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Jesper Fast is a very trustworthy player who makes things happen
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)

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's game yesterday for the Rangers

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

Keith Yandle stepped up yesterday for the Rangers

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

Wayne Simmonds not suspended, what his coach said about the incident
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

The Flyers changed their game and the Rangers took over

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)


What Alain Vigneault said after the game yesterday

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."

Keith Yandle with the Broadway Hat

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

The Ryan McDonagh and Wayne Simmonds incident

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

Today's Game: Rangers at Flyers
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

Miller, Rangers go for second straight win on Saturday against 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)

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 back in the lineup Saturday

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

Ryan McDonagh's game right now for the Rangers

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

The Rangers on their struggles on the road
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.

What Alain Vigneault said after practice today
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."

Kevin Klein on the ice for the second straight day
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

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

2/5/16 | 1:28PM: Rick Nash did not skate today and Alain Vigneault said that Nash is not traveling with the team to Philadelphia for tomorrows game. (Gross)

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

Jayson Megna sent back to Hartford
(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

How Dylan McIlrath played last night for the Rangers
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

The Rangers were feeling good about their game even down 2-0
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) 


Ryan McDonagh's potential offense should allow the Rangers to move Keith Yandle

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

What Alain Vigneault said after the game last night

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.

Rangers aim to get back on track as they host Minnesota
(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

Looking at what the Rangers could do at the trade deadline

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

What Alain Vigneault said after the morning skate today

Alain Vigneault met with the media following the Rangers morning skate today (NYR):

  • On Klein, "what we said yesterday was what we thought. We didn't know how long it would be. He obviously responded very well to meeting the docs and the splint. He is not obviously playing tonight here but he responded well to the doctors news. The splint feels a little bit better and he was able to handle the puck."
  • It's definitely fractured?, "yes."
  • Does that revise the timetable, "well I said indefinite yesterday and indefinite could mean a day or two or a long time. He will go see Dr. Miyagi this afternoon and get a little bit of this (rubs hands together/laughs) and who knows? He might play tonight (laugh), no he isn't playing tonight."
  • "Clearly a lot better than what everyone anticipated when he went to the doctors yesterday."
  • Why did you sit upstairs to watch today, "today wasn't a normal morning skate, I just wanted the PP to move the puck around and warm up Hank with the other shooters at the other end. I was fine with what the guys were doing."
  • On sitting with Glen Sather and Jeff Gorton, "just happened that way. I wasn't going on the ice and they were up in the stands and they are my bosses so I figured I would go sit with them (laugh) that is all it was. I could have sat by myself but they were there."
  • On Dylan McIlrath shooting more, "it is something that we have been stressing more with our defense, to improve our offensive part of the game. As everyone knows everyone packs the front of the net and it's hard to get shots through and our whole D group, trying to get them to release it quicker before the other team fronts it and blocks it. Dylan, to his credit, does a real good job of getting it away quickly and it's a heavy shot too so anytime that he can do that we want him to."
  • On Glass being scratched, "we just felt that we are playing a team tonight that has a lot of speed and Megna brings us speed and skill and we thought it was a better fit."
  • On Rick Nash, "he did not skate which was planned, he was going to skate for three days which he did. Today he did off ice and hopefully tomorrow he will be close to skating with the team."
  • More on McIlrath's shot, "I think, we have been trying to work it with all of our defense, it might be showing up more with him. You need to give a lot of credit to the Hartford coaches who have coached him for three years. They have helped his skill level, not just his skating but his puck handling, shot and with us, the more he plays the more experience and the better he gets."
  • On giving up quick goals after scoring, "In that third period, we out-chanced them badly and when we made it 2-1 it was a great play. Unfortunately their second goal, we got caught in a change and Danny pushed the guy as far out as he could since he couldn't gap up, they beat Hank on a short side, a goal that you would ask him at any time in the day that he would like to have back, made it 2-2, made it 3-2 on their PP. I thought that we pushed, had some great looks, on some nights things like that happen but I really liked how we played. We need to improve our special teams but we really played well 5 on 5."
  • On Klein today, "I would expect that from all of our players at this time. If you are a player at this time and you know the importance of the game, you wanna play. Hockey players play through a lot and that is the nature of the sport and the players."
  • Megna on the fourth line and the rest of the lines the same, "yes."
  • On why a full morning skate today, "7 days off, just for us to touch the ice a little more. We have an afternoon game on Saturday. Just to feel it and get our specialty teams going a little better."

Kevin Klein and his fractured thumb are on the ice this morning

2:41PM: Alain Vigneault said today (NYR)

  • On Klein, "what we said yesterday was what we thought. We didn't know how long it would be. He obviously responded very well to meeting the docs and the splint. He is not obviously playing tonight here but he responded well to the doctors news. The splint feels a little bit better and he was able to handle the puck."
  • It's definitely fractured?, "yes."
  • Does that revise the timetable, "well I said indefinite yesterday and indefinite could mean a day or two or a long time. He will go see Dr. Miyagi this afternoon and get a little bit of this (rubs hands together/laughs) and who knows? He might play tonight (laugh), no he isn't playing tonight."
  • "Clearly a lot better than what everyone anticipated when he went to the doctors yesterday."

10:28AM: Kevin Klein is skating this morning after the Rangers said yesterday that he was out indefinitely with a fractured thumb. (Gross)

He is stickhandling with both hands on his stick and skating in a regular defensemen's jersey. (Gross)

Klein was injured on Tuesday against the Devils and left the ice in obvious pain.

Alain Vigneault said yesterday that they weren't yet sure of a timetable for Klein's return.

Tags: Kevin Klein
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