Wild Third Period Rally Puts Rangers over Isles
This one had all the feel of a late round playoff game, as the Rangers and the Islanders amped up their rivalry to what it was during the 1980’s. The first place Islanders were looking to defeat the Rangers for the fourth time out of four games this season, but the Rangers had other ideas.
The Islanders scored just 11 seconds into the game, as Ranger goalie Cam Talbot misplayed the puck and John Tavares scored his 27th goal of the season. This was the fourth game between these two teams and it was the fourth time that the Islanders took the lead on the Rangers. Franz Nielsen then scored his 11th goal on the season, to give the Islanders a two-goal lead. This would be a pattern for the remainder of the game.
Ryan McDonagh put the Rangers on the scoreboard before the period was over and cut the lead to 2-1. But as the second period opened, Johnny Boychuk’s blast from the blue line streaked past Cam Talbot to once again give the Islanders a two-goal lead.
Then the Rangers exploded for two goals in less than a minute, as a blast from Chris Kreider blew past Jaroslav Halak and into the Islander net. Then Ryan McDonagh’s long range shot into a screen hit the back of the net to tie the game at 3-3.
But before the period was over, the Islanders took back the lead on a goal from Ryan Strome on assists from Brock Nelson and Travis Hamonic. Then the start of the third period was highlighted by another goal by Ryan Strome, this time on a 3 on 1 break after Halak made some awesome saves during and after a Ranger power play. Talbot guessed wrong and could not come up with the save. The Islanders now had their two-goal lead back and it was the third period. If this game was played on paper, things would have been bleak for the Rangers. But, these games are played on ice and not paper, so they continued to play.
So far this season, the Rangers have come back from two goals against the Devils and from three goals against the Minnesota Wild and this game would not be any different. First it was a goal by Derek Stepan on assists from Chris Kreider and Kevin Klein. Than it was a two on one rush and Steps fed Marty St. Louis, who was able to get back in the scoring column by putting one past Halak. These two goals tied the game at 5.
Then it was Marty St. Louis, who fed Kevin Klein and the defenseman took a shot that flew past Halak to give the Rangers their first lead of the game. If they could hold on to it, would now be the $64,000.00 question.
And hold on to it they did, even though a post was hit late in the game as the Isles put an extra skater on the attack, the Rangers won a very important game. It was a four point swing game. They entered the game with 71 points and the Isles at 75. A Ranger loss would have put them six points behind. But this victory places them now only two points out of first place in the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference.
This was the most exciting regular season Ranger game I have listened to in the last few years and Kenny Albert and Dave Maloney were on the top of their games during the broadcast.
NYI: John Tavares (27), Unassisted
NYI: Franz Nielsen (11), Assisted by Travis Hamonic & Mikhail Grabovski
NYR: Ryan McDonagh (6), Assisted by Dan Girardi & Lee Stempniak
NYI: Jonny Boychuk (5), Unassisted
NYR: Chris Kreider (14), Assisted by Derek Stepan & Dan Boyle
NYR: Ryan McDonagh (7), Assisted by J.T. Miller
NYI: Ryan Strome (11), Assisted by Brock Nelson & Travis Hamonic
NYI: Ryan Strome (12), Assisted by Frans Nielsen
NYR: Derek Stepan (10), Assisted by Chris Kreider & Kevin Klein
NYR: Marty St. Louis (15), Assisted by Derek Stepan & Marc Staal
NYR: Kevin Klein (9), Assisted by Marty St. Louis & Derick Brassard
Jaroslav Halak: 36 Saves on 42 Shots for a SV% of .857
Cam Talbot: 38 Saves on 43 Shots for a SV% of .884
Team Stats NYR NYI
Shots on Goal 42 43
Power Play 0 for 2 0 for 3
Hits 29 43
Face Off Wins 27 35
Blocked Shots 11 19
3 Stars of the Game:
3rd Star: Ryan Strome: 2 Goals
2nd Star: Ryan McDonagh: 2 Goals
1st Star: Kevin Klein 1 Goal and 1 Assist
The Rangers have swept another road trip, this time a four game road trip, for four victories in a row.
They have won 27 of their last 37 games (27-9-1)
This is the first time the Rangers have rallied from at least two multi-goal deficits since they played Detroit on October 16th, 1980.
This sweep of a four game road trip was the fifth time in their history that the Blueshirts have accomplished this feat and the second time this season.
The Rangers have now won 14 of their last 18 road games and are tied for the lead the NHL with 17 road victories and rank second in road winning percentage (.648) this season.
The Blueshirts defensemen have become goal scorers, as they have accounted for 11 goals over the last nine games played: Boyle-4, McDonagh-4, Staal-2 and Klein-1.
This was the fourth time this season that the Rangers have scored six or more goals in a game.
This is the sixth time this season that the Blueshirts have won after trailing after two periods this season.
The Rangers now rank second in the NHL in goals per game (3.13) this season and fourth in the NHL and first in the Eastern Conference in goal differential (plus 38).
The Ranger Penalty Kill Unit was perfect again tonight, 3 for 3 and 10 for 10 over the last three games.
Kevin Klein registered a multi-point game (1 goal and 1 assist) and extended his assist/point streak to a career high five games. Kevin has set career highs this season in goals (9), points (25) and game winning goals (4).
Ryan McDonagh registered his first career multi-goal game and had six shot on goal as well. He also registered four hits in his 25:42 of ice time.
Marty St. Louis was able to get onto the scoring sheet with a game tying goal and an assist on the game winning goal.
Alain Vigneault won his 501st hockey game, putting him past Toe Blake and into a tie with Pat Burns. He is now tied for 19th place all-time.
Derek Stepan had a goal and two assists.
Chris Kreider had a goal and an assist.
Cam Talbot made a single-game, career high 38 saves, and became the first goalie other than Henrik Lundqvist to win four games in a row since Dan Blackburn from March 30 – April 8, 2002. He is also the first goalie other than Lundqvist to make 38 saves in a regulation game since Steve Valiquette on March 27th, 2004.
Derick Brassard, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, J.T. Miller and Dan Boyle all registered an assist.
Lee Stempniak recorded his 200th NHL Assist.
The Rangers now stand in second place in the Metropolitan Division with a record of 34-16-5 for 73 points, which put them in front of the Pittsburgh Penguins who also have 73 points, but the Rangers have 2 more victories and one game in hand.
They are also three points in front of Washington with two games in hand over them.
They are also just two points behind the first place Islanders and have two games in hand over them.
The Rangers will host the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday evening, after the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show finishes up on Tuesday night. Then the Blueshirts will travel to Buffalo on Friday to make up for a game cancelled due to excessive snow fall in Buffalo. The Rangers will then play host to Columbus on Sunday the 22nd, Tuesday the 24th and Arizona the 26th before taking a bus to Philly to play the Flyers on Saturday evening at 8:00PM.
Lots of Hockey to play in February and March, as the Rangers look to remain right in the thick of things atop the Metropolitan Division.
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