Rick Nash

Video: Red-hot Rangers defeat the Ducks


The New York Rangers have been winning plenty of late, and that trend continued Wednesday on the road against the Anaheim Ducks.

For those keeping track, that’s 11 wins in the last 12 games for the Rangers, the defending Eastern Conference champions. They defeated the Ducks by a final score of 4-1, with Rick Nash recording his 25th goal of the season. It also turned out to be the winner.

A sign, perhaps?

Not only has New York been lighting it up on the score board of late – 15 goals in the last three games – but they’ve been holding the opposition in check, too. Two of those most recent opponents did include the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers – two teams that don’t score much.

But they managed to hold Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf each to just an assist on Wednesday.

As for the 30-year-old Nash, he’s now one goal off the league-leading pace currently set by Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars.

This western swing continues for New York. And this next game has slightly more significance.

The Rangers face the L.A. Kings on Thursday. It’s the first time these two teams will meet since the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, taken by the Kings.

NHL on NBCSN: Rangers test hot streak against Ducks


NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign with Wednesday’s second game as the Anaheim Ducks host the New York Rangers at the Honda Center at 10:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

As impressive as the New York Rangers have been in rattling off 10 wins in their last 11 games, today’s road contest against the Anaheim Ducks represents the beginning of their truest test yet.

There isn’t a gimme in the Rangers next seven games, but this week stands as the largest challenge, as the Rangers visit the Ducks tonight, the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday and then close out a California churn by facing the Sharks in San Jose on Saturday.

The Ducks are off to another strong start. They’ve won two in a row, and while many victories have come by slim enough margins that they aren’t exactly puffing out their chests, they can really sock away standings points. There are four games remaining on this current eight-game homestand, and three of those matches put them against East opponents.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Wednesday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

The two teams bring plenty of offensive firepower to the table. Rick Nash continues his explosive 2014-15 season, while he’s supported by quality scorers including Martin St. Louis, Derek Stepan and Derrick Brassard. As usual, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry generate MVP-like work for the Ducks most evenings.

Anaheim’s becoming something of a factory for young defensemen, especially Sami Vatanen and Cam Fowler. Grizzled Rangers veteran Dan Boyle’s beginning to pay dividends while promising blueliner Ryan McDonagh also seems to be finding his game.

Assuming that the Rangers roll with Henrik Lundqvist and the Ducks give Frederik Andersen the nod, we’ll see two goalies who seem to be on the top of their games, even if they boast very different resumes.

These two teams don’t see each other often, yet it could be quite an aesthetically pleasing contest, especially if both attacks are in strong form.

Nash thinks he played more ‘complete game’ in 2013-14


If you judge Rick Nash exclusively by the number of points he records, then there’s no question this has been a comeback campaign for him. After suffering two concussions in a calender year in 2013, Nash went on to score 26 goals and just 39 points in 65 contests last season. He already has 23 goals and 36 points in 34 contests in 2014-15.

Although he’s only trailing Tyler Seguin in the Rocket Richard race, Nash isn’t entirely happy with his performance thus far. In fact, in some respects he thinks he’s actually regressed this season, per the New York Daily News.

“It’s funny,” Nash said before Monday’s 3-2 loss to Dallas. “I was watching video of this season, and my complete game is not what it was last year. There’s so much more I can do in a lot of different areas, and sometimes I can’t pinpoint why the pucks go in.”

His frequent linemate Derick Brassard would disagree with Nash as he believes the star forward’s complete game has actually improved. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault also praised Nash for the work he did over the summer. He’s given Nash a chance to play a bigger role in shorthanded situations this season and has been rewarded for it.

At the same time, Vigneault likes the fact that Nash is being critical of himself.

“Rick’s mindset is the right one,” Vigneault said. “That is what the team mindset has to be, which is we need to get better, and when you’ve got one of your top-end players looking to get better, that obviously rubs off on everybody else.”

Scoring change gives Nash his first Rangers hat trick


Rick Nash got a hat trick Tuesday night in the Rangers’ 4-2 victory over the Washington Capitals, but it wasn’t official until today. The NHL announced that the New York Rangers’ goal at 16:12 of the third period was now being awarded to Nash after initially being credited to Martin St. Louis.

Here is the marker in question:

Although it was originally thought that St. Louis got a piece of it, as you could see on the last reply, goaltender Braden Holtby actually accidentally knocked it into the net with his glove.

Nash now has 23 goals in 32 games, which puts him two shy of leading Rocket Richard contender Tyler Seguin. Nash has breached the 40-goal mark twice in his career, but he was limited to 26 goals and 39 points in 65 contests last season.

As the Rangers noted, this was Nash’s first hat trick with New York and the team’s first against Washington since Mark Messier did it in 1991.

Brassard (mumps) set to return Saturday night

Derick Brassard has been one of the league’s pleasant surprises this season with eight goals and 24 points in 27 games. His momentum was threatened when he became yet another victim of the NHL’s mumps outbreak, but in the end the disease hasn’t cost him much playing time.

Thanks in part to Brassard’s illness corresponding with a light section of the Rangers’ schedule, he has only missed two contests. After skating Saturday morning, he confirmed that he would play tonight, per the Bergen Record.

The 27-year-old forward will assume his previous role as the Rangers’ first-line center. That unit also includes Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello. J.T. Miller, 21, had gotten some playing time with Nash and Zuccarello during Brassard’s absence, but Miller will drop to the third line.

The Rangers are aiming for their fifth straight win tonight as they battle to enter the holiday break in a playoff position. They’re currently two points behind the second Wild Card spot, which is currently occupied by Florida.