Antti Raanta spoke after the game on MSG and said (via the Rangers Game Notes)
On playing tonight's game…"I was really nervous the first couple of periods and I couldn't play my own game. I was moving too much so I wasn't set any time when the shot was coming, so it was more about just going down and hopefully it hits you. So it was really tough the first 40 minutes, but in the third period I started to feel the puck better. I thought we got what I thought was going to be our game winning goal but then they got the lucky bounce and it went in and the rest is history. It's hard right now, it's really hard."
On whether you were surprised that a shot that looked like it was going three feet wide ended up in the back of the net (on the game tying goal)…"I wasn't surprised - it's been too long [for me] already for the win, November something. The last four minutes felt like forever. The clock didn't move at all, and then the puck just came to the net and all our guys are so great blocking shots and sometimes it just hits the guy in the chest and bounces in the net. So it's already pretty funny how bad luck, I have right now. I wanted to win so badly so that bounce was pretty hard to take."
On the overtime goal…"Again it was one of those great shots; the whole game story was [their] four shots and the one bounce. I don't know what's wrong right now, but I just feel like I'm there but the reaction isn't. It's hard to explain it. You just try to make the save but when you just don't have the feeling in your head and in your body, it's pretty hard. I don't know. It's tough to take the loss, it's real tough. Usually you could just say you'll keep on working but now I know that's also very hard to do, but we need to go home and get some rest. Hopefully tomorrow is a new day and it's a better day hopefully."
Tags: Antti Raanta
Tanner Pearson's goal with 1:50 left in overtime powered the Los Angeles Kings to a 5-4 win over the New York Rangers on Friday night.
Anze Kopitar recorded a hat trick, and Marian Gaborik added a goal for Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles, which has won three of its last five.
Peter Budaj made 24 saves in his season debut start. Budaj, who spent the season with the Kings' AHL farm team in Ontario, California, last played in the NHL on May 17, 2014, when he replaced injured Montreal Canadiens starting goaltender Carey Price in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final. Budaj allowed three goals on eight shots in that one, a 7-2 Rangers win.
Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello each finished with a goal and an assist for New York, which lost for the first time since Feb. 2. Viktor Stalberg and Derek Stepan also scored for the Rangers. >> Read more...
- The Rangers had two leads in this game but I never felt like they were in control. They were in a position to win and had the lead late, but it wasn't surprising or even devastating when the Kings tied it. Maybe it's how the game played out or maybe it's thinking back to 2014 but it just seemed as if the Kings were going to tie and at least send it to OT.
- It's a bad bounce that tied the game for LA but the Rangers got a similar kind of bounce go their way on their third goal which went off of Vinny Lecavalier.
- At the start of this game it looked like men playing vs boys with how the Kings were pushing the Rangers around and hitting but the Rangers found their legs and started to match the Kings and play physically. It was a good comeback for the Rangers who didn't back down, cashed in on some breaks and even scored on the PP.
- Mats Zuccarello looked active with the puck and it's two straight games for Kevin Hayes with a goal. If those two guys can get going the Rangers will be in fine shape.
- Raanta played about how I expected him to play tonight. He was okay, looked rusty at times and got better as the game went along. Raanta should be fine for the Rangers if he is able to gets some more action.
Tags: Antti Raanta , Derek Stepan , Kevin Hayes , Los Angeles Kings , Matz Zuccarello , Viktor Stalberg
The New York Rangers host the Los Angeles Kings on Friday at Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m.
According to STATS:
- This will be the first meeting between the Kings and Rangers this season. In each of the last two regular seasons, the road team has won each game, with each team totaling nine goals over the four games. Los Angeles is 5-1-0-1 in road games versus the Rangers since the start of the 2002 calendar year.
- Two days after scoring an NHL season-high nine goals at Boston on Tuesday, the Kings lost, 5-2, on the road to the Islanders on Thursday. Los Angeles fell behind, 3-0, in the first period of the game; the three goals allowed were the most the Kings have allowed in the first period this season.
- The Rangers beat the Penguins, 3-0, at Pittsburgh on Wednesday for their first road shutout of the season. New York has now won each of its last four games, the Rangers' longest win streak since winning nine in a row from October 25 -- November 15 earlier this season.
- Kyle Clifford scored his first goal of the season on Thursday, snapping a streak of 44 consecutive games played without scoring a goal dating back to March 12 of last season (the second-longest streak of his career; had a 59-game streak from December 14, 2013 -- November 2, 2014).
- Henrik Lundqvist got the shutout at Pittsburgh on Wednesday, his third shutout of the season. Lundqvist has totaled 58 career shutouts, the most by any goaltender since he entered the NHL in 2005-06.
- Jesper Fast scored a goal at Pittsburgh on Wednesday, his third consecutive game played with at least one point (the longest streak of his career). Fast has recorded six points over his last six games (one goal and five assists).
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist , Jesper Fast , Los Angeles Kings
Alain Vigneault met with the media following today's morning skate (MSG):
- "our focus has to be on finding a way to get two points. Such a competitive conference and everyone is desperate to get points. We know we are playing against a team that plays a heavy game, they are big, protect the puck well, they are tough to penetrate, we have a real strong challenge ahead of us. I like the way we have been playing, we have been competing and it will be tested tonight."
- On Raanta starting because it's a Western Conference game, "there is a little bit of that but Antti has been working very hard with Ben lately. It's his time tonight to go in goal and give us a good performance."
- On JT Miller, "When you talk about the process and understanding the game, I think he is starting to understand what it takes to be a solid professional. His work ethic, not just what you see during practice but before and after practice, he is becoming a pro, working on his skills. Not just the on-ice stuff but the off-ice stuff also. On the ice you see a more confident and smarter player. Better decisions with the puck. Everyone knew that he had the skillset and the skating and the physicality, it was a lot of those puck decisions that put him or his teammates into difficult situations. His puck decisions aren't perfect, nobodies perfect, but they are much better and every time he steps on the ice he continues to improve and that is what we are seeing from him."
- On ice time for players, "that is the question you always get. Players sometimes think they don't have their confidence or they are not getting the ice time, they say give me the ice time and I'll play better but if you play better I'll give you more ice time. You are always walking that fine line...example, Yands against New Jersey on the PP. He makes that low percentage pass that makes it 2-1. I can keep him on or I can take him off and I kept him on, you try to show players confidence. Different players react differently to different things, there is no set way. Everyone is different and reacts differently. You just need to know your players and find out what makes them tick and perform."
- "We have been stressing a lot and working at it a lot and if you do that through on ice and video you will improve. Combine that with Hank playing like Hank and it makes it better for everyone else. If you know that you aren't going to be 100% on all of your passes and that if you do make a mistake your goalie will stop it. I think Hank, the last 3 weeks to a month, has found his rhythm and his game.
JT Miller said on Friday that he knows he is in a contract year but that it's the "last thing" on his mind right now. (NY Post)
Miller is eligible for salary arbitration this summer as an RFA. (NY Post)
Miller is on a one-year deal right now for his qualifying offer of $874,000. (NY Post)
He is currently the lowest paid non-entry level player who has scored at least 17 goals this season. (NY Post)
Right now Miller ranks fourth on the Rangers in points with 30 and second in goals with 17.
Other Ranger RFAs this summer include Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes and Dylan McIlrath.
Tags: J.T. Miller
2/12/16: 1:37PM Alain Vigneault said that Nash is still dealing with some pain while walking and that it's taking a long time. (NYR)
He added that it's just "day to day with a bad bone bruise." (NYR)
2/10/16 6:07PM: The Rangers say they have no update today on Rick Nash. (Gross)
2/9/16 : 1:18PM: Alain Vigneault ruled out Rick Nash for tomorrow's game against the Penguins as well as Friday against LA. (Gross)
Nash is starting to walk without pain but the plan is to still keep him off the ice the next few days. (Gross)
2/8/16 | 1:43PM: Vigneault said today "we have been talking about slowing him down a bit because we didn't see the progression we thought we would see with that bone bruise. He has been off the ice for three days and today he came in and said he was feeling a lot better. We may give him a day or two more, and that isn't an exact science, the bone bruises, so we will see how he feels and go from there." (NHL)
2/5/16 | 6:45PM: Alain Vigneault said today "Rick didn't feel that there was any sign of improvement on the bone bruise. Our guys felt that it was best to stay off of it, he will stay off it today, obviously tomorrow is a 1PM game so he won't skate, he will stay behind, come in for treatments and hopefully in the next 3-4 days we can get that pain to go away. Those bone bruises, it just takes time."
Nash did not skate yesterday, which was planned, but the hope was that he would skate today.
2/4/16 | 11:36AM: Nash worked out off the ice today and "hopefully tomorrow" he will be closer to joining the team for a skate. (NYR)
2/3/16 | 3:26PM: Alain Vigneault said today on Nash (MSG):
- Did Nash skate on his own, "yes, he skated I wanna say 40 minutes prior to practice. He is improving every day, just not there yet."
- On how Nash felt after yesterday, "he didn't react poorly to yesterday but I think he was hoping that it would be a little better than it was today. It did not stop him from skating and doing drills on his own with a couple of teammates before practice."
- He isn't playing tomorrow, "no, no."
1:43PM: Rick Nash skated on his own for 40 minutes today before the Rangers took the ice for practice. (Gross)
Nash skated yesterday for the first time since suffering his bone bruise.
Alain Vigneault said that Nash is getting better every day but isn't ready yet. (NYR)
Tags: Rick Nash
1:11PM: Prior to his start tonight, Antti Raanta said (NYR):
- "I feel great. I've been doing a good job in practice. It's a long time but still my only goal in this game is to help the team win. If I can be myself and do those things that I have been doing in practice, I am pretty sure that we will have a good chance to take two points and keep good things going on."
- "I talk with Benny everyday and try to keep a clear head and don't think about bad things going on. Just focus on the first shot and the first save. That is the only point of view how you can be ready."
- On needing to be better, "When you get the chance to play you want to give the team the chance to win and show that you earned the spot and it's a great thing to get a chance now when the team is playing great. No excuses for me anymore and just go there and do the thing."
11:18AM: Antti Raanta will make his first start in nearly a month tonight against the Kings. (Zipay)
In his last start, his only in 2016, he stopped 19 of 23 shots in a loss to Washington on 1/17.
Raanta is 4-4-1 this season with a 2.3 GAA and .909 save percentage. He hasn't won a game since November 15th against the Leafs.
It was said earlier this week that Raanta would start playing more.
Tags: Antti Raanta
2:39PM: Alain Vigneault said today that McDonagh is coming along and following protocol. He said that the Rangers will see how he feels tomorrow and go from there. (NYR)
11:26AM: McDonagh has been on the bike the past two days according to Alain Vigneault and skated lightly today. (NYR)
He said that as the Rangers increase the intensity during McDonagh's recovery they hope he will remain symptom free. (NYR)
10:23AM: McDonagh was on the ice for about 10 minutes and took some shots. (Brooks)
10:10AM: Ryan McDonagh is skating on his own this morning before the Rangers take the ice for their morning skate. (Gross)
McDonagh is not skating in his equipment, just a helmet and a tracksuit. (Gross)
Tags: Ryan McDonagh
Derick Brassard said that right now the Rangers are playing well, working hard, competing and getting guys to step up at the right time. (Newsday)
Brassard said that the Rangers need to keep things going, especially over this next week, if they want to make the playoffs. (Newsday)
Marc Staal said that this is the time of year where the Rangers need to be at their best and that everyone needs to "raise their level and be better." (NYR)
Asked about this recent stretch, Henrik Lundqvist told Pierre McGuire, we lost ourselves after a month and a half into the season. The schedule was tough too. We traveled a lot and played 7 in 11 or 12 days. After New Years we came back to basics and started playing better. We weren't always getting the results that we wanted but it was moving in the right direction." (NBC Sports)
Lundqvist added, "we have a lot of guys who can step up and be the person who wants to make the difference. It's important to have that, you can't just rely on 1 or 2 guys. (NBC Sports)
Kevin Hayes scored on Wednesday for the first time since January 9th against Washington.
Prior to his goal on 1/9, Hayes hadn't scored since November 23.
After scoring last night, Hayes said on MSG that he hasn't been on the scoresheet much but that his overall game has been "above average."
Hayes said that he needs to play with confidence and that hopefully his goal against the Pens will be a "jumpstart."
He said that there were times earlier in the season where he struggles early and started to dump and chase so he wouldn't make any more mistakes. (Daily News)
Hayes said that it was an ego check for him to be benched for two games and that he is just going back to basics and working his hardest. (Daily News)
Alain Vigneault said on Monday that over the last 2-3 weeks Hayes has been playing "extremely well at both ends of the rink," protecting the puck and using his teammates.
Vigneault said that he is happy with how Hayes has been progressing and that if he had the chance to "do it over again" he might not have done things the same way.
He said that Hayes is a "good kid, real sensitive, wants to do well, sometimes you have to go through tougher times to learn and get better."
For a lot more on Hayes, his season and what Alain Vigneault has said, click HERE.
Tags: Kevin Hayes
According to Scott Cullen of TSN, the Rangers top prospects heading into the trade deadline are (TSN):
- Pavel Buchnevich
- Brady Skjei
- Ryan Gropp
- Aleksi Saarela
- Igor Shesterkin
- Dylan McIlrath
- Ryan Graves
- Magnus Hellberg
- Brad Morrison
- Nicklas Jensen
- Boo Nieves
Corey Pronman writes that Buchnevich "bleeds skill" and that the puck just "sticks to him." (Pronman)
Craig Button has Buchnevich ranked 21st on his list of the top 50 prospects. (TSN)
For a list of the Rangers prospect rankings through the years, click HERE.
Tags: Pavel Buchnevich , Prospect Rankings
Alain Vigneault said on Monday that with a lot of back to backs coming up, Antti Raanta is going to start playing more.
He said that the schedule is laid out and the plan calls for him to play a game a week.
On Tuesday, Vigneault again mentioned that they hope to give Raanta a game a week but added that "he needs to play better than he did the last couple of games."
Vigneault said that he expects more from Raanta and that he is "very aware of that."
He said that in looking at the big picture for the season the Rangers need to give Raanta more starts.
Raanta has not won a game since 11/15 and is 4-41 on the season.
In his last start, his only in 2016, he stopped 19 of 23 shots in a loss to Washington on 1/17.
Tags: Antti Raanta
2/11/16 12:54PM: Larry Brooks writes that it's a "mistake" to infer anything about Ryan McDonagh because the Rangers passed on Christian Ehrhoff. (Brooks)
2/10/16 | 9:30PM: On Keith Yandle, Pierre McGuire said that if the Rangers can get Ryan McDonagh back on the ice then "eventually I think they will trade him." (NBCSN)
8:54PM: During the first intermission of Wednesday's game against the Penguins, Darren Dreger spoke about Ryan McDonagh and his situation. (NBCSN)
Dreger said, "There is no timetable for his return yet. That shouldn't come as a surprise. Anytime there is a diagnosed concussion or some kind of head injury in this sport it's an individual issue. It may take some time while others may heal more quickly. No physical activity as of yet and I know he did visit the team before the team left for Pittsburgh. Not saying that is an indication he is on his way. Because of all involved they are going to take their time and do what is right with Ryan McDonagh."
On how McDonagh's injury impacts the Rangers trade deadline plans, Dreger said "as long as Ryan McDonagh is out then Keith Yandle is not going to be on the market. There is no way the Rangers can move a piece like that, despite what is going on in-game with his play. Good nights vs bad nights. They are comfortably in a playoff spot but there is still a lot of hockey left until the end of the regular season and between now and the 2/29 trade deadline. They want to hold onto their spot and they want to improve their position. As long as McDonagh is on the shelf, Yandle isn't going anywhere."
Tags: Keith Yandle Rumors , Keith Yandle , Ryan McDonagh
2/11/16 | 12:07PM: Bob McKenzie guesses that teams will now investigate trading for Ehrhoff and sending a contract back to LA. (TSN)
12:02PM: Ehrhoff has cleared waivers. (McKenzie)
2/10/16: 1:54PM: Larry Brooks tweets that the Rangers "might--that's might--consider" putting in a waiver claim for Christian Ehrhoff after looking at their defensive options. (Brooks)
Brooks notes three things that could impact the Rangers decision to possibly put in a claim for Ehrhoff: Ryan McDonagh's status, how the current group of 4 righties and two lefties works and who the Rangers have available in the AHL.
Ehrhoff, 33, was placed on waivers today by LA and has a cap hit of $1.5 million.
He is a left-defenseman who has played in 40 games for LA this season with an average of 15:10 per game and a minus 10 rating.
Last season he was limited to 49 games due to a concussion but averaged 21:46 for the Penguins.
Ehrhoff played two-seasons for Alain Vigneault (2009-2011) and had 28 goals and 66 assists in 159 games while averaging between 22:47 and 23:59. (HR)
Adam Rotter: Ehrhoff is an option for the Rangers as he is for the other 28 teams in the NHL while he is on waivers. His play lately doesn't match up to the reputation he forged in the past, but he is a potential low risk option with experience, both in the playoffs and for Alain Vigneault, that the Rangers could consider. $1.5 million is a bit much for someone who could be in the press box if everyone is healthy, but he wouldn't cost anything in terms of assets to acquire and could be decent fit.
The Rangers ended Sidney Crosby's 11 game point streak last night and limited him to 0 shots on goal, 1 shot attempt that was blocked and 1 shot attempt that was missed.
Crosby played 19:48 and was a minus 3.
At even strength, Crosby played 8:08 against Marc Staal, 7:59 against Dan Girardi, 7:21 against Keith Yandle, 6:45 against Kevin Klein, 6:15 against Dan Boyle and 5:52 against Dylan McIlrath.
JT Miller played 7:23 against Crosby, Derick Brassard played 7:16 and Jesper Fast played 6:48.
While out against the Brassard line, Crosby only had 3 shot attempts for while the Rangers had 9.
Alain Vigneualt said that he was able to put Derick Brassard's line out against Crosby about 65% of the time. (MSG)
After the game the Rangers talked as a group about how they limited the second opportunities for the Penguins, blocked shots and provided a lot of back pressure. (MSG)
Marc Staal said that the Rangers did a good job on Crosby in the neutral zone and were able to slow him down and limit his options. (Newsday)
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 34 shots to pick up a shutout and his 4th straight win.
After the game, Alain Vigneault said that "there is no doubt" that Lundqvist was "outstanding tonight" and made some "big saves at key times." (MSG)
Derek Stepan said that "more so than anything" it's "really good" to see Lundqvist "shut the door like that." (Daily News)
On his game, Lundqvist said after the game on MSG that "I changed a detail two games ago, not going to tell you what. I did something and it brought me back to something that is very important to my game. Benny challenged me two games ago about shutouts and I got close last game but today I got it done. They don't come easy these days for me and with the team in front of me it was fun to battle and when you see guys blocking shot and working hard."
Asked about Lundqvist and what the change may have been, Steve Valiquette said on MSG that Lundqvist is supposed to play deep on the crease line and that he has started to do that again.
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
Alain Vigneault spoke after the game on MSG and said:
- What did you like, "well there is no doubt that our goaltending was outstanding tonight. Hank made some big saves at key times. We got some timely goals. Hayes goal made it 1-0 and it was a good play with a shot to the net and a big rebound that we were able to jump on. For the most part we played their top players well. We made sure we had back pressure and numbers. They had a lot of shot attempts but we kept them to the outside and when they got on the inside Hank made some really big saves."
- On the blocked shots, "they are a highly skilled team and they are not easy to stop and they will get some looks but for the most part we defended well and were able to roll four lines and get the numbers that we wanted against their top people."
- On only allowing 1 goal at even strength since McDonagh went out, "anytime you miss, whether it be on defense or up front, some of your top people. It's an opportunity for some other guys to step up. We have some other guys who have stepped up. That third goal that put the game away, Jesper made a strong play to get to the red line, to take the hit, put the puck in the net. He knows he is going to get crushed there but those are the things you need to do when you want to win games. Especially on the road, it's not easy and for the most part we did a good job tonight."
- On the 4th line, "there is no doubt. I am not overly concerned about the matchups. I wanted to play Brass as much as I could against Crosby's line. For the most part we got that match up, 65% of the time and they did a good job. Having a 4th line play the way they did helps us out no doubt.
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 34 shots for his third shutout of the season and 58th of his career, leading the New York Rangers past the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 on Wednesday night.
Lundqvist, who recorded his 27th win of the season, passed Martin Brodeur for most wins by a goaltender in his first 11 NHL seasons. He has won nine of his last 12 starts and allowed two goals or fewer in 13 of his last 18 appearances.
Kevin Hayes, Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast scored for the Rangers, who won their fourth straight, and fifth in six games. The Rangers have at least one point in 14 of their last 20 games. >> Read more
- Henrik Lundqvist was outstanding for the Rangers in this game and helped keep the game scoreless early when the Rangers struggled to get going and turned the puck over.
- The Rangers got better as the night went on and mostly played a very solid game defensively. They did what no one else has been able to do lately and shut down Sidney Crosby.
- The expectation was that this would be a much tougher test for this group of defense than the New Jersey game and while it probably was, it was another good showing with a great performance from the last line of defense.
- Maybe this will get Kevin Hayes going. The Rangers need him to re-find his game and start to resemble the player who had an excellent second-half last season.
Tags: Dominic Moore , Henrik Lundqvist , Jesper Fast , Kevin Hayes
The Rangers face the Penguins in Pittsburgh tonight at 8 p.m.
According to STATS...
- The Rangers beat the Devils, 2-1, at home on Monday night, stretching their win streak to three straight games with the victory. New York is 6-2-0 in its last eight tilts overall.
- Pittsburgh throttled Anaheim, 6-2, at CONSOL Energy Center on Monday night, winning its second straight tilt, and improving to 6-1-0 in the last seven games overall. The Pens have potted six goals twice in their last four contests (zero such performances in first 48 games of the season).
- Tonight marks the first of four meetings between the Blueshirts and Penguins in 2015-16. Pittsburgh is 6-1-1 in its last eight regular-season home games vs. New York.
- J.T. Miller lit the lamp Monday night, giving him nine goals in his last 10 skates -- third most of any NHL skater since January 16. Miller has one marker (zero assists) in four career games against the Penguins.
- Sidney Crosby had two goals (and two helpers) Monday night, giving him 10 markers during his career-high seven-game goal-scoring streak. Crosby has 22 points (12g, 10a) during his current 11-game scoring streak -- the third longest of any NHL skater this season (Patrick Kane -- 26 games, Patrick Sharp -- 12 games).
- New York has clicked on just 4.1 percent (2-for-49) of its power-play chances since Christmas -- worst in the NHL. Pittsburgh has converted on 27.0 percent (17-for-63) of its chances with the man-advantage since December 25 (second best in the league).