New York Rangers Highlights: Metropolitan Division Won With Victory Over Minnesota Wild


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New York Rangers Highlights: Rangers Clinch Division Title, Tie Franchise Record With Win Over Minnesota Wild

The New York Rangers were able to keep on rolling Thursday night, picking up a number of accolades on the way. With the victory over the Minnesota Wild, the Rangers clinched first place in the Metropolitan Division. The clinching victory came on the road, which is kind of fitting for the Rangers this season, as they also tied a franchise record for road victories, while snapping the Wild’s five game winning streak in the process.

The Rangers got onto the board early, as Dominic Moore scored his seventh goal of the season just over two minutes into the game. It was assisted by Carl Hagelin. Later on in the period, with just over five minutes remaining, Rick Nash would put home his 41st goal of the season, tying a career high. It also broke the tie he was in with Steven Stamkos for second in the NHL behind Alexander Ovechkin.

The early lead had to be nice for Henrik Lundqvist, who continues to shake rust from his extended time off.

With the division now wrapped up, the biggest takeaway from tonight, and thing to focus on the remainder of the season, is the continued improvement from Lundqvist. There had been much debate around Lundqvist, as people wondered aloud if he would mess up the chemistry the team had developed with Cam Talbot on net while he was sidelined. He is beginning to put that to rest, as the Rangers picked up their second win out of three Lundqvist starts since his return.

Tonight Lundqvist was solid once again, taking home first star honors. He faced 28 shots in the game, saving 26 of them for a save percentage of 92.9.

The first person that was able to beat Lundqvist was Jason Pominville in the second period, as his goal pulled the Wild within a 2-1 deficit. His goal was assisted by Matt Dumba and Mikael Granlund. The Wild could tie the game just under six minutes into the third period, as Thomas Vanek netted his 21st of the season. His goal was also assisted by Dumba, and joined by Justin Fontaine.

The Wild would quickly find themselves losing once again, as J.T. Miller scored less than a minute after Vanek for what proved to be the game winner. It was his 10th goal of the season, and was assisted by Ryan McDonagh and Chris Kreider.

There is still some work to be done for the Rangers, as they are still playing for the No.1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference. They cannot fall any lower than two because they won their division, but having home ice throughout the playoffs is never a bad thing.

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With games in hand, the Rangers are sitting pretty for the No.1 overall seed, as they have one in hand over the Montreal Canadiens and two over the Tampa Bay Lightning, yet lead them by two and three points respectively.

The path to first place will start off slow for the Rangers, but ramp up towards the end. Their next game will be against the New Jersey Devils, whom the Rangers will play in two of the next three games, with a meeting against the Columbus Blue Jackets sandwiched in between.

Next: Who was the best New York Ranger of 2014?

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