Blueshirt Bullet Points: Panthers 4 – Rangers 3 (SO)

In Blueshirt Bulletin Main Blog by Scott Charles

The New York Rangers got the start they wanted at Madison Square Garden, scoring two goals in the opening five minutes. However, the Florida Panthers used their timeout effectively, regrouped and came back to defeat the Blueshirts in a shootout.

The Blueshirts have not won at home since defeating the Washington Capitals on February 19th.

Blueshirt Bullet Points

1) Antti Raanta played a splendid game, and did all he can to give New York a chance to win at home. He made 34 saves and chose to take an optimistic view on the tough loss in the skills competition.

2) “We have to be a little bit happy to get the one point and we’ll get ready for tomorrow.”

3) There was a lot to like from the Rangers perspective in this game but they still cannot find a way to put it together for a complete 60 minutes.

4) “I like 40 minutes of hockey, 45 minutes of hockey whatever it is, but the second period I didn’t like where we were until probably about the last five minutes we started to put pressure on,” alternate captain Derek Stepan explained. “I think if we sharpen up our second period and find a way to get to that complete 60, we will definitely start having some wins go our way.”

5) The timeout Florida used after surrendering two early goals definitely helped calm the Panthers. But, shortly after, Kevin Hayes made a beautiful cross-ice pass to Stepan and Florida’s goaltender James Reimer made an unreal glove save. From that moment on, the Panthers found their rhythm.

6) Jonathan Huberdeau cut the Rangers two-goal lead in half early in the second period, then Thomas Vanek connected with Jussi Jokinen on the man-advantage to even the score.

7) “We try to figure out why we are so good on the road and why it changes at home,” Rick Nash explained after playing one of his better games, and focused on getting to the front of the net as much as he could. “We have been through a lot of video and we can see the differences on video. It seems like we play straight lines on the road, get pucks deep, and at home we try to make the cute plays and not get as many shots on net. We are trying to bring that road game home.”

8) While the Blueshirts have struggled to figure it out, the answer does not seem so complicated. On the road, New York plays a qstraight-line game, using their speed to get behind the defense and generating scoring opportunities. At home, they looks to make the perfect pass, frequently attempting the more difficult play when the simple play is missed.

9) Rangers coach Alain Vigneault chooses to look at it in the simplest terms possible.

10) “I said it this morning and I’m going to say it again. 200 by 85, whether you’re here or in Philly or anywhere else, it’s the same ice surface. For 30-minutes we were able to play a real strong game. You have to put 60 minutes together. There’s no overthinking about it, it’s just as simple as that.”

11) Vigneault declined to comment on his goaltender for Saturday’s tilt vs. Minnesota, but New York has its work cut out for them. At this point of the season, the most important issue at hand is not earning two points, its figuring out how to play 60 solid minutes day in and day out.