Found January 20, 2013 on Blue Seat Blogs:
Columbus_bluejackets_v_38de
Ranger fans left The Garden disappointed tonight, as the Blueshirts dropped their home opener to the Penguins, in particularly brutal fashion, 6-3.  In a game we saw The King pulled in the second period, Rick Nash’s first Ranger goal, and continued sloppy, disjointed play, the good guys fell to 0-2-0 on the young season.  Let’s break down the goals… Penguins 1, Rangers 0:  Only seconds after Aaron Asham kicked the game off with a solid tilt with Tanner Glass, Brad Richards took an undisciplined interference penalty just :37 into the game.  On the ensuing Pittsburgh powerplay, after some pressure, Marc Staal failed to the clear the zone as his attempt was picked off by Kris Letang.  The Pens continued to move the puck and eventually caught the Rangers running around.  James Neal was left alone in the slot, and he rifled a shot low to the glove side and past Lundqvist.  There may have been a small screen there, but I think Hank will want that one back. Penguins 1, Rangers 1:  Around the nine minute mark, the Rangers were starting to buzz offensively.  An aggressive forecheck lead to a Simon Despres penalty for holding.  On the faceoff, Brandon Sutter took a penalty for playing the puck with his glove.  Apparently this is a new penalty this year.  Just ask Sam, he’ll tell you all about it.  This lead to a full two minute 5-on-3 for the Rangers.  The Pens decided to play two forwards and one defenseman and collapse the front of the net.  This allowed the PP unit the opportunity to move the puck freely around the perimeter and seek openings down low.  After alternating the two tactics, Richards drifted down into the high slot and ripped a half slapper toward the net.  Tomas Vokoun was unable to control the rebound and Captain Cally banged in the rebound as it was bouncing for the equalizer.  Penguins 2, Rangers 1:  This goal was all Stu Bickel.  First, Joe Vitale beat him along to the wall to sneak in for an off-angle shot on Lundqvist.  Hank made the save but deposited a big, juicy rebound right in front of the net.  As Bickel was following up on the missed check on Vitale, he got pulled in below the goal line on Vitale’s chance and missed the trailing Tyler Kennedy who promptly knocked home the rebound. Penguins 3, Rangers 1:  Bad luck here, Rangers lose the defensive zone draw as Pitt finds an open Matt Niskanen at the point.  The puck was bouncing on him a bit as he took an innocent looking wrist shot.  The puck hit Dan Girardi’s skate on the way in and re-directed it enough to slip it past Hank through the five hole. Penguins 4, Rangers 1:  At 8:03 of the middle frame, Michael Del Zotto was called for a somewhat suspect slashing penalty.  On the Penguin’s powerplay, they established fairly strong pressure in the offensive zone, which left the Rangers desperate for a change.  The Rangers finally cleared the puck and bolted for the bench.  The puck didn’t get as deep as they would have liked, and James Neal was able to throw an absolutely beautiful, full length pass to the Ranger blue line.  From there, Chris Kunitz found Evgeni Malkin streaking into the zone behind the changing Blueshirts.  This lead to a two on one low in the zone, and Malkin found Pascal Dupuis for an easy tip in.  That was it for Lundqvist. Penguins 5, Rangers 1:  The Pens increased their lead after Lundqvist’s exit.  A strong forecheck found the Penguins applying continued offensive pressure.  When the puck moved to Malkin along the far wall, Brian Boyle completely missed his assignment and was pulled into the far corner.  Malkin found James Neal wide open in the slot.  He ripped a shot through the five-hole on Marty Biron and the Penguins were in the driver’s seat. Penguins 5, Rangers 2:  The Rangers started showing some signs of life toward the middle of the third period.  Brad Richards seemingly traversed the entire width of the ice as he entered the zone, which allowed Michael Del Zotto to enter the zone as a trailer, and end up down low with Richie at the point.  Richards slid the puck down the near side wall to Del Zotto, and tick-tac-toe to Taylor Pyatt for a nice tip in and his first Ranger goal. Penguins 5, Rangers 3:  A little past the thirteen minute mark, the Penguins found themselves on the powerplay once again.  The PK unit was able to clear the puck and the Pens went for a change.  Malkin’s pass was intercepted by Stepan and the Rangers were off on a mini-breakaway/2-on-0 with Rick Nash.  As the Pittsburgh defenders bore down on Stepan, he slid the puck to his right to Nash who cut to the front of the net around a sprawling Sidney Crosby/Thomas Vokoun and into the back of the net.  Absolute beauty.  Exactly the type of goal Nash was brought here to score. Penguins 6, Rangers 3:  With Biron pulled for an extra attacker, Cally attempted a centering pass which was picked off by Kris Letang.  Easy empty netter.  Goodnight. Random Thoughts 1. I didn’t get to watch the game last night, but from what I’ve heard about it, combined with this game, Henrik Lundqvist doesn’t have his legs under him completely yet.  Half a season of not playing will do that.  He needs ice time and reps, but he will be back to form in no time.  For the record, as awesome as that glove save was in Boston, I think it was a goal. 2.  Stu Bickel was absolutely dreadful tonight.  It seemed like every time I saw him on the ice he was making a mistake. 3.  Tomas Vokoun played pretty well.  He weathered the Rangers offensive flurrys well, and though he had a little rebound issue tonight, he played more than well enough for Pittsburgh to grab the two points.  It’s weird because he is usually terrible, so that’s frustrating. 4. Marty Biron played well in relief of Hank. 5.  Stepan had stone hands tonight.  He had to pass the puck about 3 feet to Nash on his goal, so I don’t think that remedies his incredible poor puck handling most of the evening. 6.  While the result is far from ideal, I saw some real offensive potential in this group.  They need to shake the rust off and regain the discipline and organization that was such a strength for them last season.  However, I saw a lot of diversity in the attack during the first and third periods when they were able to generate serious pressure.  The locations of attack weren’t predictable and they were able to get shots off from varied areas of the ice. 7.  Rick Nash is a beast.  His on ice presence and command of the puck is noticeable every time he is out there.  He creates offense from all types of situations and protects the puck incredibly well, which lead to quality offensive chances all night.  By far the Rangers best player, and I’m seeing a huge year for him. 8.  Vicious hit (but completely legal) by Brooks Orpik on Chris Krieder.  Gotta keep your head up when crossing the tracks like that.  Hope he’s ok.  With all the concussion issues the league has dealt with the past couple years, its tough to know the consequences of a hit like that at this point. The Rangers are off until Wednesday night when Boston comes to town for the back half of the home-and-home.  While 0-2 is not where this team wants to be, this isn’t the end of the world.  They need to get their act together quickly, though. Tweet
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

The 303 Pre-Game: Preds vs. Columbus…

IN ORDER TO WIN NASHVILLE: The Predators need to jump out to early lead. If they can get a couple goals before Columbus gets on the board, they should be able to get inside their heads. Remember, the Blue Jackets have only been to the playoffs one time in their 13-year franchise history, they have zero playoff wins and they just traded the face of their franchise, Rick Nash, to...

Blue Jackets beat Predators in shootout

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Derick Brassard scored in the sixth round of a shootout, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 Saturday night for their fifth win to start a season and a very rare win over their Central Division foe. Columbus had not won an opener since Oct. 3, 2009, against Minnesota, and the Blue Jackets had won only once in Nashville in the previous...

Quiet On the Offensive Front

With a somewhat revamped offense and Rick Nash in the lineup, the New York Rangers' offense was quiet in their season opening 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins. Obviously, it was the first game and players still have to get used to each other, but nevertheless, the Blueshirts did not generate enough offensive pressure. While the Bruins' defensemen are big and do a good job...

Preds drop the season opener in a shootout but will take the point…

Not exactly how you want to start off three games in four nights. But hey, they’ll take the point. In front of 17,113 at Bridgestone Arena, the Nashville Predators squandered two one-goal leads and then eventually lost in a shootout to the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets. “It always feels like a loss when you lose at home in a shootout,” Head Coach Barry Trotz said. “But,...

Columbus Fans Welcome The Blue Jackets

from Micael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch, A year ago, the most ardent Blue Jackets supporters were organizing a protest to express the sentiment that they loved the team but did not care for its management. Another coach had been fired. The team was on its way to a last-place finish. Rick Nash, the disgruntled captain, was about to request a trade. Then there was the lockout...

Game 1: Columbus @ Nashville – The Ecstasy of Gold

Photo by: predators.nhl.com It is official…It’s HOCKEY TIME IN SMASHVILLE!! The long wait is over and fans are coming out in droves to sell-out Bridgestone Arena for tonight’s tilt against the oft-battered Columbus Blue Jackets. Puck drop is at 7 P.M. and can be heard on 102.5 the Game and viewed on FS Tennessee with Pete Weber and Terry Crisp on the call. Like an Ennio Morricone...

Thoughts after sleeping on it… GAME 1 vs Columbus

So, here are some quick thoughts I have after getting some good shuteye after last night’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Blue Jackets. As Dennis Green would say, Columbus “is who we thought they were, but we let them off the hook.” The Blue Jackets had a great mix of speed and determination in last night’s opener, showing of a Columbus team that seems (in my opinion) like an...

Preds lose opener to Blue Jackets in shootout

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Derick Brassard scored in the sixth round of a shootout, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 Saturday night for their fifth win to start a season and a very rare win over their Central Division foe. Columbus had not won an opener since Oct. 3, 2009, against Minnesota, and the Blue Jackets had won only once in Nashville in the previous...

Blue Jackets 3, Predators 2 (SO)

NASHVILLE -- Martin Erat couldn't have scripted a better start to the NHL season. But he probably would have preferred a better finish. In its first game after trading Rick Nash to the New York Rangers, Columbus ruined Nashville's home opener Saturday night when Derick Brassard scored in the sixth round of a shootout to give the Blue Jackets a 3-2 win. Sergei Bobrovsky...

Blue Jackets 3, Predators 2, SO

Derick Brassard scored in the sixth round of a shootout, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 Saturday night for their fifth win to start a season and a very rare win over their Central Division foe. Columbus had not won an opener since Oct. 3, 2009, against Minnesota, and the Blue Jackets had won only once in Nashville in the previous 20 games. They needed...

New York Rangers Reinventing Themselves?

Rick Carpinello of Rangers Report (@rangersreport) brings up a fascinating point in his latest article reviewing the 0-2 start for the Blueshirts. Carp believes the team, now complete with Rick Nash but sans players like Brandon Prust, Brandon Dubinsky and Ruslan Fedotenko, will play a game with more speed and high-end skill, and less of the grind-it-out style the fans have come...

Bruins 3, Rangers 1

The New York Rangers (0-1-0) lost to the Boston Bruins (1-0-0) by the score of 3-1, tonight. For a box score, visit Yahoo! Sports. ...first off, man it was amazing to be watching hockey again. Felt like a huge void was being filled. ...unfortunately, the Rangers play had many of us wishing the lockout was still going on. Having said that, it's the first game and as Adam...

The Goal Breakdown: Rangers at Bruins

If you want one word to sum up the New York Rangers tonight feel free to use sloppy. The Rangers were defeated 3-1 by the Boston Bruins and were second best in almost every facet. Throughout the season the goals in each game (as well as a brief game summary) will be broken down right here so keep on coming back. Let’s get in to it. Boston 1 Rangers 0 The Rangers got caught on a...

Eastern Conference Finals preview?

19 and 37 celebrate after Begy's goal last April vs. NY  The Bruins open up tonight at home in the Garden against The New York Rangers. With all the hype surrounding this game it’s hard not to get wrapped up in feeling like it’s a lot more meaningful then it really is. Sure the NHL is only playing a little more than half of a season but there are still 48 games. That’s...
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
Help
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.