- The New York Rangers got back in the win column with a clutch 1-0 win versus the Washington Capitals in the shootout. The Blueshirts out shot the opposition for a change and finished with 37 shots, while the Capitals fired 30 on goal.
By the way, tonight is first time #NYR outshot their opponent since December 9th. Had gone 7 straight contests being outshot.— HockeyStatMiner (@HockeyStatMiner) December 28, 2017
(Mind you, WSH entered tonight ranked 31st in SOG/game)
- The game was tied 0-0 after regulation and featured goals by Mats Zuccarello and Mika Zibanejad in the shootout, and saves on T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin by Ondrej Pavelec.
- Both Zuccarello and Zibanajed showed poise and patience; it was satisfying to watch the puck finally go in the net.
- Pavelec picked up his first shutout of the year in the win, going 30-for-30 and two-for-two in the shootout. He has played very well as of late and gave Henrik Lundqvist a much needed breather tonight. Here’s a look at his last three appearances:
Ondrej Pavelec's last three games:— Adam Herman (@AdamZHerman) December 28, 2017
41 saves on 44 shots against the Penguins
44 saves on 45 shots against the Stars
30 saves on 30 shots against the Capitals, plus 2/2 vs Oshie and Ovechkin in the shootout
- Pavelec is now 3-4-1 with a 2.61 goals-against average, a .924 save percentage, and 4.55 goals saved above average. If he continues to play at this level, it should convince Vigneault to start him more.
- During the game Pavelec was forced to make some tough saves, including this one on Alex Ovechkin late in the third period.
- Although both teams failed to score in the 65 minutes before the shootout, each had a number of opportunities to do so. Rick Nash had a couple, and for whatever reason he just couldn’t get a puck to go in.
- It is almost as if Nash is fighting off some black magic, because he is coming oh so close too often to not even slip one in.
- He also looked good with Mika Zibanejad, and I was shocked when he failed to bury this glorious chance.
- Prior to the game it was announced Vigneault was shaking up the lines and Pavel Buchnevich ended up on the fourth line.
- The good news is that the demotion didn’t last long. The bad news is that Buchnevich only was moved up because Chris Kreider left the game with an injury. Nothing more was said than Kreider is out with the traditional “upper-body” injury, and more information would be shared tomorrow.
- J.T. Miller had a pretty solid game going up Ovechkin. He showed off some physicality and also forced Ovechkin to take a penalty in an attempt to slow him down.
- Additionally Miller had a nice chance in overtime courtesy of Mats Zuccarello, but it was one of the many shots pushed aside by Philipp Grubauer.
- The Rangers are now 20-13-4 with 44 points and remain in the first wild card spot. They trail the first place New Jersey Devils by five points, the second place Capitals and the third place Columbus Blue Jackets by three points.
- Thursday is an off day for the Rangers and the team is back in action on Friday versus. the Detroit Red Wings at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
- On that note, I will leave you with a GIF of Henrik Lundqvist looking completely suave, relaxed, and well rested. Odds are he will be in goal next game.