View Full Version : New York Rangers(11-4-1) at Washington Capitals(6-4-2)

11-08-2008, 04:15 PM
NEW YORK RANGERS(11-4-1) @ Washington Capitals (6-4-2)

Date: November 08, 2008
Time: 7:00 PM ET
Location: Verizon Center, Washington D.C.
TV: Home Team-CSN-DC+ Away Team-MSG (HD)

Team Leaders:

Rangers Capitals
GOALS: 5 N. Zherdev 10 A. Semin
ASSISTS: 9 N. Zherdev 9 A. Semin
POINTS: 14 N. Zherdev 19 A. Semin
+/-: 11 N. Zherdev 10 A. Semin

Team Comparison:

Points: Rangers-23 Capitals-14
Wins: Rangers-11 Capitals-6
Shutouts: Rangers-1 Capitals-0
Power Play Rank: Rangers-23 Capitals-27
Penalty Kill Rank: Rangers-2 Capitals-15
Win % When Leading After 1: Rangers-.500 Capitals-.667
Win % When Leading After 2: Rangers-.889 Capitals.500
Win % When Trailing After 1: Rangers-.750 Capitals-.600
Win % When Trailing After 2: Rangers-.333 Capitals-.500

11-08-2008, 06:32 PM
By Jim Cerny, newyorkrangers.com

After scoring a season-high three power play goals on Thursday night, the Rangers are eager to find out if their new-found success will carry over to tonight’s contest when they skate against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center.

The Blueshirts had been struggling mightily on the man advantage prior to Thursday’s 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden, recording just five goals in their previous 50 power play opportunities. But Chris Drury, on his way to notching the team’s first hat trick in nearly two years, scored twice on the power play, and Ryan Callahan also tallied while a man-up, as the Rangers reached a single-game high in power-play goals this season.

Two of the three power-play scores were recorded from between the circles on the rush, clearly a new wrinkle in the Rangers attack. Callahan opened the scoring Thursday by stepping into a neat centering pass by Nikolai Zherdev, blasting the puck past Lightning goaltender Mike Smith. And 35 seconds into the third period, Drury scored an almost-identical goal off a perfect feed by Scott Gomez.

“Sometimes when you are struggling on your set up in the offensive zone, and it’s just not clicking, you might as well try and take advantage on the rush,” explained Drury, who now leads the team with three power play goals this season.

Thursday’s output with the man-advantage marked only the second time in 14 games this season that the Rangers had scored more than one power-play goal in a game. They potted a pair against the Devils in a 4-1 Blueshirt win at The Garden on Oct. 13.

Not surprisingly, with such healthy production on special teams -- which also included a shorthanded goal by Drury -- the Rangers scored five goals for the first time this season Thursday night.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the power play, and sometimes it’s just hard when people around you keep telling you it’s not good,” observed goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. “But we know we have a good power play, and we know we have the skill there. It’s going to be the difference in many games for us.”

Of course, great individual performances, like the one turned in by Drury against the Lightning, will benefit the Rangers in all facets of the game, whether on specialty teams or at even strength.

The Rangers’ captain had netted just two goals on the season before exploding for three on Thursday. And Lundqvist sensed that Drury was set to break out with a big game.

“You could just feel it in practice because he has been very sharp the last couple of weeks,” said Lundqvist. “The true pros, like Chris, when things are not going their way, they just work a little bit harder.”

Added head coach Tom Renney, “You always like when your players have big nights and make a statement on behalf of their hockey club. And certainly we all think a great deal about Chris so it was great to see him have a big night.”

While success on the power play is something the Rangers wish to carry with them into this evening’s match and beyond, there are other things from Thursday night that Renney will want to see moving forward, as well. Zherdev was again a difference-maker in the offensive zone, picking up a pair of clutch assists. Callahan continued to score big goals, and he now has three in his last five games. Michal Rozsival picked up a pair of assists on the power play. And Aaron Voros made a nuisance of himself all night long, most notably unnerving Smith by planting his large frame in front of the Tampa goaltender each and every time he was on the ice and the puck was in the offensive zone.

“We sat (Aaron) down, as we did with a lot of the guys the past few days, and reminded him what his game needs to be,” said Renney. “And he played his game (Thursday). He played a really good game.”

The next challenge on the schedule for the Rangers arrives tonight in the form of Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. Though the league’s reigning Hart Trophy winner has been limited to just two goals this season, and none in his last eight games -- the longest drought of his career, Ovechkin is a scoring threat every time he is on the ice.

Last season Ovechkin led the NHL with a career-high 65 goals and 112 points. He has not scored fewer than 46 goals in any of his three seasons in the National Hockey League.

Ovechkin’s talented teammate, and fellow Russian forward, Alexander Semin, has picked up the scoring slack for the Caps, who have won three of their last five matches. The 24 year-old Semin ranks second in the league both in goals (10) and points (19), so far.

Defenseman Mike Green, who potted a pair of game-winning goals against the Rangers last season, is also off to a strong start. Green has scored four power play goals already, more than any other NHL defenseman, and has recorded nine points (4-5-9) in 12 games.

Brent Johnson may start in goal for the Caps tonight; and if he does, it would his third straight start in the place of struggling starter Jose Theodore. Signed as a free agent in the summer, Theodore has a winning record (4-3), but a very high goals against average (3.44). Johnson, on the other hand, has a losing record (2-3), but a solid 2.37 gaa, and he played very well in Thursday’s 3-2 victory over the Hurricanes.

Last season, the Rangers and Caps split their season series, with each club winning twice. The Rangers won both games played at MSG, while the Capitals grabbed a pair of overtime home-ice wins.

After tonight’s contest the Rangers return to New York where they will host the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night. Edmonton will be playing for the first time at MSG since Jan. 12, 2006.

LINK (http://rangers.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=Preview&seas=20082009&gtype=2&gnum=200)

11-08-2008, 07:21 PM
Thanks for the game thread. I really was impressed by Green last season. Hopefully he doesnt have a big night against us tonight

11-08-2008, 07:33 PM
no prob :)

i didnt realize that alexander semin was on fire. besides ovechkin and green he's a player to look out for.

Desert Plains
11-08-2008, 09:01 PM
Maybe we'll show up in the 2nd period.

11-08-2008, 11:23 PM
tough loss for the rangers. they have to be more physical when they come out especially against the capitals.

11-10-2008, 10:29 AM
those were too penalties that should have been called. You don't run over a goalie like that. We lost 3-1 on 2 fluke goals.

11-10-2008, 11:21 AM
but Henrik was right....other goalies in this league (Brodeur) would have got those calls...."tough goals"....Drury's penalty shot would have been huge...reminded me of the Pittsburgh game being down 2-0...and coming back...lf Drury scores, l think we win this one...

11-10-2008, 09:49 PM
Drury had him beat on the penalty shot. The poke check saved him.