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Alain Vigneault met with reporters on Tuesday following Rangers practice (MSG):

  • On Rick Nash, "I saw him this morning, feeling better. Still docs feel that he needs a couple of more days away from the ice. We are on a day to day basis and see how he feels."
  • Nash unlikely for Friday, "definitely not. I gotta see how he first reacts when he starts to skate. Right now he is almost pain free when he walks around which is a good step in the last 6-7 days."
  • He didn't get better and then the pain came back, "he had always, since he took the shot, thinks that he can play through the pain and he was trying and it just wasn't getting better. Those bone bruises, you just never know how it's going to react. Just gotta take the time."
  • Have you talked to McDonagh today, "I saw Mac briefly this morning, he came in to say hi. No new development there. Day to day and see how he feels tomorrow."
  • On the Penguins being hot, "I'm sure that it's of no surprise to anyone that the Pens are playing the way they are. They are an elite team with elite players. No doubt that they are a strong and powerful team. The only way to have success against them is to defend first. Has to be big, strong defensive mindset from your team to take away that skill and speed. If you do that you give yourselves a chance. So much skill and speed and power that you have to defend in five-man units to have a chance. I am looking forward to that game. They have been playing extremely well since Sully has taken over. I have heard a lot of great things about him as a coach from our guys here and from Jeff who worked with him a number of years. It should be a real fun challenge for us tomorrow."
  • On the forecheck as part of defending, "It's a big part as far as creating the turnovers and spending the time. When I am thinking about Pittsburgh I am thinking about back pressure and forwards coming back and tightening the gap up with our forwards and D to give those guys less space and less room. When you talk about Crosby or Malkin or Letang, they can make something out of nothing. You need that strong back pressure and constant pursuit of them and the puck. If you do that and you work your but off you have a chance."
  • On Antti Raanta and Henrik's freshness, "I think that because of the time off that we have had and the Christmas break and the seven day break that we had, I think that Hank is fine. We are definitely going to, as we move forward, try to give Antti a game a week. He needs to play better than he did the last couple of games, I expect more from him and he is very aware of that. He is going to play soon but I want the guys to focus on Pitt. As far as Hank's workload, he likes to play and any time I tell him at the beginning of the year that I am shooting for 20-25 games for the backup he is giving me this crazy look that I don't know what I am talking about. He wants to play and he is a competitor and he wants to help the team win. At the end of the day I have to look at the big picture and Antti's time is coming here."
  • Do you think about how Henrik will be during playoffs or down the stretch, "right now what I see from Hank is the Hank that I saw at the beginning of the year, he is on top of his game. Confident about how he is playing. He went through a stretch where the team might have been playing better but he was just playing okay. We are like any team in the league, okay is going to be hard for us to win coming from the goaltender just how important that position is. As far as the schedule and how it was laid out, we are good here. To get to the playoffs we got a little bit more than two months and quite a few back to backs in March. Schedule is laid out fairly well that Hank can play and Antti can get some games and it will sort itself out."
  • On Boyle on the left side, "I know he hadn't played there in a long time. It's him or Dylan and Dylan is just trying to get in, it's easier for him on the right side so for the most part I think that Dan going to that side, knowing that it's not his natural side and doing what he has to do to be successful. We didn't give that team very much last night. That duo, when we they are together did a good job for us."
  • On the roster for tomorrow, "we will stay the same. If something were to pop up today or tomorrow we would call somebody up from there but at this time we will save the personnel and save the cash."
  • On Philly again on Sunday and possible retaliation, "our guys are really focused right now on Crosby and once we have played that game we will focus on the Kings who beat us in the Stanley Cup final, that game is a long way away. Ask me on Saturday and I will have a good answer for you."

Wayne Simmonds spoke on Tuesday about the comments that Alain Vigneault made yesterday about the league not taking action against him. (CSN Philly, via PHT

Simmonds said that Vigneault can say whatever he wants and that he was protecting himself after being cross-checked in the head. (CSN Philly, via PHT

He said that he didn't know what McDonagh was expecting but that he had no intention of hurting him and feels bad about it. (CSN Philly, via PHT

Simmonds said that "by no means" is he a dirty player and he never goes out trying to hurt guys. He said that he knows what happened and the league knows what happened "or else who knows, maybe I would've got a suspension." (CSN Philly, via PHT

For more, click HERE and HERE.


On this week's Rangers Blue Line, Brian Compton, Nick Licalzi, and Adam Rotter discuss the sucker-punch Wayne Simmonds delivered to Ryan McDonagh and the emergence of red-hot J.T. Miller. Plus, Brian checks in with NBC's Pierre McGuire (10:20) for his take on the Rangers, Sidney Crosby, and all the trade chatter around the league.

Tags: Rangers Blue Line Podcast

New York Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle (93) skates against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit Wednesday, March 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)
New York Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle (93) skates against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit Wednesday, March 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

4:05PM: Pierre LeBrun writes that he thinks the Rangers are ready to keep Yandle and let him walk as a UFA on July 1. (ESPN)

He said that the cap space gained by losing Yandle as a UFA is a positive for a team like the Rangers. (ESPN)

LeBrun says that the debate for Jeff Gorton would be is if he wants to try and re-set the roster after a few years of "going for it." (ESPN)

7:24AM: Larry Brooks writes that with no timetable on a possible return for Ryan McDonagh and no idea if symptoms will persist, "the Rangers obviously cannot even think about dealing Keith Yandle." (NY Post)

Yandle has led the team in ice time the past two games. (NY Post)

Last week, prior to the McDonagh injury, Brooks wrote that McDonagh's elevated play made it easier for the Rangers to move Yandle. (NY Post)

Adam Rotter: When Keith Yandle was the Rangers third-pair left defenseman who played on the second PP unit it was much easier to trade him. Now that Yandle is essentially the Rangers first-pair left defenseman and leading the team in ice time, it's much harder to move him. There is no timetable on Ryan McDonagh and even in the best case scenario he probably only returns a week before the trade deadline. It just became a lot harder for the Ranger to move Yandle unless they have an indication that McDonagh will be back at 100% shortly or they get a package, including a left defenseman, that they can't turn down.

Tags: Keith Yandle , Keith Yandle Rumors , Ryan McDonagh

Feb 4, 2016; New York, NY, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate after the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Wild 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 4, 2016; New York, NY, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate after the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Wild 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Monday night, with four right handed defensemen and two lefthanded defensemen, the Rangers played:

  • Keith Yandle: 25:19 (17:13 at even strength, 8:06 on the PP)
  • Marc Staal: 20:06 (19:38 at even strength, 28 seconds on PP)
  • Dan Boyle: 19:13 (16:37 at even strength, 2:36 on the PP)
  • Kevin Klein: 18:44 (16:18 at even strength, 2:26 seconds on the PP)
  • Dan Girardi: 17:19 (15:48 at even strength, 1:31 on the PP)
  • Dylan McIlrath: 14:26 (14:26 at even strength)

Alain Vigneault said on Tuesday that the Rangers would not be calling up a defenseman and would go with the same six against Pittsburgh Wednesday. (Gross)

Dan Boyle played on the left side, mostly with Dylan McIlrath, and Alain Vigneault said after the game that he didn't think Boyle looked out of place and that he and McIlrath had a "pretty good game." (MSG)

Kevin Klein said that it looked like an easy transition for Boyle to move to the left side because of his skating ability. He said that it's helpful to have a guy like Boyle, a right shot, be able to play on the left side. (Rangers Game Notes) 


The Rangers should expect Rick Nash to eventually deliver, according to Alain Vigneault. (AP)
The Rangers should expect Rick Nash to eventually deliver, according to Alain Vigneault. (AP)

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)

Click here to read more

Tags: Rick Nash

Feb 8, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center J.T. Miller (10) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring the game winning goal in the third period as New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider (35) looks away at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Devils 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 8, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center J.T. Miller (10) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring the game winning goal in the third period as New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider (35) looks away at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Devils 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Following the game, Devils coach John Hynes said "I thought the Rangers played great. I thought they came to play. They played well as a team. I thought they deserved the victory." (Rangers Game Notes)

Devils goalie Cory Schneider said that while the Rangers deserved credit for how they played, a lot of the Devils struggles were "self-inflicted." (Rangers Game Notes) 

He added, "I don't think, at any point, we deserved to have that game." (Rangers Game Notes) 

Henrik Lundqvist said that the Rangers focused on going after the Devils defensemen and that the Rangers played with "a lot of energy," "created a lot of good chances" and that there was a lot to be happy about. (Rangers Game Notes) 

JT Miller said that the Rangers had a "great forecheck" and were able to force the Devils into a lot of turnovers. (Rangers Game Notes) 

Kevin Klein said that the Rangers came out hard, played as a unit of five and were able to carry their strong play throughout the game. (Rangers Game Notes) 

Marc Staal said that the Rangers forecheck was really good and they didn't allow the Devils defense to make plays, adding "it was a good effort by our forwards tonight for sure."

Hynes said that it wasn't the Rangers forecheck that caused problems for the Devils but that they didn't execute and make plays when they had the chance. He said that the Rangers fed off that and "took it to us pretty good." (Rangers Game Notes) 


Feb 8, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils center Joseph Blandisi (64) and New York Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle (93) come together at the boards during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Devils 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 8, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils center Joseph Blandisi (64) and New York Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle (93) come together at the boards during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Devils 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Keith Yandle played 25:19, had 5 shots on goal, 4 shot attempts that were blocked, 1 that missed the net, 2 giveaways and 3 blocked shots against the Devils Monday night.

Yandle was the Rangers team leader in ice time and played 8:56 in the first, 8:31 in the second and 7:52 in the third.

With 2:24 left in the third period, and the Rangers up 2-0 and on the PP, Yandle got the puck at the blue line and fired a no-look pass into the middle of the ice that was picked off and led directly to the Devils goal.

After the game, Alain Vigneault said "everyone saw it, the same guy who permitted us to go into OT in Philly by making a great play, Yands made a low percentage pass there and it ended up biting us. He has been playing extremely well." (MSG)

Dave Maloney said that with Yandle you "live by the sword and die by the sword" and that while he is out there to make a play you need to "respect" the time, the situation and who was on the ice for New Jersey.

Joe Micheletti said that up until that play Yandle had been "really good." (MSG)

Adam Rotter: That is what happens when you have Keith Yandle. He has the ability to make plays with the puck that no one else could and he also has the ability to make plays with the puck that no one should. His positives have outweighed his negatives lately but there is also risk with Yandle on the ice. Sometimes that risk leads to something good for the Rangers and sometimes it doesn't. The Rangers knew this when they got him and have to live with it as long as he is with the team.

Tags: Keith Yandle

Alain Vigneault met with reporters following the Rangers win over the Devils on MSG:

  • "come on, ask me about the power play....(laugh)"
  • On the game, "we definitely, no doubt, put a lot of pressure on their defense and forced a lot of turnovers, got some good looks. They got a great goaltending performance but I liked how we played. We put a lot of heat and pressure and used our speed in the offensive zone, had some good movement, good looks. Overall a good game for us. With two defensemen out at the end to be on the safe side, stuff happens."
  • On staying with this defense, "I didn't talk to Jeff after. Without talking to him I would probably say yes. Moneywise it gives us some more leverage."
  • On Boyle on the left side, "tonight what I saw from Boyler on the left side, he didn't seem out of play. I think him and Dylan had a pretty good game. We will definitely be tested on Wednesday in Pitt and see how we respond there."
  • On Daniel Paille, "I think that that line has been progressing and giving themselves a pretty good identity. They keep things simple, get pucks behind the defense and wear them down and obviously with Dom and faceoffs in our own end and I am comfortable with those three forwards will know what to do. I like what I see from those guys."
  • On the Keith Yandle play, "Everyone saw it, the same guy who permitted us to go into OT in Philly by making a great play, Yands made a low percentage pass there and it ended up biting us. He has been playing extremely well. You guys might not believe it but I felt that the PP had some really good looks. We need a bounce to get a little bit of confidence and we will keep working at it. Our PK was real good tonight. (Big laughs) Anyone want to talk about that?"
  • "we are on a game to game basis, we haven't seen Pitt this year. Our total focus today was on the Devils and we had just played them and knew exactly what we needed to do against them. We followed that plan and tomorrow we will practice and get a plan and focus on that.

Lundqvist spoke after the game and said (via the Rangers Game Notes): 

On the team's performance tonight"We talked a lot about going after their D going into this game. I think we had a lot of success last game (against the Devils) on the forecheck. We just came up a little bit short. Obviously special teams played a big part in that game. Today, we played a very disciplined game. A lot of energy and we created a lot of good chances. So there's a lot to be happy about."

On the team's recent play…"The way we are playing, it's paying off in different ways. Guys are playing really well and scoring big goals at the right time, and as a group I feel like we're doing a lot of good things. Last week's been good to us and hopefully we can continue that."

On Kevin Klein…"He's a tough player, no question. You get to know him over the years here and he always plays hard. It doesn't matter what he goes through, he's out there battling. Lot of credit to him, being out there fighting for the team right now. And he's been doing it for a while, playing with a sore thumb, so it's not easy but he's doing well."

On winning three games in a row…"It definitely feels good when it pays off. Ever since it's the New Year I feel like we took a step in the right direction and started coming back to our game. The results have been a lot better the last month and a half. You're going to have some bad games but I think when your confidence is there and you play great games and you have a bad game, you can still manage to find a way to win games. Hopefully that can be the case moving forward as we start feeling better and better about our game."

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist

GEICO Sportsnite: Rangers 00:00:39
Reactions from New York Rangers after they prevailed over the rival New Jersey Devils, 2-1, on Monday night at the Garden.

Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves and the New York Rangers posted their first three-game winning streak since November with a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Monday night.

Kevin Klein, who broke a thumb last week, scored for the first time in 28 games and the streaking J.T. Miller scored for the ninth time in 10 games while the Rangers beat the Devils for the first time in three games this season.

This win came with captain Ryan McDonagh sidelined with a concussion. It was New York's fifth straight win at Madison Square Garden, and the Rangers are 7-3 in their last 10 overall.

Cory Schneider made 35 saves for New Jersey, which lost its third straight (0-1-2). Travis Zajac scored a short-handed goal with 2:17 left to spoil Lundqvist's shutout bid. >> Read more...

 Adam's Thoughts:

  • It's 3 in a row for the Rangers and a game in which they should have been up 4-0 or 5-0 early but Schneider kept the Devils in it and kept the game close. The Rangers were really good in the first, good in the second and good enough in the third to hold on after the Devils got one. Hopefully this is the streak I've been looking for the Rangers to get on for the last few months.
  • We saw the good and we saw the very, very bad that Keith Yandle brings when he steps on the ice. He played a strong game for about 56 minutes or so but made a totally unnecessary play that led directly to the Devils shorthanded goal. That made it a very tense last few minutes. 
  • Henrik Lundqvist was very good when he needed to be. He had a few long stretches without seeing any action but he came up big, especially in the third.
  • JT Miller is red hot, Derick Brassard was very noticeable, Chris Kreider was noticeable and Mats Zuccarello was pretty solid.
  • The PP had some good looks throughout the game but couldn't convert. Good looks are better than nothing but they need to find a way to cash in on the PP. It's also great for the PK when you don't take any penalties.
Tags: Cory Schneider , Henrik Lundqvist , J.T. Miller , Kevin Klein , Ryan McDonagh , Travis Zajac

New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider skates with the puck around the goal of New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider during the first period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider skates with the puck around the goal of New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider during the first period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Rangers host the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden on Monday at 7 p.m.

According to STATS:

  • The Devils dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Capitals at Prudential Center on Saturday, losing for the third time in their last four games. New Jersey has lost five straight shootouts since Thanksgiving (won two of first three shootouts this year).
  • New York defeated Philadelphia, 3-2, in a shootout at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday, winning its second straight tilt, and for the third time in the last four games overall. The Blueshirts are 3-2 in five shootouts this season.
  • The Devils have won both meetings with the Rangers in 2015-16 -- 2-1 in overtime at Madison Square Garden on October 18, and 3-2 at home six days ago. Dating to the beginning of 2013-14, the Devils are 3-2-0 in their last five games vs. the Blueshirts at MSG.
  • Adam Henrique lit the lamp Saturday, and now has 17 goals in 2015-16 -- one more than he tallied in 75 games last season. Henrique has three points (1g, 2a) in his first two skates against the Blueshirts this year (had three goals and one helper in his first 18 career games vs. New York).
  • Chris Kreider had a goal in Saturday's triumph, giving him a marker in back-to-back games for the second time of the 2015-16 campaign (also January 16-17). Kreider (3g, 5a in 13 career skates vs. the Devils) is looking for the first three-game goal-scoring streak of his NHL career tonight.
  • The Devils are 17-0-4 (.905) when scoring first this season -- second best in the NHL. New York has won 10 games when its opponent lights the lamp first in 2015-16 (tied for fifth most in the league).
Tags: Adam Henrique , Chris Kreider

Jan 17, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) and Washington Capitals left wing Andre Burakovsky (65) battle for the puck in the third period at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Jan 17, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) and Washington Capitals left wing Andre Burakovsky (65) battle for the puck in the third period at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Alain Vigneault said today that the Rangers aren't calling up a defenseman for tonight's game against the Devils and that they will go with the six healthy defensemen that they have. (NHL)

Vigneault said that the Rangers will determine who is on the ice based upon situations such as where faceoffs are and whot he Devils have out on the ice. (NHL)

He said that after the game he will chat with GM Jeff Gorton about what the team wants to do heading into Pittsburgh on Wednesday. (NHL)

Vigneault said that none of the Rangers right shooting defensemen are that comfortable on the left side but he pointed out that Dan Boyle, the most skilled of Kevin Klein, Dan Girardi and Dylan McIlrath, could see time on the left side. (NHL)

On Saturday, the Rangers defense played: Dan Girardi: 24:46, Kevin Klein: 19:23, Marc Staal: 24:12, Dan Boyle: 24:45, Keith Yandle: 27:33.

At even strength, Yandle played 25:40, Boyle played 21:10, Girardi played 20:06, Staal played 19:32, and Klein played 17:09.

Klein returned to the lineup after missing a game due to his fractured thumb. His thumb caused him some issues handling the puck during the game on Saturday.


2/8/16 | 3:30PM: Byfuglien signed a five-year deal with a cap hit of $7.6 million per season. (Jets)

12:48PM: The status of Keith Yandle and a possible extension with the Rangers is "status quo" which according to Craig Custance means that there have been "no negotiations of any substance." (ESPN Insider)

Custance says that the expectation is that any talks the Rangers have with Yandle would be held after the season if Yandle is still with the team. (ESPN Insider)

He adds that if Dustin Byfuglien signs a new deal with Winnipeg that prevents him from being a free agent, Yandle's price would go up even more. (ESPN Insider)

11/24/15: Nothing is brewing between the two sides and it's likely that they will wait until after the season to discuss a possible contract extension. (ESPN Insider)

Click here to read more

Tags: Keith Yandle , Keith Yandle Rumors

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The New York Rangers value defenseman Ryan McDonagh's leadership just as much as his contributions on the ice, and losing him for any period of time would leave a major hole in the lineup.

They're about to face that scenario, as the captain will miss his first game of the season Monday night with the Rangers seeking their first three-game winning streak since November in a home game against the New Jersey Devils.

McDonagh has elevated his play over the last month, recording two goals and seven assists in his last 12 and finishing with one of each in Thursday's win over Minnesota. But after being whistled for four minutes of penalties in the first period against Philadelphia on Saturday, McDonagh was sucker-punched by Wayne Simmonds and fell to the ice.

He didn't return as the Rangers (29-18-5) fought back for a 3-2 shootout victory, and he won't play against the Devils (26-20-7) after being diagnosed with a concussion. >> Read more

Tags: Ryan McDonagh

 (Gene J. Puskar)
(Gene J. Puskar)

Alain Vigneault met with the media following today's morning skate and said (NHL):

  • "the way Ryan was playing at this time, I mean, he was finding his game and the best part of his game is when he is skating and beating the forecheck and jumping up in the play at the right time. When he is feeling good about his game and himself he is a tremendous offensive defenseman and he is a great defender. You can match him up against all the top players and he loves that challenge. We will take it day by day. It's an opportunity for guys to step up and get a little bit more ice time and play well for us. We will need that. You don't just replace one of your top players, you need a group of guys to come in and that is hopefully what we are going to get."
  • On the plan without McDonagh, for tonight we are going to go with the six that we have. Jeff and I talked yesterday and talked about his conversations with the league about a whole bunch of things. We will go with the six that we have tonight and after the game we will decide what we have to do."
  • On how it will shake out without McDonagh, "it will be a combo of, I would say all of the four, depending on if it's an offensive faceoff or what the other team is putting out there. We will mix and match and juggle there."
  • Is there someone who can switch to LD and be comfortable, "I don't think there is one guy that is particularly comfortable. Probably the most skilled is Dan Boyle, the other three feel a lot more comfortable on the right side. Which is usually the case, righties have a tough time playing on the left side while lefties don't mind playing on the right side for whatever reason. We will see how it shakes out and decide after."
  • On a time table for McDonagh, "no. I didn't talk to him today, I texted him yesterday but didn't talk to him today."
  • On Rick Nash, "no, 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."
  • On Jesper Fast, "he is just playing his game and that is why we have a lot of faith and trust with what he will do with and without the puck. His hockey IQ is real strong and he knows what to do when he has the puck, those high percentage plays that you need to make and the good plays that he needs to make when he doesn't have it. When Zuccy went down last year in that last game against Pitt, he is the guy that we brought up and put with Kreids and Step and he did a great job for us. The whole team, his teammates have a lot of trust and faith in him."
  • On Kevin Hayes, "I'm pleased and as you learn more about your players, Kevin is a sensitive young man. If I had to do it over again I might not do it the same way. As a coach you try different things and learn different things from testing your players different ways. He is a good kid, real sensitive, wants to do well, sometimes you have to go through tougher times to learn and get better. I gotta say, the last 2-3 weeks he has been playing extremely well at both ends of the rink, protecting the puck, doing a lot of good things with it. Using his teammates better and I pleased with his progression right now."
  • On Dan Paille, "he has come in here and given us some depth, help on the PK, it's still not where it needs to be but he has good experience there and sharing it with the group. We are trying to work with a number of players and there is a guy who comes to the rink with a positive attitude, upbeat, wants to play, wants to compete, the type of guy who teammates want around and hopefully he will be able to help us as we move forward."
  • On the goalie plan, "If you check the schedule, we have a lot of back to backs the next month. This month, starting this week I would say that he is going to play a game a week. Schedule is pretty much laid out unless something drastic changes."
  • On Fast as a top-six forward, "he is a top-nine forward and if someone in the top-six isn't doing it, he can move up and do it for you. His hockey smarts permits him to do it."

6:42PM: On the Rangers pre-game show on MSG, Vigneault said:

"we had a feeling that he had a concussion, we weren't 100% sure, he had some symptoms. What I didn't expect was the reaction from the league. All-Star player gets sucker punched and goes down, I wonder what happens if that is Crosby, what are the consequences. On top of that, their player breaks his stick and throws it at the ref and in the rulebook that is automatic three games and nothing happens. It's not even on the sheet after the game. The ref came to me because I asked him if I was getting a power play here and he said, no, no, he is getting a game misconduct from throwing his stick at us and it's not on the sheet. So, maybe you guys should call the league because we are getting different answers."

 

For more on the situation, click HERE.

 

For what Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said, click HERE.

Tags: Ryan McDonagh

10:52AM: McDonagh is OUT tonight with a concussion that was suffered on Saturday. (NYR)

Alain Vigneault said that there is no timetable on McDonagh's return.

10:32AM: Ryan McDonagh is not skating at the Rangers morning skate today. (NYR)

For more on the McDonagh situation, click HERE and HERE.

Tags: Ryan McDonagh

Jan 11, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Jesper Fast (19) celebrates scoring the game-winning goal against the Boston Bruins with teammates during the third period of an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Bruins 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Jan 11, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Jesper Fast (19) celebrates scoring the game-winning goal against the Boston Bruins with teammates during the third period of an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Bruins 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

2:02PM: Alain Vigneault was asked about Fast today and said, "he is just playing his game and that is why we have a lot of faith and trust with what he will do with and without the puck. His hockey IQ is real strong and he knows what to do when he has the puck, those high percentage plays that you need to make and the good plays that he needs to make when he doesn't have it. When Zuccy went down last year in that last game against Pitt, he is the guy that we brought up and put with Kreids and Step and he did a great job for us. The whole team, his teammates have a lot of trust and faith in him." (NHL)

On Fast as a top-six forward, "he is a top-nine forward and if someone in the top-six isn't doing it, he can move up and do it for you. His hockey smarts permits him to do it." (NHL)

8:30AM: Jesper Fast had the primary assist on Keith Yandle's tying goal in the third period and has four assists in the last four games.

JT Miller said that Fast is the guy who makes "most of the stuff happen" and does all the little things and "hard work." (MSG)

Miller added that Fast is so reliable at both ends of the rink. (MSG)

Derick Brassard, on Thursday, praised Fast's play and his role in creating the game winning goal against the Wild. (MSG)

On Fast, Joe Micheletti said on Saturday that he doesn't get a lot of points but "he makes a lot of plays to allow other players to get points. " (MSG)

Joe added that Fast plays with "a lot of courage" goes into the tough areas and is "such a trustworthy player." (MSG)

Alain Vigneault said on Thursday, "I have so much faith and confidence when he is on the ice. I know that defensively he is going to be in the right position and I know that with the puck he is going to make the right play. We see this young player here growing and getting better every game. I really have a lot of confidence when he is on the ice." (Ranger Game Note)

Tags: Jesper Fast

The Rangers scored yesterday to tie the game with 13 seconds left in regulation.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau it was the first time that the Rangers have scored a goal that late in the game to tie it since Markus Naslund against the Thrashers in February 2009. (Via the Rangers Game Notes)

The Elias Sports Bureau also said that it was the first time the Rangers have tied the game that late in the third and then won since Nikolai Zherdev scored against the Penguins in October 2008. (Via the Rangers Game Notes)

"According to Rangers PR, today's game was the first time the Rangers recorded a game-tying goal at 19:47 or later and won the contest on the road since Nov. 9, 2005 at Florida (Dominic Moore - 19:57)." (Ranger Game Notes)


Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves last night including 19 in the second period.

The Flyers only had 1 shot on goal in the third period, a goal, 0 shots in overtime and Lundqvist stopped both Flyer shootout attempts to give the Rangers the win.

From the Rangers Game Notes: "Lundqvist has posted an 8-3-1 record, along with a 2.13 GAA and a .922 SV% in his last 12 appearances, including a 7-3-0 record, along with a 1.97 GAA and a .929 SV% in his last 10 appearances."

Keith Yandle said on MSG that Lundqvist was "amazing" for the Rangers yesterday.

Marc Staal said that Lundqvist made a bunch of big saves to keep the game close. (Gross)

Alain Vigneault said that without Lundqvist's play in the second the game would have been "over." (MSG)

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist

Against the Flyers yesterday, Keith Yandle played a season-high 27:33 and scored the game tying goal with 13 seconds left in regulation.

Yandle played 7:36 in the first, 8:04 in the second, 9:53 in the third and 2:00 in OT.

He attempted four shots on goal, 5 shots that were blocked and 4 shots that missed the net.

Yandle said that he expected and prepared to play more after McDonagh left the game. (MSG)

Joe Micheletti said that Yandle "really stepped up" in place of Ryan McDonagh.

On Yandle, Henrik Lundqvist said "he sees the game really well, he is one of the best passers out there. It's hard and crisp and on the tape and he has a great shot as well. He is a great guy to be around. He brings a lot to the table on and off the ice so I am really happy with how he played this game. He had a lot of responsibilities when Ryan went down, it's important to have guys step up." (MSG)

Tags: Keith Yandle

Nov 10, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol behind the bench during the third period against the Colorado Avalanche at Wells Fargo Center. The Avalanche defeated the Flyers, 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Nov 10, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol behind the bench during the third period against the Colorado Avalanche at Wells Fargo Center. The Avalanche defeated the Flyers, 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

2/7/16 : 11:03AM: Simmonds is playing for the Flyers today and won't be suspended. (Panaccio)

2/6/16 | 6:39PM: Asked if he thought a match penalty was harsh for Wayne Simmonds, Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said "to be honest, I was just happy that Simmer was still standing after the cross-check that he took across the side of the head.....I don't have a comment on any of it other than I am happy that Simmer wasn't injured." (NHL.com)

McDonagh was penalized for hi-sticking on the play.

Marc Staal said that it was a cheap shot, "absolutely" and that there is no place for that in the game. (Gross)

Derek Stepan said that throwing a sucker punch "isn't necessary" but it was a Rangers/Flyers type of situation with both teams playing on the edge. (NY Post)

Henrik Lundqvist said after the game on MSG, "I didn't see the whole thing so it's hard for me to comment. I don't know what led up to it but it didn't look good, the half a second that I saw it. I just hope he is okay. He is a big part of this team and we need him and hopefully it's not too bad." (MSG)

Tags: Ryan McDonagh

In the first period the Rangers and Flyers tied with 7 shots on goal each.

In the second period the Flyers took a 1-0 lead on 20 shots on goal and held the Rangers to only 8.

In the third period and OT the Rangers 13 shots on goal while the Flyers only had 1.

Alain Vigneault said after the game on MSG, "after having played a pretty good first, they totally dominated us in the second and if not for Hank the game would have been over. He kept us in and gave us a chance. In the third it was our chance to dominate it and we tied it up late and won it in the shootout."

Henrik Lundqvist said that instead of pushing in the third, the Flyers sat back and gave the Rangers a chance to play better. (Ranger Rants)

Lundqvist added that the Flyers were all over the Rangers in the second but after a "good talk" going into the third they were able to turn things around. (MSG)

Derick Brassard said that the Rangers stayed with their game "but a lot of it" was because of the way the Flyers "backed off" after taking the lead.

Brassard added, "our will was a little bit higher and we were more desperate but it was a lot easier when they started backing in." (NY Post)


Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers win over the Flyers:

  • On the win, "it's another hard-fought win. We came from behind and we all know that it's not an easy league to be able to come from behind. After having played a pretty good first, they totally dominated us in the second and if not for Hank the game would have been over. He kept us in and gave us a chance. In the third it was our chance to dominate it and we tied it up late and won it in the shootout."
  • Was the team impacted by the loss of McDonagh, "Ryan is our captain and big part of our team, at the end of the day you gotta keep playing and in the second they were first on the puck and their forwards were much better than ours. They dominated, our goalie kept us in."
  • On McDonagh, "he is precautionary right now, we will have more tomorrow."
  • On the Flyers not having someone in the box, "it wasn't a major, it was a match penalty and when you get a major you are allowed as a coach to put in your player when you see fit during the five minutes. When it's a match penalty the refs are supposed to tell the coach to automatically put someone in the box which they forgot. They said that if he would have scored, because he went on a breakaway on that same play, it would have been disallowed. That is the explanation."
  • "I can't comment for the reaction of other people. I just know that they should have had someone in the box and they didn't."
  • "In their explanation to me it was the referees fault for not putting someone in there otherwise it would have been a penalty."
  • "No doubt that result wise we are happy with the game. We are not happy with how we played in the second but we did out play them in the third and the first was pretty even. When two good teams are battling hard to get points in a tough league."
  • On emotions during the game, "this is a physical game that will go back and forth and that is what happened."

On MSG, Yandle said:

  • On his goal, "it was a lot of simple plays, Brass made a good play on the wall and giving it to Boyle behind the net. Guys weren't panicking with it. Quickie made a great play to me and put it right in my wheelhouse and I put it on net and luckily he didn't see it and I was able to get a goal."
  • On playing more without McDonagh, "I did. It's one of those things that when Trucker goes down, especially a left D, you have to be ready to play more and thrive on and want to do it."
  • On McDonagh being knocked out, "you could kind of tell that our emotions were high in the first and second, we settled down and got ready to play hockey. We knew that the best way to help Trucker's spirits was to get a win. We missed him out there but happy to get the win."
  • On the swing from almost no points to two points, "it's huge, a lot of emotion, Hank played amazing for us, making huge saves at a high time. Find a way to get it to OT and SO and get two goals from Zucc and Step."

GEICO SportsNite: Rangers 00:01:28
The Rangers played a physical game against the Flyers Saturday afternoon and battled their way to a shootout victory.

Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan scored in a shootout to lift the New York Rangers to a 3-2 comeback victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

Keith Yandle tied it with 12.9 seconds left in regulation and Chris Kreider also scored in regulation for the Rangers, who won consecutive games for just the second time since Nov. 15.

Ryan White scored and Shayne Gostisbehere had a goal and an assist in regulation for the Flyers, who had won three straight. The Rangers improved to 3-2 in tiereakers this season while Philadelphia dropped to 2-5.

Philadelphia's Sam Gagner shot high and Claude Giroux was stopped by Henrik Lundqvist in the tiebreaker.

New York lost captain Ryan McDonagh midway through the first period when he was knocked out by Wayne Simmonds' punch. >> Read more...

 Adam's Thoughts:

  • Well that was quite the come from behind win by the Rangers. The first 40 were a mess for the Rangers and then they gave the Flyers the lead right back but Keith Yandle crushed a slap shot to give the Rangers a point.
  • Yandle might have played his best period in a long-time during the third period. He showed his slap shot earlier in the game and I wondered why he didn't seem to take it more. Was a good thing he took it in the dying seconds of regulation.
  • Henrik Lundqvist was outstanding today, especially when the Flyers dominated the Rangers in the second period. He kept the game close while the Rangers were finding their game.
  • They played with fire by giving the Flyers all of those power plays but for the most part the PK was good.
  • Kevin Hayes said during the first intermission that the best payback for what was done to Ryan McDonagh was to win the game. For a long time it seemed like the Rangers would be adding insult to injury with how they played but they came back and got the win. The win doesn't erase Ryan McDonagh leaving the game with an injury, but it definitely helps put the team in good spirits.
Tags: Chris Kreider , Derek Stepan , Henrik Lundqvist , Keith Yandle , Matz Zuccarello , Philadelphia Flyers , Ryan McDonagh

1:49PM: Frank Seravalli of TSN says that he expects the NHL to rescind the match penalty awarded to Simmonds. (TSN)

1:35PM: Midway through the first period Ryan McDonagh was hit by the Flyers Wayne Simmonds and after laying on the ice for some time went to the Rangers locker room.

John Giannone, on MSG, said "Simmonds was screaming that McDonagh dove after he was basically getting punched in the face during their scrum together. That caused Alain Vigneault to scream at Wayne Simmonds about calling it a dive.

Simmonds checked McDonagh into the boards, McDonagh pushed him off, Simmonds slashed McDonagh while McDonagh put his stick up to check him, the two exchanged words and Simmonds punched McDonagh.

Simmonds was given a match penalty, five minutes and an ejection, because of intent to injure.

McDonagh was penalized for high-sticking and slashing.

Adam Rotter: I don't expect Simmonds to get much, or anything, in the way of supplementary discipline. He is missing about 50 minutes of today's game, nearly the whole thing, and the league usually deems that to be enough punishment in a lot of cases.

Tags: Ryan McDonagh

New York Rangers center J.T. Miller celebrates after scoring the game winning goal against the Vancouver Canucks during overtime of an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USATSI)
New York Rangers center J.T. Miller celebrates after scoring the game winning goal against the Vancouver Canucks during overtime of an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USATSI)

The New York Rangers face the Philadelphia Flyers on the road Saturday at 1 p.m.

According to STATS:

  • The Flyers have earned at least one standings point in each of their last four games (3-0-1) against the Rangers -- their third-longest such active streak against an opponent (six vs. Blues, five vs. Jets).
  • The Rangers, who have seen their opponents go 3-for-5 on the power play over the last two games, have scored just two power-play goals over their last 15 games.
  • The Flyers, who have won three consecutive games while scoring at least four goals in each contest, have also scored at least one power-play goal in six consecutive games -- the longest active streak in the NHL.
  • So far this season, the Rangers have allowed 33 first-period goals, 43 second-period goals and 53 third-period goals.
  • J.T. Miller has now scored eight goals over his last eight games, after scoring a total of eight goals over his previous 48 games.
  • Wayne Simmonds, who has scored multiple goals in three of his last four games, has scored four goals over his last four games against the Rangers.
Tags: J.T. Miller , Philadelphia Flyers

New York Rangers center J.T. Miller celebrates his goal against the Minnesota Wild with teammates during the second period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USATSI)
New York Rangers center J.T. Miller celebrates his goal against the Minnesota Wild with teammates during the second period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USATSI)

Wayne Simmonds' scoring binge has pushed the Philadelphia Flyers to the verge of matching their longest win streak of the season.

The New York Rangers haven't been able to harness J.T. Miller's bevy of goals into an extended run.

Both players have shined in recent matchups between the teams, and Simmonds looks to lead the Flyers to a fourth consecutive victory Saturday.

Simmonds has six goals and three assists in a five-game point streak, and he's scored four times in the past two of his team's three consecutive wins. He had two goals and an assist in the Flyers' highest-scoring performance of the season, a 6-3 victory at Nashville on Thursday.

Simmonds' linemate Claude Giroux also had two goals and an assist while Brayden Schenn scored in a third straight game.

The Flyers (23-18-8) were next-to-last in the league with 2.24 goals per game in their first 46 but have outscored opponents 14-8 during their win streak.

"I said earlier in the year that we weren't getting any bounces. I think things have kind of turned and we're starting to get some bounces," Simmonds said. "We're just staying calm. We're just sticking with our game plan."

Miller has eight goals and one assist in the last eight games, beginning with a 3-2 shootout victory at Philadelphia on Jan. 16. The Rangers, though, have gone just 5-3-0 in that stretch and alternated losses and wins in the past four contests. >> Read more...

Tags: J.T. Miller , Philadelphia Flyers

Kevin Klein will return to the Rangers lineup today and replace Dylan McIlrath. (NYR)

Henrik Lundqvist is in net for the Rangers and Tanner Glass is back in after Jayson Megna was sent down. (NYR)

For more on Klein, click HERE.

Tags: Kevin Klein

Against the Wild on Thursday, Ryan McDonagh had a goal and an assist in 25:02.

McDonagh has 9 points in the last 11 games and 16 in the past 24 games.

Joe Micheletti said, when McDonagh was named third star of the game, "that guy was great."

Dave Maloney said on ESPN Radio "Ryan McDonagh was Ryan McDonagh" and really good in all three areas.

Micheletti added that he would put McDonagh up against any defensemen in the league over the last 3-4 weeks with the way he has played.

Joe added, "there hasn't been a single element of his game that has been lacking."

Alain Vigneault said that McDonagh "had a real strong game."

Adam Rotter: When the Rangers get Ryan McDonagh playing at the top of his game they are a different team the same way that Henrik Lundqvist at his best and Rick Nash at his best bring the Rangers to another level. He's their captain, anchor on defense and adds a really important dimension to the Rangers game when he can add offense. If the Rangers get this Ryan McDonagh more often than not then they will be in good shape down the stretch and in the playoffs.

Tags: Ryan McDonagh

New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello controls the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USATSI)
New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello controls the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USATSI)

The Rangers are 9-13-3 on the road this season and 2-5 on the road in 2016.

Alain Vigneault said on Friday that the Rangers have been played well on the road but have been coming up short.

Vigneault pointed to special teams as a reason for the Rangers struggles on the road and mentioned that he felt the Rangers deserved to win in Jersey on Tuesday but didn't. 

Marc Staal said that the Rangers have "laid some eggs" on the road and haven't had "very good efforts." (The Record)

He said that it's something that needs to be fixed and that it will be tough for the Rangers down the stretch if they can't win on the road. (The Record)


GEICO SportsNite: NY Rangers 00:01:00
Kevin Klein, J.T. Miller and Rangers coach Alain Vigneault discuss the team's upcoming matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Jan 22, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault looks on from behind the bench during the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The New York Rangers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Jan 22, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault looks on from behind the bench during the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The New York Rangers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

Alain Vigneault met with the media following practice today and said (MSG):

  • On Klein, "I think I just heard that he declared himself good to go. (laugh) I haven't talked to him, I talked to him before practice. He said that he was feeling real good, probably better than before. Practice looked fine, haven't talked to him since, I just need to double check with our medical staff and make the call."
  • He said he could have played last night, "it's a funny thing, this Dr. Miyagi has a ton of resolve."
  • On the confidence after last night, "Like I said yesterday after the game, we were down 2 but playing like a team that were on their heels and looking for answers. I felt that we carried most of the play in the first period. Had some great offensive zone puck possession time, some good looks, stuck with our process and in the second we capitalized on a couple of opps and set the tone and wore them down and created some turnovers in the third and cashed in on a big win. Coming back in the league is not easy to do, especially against a team that is so sound defensively. They are on a tough stretch but still a really good team. We will take those two points and we are playing well and we need to bring that to Philly tomorrow. They will be focused and ready, division game, they just won a big game in Nashville. They will be pumped and ready."
  • On the PP, "both our PP and PK, this is result oriented and the results aren't what we want them to be. I can say that our guys are working extremely hard. Off ice there is a lot of video and a lot of internal discussions about trying to get on the same page. Our PP execution has to do more with the puck and on the PK it has more to do with 4 man presses. We need to win more one on one battles on the PK, if you win it the puck is down the ice and you are spending less time in your own end. That was one of our strong suits before, Marc Staal going into the corner and winning his one on one, McDonagh winning his one on one and right now we see to, bouncing puck or the last two that we had to kill yesterday we didn't give up anything and we looked good and hopefully we build off of that and take it to Philly tomorrow. They have a PP that has been working well for a while now."
  • On moving Dom off of Jesper Fast's PK, "had more to do with faceoffs, left hander, I will go with Dom on that side, right hander I will go more with Step. See how that shapes out."
  • On Nash, "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."
  • Could he skate here tomorrow if he wants, "if he feels good and wants to hit the ice tomorrow or Sunday, he will be in on both of those days for treatment and hopefully taking steps in the right direction there."
  • On JT Miller, "JT has been one of our top players at both ends of the rink, his competitiveness without the puck, he has been working hard to come back in our end. We are on the ice at 12 but we have 6-7 guys who are on the ice at 10:30 with our skills coach Mark and JT is always there. Guys figure it out and he is slowly but surely doing that."
  • On shooting percentage, "I would say that statistically speaking, we were almost 5-6% almost the league average, you won't sustain that but I do think that you can stay in the top ten, 5 on 5 we are. We are finding ways, whether it be through good screens, or crashing the net, we work on that continually, it's something that they work on with our skill coach, that is why it permits us, I think we are 5-6th in goals for."
  • On Dylan McIlrath, "this is never an easy situation, let alone a young player trying to come into the league. Last night he comes in, last night was one of his more average games compares to others that we had seen prior to that. That is due to the fact that he had been sitting out quite a while. His intentions are strong, works real hard in practice and if we need him tomorrow he will be ready."
  • On disparity between home and away this season, "it's a real good question, since I have been here we have always been one of the best road teams. Fundamentally the principles that I want to apply are the same on the road as at home. For whatever reason, and I would say that it's special teams or whatever, we have played some good road games where we came up short but we are also playing better there. Tomorrow is a big game, division, conference, we need to step up and have another good game. We played a real good game in jersey that I feel we should have won. Didn't win but tomorrow we get another opportunity."
  • On Megna being called up, "It had more to do with playing against a speed/skill team and I wanted four lines that had a bit more of that. When he is up he gives us a right handed shot that we don't have a lot of. He gives us that latitude and tomorrow going into Philly I feel that we need Glasser more than his presence."

New York Rangers' Ryan Kevin Klein plays against the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL hockey game Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)  (Jay LaPrete/AP)
New York Rangers' Ryan Kevin Klein plays against the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL hockey game Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

5:25PM: Klein's full comments today were (MSG):

  • "I am definitely ready to play. I feel that I could have played yesterday but they felt that maybe I should get in some battle drills to make sure that I am ready and I feel good."
  • How did you recover so quickly, "fortunate, I guess. I was having issues with it before and that kind of compounded it but it hasn't felt any worse than before so that is a positive thing."
  • Does it impact anything, "no, I can shoot it which is the main thing, that and battling I thought would put the most pressure on it. I played with it a couple of weeks before that, so yea, excited to be back and with the boys."
  • On how he felt going into the boards, " It was already painful before that, it was really painful and one of the more painful injuries I have ever had. It stings for 5-10 minutes and then it settles down and then we saw the doctor and I am happy it doesn't require surgery."
  • You didn't play in a splint before that, "no. The thing I am wearing now is not too big and won't impact me. Just to keep the thumb from going a different way."
  • Can it get worse, "can't get any worse, chance it can heal on it's own. That is why we are going with the splint on there and go from there."
  • "I kind of woke up and it felt the same as it did in previous days and thought that it wasn't so bad. I went to see the doctor, the hand specialist and he was good and gave me all the info and we talked it through. Then I found out that I was out indefinitely and started laughing and the doc was laughing too because he said that I could possibly play, it was just a pain tolerance thing. Miscommunication."
  • You will be playing through pain, "it's not too bad. Just go out there and battle, we are all used to it."

 

12:02PM: Kevin Klein is on the ice for the second straight day after being diagnosed with a fractured thumb on Wednesday. (NYR)

For more on Klein and what Alain Vigneault said, click HERE.

Tags: Kevin Klein

 (Kathy Willens)
(Kathy Willens)

The Rangers have sent forward Jayson Megna back to Hartford.

Megna was called up yesterday and played 9:12, was a minus one, had 2 shots on goal, 1 shot attempt that was blocked, 1 shot that missed the net and 1 hit.

He saw 6:23 at even strength and 2:49 on the PP.

Tags: Jayson Megna

Feb 4, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath (6) checks Minnesota Wild left wing Jason Zucker (16) into the boards during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Wild 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 4, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath (6) checks Minnesota Wild left wing Jason Zucker (16) into the boards during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Wild 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

In his return to the Rangers lineup, Dylan McIlrath played 11:42, his third lowest ice time of the season, with one shot on goal, 1 shot that missed the net, 3 hits, 1 giveaway and 1 blocked shot.

In the first period McIlrath played 3:44, in the second he played 3:39 and in the third he played 4:19.

He played 9:56 at even strength and 1:46 on the PK including the Wild's second goal where he was in front of Henrik Lundqvist.

McIlrath did not have a shift in the first 5:46 of the third period.

When on the ice at 5 on 5, the Rangers had 66% of the shot attempts. (Hockey Stats)

Tags: Dylan McIlrath

Feb 4, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center J.T. Miller (10) celebrates his goal against the Minnesota Wild with teammates during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 4, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center J.T. Miller (10) celebrates his goal against the Minnesota Wild with teammates during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Rangers were down 2-0 in the first period last night but out-attempted the Wild 23-18 overall and 23-8 at 5 on 5. (Hockey Stats)

Alain Vigneault said that he didn't say anything "out of the ordinary" and just wanted the guys to keep doing what they were doing. He said that while the Rangers were down 2-0 they were leading in possession time and generating a lot of offensive opportunities. (Rangers Game Notes)

JT Miller told Al Trautwig after the second period that the Rangers felt they had a good first period and were confident in their game heading into the second. (MSG)

Derick Brassard said that the Rangers played well in the first but that Minnesota capitalized on the two chances that they had. He said that the Rangers were confident heading into the second period. (Rangers Game Notes) 

Henrik Lundqvist said that in the first period the Wild scored on a bad bounce and then on the PP but that the Rangers felt like they were playing well. He said that even down two goals the Rangers had a "good feeling" in the room that they could turn it around. (Rangers Game Notes) 

Ryan McDonagh said that the Rangers spent a lot of time in the Minnesota end in the first but didn't get anything out of it. He added that it was "great for our guys to get rewarded there eventually." (Rangers Game Notes) 


Larry Brooks writes that Ryan McDonagh is the "greatest offensive weapon" the Rangers have had on defense since Brian Leetch and that his strong play is another reason for the team to move Keith Yandle.

Brooks writes that if Yandle's status as a UFA isn't enough of a reason to move him, the increase in production from McDonagh "adds another layer of protection against such a trade." (NY Post)

He says that Rangers GM Jeff Gorton has "no choice" but to replenish the organization with assets and "cannot afford to allow" Yandle to walk as a free agent. (NY Post)

Brooks says that moving Yandle would not indicate that the Rangers are sellers or that management has lost faith in the season. (NY Post)

Yandle has 3 goals and 24 assists this season, with 8 PP points, and McDonagh has 7 goals and 19 assists with 9 PP points.

Adam Rotter: It certainly helps the Rangers, in every possible way, that Ryan McDonagh is playing at an All-Star level again and showing how important he is. When he is going he is the Rangers best and most important skater.

When it comes to Yandle it depends on how you look at him. You can look at him as Keith Yandle, a former All-Star with the potential to be an elite offensive defenseman who can do things with the puck that no other Ranger defenseman can. Or you can look at him as the Rangers third-pair left defenseman. It certainly doesn't hurt to have Keith Yandle on your team, as long as he is making high percentage plays, but he isn't going to be back and can likely fetch a couple of pieces who might be able to help the Rangers down the line. The Rangers are a win-now team so it seems counter-intuitive to move Yandle, but if they think that someone else can play his minutes and Ryan McDonagh/Dan Boyle can work the PP, it might be worth it to move him.

Tags: Keith Yandle , Keith Yandle Rumors , Ryan McDonagh

Alain Vigneault met with reporters following the Rangers win over Minnesota (MSG & Rangers Game Notes):

  • On JT, "I see a young man that is definitely growing and understanding more every day what it is to be a pro and how to be the best player that he can be. He has spent a lot of time with his off-ice conditioning, works hard in practice and is getting an opportunity and playing real well for us."
  • "Nothing out of the ordinary, just stick with what we were doing. We were playing well. We are down by two but if you look at our possession time and the number of opportunities we were generating at their net and playing in their zone, maybe we could have hit the net more in the first but we were doing what we needed to do to create offense. It started to pay off in the second and there is no doubt that we took the game over, Brass' line played real well. McDonagh had a real strong game. We were doing the right things that permit us to win the game and that is what happened."
  • On the game, "If you look at the way the game was played, it was a hard fought battle from both teams. In the third we forced their defense to turn the puck over and that's how we got the go-ahead [goal]. After that for both teams there wasn't a lot of room. It's competitive. Every team is good, every game is hard, and this was another hard fought game."
  • On Jesper Fast, "I have so much faith and confidence when he is on the ice. I know that defensively he is going to be in the right position and I know that with the puck he is going to make the right play. We see this young player here growing and getting better every game. I really have a lot of confidence when he is on the ice."

Ryan McDonagh said after the game on MSG:

  • "we had great help from our forwards allowing us to keep our gap and not allowing them to create plays on the rush. I liked our defensive zone plays as far as being aggressive and blocking a lot of shots today. That is a good sign and doing the things that we need to do to be a good defensive team. It's nothing really special, just going out and executing the things we do all the time."
  • "We thought we had some good O zone time in the first. We got stuck with a two goal lead, but we had some good O zone time and trying to create chances and put some pucks towards the net and allow us to keep our forechecking game and kind of keep them on their heels and not allow them in our zone as much. Good effort both ways as far as forechecking and backchecking helped us."
Tags: Ryan McDonagh

GEICO SportsNite: NY Rangers 00:00:33
Rangers forward Derick Brassard and goalie Henrik Lundqvist speak on the team's 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.

Box score

NEW YORK -- Derick Brassard set up the tying goal and scored the game-winner early in the third period as the New York Rangers rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat the struggling Minnesota Wild 4-2 on Thursday night.

Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh and streaking J.T. Miller each had a goal and an assist as New York stretched its winning streak at Madison Square Garden to four games. Henrik Lundqvist made 16 saves, including two third-period stops on Marco Scandella after the Rangers took the lead.Chris Kreider added an empty-net goal with 1:48 to play

Ryan Carter and Matt Dumba scored for the Wild, who lost their second straight after the All-Star break and fell to 1-8-1 in their last 10.

Read more. . . .

Adam's Thoughts:

  • That wasn't the start the Rangers were looking for but they battled hard in the second and took advantage of a Minnesota team that comes out strong but struggles to sustain it. They dominated the last two periods like this team is supposed to.
  • There really isn't much more to say about JT Miller. He and Derick Brassard are leading the Rangers up front. Miller, unlike Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes, has taken that next step in his development that the Rangers needed.
  • Ryan McDonagh was excellent and helped kick off the Rangers strong play in the second with his goal.
  • As has been the case many times this season, the Rangers will now attempt to string a few wins together. They haven't been very successful at doing it this year but they get another chance on Saturday against Philly, and then the Devils, and hopefully they can pick up much needed points.

 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

The New York Rangers picked up right where they left off at the All-Star break - with inconsistent results.

They might be catching struggling Minnesota at the right time as they look to get back on track, though their first meeting of the season with the Wild didn't go well at all.

New York faces a Minnesota team that's lost eight of nine and continues a road-heavy stretch at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.

The Rangers (27-18-5) won two in a row for the first time since late November on Jan. 19 and 22 but have lost two of the ensuing three contests, falling 3-2 at New Jersey on Tuesday in their first game after the break. Surging J.T. Miller scored twice but the Devils followed his second goal in the third period with two of their own. >> Read more

Tags: J.T. Miller

Scott Burnside writes that the assumption is that the Rangers will shop Keith Yandle after giving up a "king's ransom" for him last year at the trade deadline. (ESPN.com)

Burnside said that Yandle hasn't been a good fit and won't be a fit with the Rangers in terms of the salary cap after this season when he can become a UFA. (ESPN.com)

He also thinks that some help up front could be of use to the Rangers and mentions Eric Staal, though he does note it would be hard to see the Rangers go after a rental player at this stage. (ESPN.com)

Craig Custance has Yandle ranked 10th on his list of trade targets and says that if Jeff Gorton can recoup some pieces for Yandle, he should do it. (ESPN)

Custance says that Yandle would be a great addition to the Blackhawks because of his low cap hit. (ESPN)

Adam Rotter: At the past two trade deadlines the Rangers have made big moves and given up a lot but acquired players who had another year left on their deal. Marty St. Louis and Keith Yandle both had an extra year on their deals, which is also part of the reason they were as expensive as they were. In the case of Staal, who likely doesn't want to move from Carolina and is a UFA, the Canes would need to eat a significant, if not 50%, chunk of his cap to to even come close to making it work.

Both because of the salary cap and because there is a desperate need to hold onto picks and prospects, I don't see the Rangers making a big time move at the deadline for the third year in a row. I can see them trading Yandle and maybe adding some depth, but I'd be surprised, and the Rangers would need to be creative, if they wanted to bring in a big name.

Tags: Keith Yandle Rumors , Rangers Rumors
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