Tag: New York Rangers

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers

WATCH LIVE: Capitals at Rangers


The New York Rangers will look to rebound from their Game 1 loss this afternoon when they play host to the Washington Capitals in Game 2 at MSG.

New York enters today’s contest hoping history does not repeat itself. The Rangers have lost six straight Game 2s on home ice dating back to 1996.

Washington took a 1-0 series lead in controversial fashion on Thursday night. Joel Ward scored the game-winner with 1.3 seconds remaining following a questionable hit by Nicklas Backstrom on Rangers’ defenseman Dan Boyle.

Puck drop this afternoon is at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC. You can also watch online using NBCSports.com’s Live Extra.


Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:

Trotz on Ovechkin: ‘I wanted him to be more active’

Rangers add depth, recall Bourque

Vigneault: ‘Standards have been set’ after Ovechkin, Backstrom hits

Rangers add depth, recall Bourque

Ottawa Senators v New York Rangers

With just 12 healthy forwards to choose from, the New York Rangers have recalled forward Ryan Bourque from the American Hockey League’s Hartford Wolf Pack.

Bourque had one assist in five playoff games as the Wolf Pack eliminated the Providence Bruins on Friday night to advance to the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs.

It’s Bourque’s second recall this season.

The 24-year-old made his NHL debut on April 9. Bourque had a shot on goal and a minus-1 rating while playing 11:49 in the Rangers’ 3-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators.

Bourque had 12 goals and 20 assists in 73 regular season games with the Wolf Pack this season.

New York had 13 forwards on the roster for the Game 1 loss on Thursday night, but that includes Mats Zuccarello, who has been ruled out for the entire series after taking a puck to the face in Game 5 of the first round.

Trotz on Ovechkin: ‘I wanted him to be more active’

Washington Capitals v Montreal Canadiens

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.

When Barry Trotz took over the coaching reigns in Washington many questioned whether he’d be able to get the most out of his star captain Alex Ovechkin.

The 29-year-old was coming off a season in which he recorded a career-worst minus-35 rating as Washington missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 season.

Following a two-point performance in the Caps’ Game 1 victory over the New York Rangers, Trotz revealed part of the reason Ovechkin has had a bounce back year.

It started with a lengthy conversation in Las Vegas last year at the NHL Awards.

“Really, what I told him is that I wanted him to be more active,” Trotz said per CSNWashington.com. “I thought he had too much glide in his game. When I was in the other conference we talked about how he wasn’t skating and how easy he is to cover.”

It’s not the first time Trotz has spoken openly about Ovechkin needing to tweak his game. Soon after taking the coaching job in Washington the 52-year-old spoke about Ovechkin needing to “grow his game”.

“I think if he gets a little less glide in his game that he’ll be as dynamic and hard to handle as he ever was,” Trotz said in June.

Boy was Trotz right.

Ovechkin scored a league-leading 53 goals in the regular season and saw a plus-45 improvement in his plus-minus rating, from a minus-35 last season to a plus-10 this season.

“He’s a guy that I think was maybe a little miscast in the past,” Trotz said. “Ovi is one of those guys that really wants to win. He’s won virtually every award you can win individually and I think he’s at a real good time in his career, and I think we’re going to benefit from that.

“Now he wants to do something team-wise. For him to grow as a leader, that was my mandate with him. I’m going to share all my experiences with him and teach him how to lead and he’s bought in.”

Neither Trotz nor Ovechkin have ever been past the second round of the playoffs. Thanks to a conversation in Vegas, and some tweaks to his game, both men are just three wins a way from getting to the conference finals.

Vigneault: ‘Standards have been set’ after Ovechkin, Backstrom hits

New York Rangers v Toronto Maple Leafs

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault had a creative — dare we say passive-aggressive — take on last night’s controversial finish in Game 1 against the Caps, saying officials set the standard on hits from behind by not calling penalties on Niklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, and that the Rangers have to meet that standard.

Here are the hits Vigneault’s referring to:

The latter, of course, has been the source of great controversy as it led to Joel Ward’s last-second winner on Thursday night. Backstrom put a pretty good lick on Dan Boyle but no penalty was called, much to the Rangers’ chagrin.

But for all the gamesmanship out of New York, the Caps weren’t just going to sit around and stay mum on the issue.

“(Fans) in front didn’t flinch,” Caps head coach Barry Trotz said, referring to ticketholders near the glass where the Boyle hit occurred. “Usually if it’s a questionable hit everybody jumps up and puts their hands up.”

Lundqvist thinks Backstrom’s hit caused Rangers to lose focus before game-winning goal


The Washington Capitals took Game 1 of their series against the New York Rangers thanks to a clutch goal by Joel Ward with less than two seconds left on the clock. However, just before that goal Nicklas Backstrom delivered a questionable hit to Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle.

Backstrom wasn’t penalized for his actions and Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist thinks there was a direct correlation between Backstrom’s actions and the way the contest ended.

“Obviously the last few seconds there, I feel like we all just kind of stopped when Boyle went down,” Lundqvist told the Bergen Record. “We lost our focus a little bit and gave up the last chance.”

Marc Staal, who qualified his comments by saying that he was going off of what was described to him as he didn’t see the incident in question, thought what Backstrom did “seems cheap.” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, who seemed angry after the hit and subsequent goal, refused to comment on the referees after the game. For his part though, Backstrom defended his actions.

“I didn’t see the puck but I knew there was five seconds left and everything can happen,” Backstrom told CSN Washington. “I mean, it’s something we’ve been taught from when we were kids, to play until the whistle and that’s what we did.

“To be honest with you, I haven’t seen [the hit], so I can’t really say anything about it. But it looked like he was standing by the wall there. Hits like that happen every game, so …”

You can see what happened for yourself below (the hit occurs with about 5.5 seconds left on the clock):