Rangers nip Sharks to complete California sweep (NYR 3 v SJS 1)

Dan Boyle salutes the SJ crowd after a video tribute  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Dan Boyle salutes the SJ crowd after a video tribute (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

This has been some run hasn’t it? NY completed the California sweep in San Jose and are the first Eastern Conference team to do so since Montreal in 1998. As a fun fact, John Giannone of MSG added that Alain Vigneault was the coach of the Canadiens as well.

NYR at SJS 1.10.15 (espn)

NYR at SJS 1.10.15 (espn)


This is a game the King stole. Through much of the first period and almost all of the second it was Henrik Lundqvist who stood tall and stopped puck after puck. After the game he was awarded the Broadway Hat as the players’ choice for game MVP. When asked about the game the King simply said, “All I know is that we won, we got the two points and that plane ride home is going to feel really good tomorrow.”

The Sharks had to be discouraged after carrying the play for much of the first period. They just simply couldn’t contain one of the Rangers more physical forwards in Chris Kreider. His one handed pass to Marty St. Louis off a lost draw to make it 1-0 was an incredible feat of strength. He followed that up with a pure power forward goal in front of Niemi on a rebound.

Just like that, Kreider had given the Blueshirts a 2-0 lead in a game they maybe should’ve been down by 2. Jim Cerny noted that the head coach was well aware of how important Greider’s play has been. “There’s no doubt that Kreids was a huge part of our first two goals,” Alain Vigneault told reporters. “He’s definitely playing well right now.”

Zuccarello no goal (screen-grab photo by @10theri via @rangersreport)

Zuccarello no goal (screen-grab photo by @10theri via @rangersreport)

Of course, there was a little controversy in this game and it came in the third period. Mats Zuccarello banged home a rebound that Niemi caught apparently at the goal line. Two replays told the story that it was in, but the “war room” in Toronto didn’t feel it was enough evidence to overrule the call on the ice. Alain Vigneault was quoted later, “pucks in the mitt, mitt’s in the net, use your common sense.” Puck tracking technology is calling Mr. Bettman.

Of course, the Sharks would get a PP opportunity right after and cut the lead in half. Still, the Rangers had Lundqvist and an unstoppable force named Rick Nash.

In the waning minutes, Rick Nash scored one of the prettiest empty net goals I’ve seen in awhile. Dangling the puck through a sea of Shark defenders and into the empty net. The goal sealed the deal and gave former Shark, Dan Boyle a win in his return to San Jose.

Boyle was thankful and gracious after the game. “It was amazing,” he said while breathing funny. He broke his nose in a first period collision but the pain was worth it. When you’re this hot, nothing hurts.

Rangers will face-off against the Islander on Tuesday. It’s on!



Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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