Quick Hits – Rangers vs Oilers 11/11/2017

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Here is our Quick Hits recap of the Rangers 4-2 victory over the Oilers.

Hayes-Nash-Zuccarello: This line was matched up for most of the game against Connor McDavid’s high-powered trio. Backed up by the tandem of Nick Holden and Ryan McDonagh, this line scored an even-strength goal from Rick Nash and held the Oilers top line without a goal at even strength. While McDavid scored once on the power play, that was matched by Nash, whose PPG was also the game-winner. Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello, and Nash were all phenomenal in the neutral zone, causing turnovers, slowing down McDavid’s line, and back-checking like demons. Hayes, who combined with Nash on a 2v1 on the game’s first goal, also had two late 2v1s with Zuccarello but was stopped by goalie Cam Talbot.

Rangers Power Play: The Rangers’ red-hot power play won this game for New York in the second period. Down 2-1 late in that period, a brilliant passing play from Zuccarello to Kevin Shattenkirk then finished by the streaking Pavel Buchnevich tied the game.

Just over three minutes after the Rangers tied the game on the man advantage, they took the lead for good on a picture-perfect passing play started by Ryan McDonagh, who fed cross-ice to Brady Skjei, who then found Nash on the doorstep, to put the Blueshirts up heading into the third period.

The incredible skill exhibited by six different Rangers in scoring those two huge goals cannot be underestimated. It shows how multi-dimensional they are up a man. On two other occasions, they forced Talbot to make a couple of “ten-bell” saves on Mika Zibanejad (one in the first, one in the third). They have shown they have the players that can hammer the puck from the right circle (Buchnevich), the left circle (Zibanejad), as well as the point (Shattenkirk and McDonagh). They have great passing plays but aren’t over-passing the puck. Most importantly they are shooting more.

This year, Shattenkirk and Buchnevich are the biggest differences as far as personnel. In addition, Zibanejad has taken a large step forward as a player and is shooting the puck with a much higher degree of accuracy, as well as making highly skilled plays on both the forehand and backhand. This all works to keep the opposition off-balance and unable to eliminate all of the Rangers options. And do not forget the net-front presence of both Chris Kreider and Rick Nash. They don’t always get rewarded with points, but they do the dirty work of screening, deflecting and distracting the goaltender.

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Henrik Lundqvist: The veteran goaltender was not asked to stand on his head by any means, but there were some key saves sprinkled throughout the contest. He made a huge stop on Adam Larsson in the 2nd when the Oilers were up 2-1, and then in the last 24 seconds, he made two super saves on Oscar Klefbom through traffic to preserve the win.

 

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Notes: Jimmy Vesey took a Zack Kassian skate to the mouth and lost some teeth, and had his lip gashed early in the middle period. He missed the rest of the period and returned with stitches and a full shield in the third.

Steven Kampfer continues to look overmatched in the NHL. His completely unnecessary penalty led to the Oilers grabbing their only lead of the game, on McDavid’s power-play goal. If Brendan Smith is going to be banished for a couple of weeks, why isn’t Anthony DeAngelo getting this chance? Kampfer, a career minor leaguer, has to be hidden against top players and benched at the 10-minute mark of almost every third period, isn’t the future. DeAngelo is the type of high-end skating, skilled defenseman this team has been trying to add. Meanwhile, after buying out the king of the snow angel, Dan Girardi, they plug-in another snow angel expert in Kampfer. Why?

Editor’s Note: Kampfer played seven shifts in the third period, including three in the final ten minutes, all while the Rangers were protecting their one-goal lead. In addition, Dave Maloney and Joe Michelleti praised Kampfer during the Rangers radio and TV broadcasts, respectively, for his play. Kampfer led the Rangers blue line with two hits, as well as recording two shots and a blocked shot.

NEXT GAME: The Rangers are off until Wednesday night when they head off to the Windy City to face the Blackhawks. Puck drops at 8!

LETS GO RANGERS!

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