NEW YORK — The 14-4-3 New York Rangers, perhaps surprisingly, don’t look great in most SPORTLOGiQ stats. So there could vulnerabilities for the San Jose Sharks to exploit tonight.
Four in: One Rangers strength in getting a lot of shots from the Inner Slot. Good start by Hill as opposed to last night.
Strome goal: San Jose Sharks had chances to clear. Big Burns stick on Zibanejad bid earlier in PK. But then Storme cranks it past Hill.
Six in: What a steal by Bonino on Miller. Looks like the vet tricks the kid. Sharks are applying some good pressure, but so are the Rangers.
Seven in: Meloche has to do better on exit. Can’t just give it up there.
Nine in: Beautiful find of Middleton by Karlsson. One of those Grade-A chances that Middleton joked that Karlsson rags on him for missing.
Nine left: Gauthier works Karlsson on the rush — he cuts in, makes Karlsson look bad. Have seen less of that this year, but that’s a bad flashback.
Meier takes it from Fox up high — impressive play against reigning Norris winner. have to re-watch.
Four left: Clever play by Barabanov to curl back and give Balcers two zones to skate in.
Nice play under pressure by Dahlen to beat aggressive up-ice Rangers PK forecheck, get it to Meier. That was a good PP — just seemed like Sharks were missing the net on a number of golden chances.
Three in: Couple times that shift, want Weatherby to move puck faster. React to NHL pressure faster.
Six in: Meloche slow on Muny there I think, bang-bang play, Meloche has to be quicker to rotate. Then Hill makes an incredible save on Kreider. One-timer in tight, Hill squeezes it. Could be a game-changer. San Jose Sharks haven’t been bad tonight, but Rangers have been better. Their defense soft there on both occasions.
Eight in: Don’t like that Dahlen rim read. Panarin just sitting there, turnover.
Ten in: Good back-to-back shifts by Bonino then Pederson lines killed by a Vlasic penalty on Lafreniere. The kid goes down easy maybe, but the vet needs to be better. Big kill though — maybe Sharks can draw momentum.
Seven left: Pederson has a rough shift. Loses it along wall when trying to create offense. Then on other side, Middleton makes a nice defensive play, springs Pederson for a potential breakaway…but Pederson looks gassed. On the bench, Balcers tapped Pederson’s leg in encouragement.
Four left: Up high, Balcers and Hertl do nice job of double-teaming Lafreniere into turnover.
Two left: Good Burns shift. Nifty footwork of DZ FO win to exit, later, finds Labanc for a good chance. Following shift by Bonino is also strong. Bonino with a crafty move in front to earn himself a backhander. Then Gregor skates hard, makes it hard for Lundkvist to exit. Big league play by Gregor there.
Sharks look like the team at the end of a back to back — and now Ferraro out. Hill has been dynamite, just robbed Panarin.
Eight in: Long shot, but good entry by Pederson. First territory by Sharks in a while. Small plays like this can add up. Start of better San Jose Sharks shifts. PP coming up here with nine left.
Eight left: Beauty entry by Karlsson through Rooney and Goodrow, but Gregor loses the puck in zone. Confident carrying by Karlsson there.
Five left: Meier wanted Balcers to hit him with the stretch, a little frustration by Timo as he bangs his stick.
Four left: Textbook Nieto exit for Gregor up the middle with speed.
Two left: Risky pass by Karlsson there, NYR counterattack. Then two weak Barabanov plays to exit. Unacceptable. Sharks can’t get out.
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