Rangers End Losing Streak, Rout Flyers 5-1

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Here is our recap of the Rangers 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Rick Nash – After twelve games of not scoring a single goal, you could say that Rick Nash was due to put one in the back of the net. And had he just gotten one goal it would’ve been a nice night for #61. But Nash netted a pair in the Rangers win. His first goal of the night came off of a gorgeous saucer pass from Pavel Buchnevich, springing the veteran forward on a breakaway and a short side finish to get the game tied at one.

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For an encore, Nash picked up a loose puck and came down on an odd-man rush with Jimmy Vesey. Instead of making the extra pass across the royal road, which would’ve been intercepted by the Flyers defenseman, Nash fired one past Brian Elliott to the low blocker side.

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The goals were Nash’s tenth and eleventh tallies of the season, and you can only hope this starts a trend of his shots hitting the back of the net.

Michael Grabner – The Rangers most consistent player this season struck again for the Blueshirts, giving the team a commanding 4-1 lead in the second period. Grabner created the opportunity for himself, stealing the puck from Jakub Voracek at the blue line and beating Elliott down low for his twentieth goal of the year. Grabner has become a big part of this team and he’s someone the Rangers should look to build around in the offseason.

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Special Teams – The Rangers special teams was a big part of this victory over their division rivals. The penalty kill was a perfect 3/3, including a shorthanded goal from grinder Paul Carey. The goal came on a breakaway, with the assist coming from Peter Holland in his first game with the Blueshirts.

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The power play has started to turn things around, with JT Miller scoring the second goal of the night for the Blueshirts. The man-advantage unit has now scored twice in their last six attempts, and it was a simple play leading to their conversion against the Flyers. David Desharnais retrieves the puck along the boards, gives it to Ryan McDonagh at the point, and the captain’s shot is deflected at the top of the crease by Miller. As I’ve been saying all season long, the Rangers are at their best when they simplify their game and play straight ahead hockey, and they did that in this one.

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Complete Effort – Even if you only watched this game for ten minutes, you would’ve seen the Rangers look like a completely different team. There was communication in the defensive zone, a willingness to go in hard on the forecheck and being unafraid of the physical game. The Rangers allowed 26 shots against, their lowest since November 19th against the Senators. They recorded 29 shots on net themselves, added a whopping 30 hits, and had thirteen blocked shots. This was the kind of complete, 60-minute game that the Rangers have not had in a long, long time. And if the Blueshirts have any hopes of getting into the playoffs, they will need more games like this one as the season winds down.

“We played our best defensive game in a very long time,” Lundqvist said. “You start in your own end and take care of business there. Your breakouts are better, your speed and timing are better. We’ve been talking about it for a long time and tonight it clicked.” – Newsday/Steve Zipay

Henrik Lundqvist – The only reason the Rangers are in the position they are in now is due to King Henrik keeping his teammates in games they don’t deserve to be in. And its about time his teammates returned the favor to their All-Star goaltender. This isn’t to say that Lundqvist didn’t have to make any big saves; he did. But the Rangers controlled play for the majority of the game, kept up the forecheck while protecting the lead, and cleared the front of the net so Lundqvist could see the shots coming from the Flyers’ sticks. Lundqvist made 25 saves on 26 shots, the lone blemish coming off of a deflection from the side of the net by Jordan Weal. Lundqvist is having himself a very good season and it’s time his teammates reward him for his efforts.

Next Game: The Rangers will look to keep the momentum going on Thursday when they host the Buffalo Sabres in a Winter Classic rematch. Puck drops at 730!

LETS GO RANGERS!!

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