The New York Rangers picked up their second straight win this afternoon, as they defeated the Calgary Flames by a final score of 4-3. Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves, and kept the Rangers alive after a horrendous second period at both ends of the ice. As a result, the Rangers rallied for three goals in the third period and picked up two crucial points in the standings.
During the opening minutes of this game, the Rangers just dominated the Flames and looked poised to come away with a goal. However, as per usual, the Rangers gave up the first goal at the 6:59 mark, after a deflected shot in front beat Henrik Lundqvist. Dougie Hamilton’s wrist shot wound up ticking off of Nick Holden’s jersey right at the top of the crease, and completely fooled Lundqvist.
This has become an alarming trend for the Rangers, as they continue to try and block shots that Lundqvist can easily kick to the corner. Rather, they either completely screen him or deflect the puck on goal and make things more difficult than they have to be. That was the case on the first goal, and the Rangers found themselves in a hole after dominating.
Thankfully, the Rangers were able to get the goal back almost immediately after Rick Nash converted on the power play. Derek Stepan did an excellent job of getting the puck towards the net, and Nash cleaned up the rebound by flipping it over Brian Elliott. The 1-1 score would remain intact all the way through the second period, where the Rangers would have a period to forgot.
The Flames completely reversed the roles from the first period, and took full control with the Rangers struggling to find their game once again. Thankfully, a combination of the Flames hesitating to shoot and Henrik Lundqvist standing tall, the Rangers were able to weather the storm.
That set the stage for the third period, where the Rangers would make it a 2-1 game after Michael Grabner finished off a pretty passing play. Brady Skjei deserves full marks for the goal, by sending a perfect cross ice feed over to Grabner, who had an empty net to shoot at. Unfortunately, the Flames would bounce back a short time later, and capitalized on a fortunate bounce just off to Henrik Lundqvist’s right.
The Rangers didn’t let the bad bounce rattle them, and they responded twice within a span of 3:12 to take a commanding 4-2 lead. Although, this wouldn’t be a Rangers game without them finding a way to make it a close game. About a minute after Jesper Fast made it 4-2, Dan Girardi gift wrapped a pass right up the middle of the ice. As a result, the Flames were able to quickly pounce on the loose puck, and Mikael Backlund fired a quick wrist shot past Henrik Lundqvist.
The Flames would continue to pressure late in the game with the goaltender pulled, but the Rangers were able to seal the deal with a last minute block by Jesper Fast. With three more games remaining on this mini homestand, the Rangers started it off on a high note. Hopefully they will be able to build on this win when they faceoff against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.