The New York Rangers have now won three straight games, as they defeated the Anaheim Ducks by a final score of 4-1. While the scoreline certainly favored the Rangers, the shots on goal went in quite the opposite direction. The Ducks tossed a ridiculous total of 44 shots on goal tonight, and only one was able to squeak by Henrik Lundqvist. Speaking of Lundqvist, those crab people are rather quiet tonight, aren’t they?
If not for Henrik Lundqvist, this game probably gets out of hand pretty early in the first, and we’d be talking about yet another disappointing loss. Even though the Rangers did get timely scoring, Lundqvist was the story of this game tonight with his monster 43 save performance.
The Anaheim Ducks were ready to roll right from the opening faceoff tonight, and held the Rangers to only a handful of shots during the opening minutes. Despite the low shot total, the Rangers were able to find an early chance in this game and made the most of their opportunity. It all started with the play from behind the net by Pavel Buchnevich, who put the puck right on Oscar Lindberg’s stick with a ridiculous no-look, behind the back pass.
Lindberg had just enough separation from the defenseman in front, and he tapped the puck under the pads of John Gibson, and gave the Rangers the early 1-0 lead. As bad as the ending of the period was for the Rangers, they responded early in the second period, and could have easily blown the doors off of this game. However, John Gibson was simply spectacular and made at least three separate highlight reel saves to keep this a one goal game.
Thankfully, Mats Zuccarello was able to finally sneak one by Gibson at the 1:06 mark, and doubled up the Rangers lead. A short time later, the Ducks finally got on the board with a goal coming from Jakob Silfverberg, after Brady Skjei whiffed on a passing attempt behind the net. Andrew Cogliano was able to swoop in to steal the loose puck, and found Slifverberg wide open in front for the tap in.
Henrik Lundqvist didn’t let that goal rattle him, and he continued to stand on his head for the remainder of the game. With the Ducks back within a goal, the Rangers needed a response in the third period, and they got just that from Michael Grabner. At the 3:45 mark, J.T. Miller found Grabner streaking in on the right side of the ice, and put the puck right on his tape through a slew of bodies.
Grabner caught the puck with plenty of space to work with, and absolutely ripped a shot just under the crossbar for his 24th goal of the season. Grabner wouldn’t stop just there, though, and made it 25 goals on the year with an empty goal at the 19:41 mark of the third period.
Following tonight’s third straight win, the Rangers will have a scheduled off day tomorrow before they return to action on Thursday night against the Nashville Predators.