Found March 18, 2012 on Blue Seat Blogs:
Last night none of us could get the recap, so we reached out to Glen Miller, who has done some terrific recaps here before, and he was more than happy to write last night’s recap. Thanks Glen, great stuff as usual. Make sure to follow Glen on Twitter.

That is exactly how fans of other teams have felt so often after Hank has stolen a game from them. Colorado Avalanche G Semyon Varlamov did his best Hank impression by stopping 41 of 42 shots and practically beat the Rangers single-handedly. Despite dominating play for much of the contest, to the tune of a 42 to 20 shot advantage, the Rangers were dealt a bitter blow by Colorado in suffering the 3 – 1 loss. The Blueshirts now cling to a two-point advantage over the Penguins who defeated New Jersey earlier Saturday and still possess a game-in-hand on the Rangers. The Rangers lost despite setting a season-high in SOG. It’s also unusual the Rangers dropped this decision even though they outshot Colorado given their winning % when directing more rubber on their opponents is a league-best 0.706. Nashville is second but a full 56 percentage points behind New York. The bottom line is this was a bad beat for the Rangers as they desperately needed these two points in order to keep the molten lava hot Penguins at bay.  Whatever happens the rest of the way in the regular season ultimately this could prove to be a game we look back on with regret if the Rangers fail to win the Atlantic Division. Let’s get to the game. First Period
Rangers got all four lines into the game early and each created quality scoring chances for. The fourth line generated lots of offensive zone time with solid forechecking at around the 6:30 mark of period one. The Blueshirts would do a good job for much of the period pressuring the Avalanche in the offensive zone. Mats Zuccarello scored his first goal of the season at 10:43 to give the Rangers the lead. Dan Girardi fired the puck from along the boards at a sharp angle and Zuccarello was able to deflect the shot by Varlamov. Ryan McDonagh had the secondary assist.
The Rangers would get their first PP at 11:40 when prized Avalanche rookie Gabriel Landeskog tripped up fellow Swede rookie Carl Hagelin. The PP was another all-too-common disappointment and failed to convert. The team had trouble even getting set up and two faceoff losses in the offensive zone were a big reason why. Derek Stepan had the best chance of the man-advantage but Semyon Varlamov stopped the wrister launched from the right faceoff circle. The Avalanche are known as a fast team but the Rangers did a good job containing that speed until Matt Hunwick broke through to even the contest at 1. Peter Mueller, skating in on the RW, found a rushing Matt Hunwick and got him the puck. Hunwick deftly deked Bickel going backhand-forehand before going back to the backhand and lifting the puck over Hank’s glove.
New York would get the second PP of the game after Ryan O’Byrne was called for cross-checking Ranger captain Ryan Callahan. This PP was much better with a lot more puck movement than the first despite not resulting in a goal. Brian Boyle had a couple of great chances from in tight but Varlamov was equal to the task. Varlamov also made a solid save on a McDonagh wrister with Boyle providing a screen as the PP was ending. At the end of one the Rangers led the Avalanche in shots by a 16 – 6 margin but the contest was still tied at a goal apiece.

Second Period
The Avalanche started the second strong getting two solid scoring chances within the first minute of the period.
The game’s first and only scrap occurred in this period as Stu Bickel faced-off against Cody McLeod of the Avalanche. Several haymakers were thrown and Bickel appeared to land a solid right to the back of McLeod’s head knocking the Avalanche forward to the ice and ending the fight. The Rangers would be awarded their third consecutive PP after Jay McClement was called for goaltender interference at 6:08. The resulting PP had its good moments yet still no goal. The Rangers did do a great job of moving the puck and getting shots on net from the point but Varlamov wouldn’t break and the Rangers just couldn’t cash in on their rebound opportunities. Colorado would break the tie at 9:51 when Landeskog beautifully deflected a Ryan Wilson shot from the left point and through Hank, five-hole. Landskog was left alone after Marc Staal blocked a shot and was unable to get back to his position. The goal was the 21st for Landeskog this season in what should result in a Calder nomination for last June’s second overall draft selection. New York would finish with a 10 – 7 advantage in shots for the period and at that point led Colorado 26 – 13 overall. Third Period
The Avalanche went on their first PP at 3:24 of the period with McDonagh accessed a penalty for holding. In truth it was not a good call as Landeskog grabbed the stick of McDonagh and held onto it with his left hand. The Rangers would keep the league’s best road PP off the board and remain within a goal. Ryan Callahan would draw another PP for the home team with under eight minutes remaining when Steve Downie was caught hooking the Rangers captain. Zuccarello just missed potting his second of the game when his one-time shot off a Brad Richards faceoff win hit the post just six seconds in. The Rangers would end up getting three shots on goal but still couldn’t solve Varlamov.
The Rangers would continue to press for the tying goal but Ryan McDonagh was called for his second minor of the game with just more than a minute left and the goalie pulled. Paul Stastny would put the game out of reach with an EN marker and only 14 seconds remaining.
Here are some additional thoughts on tonight’s game. Power Play
The PP looked good overall, aside from the first one, but this is a results-oriented league. It matters little how many chances the man-advantage looks if they aren’t potting goals. Take away the EN goal and this was a one-goal contest.  Had the Rangers been able to find a way to convert one of their five opportunities they would have assured themselves of at least one point. Brian Boyle and Brandon Dubinsky
Both players looked good tonight and had several good scoring chances each. Just like the PP, results are what matter and these guys are struggling badly to produce goals. With the club desperately needing secondary scoring, any offense these guys can bring is needed.

The Top Line
Prior to tonight the newly minted top line of Richards, Gaborik and Hagelin had accounted for a combined 15 points over the last two games (two goals and five points each). Tonight the Avalanche countered the Rangers top trio with D Jan Hejda and O’Byrne. They did a great job and held the Rangers #1 line off the score sheet tonight. Zuccarello
He isn’t big and no one knows how he would hold up over a full season in a top-six role but when he’s been in the lineup Zucc has generated offense. There is no questioning he brings offensive instincts few Rangers can match. He recorded his first goal of this season and had several other chances tonight. Zuccarello isn’t afraid to get in on the forecheck and pressure the opposition defense. It was another solid performance by the young Norwegian as he tries to earn a long-term spot in New York.

Team Defense
The defense, solid for much of the year has struggled of late. Tonight they played a very solid game and held Colorado to just 20 shots against and few quality scoring chances. Unfortunately Colorado cashed in on two of those chances. The first goal was a spectacular individual effort by Hunwick. If any Avalanche player is going to break in one-on-one and beat Hank, Hunwick would be one of the last anyone would expect. Still can’t take anything away as it was a great goal. Colorado’s 2nd goal was the unfortunate result of Marc Staal blocking a shot and being unable to get back to his spot. This left Del Zotto alone in front of the goal and he chose to leave Landeskog unguarded for the brilliant deflection goal. Erixon
Many Ranger fans were looking forward to seeing Erixon back in the Rangers lineup. After seeing Anton Stralman and Steve Eminger struggle of late it was hoped Erixon would solidify the defense corps with his puck-moving skills and intelligence. Erixon played just 9:57, fewest of any Ranger defenseman, and finished a -1, though he did get a look on the PP (1:09 of ice time).  I’m sure I speak for many in hoping he gets more time to show what he can do down the stretch. As hard as it may be to believe at this point, the Rangers still played a very good game. Varlamov was the difference-maker tonight and stole a couple of points for the Avalanche. As Rangers fans we know what it’s like to be on that side of the coin but that doesn’t make it any easier to be on the wrong side of a terrific goaltending performance.

Quick injury and lineup notes

Per Andrew Gross, the Rangers have some good news in the injury department. Artem Anisimov was skating this morning at the optional skate. Although he is unlikely to play tonight, it’s a good sign to see him skating, it means his shoulder injury isn’t serious. Along with Anisimov, Gross states that John Scott (unsurprisingly), Anton Stralman, and Jeff Woywitka will be the other...

Postgame: Varlamov Steals the Show as Rangers Drop Second Straight to Avs

It’s not often that you see an opposition goaltender steal the spotlight at Madison Square Garden, but that was the case tonight. All things considered, the Rangers responded well to Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Penguins. That response, however, was nothing Semyon Varlamov couldn’t handle. Varlamov led his team to a 3-1 victory tonight, because if it weren’t for him, this would...

Rangers Going to Give Erixon a Look

Pat Leonard at the Daily News has John Tortorella's thoughts on the recently recalled Tim Erixon..."He looks a little stronger out of his uniform. He makes a great pass to Step, just a really patient play. That's what we're hoping to get out of him, is someone to get us out of our end zone, can add something to our second power play. There's some work to be done...

Photoshop The Rangers: Brandon Dubinsky Dreams Of Lighting The Lamp

… this is HILARIOUS and sad all at the same time.  Once again, another funny and great job by the guys at Photoshop The Rangers. Check them out here. 

Morning Skate Notes: Anisimov Out; Lundqvist Starts; Lines

The Rangers report that Artem Anisimov (shoulder) participated in the morning skate, but will not be in the line-up against the Devils tonight....great to see AA practicing again. Assuming he should be back at some point this week. Will be interesting to see who gets scratched when he's ready.The Rangers also report that Henrik Lundqvist will get the start tonight....he better...

Rangers Receiving Reality Check at the Right Time

There were definitely some mixed emotions among the fans after Thursday night’s 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. Some were satisfied with the effort and just plainly admitted that the Rangers had lost to a better team. Others were rather disappointed at the end of the night, saying that the effort from the club could have and should have been much better...

Pens, Rangers' stars don't shine alone

The NHL, like all other North American professional sports leagues, is driven by its stars. Sure, it is more of a team game than Major League Baseball, which revolves around one-on-one matchups between pitchers and hitters, or the NBA, where one or two superstars can turn any team (except maybe the Knicks) into an instant contender. In the NHL, throwing together a talented fantasy...

Pregame: Rangers Counting On Major Response Tonight Against Avalanche

The New York Rangers were understandably displeased with the outcome of Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at MSG, which cut their first place lead down to just four points in the Eastern Conference. But as was noted earlier today on the blog, that game served as a useful reality check for this hockey team, as they finally met their match in a team that is undoubtedly...

Pregame: Rangers Look to Clinch Playoff Spot Tonight Against Devils

The New York Rangers may have lost two straight games to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado Avalanche, but they will still have the opportunity to officially clinch a playoff spot with at least a point in tonight's match-up with the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. With both the Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets losing on Sunday, the Blueshirts' magic number...

Rangers G Lundqvist, C Callahan to return vs. Avalanche

All-Star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and captain Ryan Callahan will return to the ice for Saturday's game against the Colorado Avalanche. Lundqvist had been sidelined with the flu while Callahan has been idled with a nagging foot injury. The Rangers enter Saturday's contest with a four-point edge over the hard-charging Pittsburgh Penguins, who have won 10 in a row.

Great Scott!

TheNYRBlog reader Beth K. sends me this pic of her with John Scott, who she called, using the immortal words of Ilya Bryzgalov, "Humongous Big"...As always please continue to e-mail ( your Rangers related pictures to me so I can post them on the blog.Remember to follow me on Twitter & Facebook or e-mail me at ...

Whale move into first with win over Bridgeport

Connecticut Whale 3, Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2 By Brian Ring Hartford, CT, March 16, 2012 – The Connecticut Whale defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 3-2, Friday night at the XL Center, moving into sole possession of first place in the AHL’s Northeast Division. Kris Newbury had the game-winning goal and an assist, and Casey Wellman had his second straight three point game with...

Will the Bruins Make the Playoffs This Season?

If you'd been asked whether or not the Bruins will make the playoffs two months ago, you might have laughed at the question. After all, the B's had a comfortable lead over Ottawa in the standings and were challenging the New York Rangers for tops in the Eastern Conference. Now, it's suddenly becoming a real question not only whether Boston can hold onto the Northeast...

Avalanche 3, Rangers 1

Colorado rookie Gabriel Landeskog broke a second-period tie, and Semyon Varlamov made 41 saves to lift the Avalanche over the sliding New York Rangers 3-1 on Saturday night. Landeskog gave the Avalanche the lead, and Varlamov made it stand up as playoff-hopeful Colorado finished a 2-0-1 Eastern road trip. The Rangers' once seemingly comfortable lead in the Eastern Conference...

Step It Up

The New York Rangers need to do that with their play tonight against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. After all the hockey action this weekend, the Rangers are just now one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Atlantic Division- and Eastern Conference- lead. Oh yeah, the Philadelphia Flyers are not playing too badly either as they are now just three points...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.