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Where do you expect Rangers to finish season?

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Left game after taking shoulder to jaw
Read the submissions so far and see if you can come up with the best caption for today's photo

Best Of:
2014-15 ~ 2013-14
2012-13 ~ 2011-12
2010-11 ~ 2009-10


Thursday - April 23rd

The Rangers are apparently one of four remaining teams in competition for UFA Boston University goaltender Matt O'Connor.

O'Connor would be an addition to a relatively deep pool of goaltender prospects that include Mackenzie Skapsi, Igor Shesterkin and Brandon Halverson.

Per Bob McKenzie on twitter, the Rangers are competing with Ottawa, Edmonton and Buffalo.


Question Of The Day

June 21st, 2013

How many of the Rangers 34 Head Coaches have been born in Quebec?


Rich Brennan - 1972


  Born: Apr 29 - 1984  
  Pos: Defense  
  GP: 672  
  G: 42  
  A: 164  
  Pts: 206  
  PIMs: 247  

Flyers Victims Of Death Valley
Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ - March 2, 2008

by Toby Ivey

Stephen Valiquette wasn't scheduled to start the game, but perhaps he should've been. The Rangers' backup stepped into a 3-3 game after twenty minutes, and extended his season record against the Flyers to 3-0, courtesy of a shootout victory.

Coming off back to back shutouts against the Flyers in his last two starts, Valiquette added another 31:49 before Jeff Carter became the first and only Flyer player this year to score on the veteran netminder. He then stepped up in the shootout to make a key save, and then force Carter to shoot wide, and earn the Rangers a valuable two points.

It was a key match-up for both teams, with 7th in the East at stake. Neither team's defense appeared to take the game seriously through much of the game however, with six goals scored through the first twenty, a period characterized by unforced turnover and blown coverage.

The defense didn't get much better in the second period, but with Valiquette and Martin Biron replacing the designated starters, the goal scoring remained difficult to the end of overtime.

Turning Point
The Rangers have not been good in shootouts this season, with only Brendan Shanahan scoring on more than one occasion. This time the Blueshirts got off to a good start with Brendan Shanahan scoring on the first attempt and then Stephen Valiquette kicking out the leg to deny Kimmo Timonen on the Flyers' first attempt.

Nigel Dawes, replacing Chris Drury (0 for 4 this year) then had the chance to put the pressure on the Flyers. Dawes faked Biron and slid the puck through the 5-hole to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead in the shootout and forcing Jeff Carter to score just to keep the game alive. Carter hit the post and the game was decided.

If you like run and gun games, then this one was for you. Neither team seemed capable of making passes in their own zone, and the Rangers forwards were only to happy to collect the turnovers and take shots at the net.

The Jagr line, which has been leading the Rangers of late, surprisingly was quiet today. The trio did generate some offensive pressure, but was not particularly dominating and was perhaps best characterized by Jagr's continuing reluctance to shoot from in close, albeit mostly bad angles. Brandon Dubinsky had a couple of good rushes up ice, but was largely defended well, and Sean Avery managed to get in one on one situations on at least two occasions, but shot the puck into the net minder.

Brendan Shanahan had his shot going, if not the accuracy, particularly in OT when he rattled off three shots in a row, two just wide and the third blocked. Scott Gomez continues to play a quiet game though both he and Shanahan made a couple of smart passes to set up Backman's goal.

The third line surprisingly got two of the goals, with Straka scoring his second in the last three games, and Ryan Callahan getting his sixth of the year. The Straka goal came on the power play with a shot that appeared to bounce off the back of Niitymaki and into the net. Straka also set up Ryan Callahan beautifully, carrying the puck behind the net and feeding the puck out front for the classic bang-bang play. Chris Drury worked hard in the game, but did not pick up a point.

Fredrik Sjostrom's goal was a classic hard working play with the big winger driving to the net and then batting his own rebound home while falling to the ice. The fourth line had a couple of chances in the game, Colton Orr shooting just wide in the second and Blair Betts also getting a couple of chances.

While not particularly strong in their own zone, the Blueliners did manage to contribute on the offensive side, with Malik picking up two key assists both to spring the Rangers into the offensive zone, Girardi a primary assist on the Straka goal and Christian Backman scoring as the man coming late to chase Niittymaki from the net.

The first period of the game for the Rangers was perhaps one of their worst defensive efforts of the season, and the second didn't start off very well either. Marc Staal and Fedor Tyutin in particular made multiple unforced turnovers, one of Tyutin's ultimately resulting in the first goal for the Flyers.

Tyutin then compounded his poor start when he inexplicably left the front of the net exposed and elected to go to his off-side boards to try and force the puck. The Flyers got a shot off at the net and the rebound was put in.

The turnovers were certainly not limited to those two however, Marek Malik and Michal Rozsival both had soft defensive zone clearing attempts picked off and were both contributors to the breakaway that gave Jeff Carter his first goal.

Christian Backman also had a couple of turnovers, and two penalties, and Dan Girardi was on the ice for 3 of the 4 goals scored against.

The Flyers got to Henrik Lundqvist early, and he never had a chance to recover. The Flyers scored three goals on eight shots, and Lundqvist sat for the rest of the game. Stephen Valiquette replaced the Swede and ultimately picked up the shootout win with another great effort against the team he seems to dominate.

The carnage got under way early when the Flyers got a two on one down low. Lundqvist slid across to make the first save, but the puck got through him and sat on the goal line, allowing Vaclav Prospal (who beat Nigel Dawes to the puck), to push it in.

The second goal came on the PP, and again was a shot into a largely open net, Lundqvist making the first save, but the rebound going straight to Braydon Coburn, pinching down the near boards. His final goal was a Jeff Carter breakaway which Lundqvist would probably have had if he had been playing on top of his game...perhaps the first two goals getting to him.

To start the second, Stephen Valiquette came into the net and saw little action through his first 20 minutes. Valiquette looked calm and confident, and made his best save of the game (barring the shootout) when he made back to back saves off a Philadelphia rush in the third period. The lone goal came off a goal mouth scramble with Jeff Carter scoring his second 4 on 4 goal, batting the puck in at the side of the net.

Special Teams
The Power Play got off to a good start, scoring on their first opportunity when Martin Straka's shot from the point bounced around in the crease and ultimately off of Niittymaki into the net. The Rangers had a chance for an extended power play later in the first, when Daniel Briere received a double minor for high-stricking Marc Staal...but an interference penalty to Christian Backman shortened the opportunity.

Their third chance lasted only a few seconds after the Flyers' Mike Knuble took a hooking penalty moments after they were awarded a man advantage.

The Rangers started the third period on the power play and did have a chance to extend their lead to 5-3, but they mustered just one shot on goal, and it was easily turned away by Martin Biron.

The Penalty Kill saw more action in the game and were good at shutting down the NHL's #2 ranked power play except for the goal against. Fedor Tyutin surprisingly left the front of the net to the off-side of the ice, with Girardi already checking a man, leaving a Flyer at the front of the net. Lundqvist made a save on a shot from out near the point, but the rebound went straight to the pinching Braydon Coburn who beat Lundqvist before he could slide across.

Power Play: 1 for 4
Penalty Kill: 5 for 6

Injury Notes
Petr Prucha appears ready to go, and it was implied he was a healthy scratch, though they didn't say for sure. Paul Mara apparently is not as bad as first thought, and may be back sooner, though he'll have to wear a full shield. Colton Orr skated in practice but remains day to day.

Fight Card
Colton Orr and Jess Boulerice threw down the gloves early in the period and each combatant threw numerous punches in and old time battle. What was perhaps more remarkable was the ability for both players to absorb the punishment, Orr getting the edge in the fight, and grinning profusely as he was escorted to the box.

Milestones and Notes
Dan Girardi played in his 100th NHL game, all with the Rangers. Ryan Callahan his 50th NHL game, likewise all with the Rangers.

Fredrik Sjostrom and Christian Backman both scored their first goals as a Ranger. Sjostrom scored the second goal to tie the game up, and Backman scored to give the Rangers a 4-3 lead.

Sjostrom's goal, was the first by a Rangers' fourth liner since January 10th when Ryan Hollweg scored the first two goals of the game against Philadelphia in a 6-2 loss. It was only the fifth time this year that a fourth liner has scored a goal, and only the fourth with a goaltender in the net (Betts had an empty net goal against Ottawa on December 1st.

Backman's penalty woes continued, with another two minors earned in the game. Backman now has been credited with five in two games, though one of the ones called Thursday was mistakenly credited to him, another double minor that he took was given to Marc Staal.

Valiquette got his fifth win of the season, replacing Henrik Lundqvist after the first period. It was the third time that he has beaten the Flyers this season, and he's allowed just one goal in 165 minutes of play in net against them. Valiquette was also perfect in the shootout, stopping the first and having the second one ring off the post.

Henrik Lundqvist was pulled for the second time this season, and first time since December 6th against the Toronto Maple Leafs. At 19:40, it was easily his shortest outing of the season. Lundqvist stopped jut 5 of the 8 shots he faced.

Nigel Dawes scored a shootout goal for the first time in the NHL. It was his second attempt this year. Brendan Shanahan scored his fourth shootout goal on his 8th attempt. Three of his four shootout goals have decided the shootout this year.

Colton Orr returned to the line-up after sitting out the last two games with a bruised sternum. Orr replaced Ryan Hollweg in the line-up.

The Rangers now have a 5-1 record against the Flyers this season.

Statistical Streaks
Shanahan - 7 game point scoring streak (4-4-8)
Jagr - 5 game point scoring streak (2-6-8)
Gomez - 3 game point scoring streak (1-4-5)
Girardi - 2 game point scoring streak (0-2-2)

Starting Lines
Avery - Dubinsky - Jagr
Dawes - Gomez - Shanahan
Straka - Drury - Callahan
Sjostrom - Betts - Orr



Ryan Hollweg - Healthy Scratch
Paul Mara - Head (IR?)
Petr Prucha - Healthy Scratch
Jason Strudwick - Healthy Scratch

Next Game
The pressure continues this week with a home and home series with the New York Islanders. It starts Tuesday night at MSG (7:00pm - MSG)

Profile of the Author:
Originally from New Zealand, Toby took up following the Rangers upon moving to New York City in 1996. After leaving New York in 1999, he continued to track the progress of the team closely and ultimately started as a way to stay in contact with the team and the fans. Now living in Florida, he continues to operate the website and contributes articles and content on a regular basis.

 Additional stories from Toby Ivey:


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