Right wing Jesper Fast, who scored with 8:28 left Sunday to give the Rangers a two-goal lead and made a key block in the final seconds to preserve their 4-3 victory over the Flames, is an under-the-radar guy to many fans. But not to his teammates, who see all the facets of his determined, fearless game.
“I think what you appreciate the most with him is he pays the price every night,” Henrik Lundqvist said. “He’s not a guy who is going to show up once in a while and block the big shot. Every night he sacrifices his body, blocking shots and taking hits. He makes a lot of good plays out there that I don’t think he gets credit for.”
Coach Alain Vigneault relies on Fast, who returned Jan. 31 after missing four games with a shoulder injury, and sends him out regularly on the penalty kill. He played 15:27 Sunday.
“He’s one of the best shot-blockers I’ve seen,” J.T. Miller said, “so for him to come up with the game-winner and then make a big block, it’s pretty fitting.”
Buchnevich drops gloves
Rookie Pavel Buchnevich had his first NHL fight, taking on Kris Versteeg at 4:50 of the third period. It ended quickly: Buchnevich slipped and fell to the ice but was fine afterward, Vig neault said. Versteeg received a game misconduct for not having his jersey tied down. Less than five minutes later, Kevin Klein crushed Lance Bouma into the boards near the benches and was engaged by Micheal Ferland, who skated across the ice and jumped Klein. Ferland was not assessed an instigator penalty, and Vigneault said officials told him one wasn’t warranted.
The Rangers have played three times on Super Bowl Sunday in the last 11 years and are 3-0 . . . The Blueshirts, who play the next three at home against Western Conference teams, are 16-5-0 vs. the West . . . Ryan McDonagh’s assist on Rick Nash’s goal was the 200th point of his career.