On the first day of training camp for the Whale, Jim Schoenfeld was asked about Marek Hrivik who signed an entry-level deal with the Rangers following a tryout with the Whale last season.

Schoenfeld said, "He got everyone's attention with his play last season when there was more on the line. He was arguably one of the best playoff performers. Now it's a matter of continued improvement and working on every facet to his game. His head is a bit ahead of others. He thinks that half step ahead, he knows what he is going to do with the puck before he gets it. He has good size, good puck handling ability and we see him as a legit prospect."

Hrivik told the Rangers website that he is exited to make the jump into pro hockey, "It's a big jump from the AHL or NHL to the Q where I played last year. It's faster and I just need to do my job out there."

Bob Crawford wrote at his blog, "Hrivik scored some distinctly “sniper”-type goals during his late-season audition with the Whale in the spring, and now in camp he looks determined to show that he is willing to work to get some “greasy” ones as well."

 In June Hrivik was listed as one of the Rangers top ten prospects.

He is 6-2, 185.

THIS SECTION is all about Marek Hrivik.

Tags: Marek Hrivik, Adam Rotter

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)

Tags: Rick Nash
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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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GEICO SportsNite: Rangers' win 00:00:41
On GEICO SportsNite, Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqvist discuss the Rangers' 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden.

Rick Nash snapped a 12-game goalless drought and added a second tally to help the Rangers end a three-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. >> Box score


First period:

  • 2:06 PHI Jordan Weal; Assists: Radko Gudas, Wayne Simmonds
  • 6:30 NYR Rick Nash; Assists: Pavel Buchnevich
  • 16:50 NYR J.T. Miller (PP); Assists: Ryan McDonagh, David Desharnais
  • 19:50 NYR Paul Carey (SH); Assists: Peter Holland

Second period:

  • 10:49 NYR Michael Grabner
  • 17:48 NYR Nash; Assists: Marc Staal

Third period:

  • NONE
Tags: Rick Nash
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Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) takes a shot against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) takes a shot against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

1/16/18 | Elliotte Friedman writes that the Rangers will listen on McDonagh and Zuccarello, "but only if given good reason to pursue." (Sportsnet)

1/13/18 | On Hockey Night in Canada, Elliotte Friedman said "the Rangers in a playoff spot but got lit up by Matt Barzal and the Islanders earlier today, I think the Rangers are starting to look and say 'are there other moves that we can make, similar to the one with Derek Stepan and Arizona at last years draft."

He added, "I think you are taking a look at their UFAs, Nash, Grabner, David Desharnais. I think some of their contracted players, Zuccarello and McDonagh, no guarantee that they do it, but I think they are willing to listen.

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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)

The goals are coming often for the Philadelphia Flyers and so are the wins.

The goals are coming infrequently for the New York Rangers and the losses are piling up.

The Flyers seek a fifth straight win Tuesday night when they head to Madison Square Garden to face the Rangers, who were outscored 12-4 in their last two home games. >> Read more

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Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) takes a shot against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) takes a shot against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

This season the Rangers rank 17th in the NHL in shots on goal at 5 on 5 and 12th in goals scored at 5 on 5.

Overall, at 5 on 5, the Rangers have the second worst shots on goal for percentage at 47%.

In all situations the Rangers are averaging 31.5 shots on goal per game, which is 16th in the league.

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Mar 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Peter Holland (13) prepares to take a shoot the puck during a shootout in a NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. The Coyotes defeated the Kings 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Mar 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Peter Holland (13) prepares to take a shoot the puck during a shootout in a NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. The Coyotes defeated the Kings 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Peter Holland will make his Rangers debut tonight and is slated to start the game on a line with Jesper Fast and Michael Grabner.

Alain Vigneault said that Holland tries to play a 200ft game and that both Chris Drury and Wolf Pack coach Keith McCambridge gave good reports on him.

Vigneault said that McCambridge praised Holland's work ethic and understanding of "the right way to play," that he was playing well in Hartford and "we just wanted to take a look at him."

Tags: Peter Holland
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May 2, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault coaches against the Ottawa Senators during the third period of game three of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 2, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault coaches against the Ottawa Senators during the third period of game three of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

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

  • On Grabner, "back then, when he was just a young kid, the speed factor was way above standards. He has really worked at his game, his conditioning. He is a beats in the gym and he brings it on the ice and that speed, that extra gear permits him to contribute offensively and do the right things defensively. He has been a real solid player for us."
  • On Peter Holland, "A good two-way player, tries to play a 200ft game, good with the puck, has been having some good moments in Hartford. Keith spoke very highly of him as far as his work ethic and his understanding of the right way to play. We made a little move there and hopefully he can come in and contribute for us."
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 (Danny Wild)
(Danny Wild)

10:49AM: McDonagh is skating on the Rangers second PP unit at the morning skate. Rick Nash has also been moved to the front of the net on the first PP unit and JT Miller is on the second unit. (Cyrgalis)

10:40AM: At the Rangers morning skate on Tuesday, Ryan McDonagh is on the ice but Kevin Hayes is not. (Zipay)

The lines being used at practice are (Calamia):

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

The players on defense are rotating. (Zipay)

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Rick Nash said on Sunday that the Rangers need to "stick together" and that doing that early in the season helped the team dig out from their bad start. (NYR)

Nash said, "we believe, we are a a team and we can't start to separate." (NYR)

Henrik Lundqvist said on Sunday that the Rangers need to "come together and start playing our best hockey" if they want to stay in the playoff race.

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Dec 21, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save on New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Dec 21, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save on New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

As of Monday morning, the Rangers have allowed (Natural Stat Trick):

  • The 2nd most shot attempts against at 5 on 5
  • The most shots on goal against at 5 on 5
  • The 9th most goals against at 5 on 5
  • The 2nd most shots on goal against per game, 34.2

In their last four games, the Rangers have allowed at least 32 shots on goal against at 5 on 5. (Natural Stat Trick)

In 18 of the last 19 games, in all situations, the Rangers have allowed between 30 and 47 shots on goal. (Natural Stat Trick)

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Mar 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Peter Holland (13) prepares to take a shoot the puck during a shootout in a NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. The Coyotes defeated the Kings 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Mar 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Peter Holland (13) prepares to take a shoot the puck during a shootout in a NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. The Coyotes defeated the Kings 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The Rangers have reportedly called up center Peter Holland from the Wolf Pack and sent Boo Nieves back to Hartford.

The Rangers acquired Holland for forward Adam Cracknell at the end of November.

After being acquired the Rangers sent Holland to Hartford with an eye on potentially calling him up during the season.

Tags: Boo Nieves, Peter Holland
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Henrik Lundqvist said after the loss to the Pens that Rangers have been dealing with this issues for the last month or so and that their battle level hasn't been high enough.

He said that he thought the Rangers had a better battle level against the Pens than the Islanders but that it needs to be "extremely high every night."

Lundqvist said that the Rangers keep talking about what they need to do but that there has been enough talk and they "just need to do it."

Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers "definitely need to play better, there is no doubt."

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Filip Chytil scored for Hartford on Saturday in the Wolf Pack's 4-2 loss to the Belleville Senators.

Chytil was a minus two and had five shots on goal.

It was Chytil's first AHL goal since November 18th, he had gone 8 games between goals and only recorded one point in that stretch.

Tags: Filip Chytil
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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 following the Rangers loss in Pitt (NYR):

  • On the level of concern, "we definitely need to play better, there is no doubt. We need to try and duplicate what we did in the first period tonight. We came out, felt like we had good energy, a couple of good looks in the offensive zone but we weren't able to sustain it. Those two penalties in the beginning of the second period led to definite momentum on their part and we were never really able to recover. They came at us with a lot of speed and we had a tough time handling it."
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Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes the ice before playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes the ice before playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Henrik Lundqvist spoke after tonight's loss in Pittsburgh and said:

  • "The past month the level has not been high enough. You almost get tired of yourself trying to find the right thing to say, it's about going out and executing now."
  • "We talk about what we need to do and coverage and pucks deep and when we do that we are a good team, but enough talk, we just need to do it."
  • This was a step in the right direction, we had more energy and jump in our game."
  • "It comes down to awareness and being on your toes."
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Patric Hornqvist scores a goal past New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Patric Hornqvist scores a goal past New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Rangers lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 on Sunday at PPG Paints Arena. >> Box score


First period:

  • 3:14 PIT Patric Hornqvist; Assists: Carl Hagelin, Kris Letang
  • 15:17 NYR Michael Grabner
  • 19:06 NYR Brendan Smith; Assists: Vinni Lettieri, Paul Carey

Second period:

  • 13:15 PIT Dominik Simon; Assists: Daniel Sprong, Brian Dumoulin
  • 14:30 PIT Phil Kessel; Assist: Conor Sheary

Third period:

  • 12:33 PIT Sidney Crosby; Assists: Kessel, Jamie Oleksiak
  • 18:01 PIT Carl Hagelin (ENG)
Tags: Brendan Smith, Michael Grabner, Pittsburgh Penguins
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10:40PM: McDonagh is dealing with back spasms and is being considered day to day. (Cyrgalis)

7:30PM: McDonagh is OUT tonight against the Penguins.

12PM: Ryan McDonagh is 50/50 for tonight's game

Tags: Ryan McDonagh
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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)

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers hold the two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference, but they seem to be heading in different directions going into their game Sunday night at PPG Paints Arena.

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New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault talks to reporters after a practice in Tarrytown, N.Y., Tuesday, April 25, 2017. The Rangers have advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and will open the series against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault talks to reporters after a practice in Tarrytown, N.Y., Tuesday, April 25, 2017. The Rangers have advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and will open the series against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media after the morning skate in Pittsburgh today and said (NYR):

  • On Kevin Hayes, "he felt fine last night before the game and during the game he felt pain come back and after he just wasn't feeling well. We decided to keep him home, treat him and we will see how he is doing tomorrow."
  • "I would say that it's a lot better than it was then when the original injury occurred but not good enough to play."
  • Is Carey back in, "yes."
  • What will the lines be, "still debating that in my mind."
  • On McDonagh, "it's a little bit more than 50/50. He's got an issue right now, didn't skate this morning and will be a game time decision."
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Jan 13, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the New York Islanders during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jan 13, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the New York Islanders during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

2:21PM: On Hayes, Alain Vigneault said today:

  • On Kevin Hayes, "he felt fine last night before the game and during the game he felt pain come back and after he just wasn't feeling well. We decided to keep him home, treat him and we will see how he is doing tomorrow."
  • "I would say that it's a lot better than it was then when the original injury occurred but not good enough to play."

11:39AM: Kevin Hayes will not play tonight against the Penguins because of a contusion. (NYR)

Hayes was 50/50 to play in yesterday's game, scored, was a minus one and played 16:53.

Tags: Kevin Hayes
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Dec 27, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) talks to defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) during the second period against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Dec 27, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) talks to defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) during the second period against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Alain Vigneault was asked yesterday if the loss to the Islanders made him question what he had in this Rangers team.

Vigneault said that there are players on the Rangers that have proven they have been able to perform and execute in the past, "but I'm more in it for what are you doing for me right now."

He added, "as a group we need to step up and need to step up with a much better game on the ice."

Ryan McDonagh said on Saturday that the Rangers need more guys willing to do whatever is necessary to win.

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Jan 13, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) battles for position against New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (76) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jan 13, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) battles for position against New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (76) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mats Zuccarello said that the Rangers played "stupidly" and that it was "embarrassing" to play the way they did at MSG. (Nettavisen)

Zuccarello said that the Rangers have had enough meetings and talks about how things need to change and that now it's time to "fold up your sleeves." (Nettavisen)

He said that he doesn't think the Rangers have played that well in the last 15 games and that the way Henrik Lundqvist has played has helped them earn points they probably didn't deserve. (Nettavisen)

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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss to the Islanders and said:

  • On the game, "we've got a huge game in front of us, divisional game, one of our top rivals and to make the type of mistakes that we made tonight, you don't give yourself a chance to win. Goals 1, 3, 4 we have numbers there, we just don't check. Goal 2, shot from the point that doesn't get through and our defenseman jumps in and gives them a 3 on 0. Barzal's line just dominated Mika's line the whole game, I got three of my top players there and they were dominated the whole game. It was definitely not a good game for us, give the Islanders a lot of credit, they got some good looks and cashed in."
  • Does this make you question what you have, "I think that in the past a lot of players have proven they have been able to do it, but I'm more in it for what are you doing for me right now. As a group we need to step up and need to step up with a much better game on the ice."
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Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) awaits the face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) awaits the face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

4:46PM: Rick Nash spoke after the game and said:

  • On what the leadership group needs to stress…"I think you have to trust that you have to put trust in your game plan and trust in your system. If we play our system right, they don't get all those odd-man rushes tonight. I think the leaders have to lead and everyone has to follow. This league is too good to have five or six guys going a night. You need to have all 22 guys."
  • On if he felt there wasn't enough trust in the system today…"I think we have a game plan every single night. And today it was we can't play into their speed, we can't turn the puck over, and we can't give up odd man rushes. That's on the players. I don't know whether it's mental or just not doing the right job. We have to figure it out in here as players."

4:11PM: Henrik Lundqvist said after the game, "It starts with yourself and trying to bring everything that you got.

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Nov 26, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) chases the puck against Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin (33) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 26, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) chases the puck against Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin (33) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The Rangers resumed their 2017 season with a disappointing 7-2 loss to the Islanders at home. Kevin Hayes and Mika Zibanejad scored the Rangers goals. 

First period

  • 6:06 NYI Anthony Beauvillier; Assists: Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle
  • 14:25 NYR Kevin Hayes (PPG); Assist: Rick Nash
  • 16:25 NYI Shane Prince; Assist: Scott Mayfield

Second period

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Jan 13, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Shane Prince (11) scores a goal against New York Rangers goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jan 13, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Shane Prince (11) scores a goal against New York Rangers goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Ondrej Pavelec was pulled after the Rangers allowed 3 goals in the first 7 minutes of the second period.

Pavelec allowed 5 goals on 20 shots.

Henrik Lundqvist replaced Pavelec in net and while getting ready he skated by the Rangers bench speaking to his teammates.

John Giannone said that the message was Lundqvist telling his teammates to pick their heads up, and not to quit with all the time left. (MSG)

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist, Ondrej Pavelec
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Oct 14, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) during the first period against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Oct 14, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) during the first period against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

12:32PM: Ondrej Pavelec led the Rangers onto the ice for warmups today and will likely start against the Islanders.

Henrik Lundqvist will likely start tomorrow against the Penguins.

Pavelec started the Rangers last game after a break, a win over Washington, to allow Henrik Lundqvist some other time to prepare.

Tags: Ondrej Pavelec
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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)

NEW YORK -- A pair of local rivals will resume their frantic race for an Eastern Conference playoff berth Saturday afternoon, when the New York Rangers host the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden.

Both the Rangers and Islanders are coming off their five-day "bye week" and will be playing for the first time since Sunday, when the visiting Rangers fell to the Vegas Golden Knights, 2-1, while the host Islanders edged the New Jersey Devils, 5-4, in the shootout.

The results further tightened an already cramped race for the Eastern Conference wild card spots. The Rangers (22-15-5) have sole possession of the first wild card in the East, one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes.

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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)

When asked about Lias Andersson tossing his silver medal into the stands following the World Junior Championship, Alain Vigneault said that you want players who want to compete.

He said that all reports he has gotten on Andersson suggest that he is a "real competitive young man" and that while there are behavior and conduct questions about what Andersson did, Vigneault said "he is a young man and he wants to win and that is real positive."

Montreal's Max Pacioretty told Emna Achour "I loved it. You don't get a medal for losing in the Stanley Cup Final, right? So I loved it. I thought it showed a lot of emotion, these kids are young and it was a spur of the moment thing. I loved it. It shows how badly he wanted to win and I have no problem with that."

Tags: Lias Andersson
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GEICO SportsNite: Rangers 00:00:52
The Rangers are looking for redemption when they host the Islanders at MSG in a cross-borough showdown.

Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault reacts during the third period in game five against Montreal Canadiens of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)
Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault reacts during the third period in game five against Montreal Canadiens of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Friday after practice and said (NYR):

  • What has been missing, "I think that at the end of the day, if you look at the whole body of work, we are in a good position. We have put ourselves back in contention. We have half the schedule left, we are, like every team right now, we need our top performers to deliver. I liked a lot of our games lately but we have been a little slow in the finishing part, need some contributions, without getting into specific names, we have some guys who need to finish 5 on 5, our second unit on the PP. For me, that makes me believe we are in a real good position. I know those people, I know our core group and their willingness to play the right way and do the right things so it makes me believe in this group. We have 8 games in the next 13 days, we will be in hockey mode, we have some traveling to do. With the people that we have and the people playing hard, I think they will find a way to contribute. We have a balanced group, we have Hank but we are a team and we need to play well and get contributions."
  • On Hayes, "at this time I would say, 50/50 and maybe less than 50. After talking to him after practice and to Rammer. It can change between now and tomorrow."
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Oct 21, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) reacts after scoring a goal against Nashville Predators during second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 21, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) reacts after scoring a goal against Nashville Predators during second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

3:37PM: Alain Vigneault said that Kevin Hayes is 50/50 to play in tomorrow's game against the Islanders. (NYR)

It was expected that Hayes was going to be ready for tomorrow's game after being injured on Sunday against Vegas.

Tags: Kevin Hayes
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 (Danny Wild)
(Danny Wild)

2:37PM: At the Rangers first practice after the bye week, the lines being used are (Zipay):

  • JT Miller, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello
  • Rick Nash, Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast
  • Michael Grabner, David Desharnais, Vinni Lettieri
  • Jimmy Vesey, Boo Nieves, Pavel Buchnevich

On defense, the Rangers have Ryan McDonagh paired with Nick Holden, Brady Skjei paired with Kevin Shattenkirk and Marc Staal paired with Steven Kampfer. (Zipay)

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Sep 25, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Vinni Lettieri (95) passes the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Sep 25, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Vinni Lettieri (95) passes the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The Rangers have announced that Vinni Lettieri has been called up from Hartford after being sent down during the Rangers bye week.

Lettieri played for Hartford on Wednesday and had 3 shots on goal in the Wolf Pack win.

On the season, Lettieri has played in three games for the Rangers and has 1 goal, 1 assist, 15 shot attempts, 8 shots on goal and 5 hits in 12:51 per game.

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