The New York Rangers got 38 shots on goal in Steve Mason’s first start of the playoffs, including 16 in the first period alone, but they still don’t feel like they challenged him enough in tonight’s 2-1 loss to Philadelphia.
“I think we made it too easy on Mason,” Rangers forward Martin St. Louis said, per ESPN’s Katie Strang.
“We didn’t make it tough enough on Mason in his first game back,” defenseman Ryan McDonagh told Newsday’s Steve Zipay.
Forward Rich Nash argued that too many of the Rangers shots were fired from the outside and they didn’t put enough traffic in front of Mason, according to the Bergen Records’ Andrew Gross. In other words, he feels that the Rangers were lacking when it came to generating quality chances, even if the quantity of shots was there.
At least one Rangers player though was willing to give Mason some credit though.
“I don’t know if he made big save after big save, but he made some big ones,” Brad Richards said, per the Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe.
In particular, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault feels they were lacking on the power play. The Rangers were 0-for-4 with the man advantage and have a 15.0% success rate in the series.
Whether or not the Rangers feel they could have been better, Mason more than earned his first career postseason win tonight. If he continues to perform like he did tonight, then the Flyers have a fair chance of eliminating the Rangers.
With the series tied at 2-2, Game 5 will be played on Sunday.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: