New York Rangers: Carl Hagelin

Rapid Reaction: Kings 3, Rangers 2 (OT)

June, 4, 2014
Jun 4
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings sure have a flair for the dramatic, huh? For the second straight game L.A. wiped out a two-goal deficit, rallying to take Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals with a 3-2 overtime victory over the New York Rangers Wednesday night at Staples Center.

Clutch performer Justin Williams was exactly that in the series opener, notching the game winner 4:36 into the overtime period to give the Kings a 1-0 series lead.

Though the Rangers dominated in the first 20 minutes of play, they were chasing the puck for the entire third period, outshot by the Kings 14-0 at one point more than midway through the final frame. The Rangers did not register a single shot on goal until there was just 8:17 remaining in the period.

Los Angeles pushed the play for the entire frame, but had nothing to show for it, even after it was awarded a critical power-play opportunity with less than two minutes in regulation. The final minute of the game delivered the type of high-octane, white-knuckle hockey that made the Western Conference finals so exciting, with both the Rangers and Kings trading chances in electric end-to-end action.

Then the legend of Williams, dubbed Mr. Game 7 for his timely goals, continued as he delivered to give the Kings the win.

Comeback kids: Was there ever really any doubt the Kings would come charging back on home ice? After falling behind 2-0, the comeback kids proved again that no lead is safe as they rattled off two of their own to knot the score in the second period. Kyle Clifford got the Kings on the board and Drew Doughty made a sensational move to beat Henrik Lundqvist and atone for a costly turnover earlier in the game that had resulted in the Rangers’ first goal. The Kings also erased a 2-0 deficit in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals, rallying from behind to knock off the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in a thrilling overtime win Sunday.

Early lead: If the Rangers are going to make this a series, they will have to employ their speed against a big, heavy Kings squad and that’s exactly what they did in the first period. Both Benoit Pouliot and Carl Hagelin capitalized on Kings' gaffes that resulted in breakaways, with Hagelin's short-handed goal at 15:03 giving the Blueshirts a 2-0 lead. Though the Kings looked gassed in the opening frame, they managed to cut the lead in half before the period was over on Clifford's first goal of the postseason -- a late marker that appeared to rejuvenate them heading into the second period.

Big red dog: The 23-year-old Clifford had a banner night for the Kings, and helped spark the club's comeback with his inspired play. Figuring in on both the first two goals (one goal, one assist), he also made a great hustle play in the second to prevent a goal, back checking with fury against the speedy Hagelin to break up a prime scoring play for the Rangers.

Backing up the backup: Goaltender Cam Talbot was not available to back up Lundqvist during Game 1, throwing 31-year-old David LeNeveu into his place on the Rangers bench. Talbot is out with an undisclosed injury that coach Alain Vigneault has deemed "day-to-day" though he has not skated for three straight days. Talbot did make the trip to Los Angeles with the Rangers but it is not immediately clear when he could be ready to return.

Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr, who has missed the past month with a knee injury, has been medically cleared to play but he did not dress Wednesday night. Sutter opted instead to sit the veteran blueliner for an extra game.

Meet the Blueshirts: Carl Hagelin

June, 3, 2014
Jun 3
Carl HagelinScott Levy/NHLI/Getty Images
Position: LW
Number: 62
Age: 25
Born: Sodertalje, Sweden
Height: 6-0
Weight: 186
How Acquired: Selected by the Rangers in the sixth round (No. 168 overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

In case you didn’t know ...

• Hagelin has discovered quite a goal-scoring touch during the playoffs: he’s tied for the team lead with six of them.

• As a rookie, Hagelin won the NHL’s Fastest Skater competition during All-Star Weekend in 2012. It’s one of the reasons why he’s such a terrific penalty-killer.

• Hagelin said in a December 2013 interview with Men’s Fitness that he loves soccer and has been addicted to playing a simulation called Football Manager.

Click here for the rest of our series.

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Flyers 1

April, 22, 2014
Apr 22
PHILADELPHIA -- The New York Rangers took a 2-1 series lead with a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Former Flyer Daniel Carcillo made his first appearance of the series and it was a memorable one, as he recovered from both a head shot and a questionable penalty call to deliver the dagger against his old club, scoring to give the Rangers a three-goal cushion in the third period.

Flyers goaltender Steve Mason, playing for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury on April 12, replaced Ray Emery in the third period after the 31-year-old gave up his fourth goal of the night.

Flyers captain Claude Giroux managed to register his first shot on goal of the series, but was again held off the scoresheet as Philly’s first line was effectively contained.

Change coming?: Emery, making his third consecutive start this series in place of injured starter Steve Mason, did not have his best outing Tuesday night. He was solid in the first two games, but gave up at least a few in Game 3 that he’d like to have back.

Considering Mason’s surprising appearance -- he dressed as a back-up, even though he was initially reported to be unavailable, and entered the game to replace Emery in the third -- he could be primed to make his first start for the Flyers in Game 4 in Philadelphia on Friday.

Big goal: The Flyers carried momentum into the second period after cutting the Rangers’ lead in half with defenseman Mark Streit’s goal at the end of the first, but they failed to capitalize on the emotional swing. Instead, Rangers’ blueliner Dan Girardi tallied the Blueshirts’ biggest goal to date of the playoffs, beating Emery with a deep slapshot to reclaim a two-goal lead at 5:17.

Lose your cool: Flyers coach Craig Berube stressed in his pregame press briefing the importance of discipline after his club spent a solid chunk of Sunday’s 4-2 win down a man on the penalty kill. Apparently, the players did not heed his message, because there was plenty of sloppy, undisciplined hockey right from puck drop. The Flyers took three separate penalties in the first period and the Rangers were almost as bad. For the Blueshirts, Benoit Pouliot was the main offender, taking two ill-advised penalties, the latter of which negated a Rangers power play.

Unlikely duo: Raise your hand if you had Jakub Voracek and Carl Hagelin as the first two players to drop their mitts in this black-and-blue series. Exactly. The two skill players squared off in the second period and Voracek ended it quickly in a lopsided bout, pummeling Hagelin before the Swedish winger could even land a punch. The crowd approved, erupting in a raucous roar, but again the Flyers failed to channel the surge. A stingy Rangers penalty-killing unit was the unsung hero for New York in the middle frame, snuffing both man-up opportunities for the Flyers in the period.

Rapid Reaction: Flyers 4, Rangers 2

April, 20, 2014
Apr 20
NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers squandered a 2-0 lead as the Philadelphia Flyers rallied from behind with four unanswered goals for a 4-2 win over the Blueshirts on Sunday that tied the series 1-1 and sends the two teams back to Philly for Game 3 at Wells Fargo Center.

An undisciplined and defensively porous Flyers team was exposed in the first period, but recovered in the second to become the aggressors in the latter half of the game.

Philly's penalty-killing effort was superb, limiting the Rangers to just one goal in six power-play opportunities for New York. Anchoring the Flyers in net, backup netminder Ray Emery delivered a fine 31-save performance to prove himself capable of handling the load with regular starter Steve Mason on the shelf with injury.

Mason, who has missed the first two games of the series, is hoping to make his return in Game 3, but Flyers coach Craig Berube may have a difficult decision on his hands once Mason returns to good health.

Redemption shot: Flyers rookie forward Jason Akeson got a sweet taste of redemption Sunday afternoon, with his rebound goal on a gaping net to knot the score at 2 in the second period. Akeson had a rough night in his NHL playoff debut in Game 1 on Thursday, taking a double-minor high-sticking penalty on Carl Hagelin that resulted in a pair of power-play goals for the Rangers. Nonetheless, Flyers coach Craig Berube expressed faith in the youngster, going right back to him on Sunday. Akeson started the game with linemates Matt Read and center Sean Couturier and continued to receive power-play time as well. His power-play marker at 5:45 on Sunday was his second career goal in only his fourth NHL game.

Fast and loose: The NHL’s most penalized team through the regular season was, unsurprisingly, not very disciplined once again. The Flyers gave the Rangers’ special teams plenty of work in the beginning of the game, putting them on the power play three times in the opening frame, twice on ill-advised offensive-zone penalties. The Blueshirts capitalized on only one of those man-up opportunities, when Benoit Pouliot’s flubbed shot from the right circle beat Emery for a two-goal lead at 8:22. That goal highlighted another major problem area for the Flyers: They gave the Rangers entirely too much room on the ice to execute the type of cross-ice feeds that set up Pouliot and resulted in Martin St. Louis’ first playoff goal of the series earlier in the period. The Flyers failed to clog up the passing lanes and paid for it dearly as the Blueshirts jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

There they are: Largely ineffective in Game 1, the Flyers’ first line came alive late in the first period with an expert rush that allowed them to cut the Rangers’ lead in half at 2-1. Sprung by linemate Scott Hartnell, skilled winger Jakub Voracek blew past defenseman Ryan McDonagh (how rarely does that happen?) and beat Lundqvist for his third career playoff goal with 5:46 remaining in the first period. Voracek and first-line center Claude Giroux were both held without a shot in Game 1 on Thursday.

Hank, Hagelin, Nash make Olympic rosters

January, 7, 2014
Jan 7
New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and forward Carl Hagelin have been named to the Swedish Men's hockey team headed to Sochi next month.

Rick Nash is on Team Canada's Olympic roster. For the full Canadian 25-man roster click here.

They will join Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan, who will represent the United States.

W2W4: Rangers vs. Devils

November, 12, 2013
At a glance: Winners of three straight, the Rangers host the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night looking to avenge the last loss to their Hudson River rivals. Smarting from a grueling West Coast road trip, the Rangers were blanked by the Devils 4-0 back on Oct. 19, but they’ve regained some swagger in recent weeks with improved play and a record that is now above .500. Meanwhile, the Devils have fallen three points back of the Blueshirts. New Jersey enters Tuesday’s match coming off a decisive 5-0 win over Nashville on Sunday night.

Battle of the best: The last time the two teams met, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist squared off with an unfamiliar face in the opposing net. After years of going head-to-head with future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur, Lundqvist squared off against Devils newcomer Cory Schneider instead. Tuesday, all will be back to normal as Brodeur gets the start for New Jersey. Lundqvist is 24-7-5 with a 1.97 goals-against average, .926 save percentage and seven shutouts in 36 regular-season games against Brodeur. The 41-year-old Devils stopper is on a roll, however, having posted two straight shutouts heading into Tuesday's clash.

Young guns: For the Rangers, youngsters like Carl Hagelin and Chris Kreider have made all the difference as of late. Since his return from injury, Hagelin has eight points in seven games, seven of which have come in the past five. Kreider has two goals and seven points in the past eight. Even J.T. Miller is making his mark. The 20-year-old prospect tallied his first goal of the season Sunday night, capping a pretty passing sequence set up by superb plays from Kreider and defenseman Ryan McDonagh.

Stingy on D: Both teams have buckled down on defense and limited opponents recently. The Devils have held teams to two goals or fewer in six of their past seven games, while the Rangers had gone nine straight such games before giving up three to Florida in Sunday’s win.

Rangers back to .500

November, 7, 2013

Don't look now, but the Rangers are back to .500 with Thursday night's 4-2 win over the Blue Jackets in Columbus. With five victories in the last six games, including back-to-back wins against the Penguins and Blue Jackets the past two nights, the Rangers improved to 8-8-0 on the season.

The latest victory -- which came against many former teammates, given the recent trade history between the Rangers and Blue Jackets -- allowed the Rangers to leapfrog both the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders to claim eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

What's changed for the Blueshirts? Well, they finally returned home to the East Coast after a grueling nine-game road trip to start the season. The Rangers were wary of using that as an excuse, but it's easy to see a markedly different team since they've been back. Perhaps more important has been the return of captain Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin, two offensive catalysts who have sparked the team with their inspired play.

Hagelin notched his second two-goal game of the season Thursday, an impressive feat particularly considering he missed the first 10 with a shoulder injury.

Other positives to take away from Thursday's action?
  • For the ninth consecutive game, the Rangers gave up two goals or fewer, a clear indication they have cleaned things up in their own end. Whereas the defensive zone was a bit of a disaster to start the season, the team has buckled down on the back end with some stingy efforts of late.
  • Goaltender Cam Talbot has proved himself a capable backup with yet another strong performance. The 26-year-old netminder showed poise and confidence in turning away 32 shots from Columbus in only his fourth NHL game.

Unfortunately, on a night where Rick Nash's absence loomed ominously, the team saw Taylor Pyatt leave the game with what appeared to be a head injury caused by a nasty elbow he received from former Ranger Fedor Tyutin. Pyatt left the game in the second period and did not return. For the hit, Tyutin will likely receive a call from league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.

Vigneault on Murphy hit: 'Very, very dangerous'

November, 2, 2013
NEW YORK -- Rangers coach Alain Vigneault made it clear after his team's 5-1 win over the Hurricanes on Saturday night that he did not like Ryan Murphy's second-period hit on Derek Dorsett.

The rookie defenseman appeared to undercut Dorsett, upending him in a play that infuriated Dorsett's teammates and resulted in a clipping penalty.

"I mean, in my opinion, that's real dangerous," Vigneault said. "Any time you're going for knees, you're looking at career-ending injuries here."

Dorsett appeared to be OK after the hit, but that didn't seem to placate Vigneault.

"That was borderline very, very dangerous."

Carl's cool: Though Carl Hagelin was wincing on the bench in pain during the third period after getting whacked on the left hand by Carolina's Riley Nash, he isn't concerned about injury.

"It hurt at the time," said the 25-year-old winger, who scored twice as New York won its third straight, "but it's fine." Hagelin doesn't anticipate it being a problem.

W2W4: Rangers vs. Hurricanes

November, 2, 2013
At a glance: Riding a two-game winning streak for the first time this season, the Rangers host the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. The struggling Canes enter the match with plenty of motivation considering they are amidst a four-game skid. Most recently, they were shut out by Tampa Bay 3-0 on Friday night.

Family reunion: Saturday marks the first time that Rangers defenseman Marc Staal will face Carolina since his younger brother Jordan joined older brother Eric as Hurricane teammates. The previous time Carolina was in town, all three of Staal’s brothers were out on the ice for puck drop (youngest brother Jared is currently in the AHL), but Marc had to watch from the press box because of a harrowing eye injury that cost him more than half of last season.

Looking good: Thursday’s win was an encouraging sign for the Rangers, particularly because of the superior performance from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. The 31-year-old former Vezina Trophy winner struggled to start the season and missed two games recently with an unspecified injury. However, The King looked royal in the team’s 2-0 shutout victory over the Sabres. Lundqvist turned away all 29 shots faced from Buffalo.

Young guns: Another reason the Rangers are starting to round into form? The play of youngsters Carl Hagelin and Chris Kreider. Hagelin, who missed the first 10 games of the season with a shoulder injury, has drastically changed the team’s offensive attack with his speed and puck-hounding abilities while Kreider is playing with a newfound sense of confidence. The 22-year-old former Boston College standout has two goals in the past two games.

Injury impact: The Hurricanes enter Saturday’s match in 10th place in the Eastern Conference and their injury-riddled lineup has to be at least partly to blame. The Canes are without starting goaltender Cam Ward and key forwards Jeff Skinner and Radek Dvorak.