Lundqvist and the Rangers eat up the Sharks at home
The Rangers took advantage of a Sharks team nearing the end of a long road trip. San Jose had yet to lose in regulation but a Matt Hunwick goal line swipe, 4 goals, and a vintage Lundqvist changed all that.
Rangers 4 vs. Sharks 0
“Probably our most complete game of the year,” said Henrik Lundqvist and he couldn’t be more correct. The Blueshirts went toe-to-toe with the Pacific leading Sharks in the first period and were saved early by an unlikely hero, defenseman Matt Hunwick.
The Rangers 7th defenseman, playing in his 4th game after Dan Boyle went down in the opener, found a puck about to cross the goal line and swept it away. “That’s why I gave him the hat*,” a smiling Lundqvist said. “I think that’s the biggest save of the game, right there.”
*The Broadway Hat is passed from the players to the next teammate as the MVP of the game
From the second period on, it was all Rangers. First, Carl Hagelin beat the Sharks defense for a loose puck and the 1-0 lead at 13:01. Then the Rangers set a franchise record of 2 goals in 4 seconds (they tied the mark but this is the first without the benefit of an empty net). Marty St. Louis came into the game goalless on the year, he gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead as he took several jabs at a loose puck to beat Alex Stalok. Just 4 seconds later off a San Jose miscue, Nash tapped in another.
Two goals in four seconds in the final minute of play in the second period. Game, set, match.
Still there was one more period to play and one more milestone to be reached. It came off the stick of rookie, Kevin Hayes who notched his first NHL goal of his career. The kid played big and gave the Rangers a big and fast 1st line with Chris Kreider and Rick Nash. It’s a tremendous opportunity for the young winger turned center and for at least one game he seized it.
Here’s Rick Nash retrieving the puck for the kid.
After the game Alain Vigneault said, “Hayes looked a lot more comfortable tonight.” The coach should be pleased as the kid finished with a goal on 4 shots and was solid at both ends of the ice. “With his size he can protect that puck,” AV continued, “he’s taking steps everyday and he needs to continue.”
If the Rangers can continue to put out this type of effort, similar results will follow.
Dan Girardi missed almost all of the third period after suffering a laceration to his leg. He is listed as day to day.
Kevin Klein took a puck to the face and received stitches, he should be ready for Tuesday against NJ as well.
1. Henrik Lundqvist – How does the King respond after giving up 12 goals in 2 games? 1 goal in his next 2, plus 3 stops in a shootout for 2 wins and a shutout. That’s vintage King Henrik.
2. Kevin Hayes – We noticed his game coming on against Carolina. Hayes may not have blinding speed, but he’s a bull on the puck and beast to take it away from. His goal was unassisted as he relentlessly pursued and shot it home. Here’s to many more.
3. Rick Nash – The Beast of Broadway continues to drop jaws with his efforts. #61 looks healthy, that is the biggest difference I can point out this season. His goal tonight was a microcosm of how hard he’s played.
1. Mats Zuccarello – Last year’s leading scorer is a shadow of himself this season. That’s going to irk a lot of Ranger fans but it’s true. He has only 1 assist in 6 games this year and looks easy to knock off the puck. He needs to stop playing like he’s 5’6″ and more like last year when he thought he was 6’5″.
2. John Moore – It took 6 games but he finally registered an assist tonight. The Rangers PP is hurting, so when he gets his opportunity on Tuesday, he needs to be more decisive and start using that hard shot of his.
3. Scott Arniel – The PP doesn’t have a goal yet, he’s the man responsible. Figure it out.
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