Post-game notes & quotes courtesy of the Rangers:
Blue Jackets 4, Rangers 2.
– The Rangers were defeated by the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-2, tonight at Madison Square Garden, as the team continued their franchise-record nine-game homestand.
– The Blueshirts are now 15-17-1 overall (31 pts), including a 5-9-1 mark at home this season.
– The Rangers’ penalty kill was 2-2 (2:03) in the contest, and has now held opponents scoreless in 13 of the last 16 games (36-39, 92.3% over the span).
– New York won 39-63 faceoffs (62%) in the contest, led by Derek Stepan’s game-high, 14 faceoff wins (14-25, 56%). Brian Boyle also won 10-11 faceoffs (91%), while Dominic Moore won all seven of his faceoffs taken. The Rangers are now 162-293 (55.3%) on faceoffs in the last five games.
– Dominic Moore notched his first goal of the season and won all seven of his faceoffs taken in 8:33 of ice time. The goal was his first as a Ranger since March 20th, 2006 against Boston.
– Dan Girardi tallied a goal, four shots, and a team-high, three blocked shots in 24:42 of ice time. He has recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in the last six home games, including two points (one goal, one assist) during the Rangers’ current homestand.
– Mats Zuccarello registered an assist and two hits in 19:41 of ice time. He has tallied a point in seven of the last 11 games, registering four multi-point performances and 11 points (four goals, seven assists) during the stretch. He has recorded 21 points (six goals, 15 assists) in 25 games since his healthy scratch on Oct. 24 at Philadelphia, and now ranks second on the team in scoring with 21 points on the season.
– Michael Del Zotto recorded an assist and two shots in 21:58 of ice time. He has registered three points (one goal, two assists) in his last five home games, and is now nine assists shy of his 100th career NHL assist.
– Brad Richards tallied an assist and led all skaters with a Rangers’ season-high, nine shots, in 23:41 of ice time. He has tallied nine points (three goals, six assists) in the last nine games, and now leads the team with 16 assists and 25 points on the season
– Cam Talbot and Henrik Lundqvist (L) combined for 23 saves in the contest. Lundqvist stopped 10 of 13 shots through the game’s opening 11:10, and is now 9-14-1 overall with a 4-8-1 mark at home this season. Talbot turned aside 13 of 14 shots faced in 47:47 of ice time in relief.
Alain Vigneault on tonight’s game… “Obviously, tonight down by one, down by two and down by three, it’s a big challenge. I thought the guys for the most part tried to battle back and tried to do some of the right things. We gave ourselves a chance. We needed a one goal game and unfortunately when you are behind you take some risks and that’s what happened on their fourth goal.”
Henrik Lundqvist on the start of tonight’s game… “I quickly watched the replay. It hit the post and in I think. I don’t know, I have to go over the goals again to see what happened. Obviously where we are right now the starts are important, and me not coming up with the saves early, it’s hurting me and the team. You just have to go through it, I guess, but it’s definitely a test for your confidence to believe in what you do, and not start to do too much. You want to win more, sometimes you try too much instead of just sticking to what you need to do and keep it simple and just play your game.”
Brad Richards on tonight’s game… “We need to build off what we did in the second half of the game. Obviously, it’s going to be a lot harder because teams aren’t going to be sitting on a 3-0 lead when you play them. I think it was night and day (from) the Winnipeg (game) when we went out in the third and just went through the motions. We had a push, and right before they score the fourth goal the puck is just lying on the goal line in traffic. When things are going differently, maybe that finds its way in. You get in a jam, it’s tough it seems like everything is going the wrong way, but you have to trust and believe that we’ll have our time with it going that way too.”
Photo by Getty Images.