Takeaways from the Rangers’ close win in home opener

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Travis Dermott (33) and New York Rangers left wing Will Cuylle (50) fight for the puck during the second period at Madison Square Garden
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have defeated the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 2-1 in this year’s home opener at Madison Square Garden. It was a close win that saw multiple ups and downs, but the Rangers were able to eventually move on with a fresh victory. Arizona proved to not be an easy opponent, but the Blueshirts fought hard and definitely deserved this win.

Bouncing back following a disappointing defeat was essential for this Rangers team. It took hard work to overcome this adversity, and there are many takeaways from this solid win.

The Rangers’ powerplay has the potential to be among the NHL’s best

The Rangers once again scored a powerplay goal tonight, marking their third special teams score in three games played. It was a beautiful deflection from Vincent Trocheck off a shot from Artemi Panarin that gave the Blueshirts the lead and ultimately sealed the victory.

Tonight, the Rangers’ powerplay went one for three. The PP is now 3/10 on the year, giving them a solid 30% success rate when being a man-up. Through three games played, there has been enough time to officially say that the Rangers’ special teams are among the best in the league.

So far, every powerplay goal has been scored by the Rangers’ first unit. The second has yet to score, but they haven’t looked bad by any means. If this success continues throughout the entirety of the season, the Blueshirts’ power play has the potential to be something special.

Igor Shesterkin absolutely can not be stopped

The goaltending in tonight’s matchup was elite from both teams. Igor Shesterkin and Connor Ingram both played well, but it was the Rangers’ star goalie who came out on top. With many miraculous saves throughout the game, Shesterkin has proven even further that he already appears to be in midseason form.

Shesterkin’s best save came on a penalty shot from Jason Zucker. Shesterkin saved the day and kept the Rangers at a tie, improving his perfect penalty shot record to four saves on four shots.

With 26 saves on 27 shots against, Shesterkin has earned himself a save percentage of .963. Only allowing one goal proved his abilities in a bounce-back win, as the star goalie did not look like himself last game against Columbus. With the current goaltenders healthily playing in the league, it’s safe to say that Shesterkin has shown that he is the best goalie in the NHL.

The referees did not want to see the Rangers win

On a more pessimistic note, the Blurshirts did have to fight an uphill battle to secure this victory. Whether it be intentional or not, the referees did not do the Blueshirts any favors in this matchup against the Coyotes.

There were multiple blatant miscalls where a Ranger player was tripped and no penalty was given. Shesterkin had an amazing breakout pass to Panarin that would have led to a breakaway chance, but a referee just so happened to interfere with the puck and ruin the play. And then to make things worse, this play was immediately followed by two Rangers penalty calls that gave the Coyotes a full two minutes of five on three-man advantage.

Nobody is saying the referees tried to hand the Coyotes a win, but the amount of miscalls and interferences is very frustrating to see. Hopefully, the Rangers will not have to deal with this issue moving forward. The Blueshirts were still able to secure a win and must look on to their next game against Nashville on Thursday.

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