Great effort propels the New York Rangers to victory

New York Rangers, Ryan Strome
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 23: Ryan Strome #16 of the New York Rangers controls the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on December 23, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

It might be a bit of a reach to say this might have been one of the better efforts from the New York Rangers this season. At the very least, it was their best game in quite a while.  Alexis Lafrenière scored his second NHL goal as the Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 4-1.

Mika Zibanejad sealed the game with an empty-netter with 2:12 left. The Blueshirts have strung together back-to-back wins for just the second time this season.

Ryan Strome hits two “century” marks for the New York Rangers

By recording an assist on Chris Kreider‘s goal, Strome garnered his 100th career point with the Rangers. He later picked up his 100th career NHL goal when he scored at 18:43 of the second period.

In his post-game interview, Strome was very pleased with the team’s effort. “I thought we had a good team effort. It might be a bit of a cliche but I thought everybody played very well.”

New York Rangers break the “close” game trend

In winning this game by three goals, the Rangers broke a bit of a string. Twelve of the Rangers’ last 13 games, and 12 of the team’s 15 games this season, have been decided by two or fewer goals. Nine of those contests have been decided by one goal. Also, four of the Blueshirts’ last nine games have been decided in either overtime or a shootout. The Rangers’ nine one-goal games in 2020-21 are tied for the sixth-most in the NHL. Their 12 games decided by two or fewer goals are tied for the eighth-most in the league.

Igor Shesterkin only allowed one goal on 27 Washington shots on goal. The Rangers have held their opponents to two goals or fewer in six of the last eight games and seven of the last 10 games. Going into the game, the Blueshirts have allowed 2.67 goals against per game in 2020-21, which is tied for the ninth-fewest in the NHL.

Artemi Panarin picked up two assists in the game. He has tallied eight assists/points in his last three games against Washington (including his two assists today). He has also registered a point in each of his last seven games against the Capitals (five goals, seven assists).

With Sunday’s game against the Capitals rescheduled, the Rangers will be back in action Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.