Quick Hits – Rangers vs Senators Game 1 4/27/2017
Here is my recap of the Rangers 2-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators
Rangers MIA – Where in the world are Kevin Hayes, JT Miller, Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan? The Rangers got contributions from this quartet during the entire regular season, but have combined to put up just five points (G, 4A) through seven games. Stepan had the misfortune of the game winner ricocheting off of him before hitting the side of Henrik’s helmet, and going into the net. These four guys have been with the Rangers for three or more years now, and they need to step up their play to get the Blueshirts into the Eastern Conference Finals.
Ryan McDonagh – The best skater on the ice in this one was the Rangers captain. He had five blocks, five hits,
and the Rangers lone goal on the night. With the Blueshirts on the PP, Buchnevich found Zuccarello on the half-wall. Zucc then found McDonagh alone at the point, and the defenseman ripped one off the post and in, past a screened Craig Anderson. McDonagh was steady all game and has been the Rangers anchor on the blue line all year.
Special Teams – While this game was won on a fluky goal in the third period, the Rangers didn’t do themselves many favors when they had the man advantage. Yes, McDonagh got a PPG in the second, but the Rangers squandered their other PP chances. Brady Skjei was forced to hook Viktor Stalberg on a partial shorthanded breakaway, and only getting two shots on their PP in the first minute of the second period. The Rangers did score on their third chance, and with the empty net, the Rangers couldn’t solve Craig Anderson in the final 39 seconds of the third. The Rangers PP has been bad, to say the least, in this postseason going just 2/19 in these playoffs. The Senators PK is not as good as the Rangers would let you believe, and the Rangers will need to start getting pucks to the net when they have the man advantage.
On the other hand, the PK was able to stymie the Senators on three of their four PP chances. Though the Senators only scored once, they were able to work the puck around fairly easily, and it was only a matter of time before they would put one behind Henrik Lundqvist. If you give this team chances, they will make you pay. The Senators PP is currently running at 22% for the playoffs, and if the Rangers can’t stay out of the box, they will be behind the eight ball the rest of the series.
Henrik Lundqvist – Had it not been for the Rangers netminder, this game could’ve been over in the first period. The King made 21 saves in the first period, and 38 for the game, including these beauties early on. The way Henrik Lundqvist has played so far in these playoffs, you’d have never known he struggled for a good chunk of the regular season. And you would also have to say that he hasn’t deserved some of the results he has gotten. And a perfect example of that is tonight. He got little to no help from his offense, and when your goaltender has a .953 SV%, you should win. Henrik has given his team a chance to win every night so far in these playoffs, and his teammates need to step up their play in front of the King.
NEXT GAME: The Rangers will look to even the series on Saturday in Game Two against the Senators. Puck drops at 3!
LETS GO RANGERS!!