Fast scores twice in return as Rangers defeat Nashville 4-3

11:16PM: David Quinn said on MSG:

  • On what was different tonight, “the guys had a meeting and we talked about playing winning hockey and understanding situational hockey and I thought we did a heck of a job with that. I give our leadership group a lot of credit, our captains and Hank and Shatty. They got the team together, we didn’t even have a team meeting, Give those guys credit because they took the bull by the horns and we played winning hockey when it mattered.”
  • On keeping it simple and smart, “I thought we did a good job of that too. Once we had the 4-3 lead we did a good job of managing the game and playing smart and taking away time and space and not taking unnecessary chances. Did a hell of a job on the 6 on 5 and the PK was huge when we needed it. There are a lot of different ways to win hockey games. We learned an awful lot tonight but made a lot of progress.”
  • On the Mika line, “You put Quickie and Cody in our lineup and it just gives us a whole different look. We are competitive, more passionate and Quickie gets rewarded statistically but there is a reason we put that line together. Mika played his best hockey with those two guys and they were our best and most effective line tonight. I thought Strome’s line played really well, they were good. It’s one game. We have more games to play and more games to win.”
  • On the bench in the third, “there was excitement, guys knew what they had to do and it was a different feel tonight for sure.”
  • On the Rinaldo hit on Mika not getting called, “shocked. I’m sure it will be addressed by the league.”

11PM: Henrik Lundqvist said after the game on MSG,





  • On the game, “We did a lot of good things. The last 3-4 minutes was intense but we played for one another and the guys came up big at the right time.”
  • On Jesper Fast, “he finds a way to make the right play, the little plays that are so important, hopefully the young players are watching him play, that is how to play.”

10:50PM | First Period:

  • Chris Kreider (Power Play) Assists: Mika Zibanejad, Kevin Hayes
  • Nick Bonino (Power Play) Assists: Mattias Ekholm, Kevin Fiala

Second Period:

  • Jesper Fast Assists: Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider
  • Kevin Fiala
  • Nick Bonino (Power Play) Assists: Craig Smith, Kevin Fiala

Third Period:

  • Marc Staal Assists: Jesper Fast, Mika Zibanejad
  • Jesper Fast Assists: Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider

Stats:

Adam Rotter:

  • This did not seem like it would be a win after Nashville went up 3-2 in the second but with the amount of times the Rangers have blown leads and games they should have won, they were deserving of a game like this going their way.
  • Credit where its due, they played a really solid third period, got the two goals and defended really well. That said, I was more than half expecting the Preds to tie it with their late third PP but the Rangers killed it off.
  • Quite a nice return for Jesper Fast. He has always been a coaches favorite, his teammates love him and when he can produce offensively he just adds to his value.
  • With how Hayes and Kreider have been together it seemed a little questionable to split them up but putting Kreider back with Zibanejad and Fast certainly paid off tonight. Fast doesn’t have the skill level that projects to play on a top-line but sometimes you find chemistry and if it works, it works.
  • Next up the Rangers close out 2018 in St. Louis. 2018 has certainly been a strange year for the Rangers. They opened up the year with a Winter Classic win, saw their season essentially go up in flames with that terrible Saturday afternoon loss to the Isles after their bye week, the letter came out a few weeks later, rentals were traded, Ryan McDonagh was traded and the Rangers went full-on with a plan for the future.
  • There is certainly more optimism about the future of the Rangers heading out of 2018 than there was heading into 2018.
  • Who knows what 2019 will bring for the Rangers. Playoffs may be unlikely but we will get to see a lot more from Chytil, Howden, Andersson and, probably next fall, Vitali Kravtsov. He may not be the only Russian player to join in 2019: Igor Shesterkin is likely to come over and maybe, just maybe, Artemi Panarin will come too.