Henrik Lundqvist has mentioned many times this season about how the Rangers have grown together and become a more mature team.

On how this team has changed from in the past, Dan Girardi, who has been a Ranger since 2006, said at Newsday, “We’re more resilient, nothing gets to us, we don’t let a goal really bother us and coming back for wins and holding on to leads in the third, that’s what separates us.”

On MSG last night, John Tortorella said, "the biggest thing is our consistency, I think that is where we have really grown. We are not getting into too many valleys. The one in March was about the only one that we had all year. Our guys come into work every day and try to be the best that they can be."

Tortorella talked about some of the goals this team set out for early in the season and how they accomplished them: "We wanted to try and get away from being that 7th, 8th and 9th team and try to get into the middle of it here. We kept on pushing, we kept on working on our game each day and you find yourself in the situation where we are being chased since December. It's been a great experience for our team in a regular season situation to be chased the way we have been for so long and to handle themselves the proper way, especially in the month of March where we went through some dips. We just stayed about our business. I think that it's something that they can rely on, lean on if they get into these types of situations."

This is the process that John Tortorella has talked about. We have seen the Rangers, with mostly the same guys over the last three years, play a certain way and incrementally get better and put themselves in the position they are in now. By no means are they finished growing, but you can look back at the kind of stuff that John Tortorella would say last year or the year before and seeing it come to fruition.

Tags: Standard, Rangers, Adam Rotter

Nov 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save on a shot by Carolina Hurricanes center Derek Ryan (33) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Nov 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save on a shot by Carolina Hurricanes center Derek Ryan (33) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Alain Vigneault announced earlier today that Henrik Lundqvist will start against the Hurricanes on Saturday. (NYR)

He stopped 26 of 28 shots against Carolina on Tuesday in the Rangers win and 30 of 34 shots on Thursday against Buffalo.

Lundqvist said that the goals scored against him on Thursday were "flukey" and he said that he felt he played a strong game, made a lot of "good saves" and felt that he was moving and tracking the puck well.

 

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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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 Friday after Rangers practice (NYR)

  • On JT Miller Alain Vigneault said, "He was a maintenance day. That injury, that shot he blocked where he had some stitches is still nagging. We gave him the morning off considering that we have an afternoon game tomorrow at 1. He should be fine and good to go." (NYR)
  • On Kevin Klein, "I'll make my lineup decisions but there is a good chance that he will be back in the lineup tomorrow."
  • What do you expect from Klein, "I expect him to play better. Kevin is a gritty defensive type defenseman that plays with some jam. He can chip in now and then in the offensive part when the opportunity is there. I just felt that the last little while there wasn't enough, maybe urgency to his game. I am hoping to see that tomorrow with a little bit of bite and if we see that we will have a good defenseman. He has been very good for us, very reliable player in the past and maybe his game just slipped a little for an amount of time."
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Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller (10) clears the defensive zone against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller (10) clears the defensive zone against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

JT Miller did not practice today and Alain Vigneault said that Miller is still dealing with a "nagging knee injury."

Vigneault said, "he was a maintenance day. That injury, that shot he blocked where he had some stitches is still nagging. We gave him the morning off considering that we have an afternoon game tomorrow at 1. He should be fine and good to go." (NYR)

Miller took a Mats Zuccarello shot in his knee cap last Sunday, missed practice Monday and played on Tuesday and Thursday before missing today's practice.

Tags: J.T. Miller
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Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein (8) skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the PPG Paints Arena. The Rangers won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein (8) skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the PPG Paints Arena. The Rangers won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

5:22PM: Vigneault said on Friday, "I expect him to play better. Kevin is a gritty defensive type defenseman that plays with some jam. He can chip in now and then in the offensive part when the opportunity is there. I just felt that the last little while there wasn't enough, maybe urgency to his game. I am hoping to see that tomorrow with a little bit of bite and if we see that we will have a good defenseman. He has been very good for us, very reliable player in the past and maybe his game just slipped a little for an amount of time."

2:20PM: Alain Vigneault said today that there is a "good chance" that Kevin Klein will return to the Rangers lineup tomorrow against Carolina. (NYR)

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JT Miller is not skating at Rangers practice and has been given a maintenance day. (NYR)

Kevin Klein is skating with Brady Skjei and Adam Clendening is skating as an extra at rotating in. (Cyrgalis)

The Rangers lines today are (Cyrgalis):

  • Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello
  • Jimmy Vesey, Kevin Hayes, Rick Nash
  • Michael Grabner, Josh Jooris, Brandon Pirri
  • Matt Puempel, Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast

Miller missed Monday's practice and was listed as 50/50 before playing on Tuesday.


In his return to the lineup, Adam Clendening had an assist, 1 shot attempt that was blocked, 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 14:21.

Clendening was also called for holding at 12:21 of the third period which results in Jack Eichel's tying goal.

He played 4:40 in the first, 4:09 in the second and 5:32 in the third and when he was on the ice at 5 on 5 the Rangers had 6 shot attempts for, 10 against, 1 shot on goal for and 3 against. (Natural Stat Trick)

Alain Vigneault said before the game that he wanted to see Clendening in the lineup because he did a good job early in the season and because he is a right handed shot the Rangers could use on the PP. (Newsday)

Tags: Adam Clendening
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Dec 1, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (15) reacts after scoring a goal during the third period against the New York Rangers at KeyBank Center. Sabres beat the Rangers 4 to 3. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)
Dec 1, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (15) reacts after scoring a goal during the third period against the New York Rangers at KeyBank Center. Sabres beat the Rangers 4 to 3. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)

Derek Stepan said that the Rangers did a lot of "really good things" in the first period but "for whatever reason" they came out in the second and "played defense the whole time." (NY Post)

The Rangers were out shot 14 to 9 in the second period and out attempted 28-17. (Hockey Stats)

Alain Vigneault said he wasn't very happy with the Rangers second period and that Buffalo gained the momentum "right off the hop. Our first four shifts were clogged in our zone, icing the puck, not making the plays we need to make with the puck. That was the whole period."

Stepan said that after the second period the Rangers went to the locker room, "said all the right things" and then came out and were on their heels the whole time. (NY Post)

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Oct 19, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault looks on from the bench against the Detroit Red Wings during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Red Wings won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Oct 19, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault looks on from the bench against the Detroit Red Wings during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Red Wings won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss to Buffalo:

  • On the third, "I thought we came out real good in the third. Hayes had two chances alone against the goalie, Grabs had a breakaway that he couldn't put away. They were able to tie it up, Grabs stepped on the ice and lost his stick. By the he picked it up they were coming with full speed on the other side, the side we are supposed to take away. Their player took a real good shot on goal and they tied it up. There is no doubt...I liked how we responded in the first period after giving up that goal. I wasn't very happy with our second period but there is no doubt that we need to do a better job of spending time in the other team's end. Give them credit, they had a good push and made us pay for us."
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Dec 1, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) looks for the puck during the second period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)
Dec 1, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) looks for the puck during the second period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)

Henrik Lundqvist spoke with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss to Buffalo:

  • "I felt like for two periods that they had more speed, created more chances but in the end we had a really good chance of winning this game. We had a really good PP, set ourselves up with a good opportunity to get the win. You look at the goals and there are some flukey ones....obviously the first one, just a really weird bounce. All of them really, just weird plays but I guess that happens when you spend so much time in your own end. You need some puck luck sometimes and we didn't have it today. You gotta give them credit, they kept going."
  • On the tying goal, "I just...it froze me. It looked like he was going to pass it. It's a hard shot but you need to stop it. I need to challenge that more. I was expecting a pass and already thinking about what was going to happen next and instead he goes for the shot and that is what good players do. They read from what I am doing there and obviously I need to challenge him a bit more there. I look at my own game, pretty strong, make a lot of good saves, feel that I am moving well, tracking the puck really well but it comes down to one misread or a bad bounce and that is the difference."
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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The Rangers' Chris Kreider (20) tries to deflect a shot in against Buffalo goalie Anders Nilsson. (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)
The Rangers' Chris Kreider (20) tries to deflect a shot in against Buffalo goalie Anders Nilsson. (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

Buffalo's Jack Eichel scored two third-period goals as the Rangers fell to the Sabres 4-3 in Buffalo Thursday night. >> Read more


First period:

  • 0:18 BUF Johan Larsson Assists: Jake McCabe, Brian Gionta
  • 16:15 NYR Ryan McDonagh (Power Play) Assists: Derek Stepan

Second period:

  • 8:15 NYR Rick Nash (Power Play) Assists: Jimmy Vesey, Adam Clendening
  • 9:48 BUF Brian Gionta Assists: Marcus Foligno
  • 11:42 NYR Marc Staal Assists: Jesper Fast, Chris Kreider

Third period:

  • 12:45 BUF Jack Eichel (Power Play) Assists: Kyle Okposo, Rasmus Ristolainen
  • 14:28 BUF Jack Eichel Assists: Sam Reinhart, Evander Kane
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Oct 27, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma watches his team during the second period against the Minnesota Wild at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)
Oct 27, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma watches his team during the second period against the Minnesota Wild at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)

Sabres coach Dan Bylsma spoke about the Rangers today and said (Sabres):

  • "they are leading and getting their offense from the defensive zone. They are second best in the league in offense from the defensive zone and you can attribute that to their forwards, their speed, putting pucks in play for their forwards to skate under. The speed of Kreider, speed of Nash, there are other guys...playmaking of Zuccarello. That is where they are a dangerous team. Frankly that is where we have been not good from defending and that is something we need to do tonight against this team."
  • "The best types of chances are the ones that the Rangers tend to get, which is longer transition and longer plays.
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2:39PM: Clendening spoke in Buffalo today and said (NYR):

  • "every time that you get to come into the lineup after being out is an opportunity. I don't think I need to do anything special. I just need to play my game, move the puck and help out on the PP if I can."
  • How do you fit in, "I play to my strengths, I can move the puck, help out on the PP, join the rush, create a little bit of offense and it's been working when I was in the lineup."
  • On being moved around a lot the past few years, "it's nice to see different cities and know different guys but you always want to find a home and play every night. It's been fun but difficult."
  • A lot of family tonight, "just mom, dad and sister." 
Tags: Adam Clendening
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Kevin Klein will be a healthy scratch for the Rangers tonight against the Sabres.

He has 6 assists in 21 games, a plus two rating, 20 shots on goal and an average of 17:57.

When Klein is on the ice at 5 on 5 the Rangers have 47% of the shots on goal and the Rangers have had 17 goals for and 18 against. (Natural Stat Trick)

Tags: Kevin Klein
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Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) receives congratulations from his bench after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) receives congratulations from his bench after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Following the Rangers win over Carolina on Tuesday, Henrik Lundqvist said that it was great to see Rick Nash play with that level of confidence. (MSG & Game Notes)

Lundqvist added, "I love watching him take pucks to the net. He is so strong and skates really well and when he decides to go to the net not a lot of guys can stop him. (MSG & Game Notes)

Alain Vigneault said that Nash was the Rangers leader on Tuesday and made "great" plays both defensively and offensively. (MSG)

Tags: Rick Nash
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Sep 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) in action against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) in action against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Buffalo Sabres acquired the rights to Jimmy Vesey from Nashville for a third round pick on June 20th.

At the time Sabres GM Tim Murray called it a gamble and said that Vesey has top-six potential, is a "complete forward" who is big, strong, can shoot the puck, make plays and has a "great hockey IQ." (Buffalo Hockey Beat)

Tonight will be Vesey's first time in Buffalo since deciding not to sign with the Sabres and instead sign with the Rangers.

Larry Brooks wonders if Vesey will be booed by the Buffalo crowd in the same way that Chris Drury was after he signed with the Rangers. (NY Post)

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Larry Brooks writes that Alain Vigneault's decision to keep going with the same six defensemen every night and not take another look at Adam Clendening is "baffling." (NY Post)

He compares it to Dylan McIlrath's situation last year but notes that Clendening is a mobile puck-mover who better suits Vigneault's system. (NY Post)

Brooks says that with the Rangers issues dealing with the neutral zone trap it might be "beneficial" to see if Clendening can make a difference "clearing the zone, transporting the puck and beating the trap." (NY Post)

Tags: Adam Clendening
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Nov 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) reacts to a goal scored by defenseman Nick Holden (not pictured) against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Nov 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) reacts to a goal scored by defenseman Nick Holden (not pictured) against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Prior to the game against the Blues in early November, Alain Vigneault said that Jimmy Vesey is someone who wants to learn, is confident in his abilities and is almost business like in his approach.

Vigneault added, "He thought NY was the right place for him and we are real happy with that decision and we will try and make him the best player that we can."

Following the game against the Blues, Vigneault said that Vesey has played "exactly" the way that scouts and management told him he could.

Tags: Jimmy Vesey
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Nov 10, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton (27) skates during the first period against the Dallas Stars at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Nov 10, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton (27) skates during the first period against the Dallas Stars at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

Flames President Brian Burke was on Toronto Radio today and said that his team is not trading defenseman Dougie Hamilton.

Burke said that the Flames would listen on offers for Hamilton, "it's your job to listen" and added "if someone offers us 20 first round picks are we making that deal? Probably." (Fan Rag Sports)

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Nov 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a glove save against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The rangers won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Nov 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a glove save against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The rangers won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 of 28 shots, including 20 in the final two periods, in the Rangers 3-2 win over Carolina.

Viktor Stalberg scored on Carolina's 1st and 7th shots of the first period before Lundqvist shut them out and stopped the next 21 that he faced.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Nov 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate after defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Nov 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate after defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Rangers were down 2-0 heading into the third period and were being out-shot 20-12 and out-attempted 46 to 26.

Henrik Lundqvist said that the focus was just to survive the first period after "not a great start" and that the momentum changed when Nick Holden was able to get the Rangers on the board. (Rangers Game Notes)

Ryan McDonagh said that the Rangers started to play quicker as the game went on and that allowed them to come up the ice as a group and spend more time in the Carolina zone. (Rangers Game Notes)

McDonagh said that the Rangers were slow at the start, "not necessarily our legs but with our minds" and said that they were not playing quick or anticipating the play but "when the game was a little bit faster it allowed us to see some things and be creative a little bit more." (Rangers Game Notes)

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Oct 19, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault looks on from the bench against the Detroit Red Wings during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Red Wings won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Oct 19, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault looks on from the bench against the Detroit Red Wings during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Red Wings won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Tuesday night following the Rangers win over Carolina (MSG):

  • "It was definitely what we needed. We didn't start off the game the way we wanted. You get behind the 8 ball against a hard working team that can check real well. You need some people to come out and take charge and there is no doubt that Rick, tonight, was the leader of this team by his play. He made some great defensive plays, he made some, obviously that first shift in the third when he tied it up and then he made that great play on the PP. He played the type of game that we needed against a real tough opponent."
  • "We talked about a couple of things, trying to keep it away from their goalie on our dump ins because he plays the puck real well. We talked about trying to get it out of our own end quicker. We knew it would be battling for every inch and advancing the puck wouldn't be easy. They work hard and check well and they are able to get that first goal and once Nasher scored that tying goal our third period was the best of the night. Areas of improvement: we need to shoot more and we definitely hit the net more, if you hit the net more you will get opportunities on the shot and rebound and those are definitely areas we are going to address moving forward."
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Rick Nash was awarded the Broadway Hat after scoring the game tying goal early in the third period.

Nash was also named the first star of the game.

Alain Vigneault said on MSG, "You need some people to come out and take charge and there is no doubt that Rick, tonight, was the leader of this team by his play. He made some great defensive plays, he made some, obviously that first shift in the third when he tied it up and then he made that great play on the PP. He played the type of game that we needed against a real tough opponent."

Tags: Rick Nash
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GEICO SportsNite: Rangers win 00:00:53
Jimmy Vesey, Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqvist discuss the Rangers' 3-2 comeback win over the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden.

Jimmy Vesey and Rick Nash both scored in the third period to lead the New York Rangers to a 3-2 comeback win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. >> Read more


First period:

  • 5:22 CAR Viktor Stalberg; Assists: Matt Tennyson, Joakim Nordstrom
  • 12:55 CAR Stalberg; Assist: Jay McClement

Second period:

  • 9:13 NYR Nick Holden

Third period:

  • 0:24 NYR Rick Nash
  • 14:48 NYR Jimmy Vesey (power play); Assists: Nash, Brady Skjei
Tags: Brady Skjei, Jimmy Vesey, Nick Holden, Ottawa Senators, Rick Nash
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Alain Vigneault gives instructions against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (AP)
Alain Vigneault gives instructions against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media earlier today in advance of the Rangers game against Carolina (NYR):

  • On JT Miller, "He skated this morning. Seemed good to go. I would say that it's more 90/10 unless something happens. The only guy that might be doubtful for tonight is Grabs. He is a little under the weather, stayed home and we will have a better understanding around 4 or 5.
  • On Miller at center, "I didn't mind him. He's a powerful skater and it starts with faceoffs. He has good strong side push that we can start with the puck. It's a more complex position because you are often working down low with the D and you have different reads to make. Our system is more oriented to the first forward that helps out, a lot of times that first forward because of the faceoff is a centerman. For a first try in a long time he made some good things happen and had some good looks and hopefully tonight he will be even more effective."
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Oct 28, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Rangers forward Rick Nash (61) skates with the puck against Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Brett Pesce (22) at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Rangers 3-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Oct 28, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Rangers forward Rick Nash (61) skates with the puck against Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Brett Pesce (22) at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Rangers 3-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

Rick Nash said today that when playing against teams who like to trap that "it's such a big deal to score early goals." (NYR)

He noted that an early goal could be the difference in a game against teams that trap. (NYR)

Nash said that the Rangers need to figure out how to keep things simple when the neutral zone is clogged and that a lot of the Rangers problems scoring stem from not being able to get the puck through the neutral zone. (NYR)

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Brian Compton, Adam Rotter, and Nick Licalzi bring it down a notch after watching the Rangers come back to earth over the last couple of weeks. The guys discuss the Blueshirts' struggling power play and the prospects of landing defenseman Dougie Hamilton in a trade. Later, Don La Greca of ESPN New York 98.7 calls in to chat about the surprising start to Jimmy Vesey's career and the likelihood of Chris Kreider becoming a star.

CLICK HERE or below to listen to the show.

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7:16PM: Miller, Grabner and Oscar Lindberg are all playing. Josh Jooris is not.

Joe Micheletti said on MSG that Jooris was not feeling well.

Tags: J.T. Miller, Michael Grabner
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3:50PM: Alain Vigneault said earlier today:

  • On time spent in the D zone"I've thought our first 10 games was real good. Then it got away from us a little bit in the second 10 game segment. I would say that will be the case for many teams depending on their schedule because of how condensed it it. 5 Games in 7 1/2 days is a lot and more challenging for players. I look at the last game, our possession numbers and our shot numbers and we still lose 2-0. You can take what you want our of those stats. Some people make it a big issue. I would say that timely goals and timely saves give you a chance to win games and we are all in this to win."

9:55AM: On Sunday, Alain Vigneault was asked about how the Rangers have been spending more time in their own zone lately.

He said "our first 10 game we were spending less time in our end. It has gotten away from us a little bit but it's nothing that I don't think we can get back on the right track with."

Through 23 games, via Natural Stat Trick, numbers for the Rangers have been decreasing:

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Nov 15, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) skates against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period at Rogers Arena. The New York Rangers won 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports (Anne-Marie Sorvin)
Nov 15, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) skates against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period at Rogers Arena. The New York Rangers won 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports (Anne-Marie Sorvin)

12:04PM: Rick Nash said that the Hurricanes like to sit back and trap in the neutral zone and that it will be a lot like the game against Ottawa. (NYR)

Nash said that the Rangers need to get pucks deep and keep things simple. (NYR)

9:01AM: Alain Vigneault said on Monday that he is expecting tonight's game against Carolina to be similar to the Rangers loss to Ottawa on Sunday.

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GEICO SportsNite: Home trouble 00:00:58
Ryan McDonagh and Jimmy Vesey discuss the Rangers recent struggles at home and what they need to do to break out at MSG.

11/29/16 3:50PM: Alain Vigneault said earlier today about playing against the trap:

  • "a lot of times you have to play the game that is in front of you. Sometimes that game isn't giving you a lot of room and you gotta stay with the process. You can stay high percentage and sooner or later someone will lack patience, will try to force something and then you can capitalize on it."
  • Ottawa, with their 1-3-1, there isn't a lot of room, you need to stick with it and if you score the first goal it makes them open up a little bit and it's different. When they score the first goal it's more challenging. 
  • "You've got to put pucks in an area where you can create turnovers and get good looks and maybe be first on the puck. That is what we are trying to improve. Our transition game has been good when the other team has made mistakes but we need to put pucks in areas where we can generate a little more and we are working on that."

11/28/16 | 6:29PM: The Rangers are 2-3-1 in the six games they have played since returning from Western Canada.

In those six games, the Rangers have scored: two, two, five, one, three and zero with their only wins coming against Pittsburgh (five goals) and Philadelphia (three goals).

Ryan McDonagh said Sunday night that teams have seen a lot of the Rangers and that the opposition understands that "our speed game is a big strength of ours." (Game Notes)

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3:50PM: Alain Vigneault said earlier today: "yesterday was the first time in a long time that we were able to spend some time on it and take a look at different options. There is no doubt that having that right handed shot on both units is something that we would prefer, we don't have it, won't have it for a while and we need to make it work. We worked on it a little bit yesterday and pretty confident that with the units we put forward that we will be able to get something done."

11/28/16 6:26PM: Brady Skjei said that Zibanejad on his own can change how teams defend their PP because of his shot. (Newsday)

He said that the Rangers got back to basics during practice today and said that the Rangers need to execute better when they have the puck. Skjei said that the Rangers are on the perimeter too much and need to get more pucks to the net to "create some havoc." (Newsday

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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 Monday following Rangers practice (NYR):

  • On JT Miller, "he's 50/50 right now. Like I mentioned post game yesterday, he blocked one of Zuccy's shots which opened up his kneecap. He had a few stitches there that he is dealing with pain and the stitches not opening up. I will have a better idea tomorrow but my best guess would be 50/50."
  • Would Lindberg go in if Miller can't play, "yes...on which lines exactly, not 100% sure, still contemplating that."
  • On bouncing back and character, "I expect sort of the same type of game, Carolina is a lot like Ottawa, tight checking, don't give you a lot of room. You gotta get through the neutral zone and when a team clogs up the neutral zone there is only a certain amount of plays that you can make. You have to make the right decisions, especially with the puck. I expect another hard fought, competitive game. That is what I am sure we will see from Carolina and what I am sure we will see from our group tomorrow."
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New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller takes the ice for warm-ups prior to playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG Paints Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller takes the ice for warm-ups prior to playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG Paints Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)

4:03PM: Vigneault said of Miller "he's 50/50 right now. Like I mentioned post game yesterday, he blocked one of Zuccy's shots which opened up his kneecap. He had a few stitches there that he is dealing with pain and the stitches not opening up. I will have a better idea tomorrow but my best guess would be 50/50."

1:22PM: Alain Vigneault says that Miller is 50/50 for tomorrow night's game against Carolina after needing stitches last night following the shot he took from Mats Zuccarello. (NYR)

12:32PM: JT Miller is not skating today at Rangers practice and the team is saying that he is taking a maintenance day. (Zipay)

Tags: J.T. Miller
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers knew how the Senators would play last night and added "this is the type of game that we expected."

He said that Ottawa is a "tight checking" team that clogs up the neutral zone and the front of their net.

Vigneault said that the Rangers knew they wouldn't get a lot of "Grade A" opportunities and that the Senators "made it very difficult" for the Rangers to play with speed or transition through the neutral zone.

Antti Raanta said that it seemed like whenever the Rangers had the puck they were surrounded by 4-5 Senators and that Ottawa did a "great job" defending. (MSG)

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Alain Vigneault gives instructions against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (AP)
Alain Vigneault gives instructions against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Sunday following the Rangers loss to Ottawa (MSG)

  • "This is the type of game that we expected. This is a real tight checking hockey team, clogging up the neutral zone, clogging up the front of their net. We knew that there weren't going to be a lot of Grade A opportunities and they were able to get their first goal on a mistake in front of our net. Then they were able to score on one that hit the referee and they were able to get a bounce and have a 2-0 lead. They made it very difficult for us to build up any speed or transition through the neutral zone. Give them credit. They played a strong checking game and made it very hard on us tonight to get anything with Grade A opportunities."
  • On the PP, "I thought the first two PPs, I liked some of the looks that we got. Our execution on the last two wasn't what it needed to be and the PP are about execution and quick releases and getting pucks to the net. 5 on 5 you gotta give them credit, they did a real solid job."
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Oct 22, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) advances the puck against Washington Capitals during the first period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Oct 22, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) advances the puck against Washington Capitals during the first period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Derek Stepan spoke with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss to Ottawa:

  • "When a team is playing that good defensively, they didn't make a single mistake, you have toe execute perfectly all the way to your dumps. We were just a little off and they defended extremely well and that is the story tonight."
  • "Zero mistakes. They didn't make one all night. The two that they made, we had our chances and it didn't end up in the back of the net. They get a goal in the second off kind of a bad bounce but at the end of the day you don't win any hockey games with zero goals."
Tags: Derek Stepan
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GEICO SportsNite: NY rough patch 00:00:50
Alain Vigneault, Derek Stepan, and Antti Raanta discuss the Rangers' 2-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night.

The New York Rangers lost to the Ottawa Senators 2-0 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. >> Read more


Second period:

 

  • 1:54 OTT Jean-Gabriel Pageau; Assists: Tom Pyatt, Zack Smith
  • 16:11 OTT Mark Stone (power play); Assist: Mike Hoffman

 

Tags: Ottawa Senators
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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 Sunday morning prior to the Rangers game against the Senators (NYR):

  • On Miller at center, "I put him there this morning, debating that right now. I watched Ottawa last night, watched their last three games. They are playing extremely well. They are not giving up a lot, very structured. Will meet with the coaches and decide what we are going to do."
  • On Pirri and Miller at center, "I thought that Pirri, Pirri has been very good on faceoffs but I think he is more comfortable on the wing. That versatility though is a big bonus. JT has played there before and maybe for tonight, against Ottawa, it might be a good spot for him. Again, I am not 100% committed to that at this time."
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Antti Raanta (Adam Hunger)
Antti Raanta (Adam Hunger)

Antti Raanta will start in goal for the Rangers against the Senators tonight.

Raanta spoke after the morning skate and said (NYR):

  • "we want our offense to get going more. It's going to be a tough battle today. There are some familiar faces on the other side so it will be nice to see Brasser and see what he has in his pockets."
  • On Brassard, "he spent many years here and many guys who spent those years with him are still with us. It's gonna be lots of emotion. Zuccy will have a tough night but hopefully he will put a couple of goals in and get us a win."
Tags: Antti Raanta
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11:28AM: Alain Vigneault said that he isn't set on Miller playing center. He said that he has liked what Brandon Pirri has brought at center but Pirri is more comfortable on the wing. (Zipay)

11:05AM: At the Rangers morning skate today, the lines being used are (Zipay)

  • Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, Jesper Fast
  • Michael Grabner, Kevin Hayes, Brandon Pirri
  • Mats Zuccarello, JT Miller, Rick Nash
  • Matt Puempel, Josh Jooris, Jimmy Vesey

Oscar Lindberg and Adam Clendening are expected to be scratched. (Zipay)

Antti Raanta was the first goalie off the ice and is expected to start. (Zipay)


Nov 19, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators center Derick Brassard (19) shoots the puck in the second period against the Boston Bruins at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)
Nov 19, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators center Derick Brassard (19) shoots the puck in the second period against the Boston Bruins at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

In his first 10 games with the Senators, Derick Brassard had 1 goal, 4 assists, 24 shots on goal and an average of 17:38 per game.

Last night against the Hurricanes, Brassard was a plus one in 15:18 with 1 shot on goal, 3 hits, 1 giveaway and 11 and 3 on faceoffs.

In the 11 games prior to last night, Brassard had two goals and two assists with 31 shots on goal and an average of 18:44.

Brassard returns to Madison Square Garden for the first time since he was traded in July for Mika Zibanejad.

Tags: Derick Brassard
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Nov 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) skates during the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Nov 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) skates during the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

11/23 4:57PM: According to the list that the NHL has sent to the teams, Rick Nash will need to be protected by the Rangers in the expansion draft. (Sportsnet)

Chris Johnston explains that Nash's contract stipulates that the no-move aspect of Nash's contract, which was downgraded to a no-trade in 2015, is still in place when it comes to being "waived or loaned" which is how the league is interpreting things in relation to the expansion draft. (Sportsnet

The Rangers will also have to protect Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal and Dan Girardi due to their no-move clauses. (Sportsnet

Tags: Rick Nash
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Jan 4, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) shoots the puck in the game against the Ottawa Senators during the second period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jan 4, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) shoots the puck in the game against the Ottawa Senators during the second period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

On Hockey Night in Canada, Elliotte Friedman was talking about pending UFA Kevin Shattenkirk and how Edmonton and Arizona were given an opportunity to speak with him last year.

Friedman said that Shattenkirk didn't have interest in Edmonton and while there was more interest in Arizona, there wasn't enough to get a deal done. (Sportsnet)

He then said, "a lot of teams think that Shattenkirk likes the Rangers but they do think that if there is a bidding war it could push him up close to $7 million." (Sportsnet)

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 (Derik Hamilton)
(Derik Hamilton)

Against Philadelphia the Rangers had their first two fighting majors of the season as well as a season high 37 hits.

The Rangers currently rank 15th in the league in hits while the Flyers are 3rd in the league.

Brandon Pirri and Chris Kreider had the Rangers two fights of the season and the team was led in hits by:

  • Mats Zuccarello: 6
  • Dan Girardi: 5
  • Chris Kreider: 5
  • Nick Holden: 5
  • Brady Skjei: 4
  • JT Miller: 3

Mats Zuccarello said that yesterday's game as the type of game that the Rangers needed and that they took hits, gave hits and worked hard defensively. (NY Post)

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Nov 15, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) warms up against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. The New York Rangers won 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports (Anne-Marie Sorvin)
Nov 15, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) warms up against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. The New York Rangers won 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports (Anne-Marie Sorvin)

Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves for the Rangers last night including 19 in the third period.

Lundqvist said that "awareness" was the difference in his performance against Philly compared to Wednesday when he was pulled against the Penguins. (NHL.com)

He said that it was a good game for himself to work through some parts of his game because the Flyers "kept coming." (NHL.com)

Claude Giroux said that Lundqvist played a "good game" and made "key saves" at important times. (NHL.com)

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Nov 13, 2016; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; The New York Rangers celebrate a first period goal against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports (Perry Nelson)
Nov 13, 2016; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; The New York Rangers celebrate a first period goal against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports (Perry Nelson)

The Rangers are 6-0-1 this season following a loss and have not gone two consecutive games without earning "at least one point" during the 2016-17 season. (NYR Game Notes)

Derek Stepan referenced Wednesday's loss to Pitt and said that you won't have your "A" game every night and because of that the next game is "so important." (SNY)

JT Miller said that the Rangers had the right mindset heading into the game and were "pretty much" ready to play on Thursday. (Newsday)

Marc Staal said that after a game like Wednesday you want to make sure that you are preparing the right way and talking and focusing on the right things. He added that the Rangers weren't great but Henrik Lundqvist and that it was a "big win for him and us." (NHL.com)

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Puempel played 12:32 in his debut with the Rangers, 4:44 in the first, 4:40 in the second and 3:08 in the third.

He had two shots on goal, one shot that missed the net and one hit.

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