain Vigneault said on Friday that both Kevin Hayes and Marc Staal are out for today's game against Colorado but they are 50/50 for tomorrow night in LA.

Vigneault said that Hayes and Staal are expected to skate prior to today's game and tomorrow's game and then decisions on their status will be made.

Hayes will miss his fourth straight game today while Staal will miss his second.

Tags: Kevin Hayes, Marc Staal
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Jan 20, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) in the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Jan 20, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) in the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Henrik Lundqvist met with the media on MSG and said:

  • On the Avs, "I felt like they have really good speed in their game. They are feeling it right now, no question about that, and their top guys are playing really well and make a difference for them. They are a quick team, their transition game is really good. They create a lot off the rush but I really liked how we battled. We worked really hard against a really good team that has a ton of confidence right now. In this league, when you work hard and have a lot of confidence and things are working for you then it's a tough team to beat, doesn't matter what team it is. Right now they have it. We came up a little short, had some good looks in the end but a lot of good things that we can bring for tomorrow's game against a physical team tomorrow."
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Jan 20, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) defends on a shot from Colorado Avalanche center Tyson Jost (17) in the second period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Jan 20, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) defends on a shot from Colorado Avalanche center Tyson Jost (17) in the second period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Pavel Buchnevich scored the Rangers' lone goal on Saturday in a 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • 9:00 COL Erik Johnson; Assists: Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon

Second period:

  • 3:24 COL Nathan MacKinnon; Assists: Erik Johnson, Mark Barberio
  • 6:55 NYR Pavel Buchnevich (Power Play); Assists: Mats Zuccarello, Ryan McDonagh

Third period:

  • 19:59 COL Mikko Rantanen (ENG)
Tags: Pavel Buchnevich
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Nov 26, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Michael Grabner (40) skates during the third period against the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports  (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 26, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Michael Grabner (40) skates during the third period against the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The Rangers have announced that Michael Grabner will miss today's game in Colorado due to the flu. (NYR)

Daniel Catenacci will take his spot in the lineup.

The lines the Rangers are using in warmups are (Cyrgalis):

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

The New York Rangers have been one of the best road teams in the NHL over the past two seasons. That success is going to be severely tested in their first stop of a four-game road trip.

The Rangers are 34-21-4 on the road since the start of the 2016-17 season, which is tops in the Eastern Conference in that span. But they face a tough task in trying to stop the hottest team in the NHL. The Colorado Avalanche have won eight straight games and have soared past last year's totals with 38 games left in this season.

Beating the Avalanche won't be easy when the two teams meet for a matinee matchup Saturday at Pepsi Center.

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Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) celebrates his game winning overtime goal 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 center Filip Chytil (72) celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Filip Chytil scored the OT winner for the Wolf Pack on Friday night against Utica.

Tags: Filip Chytil
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Sep 18, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Anthony DeAngelo (77) 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 defenseman Anthony DeAngelo (77) during warm up before game against New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Tony DeAngelo returns to the Rangers lineup today for the first time since October 23rd.

Since being sent to Hartford, DeAngelo has played in 29 games, has 2 goals, 11 assists, a minus 12 rating, 17 PIM and 73 shots on goal.

Alain Vigneault said on Friday that the reports from Hartford were that DeAngelo was starting to play his best hockey over the last couple of weeks and that he has been "very solid."

Tags: Anthony DeAngelo
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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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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.

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." 

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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)

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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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