You could have understood if the New York Rangers were distracted by the previous 48 hours. But instead, they set the distractions aside and defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins by the score of 3-1.
Before the game, general manager Jeff Gorton told the media via a Zoom Conference that DeAngelo has played his final game for the New York Rangers despite going unclaimed on waivers. The decision came after a warning from the organization about his behavior and the “incident” he was involved in.
Igor Shesterkin started in net and made 25 saves in the victory.
However, the save of the night may have made by K’Andre Miller, who sacrificed his body to block a Pierre-Olivier Joseph shot that seemed destined for the back of the net.
K’ANDRE 👏 MILLER 👏 pic.twitter.com/9JbgO12J8Z
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 2, 2021
Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists but it was Chris Kreider’s power-play goal at 11:10 of the third period that proved to be the game-winner. Kevin Rooney’s goal opened the scoring for the Rangers.
It was Kreider’s 161st goal with the Rangers, the second-most by an American-born player in team history behind Hall of Fame defenseman Brian Leetch.
Head coach David Quinn was very pleased with the effort, especially under the trying situation. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of our group.” Quinn said in his post-game Zoom conference “It has been a very difficult 24 to 36 hours. The way we kind of came together, with the first period being shaky, we were kind of feeling our way through, I thought we were fortunate to get out being down only 1-0, but other than that we got back to doing some of the things that we were doing well in the early part of the season. It is amazing what you can accomplish if you play as one.”
The Rangers may be down another defenseman as Brendan Smith left the game in the first period after a collision with Penguins forward Brandon Tanev. Smith did not return with what was reported as an upper-body injury.
Both the Rangers and the Penguins will have games postponed against the New Jersey Devils, who have had multiple players placed on the COVID-19 protocol list.
The Ranger’s next game will be against the Washington Capitals on Thursday night at MSG.