Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rangers Top 10 Moments of 2011-2012 Season

The New York Rangers enjoyed their finest season since their championship season in 1993-94. Their season unfortunately ended in the Eastern Conference Finals at the hand of the division rival New Jersey Devils.

There was still plenty of great moments for the Rangers this season, and here are the top ten moments.

10. Gaborik gets OT winner against Florida (Jan 5, 2012)

With former President Bill Clinton in attendance, Marian Gaborik sent the Garden faithful into a euphoric state when he blasted a shot from the slot by Florida goaltender Scott Clemmensen. The game winner gave the Rangers a 3-2 victory, and their third win in a row.

9. Rangers score four in the second to beat Pittsburgh (November 29, 2011)

The Rangers erased a 1-0 deficit in the second period with a four goal barrage. Ryan Callahan tied the game eight minutes into the second with a power play goal. John Mitchell and Brad Richards scored ninety seconds apart to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead, and Marian Gaborik added another power play goal with less than minutes left in the second period. The win was the Rangers seventh win in a row at home.

8. Richards beats Coyotes with 0.1 seconds left (December 17, 2011) 

Just when the game looked like it was headed to overtime, Brad Richards spun a backhand shot that deflected off of Keith Yandle's stick and passed goaltender Mike Smith. The goal was originally disallowed by the refs who said time had expired, but after review the puck crossed the line with 0.1 seconds left, and the Rangers won 3-2.

7. Richards scores game-winning goal in Winter Classic (January 2, 2012)

In a much anticipated match-up between the Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers in the Winter Classic, the two teams did not fail to entertain. The Flyers jumped ahead 2-0 in the second period, but the Rangers came back to tie the game, and five minutes into the third period, Brad Richards buried a rebound opportunity to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead and victory.

6. Lundqvist stops Briere on penalty shot (January 2, 2012) 

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was in the spotlight all season, and he never failed to please Ranger fans, especially with 19 seconds left in the Winter Classic and the Rangers clinging to a 3-2 lead. Ryan McDonagh was penalized for covering the puck with his hand in the Rangers crease. The Flyers were awarded a penalty shot taken by Danny Briere. Lundqvist remained patient while Briere came in, and he stopped Briere's attempt through the five-hole, and kept the Rangers ahead 3-2.

5. Rangers reach 50 wins (March 30, 2012) 

The New York Rangers hosted the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden looking to notch their first 50 win season since the 1993-94 season. The Rangers dominated the Canadiens from start to finish en route to a 4-1 victory. Michael Del Zotto netted two goals in the third period to give the Rangers a 4-0 lead, and Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves for the shutout.

4. Kreider scores first career goal against Ottawa (April 23, 2012) 

Chris Kreider was coming off a National Championship with Boston College when he got the call up from the New York Rangers during their series with the Ottawa Senators. The Rangers were facing elimination in Game 6 and came out with a gutsy 3-2 victory that included Kreider's first career NHL goal. With just under a minute to go in the second period, Kreider beat Ottawa's  Craig Anderson to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead. They went on to beat Ottawa 3-2, and eliminate Ottawa in seven games.

3. Rangers sweep season series from Flyers 

If there was one team the Rangers wanted to see in the playoffs this past season, it was the Philadelphia Flyers. The Rangers went 6-0 against their division rivals this season, including their exciting 3-2 win over the Flyers in the Winter Classic. The Blueshirts outscored Philly 24-11 in the season series, and swept the season series from the Flyers for the first time in 40 years.

2. Richards ties game with 6.6 seconds left (May 7, 2012)

The Rangers were on the brink of elimination against the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Rangers were trailing the Caps 2-1 late in the third period. Joel Ward of Washington took a double-minor penalty for high-sticking Carl Hagelin. The Rangers pulled goalie Henrik Lundqvist for a two-man advantage and with 6.6 seconds left on the clock, Brad Richards poked the puck passed Caps goalie Braden Hotby off the post and in. The Rangers stayed on the power play into overtime where Marc Staal fired a shot from the point passed Holtby for the victory. The Rangers went up 3-2 in the series and defeated the Caps in seven games.

1. Lundqvist wins the Vezina Trophy 

Henrik Lundqvist dazzled between the pipes this season for the Rangers,and this year it earned him the Vezina Trophy, given to the top goaltender in the league. Lundqvist was at the top of the league in almost every category. Lundqvist posted 39 wins including 8 shutouts. He also boasted a .930 save percentage with a 1.97 goals against average. It was no surprise to the fans that Lundqvist brought home the hardware this year, he was one of the main reasons the Rangers achieved so much success this season. Lundqvist was also up for the Hart Trophy, given to the league MVP.

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