Rangers Clinch Metropolitan Division with Victory over Wild 3 to 2
Written by Anthony Griffo
The Rangers came into their game against the Minnesota Wild needing a victory to clinch the Metropolitan Division and home ice in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
The Minnesota Wild were coming into the game as one of if not the hottest team in the NHL, behind Devan Dubnyk playing in his 35th consecutive game.
Something had to give and it was the Rangers that who forced the play in the first period, as Dominic Moore redirected a shot by Carl Hagelin that beat Dubnyk for a 1-0 Blueshirt lead. Later in the first, Rick Nash scored his 41st goal on the power play to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. Monster Nash was assisted by Derick Brassard and Ryan McDonagh.
The Wild cut the lead to one, as a cluster of players in front of the Ranger net, saw the puck skip in off of Jason Pominville’s skate. Then in the third, the Wild were able to tie the score when a shot by Matt Dumba hit off of the end boards and came right in front to Thomas Vanek, who was able to put it past Henrik Lundqvist who had stepped on his goalie stick and fell to the ice.
But the Rangers answered right back, as Chris Kreider skated the puck into the Wild zone and took it around the back of the net and passed it out to Ryan McDonagh. McDonagh then faked a shot, moved in a little closer and let a shot fly that was right on the tape of J.T. Miller’s stick. Miller deflected it past Dubnyk for the game winning goal.
After two consecutive losses, the Broadway Blueshirts have now beaten two very good teams on the road who are desperately holding on to their playoff spots. They did it by not taking stupid penalties or retaliating to borderline hits, but with tight checking, good defense, steady and sometimes spectacular goaltending and team speed. I guess this still will have some members of the media still screaming that the Rangers are falling from first place and out of the playoffs because they are not playing the style that THEY think the team should be playing. Oh well, you can’t please everyone. Thank God about that.
NYR: Dominic Moore (7) Assisted by Carl Hagelin
NYR: Rick Nash (41) PPG, Assisted by Derick Brassard & Ryan McDonagh
MIN: Jason Pominville (17) Assisted by Matt Dumba & Mikael Granlund
MIN: Thomas Vanek (21) Assisted by Matt Dumba & Justin Fontaine
NYR: J. T. Miller (10) Assisted by Ryan McDonagh & Chris Kreider
Team Stats NYR MIN
Shots on Goal 26 28
Power Play 1 for 5 0 for 2
Hits 8 10
Giveaways 3 3
Takeaways 4 7
Face Off Wins 21 37
Blocked Shots 7 10
Devan Dubnyk: 23 Saves on 26 Shots for a SV% of .885
Henrik Lundqvist: 26 Saves on 28 Shots for a SV% of .929
3 Stars of the Game:
3rd Star: Matt Dumba: 2 Assists
2nd Star: Ryan McDonagh: 2 Assists
1st Star: Henrik Lundqvist: 26 Saves on 28 Shots for a SV% of .929
The NY Rangers clinched the Metropolitan Division with their victory over the Minnesota Wild and assured home ice advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs.
It is the eighth time in franchise history that the Rangers have won a Division Title.
It is the 26th road victory of the season for the Broadway Blueshirts, which is a new franchise record
The 54 points they have secured in those road victories has also set a new franchise record
The Rangers now have 49 victories on the season and are three away from tying the franchise record of 52 wins. That was accomplished during the 1993-094 season
The Rangers are now 33-0-1 when leading after two periods.
Nine different Rangers have scored at least ten goals this season
The Rangers have now allowed two goals or less in 42 of the 77 games they have played this season and have a 38-2-2 record in those contests
The Rangers have outscored their opponent 76-52 in the first period this season
Ryan McDonagh had two assists and four shots on goal in 27:06 of ice time
- T. Miller scored the game winning goal, had two shots on goal, and posted a plus one rating in 12:05 of ice time
Alain Vigneault has now coached in 965 NHL games and has sole possession of 23rd place on the all-time list. This victory over the Wild passes Jack Adams and Sid Abel.
AV’s teams have now won six division titles in the past seven seasons and in seven of the last nine
Since the start of the 2006-07 season, AV leads all coaches with 407 wins
AV also leads all Ranger coaches (minimum 100 Games coached) in point percentage (.632)
Rick Nash scored a power play goal and had three shots on goa lin 17:56 of ice time
Dominic Moore had a goal, two hits and two shots on goal in 12:05 of ice time
Derick Brassard had an assist and two shots on goal in 17:55 of ice time
Carl Hagelin recorded an assist, two shots on goal and a plus one rating in 15:12 of ice time
Chris Kreider had an assist and posted a plus one rating in 17:16 of ice time
The Rangers are in First Place in not only the Metropolitan Division, but the Eastern Conference as well. Their record is now: 49-21-7 in 77 games played for 105 Points
They are 9 points ahead of the Caps with 1 game in hand
They are 9 points ahead of the Islanders with 1 game in hand
They are 10 points ahead of the Penguins
They are 2 points ahead of Montreal with 1 game in hand
They are 3 points ahead of Tampa with 2 games in hand
They are 2 points ahead of Nashville with 1 game in hand
They are 4 points ahead of the Blues
They are 5 points ahead of the Blackhawks
They are 2 points behind the Ducks with 2 games in hand for the President’s Trophy
The next Ranger game will be on Saturday night at MSG against the NJ Devils
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