Posted April 19, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Rick Nash had a goal and assist in the first period, and Ryan Callahan had a pair of assists as the New York Rangers hung on to eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a 6-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
Derick Brassard and Nash both scored power-play goals, with help from Callahan in the first, and Mats Zuccarello found the net for the second straight game to give the playoff-hopeful Rangers their sixth win in nine games (6-2-1).
Zuccarello scored in the second period and then added his second of the night with 4:49 left in the game when he tipped the puck in after Brad Richards raced it up ice and fed in front. Brassard made it 5-1 just 1:24 later with his second of the game, with an assist from Nash, and Richards pushed the lead to five goals with 1:24 remaining.
New York had a lackluster 4-2 loss at Philadelphia on Tuesday that allowed Winnipeg to get even in points in the tight Eastern race. The Rangers (22-17-4) have five games left.
Henrik Lundqvist made 34 saves for his 20th win of the season. Even in this lockout-shortened, 48-game season, Lundqvist reached 20 wins for the eighth straight time.
Jonathan Huberdeau scored in the second period for Florida (13-24-6), which has an NHL-low 32 points. Scott Clemmensen stopped 24 shots, but the Panthers lost their fourth in a row and for the fifth time in six games.
The Rangers found their offense by taking advantage of the NHL's worst penalty-killing unit in the first period. New York had been 0-for-14 with the advantage in its previous four games, but connected on its first two tries to grab an early 2-0 lead.
Brassard got it started at 3:05 after Callahan had a shot blocked by Clemmensen. Nash got the puck behind the net and found Brassard in front with a pass, leading to a goal from the doorstep. It was Brassard's ninth goal of the season and second in eight games since he came to the Rangers on the day of the trade deadline from the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Nash, a former Blue Jackets star now in his first season with New York, netted his 18th goal at 9:10 with a blistering wrist shot from the right circle off the rush after Callahan passed the puck across to him during another power play.
It is the fourth time this season the Rangers scored more than one goal on their power play that came in ranked 20th in the NHL and produced only 20 goals in the previous 42 games.
On the flip side, the Panthers came in having killed only 73.5 of their short-handed situations this season. Florida improved in the second period, turning aside both New York advantages.
However, with the teams at even strength, Zuccarello pushed the Rangers' lead to 3-1 at 16:34 with a backhanded shot from right in front after Ryan Clowe skated back and forth behind the net before getting the puck to him.
Huberdeau had gotten the Panthers within 2-1 with 4:43 left in the first when he used a brilliant skating move to get around Zuccarello in the Rangers end and beat Lundqvist with a shot for his 14th of the season.
NOTES: The Rangers were without C Brian Boyle, who injured his right leg on Tuesday. He is expected to miss games at Buffalo on Saturday and home against New Jersey on Sunday, too. ... Callahan, who played in his 400th NHL game, received the team's Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award for the fourth time in five years. He and Adam Graves (five) are the only four-time winners. ... The Rangers agreed to terms with undrafted free agent forward Michael Kantor. ... Florida recalled D Alex Petrovic from San Antonio of the AHL and he made his NHL debut. ... The Panthers have used 37 players this season. ... The Rangers are 24-6-3 in their last 33 games against Southeast Division opponents, including an 9-3-1 this season. ... New York has earned at least one point in 89 consecutive games when leading after the second period, dating to the 2009-10 season. The Rangers are 83-0-6 in that span, including 13-0 this season
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
With the New York Rangers’ playoff hopes hanging on by the thinnest of threads, I feel as if this is a necessary time to delve into what I think has been the Rangers’ biggest problem this season: their coaching staff. A year after finishing as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference during the [...]
Rick Nash needs to find twine again. Starting tonight.
It’s a game day. It’s the Florida Panthers who always seem to trip up our boys in blue. If ever there was an occasion not to play down to the level of your opponents it’s tonight. Let’s jump into the musings.
Rick Nash needs to be better. The past few games – starting with a few turnovers against the Islanders – he...
NEW YORK (AP) -- Rick Nash had a goal and assist in the first period, and Ryan Callahan had a pair of assists as the New York Rangers hung on to eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a 6-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
Derick Brassard and Nash both scored power-play goals, with help from Callahan in the first, and Mats Zuccarello found the net for the...
For most of this shortened season, things have not been easy for New York Rangers' forward Brad Richards.
For much of this year, Richards struggled in all areas of game whether it was on offense, on the power play, handling the puck, etc. A few times this season, Rangers' head coach John Tortorella even went as far to bench the Rangers' nine-year man.
With that said...
The Rangers righted the ship in a big way tonight, routing the Panthers 6-1 in a must win game. The Blueshirts came out firing, and just completely dominated the Cats in every facet of the game. By the time the middle of the third period rolled around, it was clear that the Panthers had given up, as their breakdowns became more egregious and their effort level tanked completely....
Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record reports that Brian Boyle is out indefinitely with a lower body injury.
...and Boyle's nightmare season continues.
...time for Stepan, Richards and Brassard to step-up in the faceoff circle.
This injury obviously opens up a huge opportunity for Chris Kreider, who told Katie Strang at ESPN.com that he focused a lot on check-finishing...
After Brad Richards recorded his first career hat trick against the Sabres last night, John Tortorella said this about the alternate captain's struggles this season (via Bergen Record)...
“He’s been good all year as far as his attitude. He’s a pro. He’s been through a lot of ups and downs. He knows more is expected of him. He has still made plays along the way, though...
NEW YORK, April 17, 2013 –New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has recalled forward Chris Kreider from the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Kreider, 21, has registered one goal and three assists in six games since being assigned to Connecticut on April 3. He has recorded 12 goals and 11 assists for 23...
TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rangers will face-off against the Buffalo Sabres tonight at First Niagara Center (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), to complete a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 22-17-4 (48 pts). The Rangers [...]
Tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with only six games remaining, the New York Rangers began their stretch of ‘Must Win’ games against the league worst Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. With every game, every period, and every shift so vital right now, Henrik Lundqvist made [...]
The New York Rangers are safe in the knowledge that they control their own fate in the race for a playoff spot.
The Buffalo Sabres can only wish for that kind of luxury.
A regulation win against the Sabres on Friday night would move the visiting Rangers a step closer to a postseason berth while eliminating Buffalo from contention.
New York rebounded from a lackluster 4-2 loss...
Photo by Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
This is a must win for the Rangers. They dropped the ball in Philly against what was more or less an AHL defense, and now they desperately need two points against the Panthers. They are still on pace to finish their final ten games at that 6-3-1 pace we determined would be enough to make the playoffs, but they sure are making us sweat for it....
Brad Richards netted a hat trick to power the NY Rangers to an 8-4 win over the reeling Buffalo Sabres. Rick Nash, Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan were some of the Rangers’ goal scorers. Cody Hodgson scored his 15th of the season for Buffalo in the loss.
SPIN: The Rangers used an offensive blitz to chase Ryan Miller from the net for Buffalo after he allowed four goals. Jhonas Enroth...
Well, this elimination game started well for the sabres. They brought the heavy hockey to the Rangers. Rolston got all of his lines involved early on. He rolled four lines and initiated the play to the Rangers.
Then at 18:42, all Hell broke loose in the final 90 second of the period when Carl Hagelin's wraparound attempt kissed in behind Miller off of Adam Pardy's skate...
The New York Rangers (23-17-4) defeated the Buffalo Sabres (19-20-6) by the score of 8-4, tonight. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
...only the Rangers could score 14 goals in two games and not look good doing it. Sort of a strange game with all the deflected goals and terrible goaltending. But as I said yesterday, two points are two points and watch out because not only...