New York Rangers fall short in a defensive struggle against the Islanders

Jim Bay
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 04: Igor Shesterkin #31 of the New York Rangers plays a puck against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden on February 04, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

In a hard-fought, defensive-minded game, the New York Rangers came up just a bit short against their cross-town rivals, the New York Islanders by the score of 2-0.

The game was scoreless after two periods but two third-period goals within a span of two minutes spelled doom for the Blueshirts.

Semyon Varlamov stopped 30 shots on the night in earning his third shutout of the season, two of which have come against the Rangers. He became the first Islanders goaltender to have two shutouts in a season against the Blueshirts.

The Rangers had an excellent chance to score in the third period when Artemi Panarin had a breakaway courtesy of a K’Andre Miller pass but was stopped by Varlamov.

Igor Sheskerkin had 28 saves in the loss.

After the game, Chris Kreider summed up the loss in his Zoom conference by saying: “Any time you lose, it’s frustrating. When you feel like you defended pretty well for the entirety of the night, and you give up 30 seconds or a minute of kind of getting away from your structure and the puck ends up in the back of the net. We have got to play a full 60, no matter who we are playing in our division.”

Head coach David Quinn echoed those sentiments in his post-game Zoom conference. “I didn’t think we played fast enough offensively,” Quinn said. “We really allowed them to stay in their structure, which they are very good at. I thought we had some great chances in the third period and we just couldn’t capitalize.”

The Rangers will host the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night, in a nationally broadcasted game on NBCSN, The Rangers are in the middle of an eight-game homestand, their longest of the season. This was made possible by several changes to the NHL schedule because of COVID-19.