Rangers can’t keep up with Penguins weapons as team faces elimination Wednesday

Plenty has gone wrong for the New York Rangers in the first four games of this best of seven series.  It could be too late for the Blueshirts to adjust to the multiple advantages the Penguins have displayed compiling a 3-1 lead.

The body language was all that was needed when looking at the New York Rangers last night as the second period concluded.  They were beaten down mentally, by the Penguin’s speed, in goal by a shell shocked Igor Shesterkin and behind the bench, where Penguins coach Mike Sullivan has outdueled Gerrard Gallant in the four games played to this point.

How did things get so bad so fast? Believe it or not, it began at the end of the regular season when the Rangers dropped three out of the last four regular-season games, and including the playoffs, they have now lost six out of the last eight games they have played.

Penguin’s Top Line Outperforming the Ranger’s Number 1 Unit

There is a huge discrepancy between the team’s two top lines. For the Penguins, the line of Guentzel-Crosby-Rust has been a force to deal with for the Rangers.

The Pen’s top line has combined for 20 points and eight goals. Sidney Crosby leads the team with nine points (2G) followed by Guentzel with six points (5G) and Rust with five points (2G).

The Ranger’s numbers one line has combined for 12 points even distributed with four points each for Kreider, Zibaenjad, and Vatrano.  Kreider has netted two goals as has Vatrano. Zibanejad is still looking for his first goal of the playoffs with the team heading into game five Wednesday night.

Artemi Panarin leads the team with five points (2G) and Andrew Copp has the lead in goals scored with three.

The absence of Barclay Goodrow is unmeasurable for the team.  His injury, the second in two weeks, has changed the dynamic of the fourth line. The coaching staff recognized this with the substitution of John Brodzinski for Dylan Hunt. The only lineup change from game three went pretty much unnoticed.

Goodrow is expected to be out the remainder of this series and then he will be re-evaluated.

What Defense?

The Defense has probably played its worse four-game set than at any time this season.  Ryan Lindgren has missed theist three games and it’s causing the coaching staff fits while the Penguins seem to be having their way with the Rangers.

It’s best to address the elephant in the room, Patrick Nemeth has struggled mightily in this series. He has taken four minor penalties, had a turnover in game three that resulted in theme winning goal being scored (albeit a soft goal by Alexandar Georgiev), and has not looked comfortable on the ice against the speed of the Penguins have shown.

Adam Fox has been unable to show much offensive spark since Lindgren was injured. He has been paired with Justin Braun, and the two have done fair considering the borage of play in their own end.

The Trouba/Miller pairing is the only pairing intact from the regular season and has not been at their top-level themselves.  Turnovers, missed shots, and checking assignments have been the par for the course up to this point and this pairing has been no exception.

Igor Shesterkin was pulled again on Monday night. He has given up 10 goals in the three periods he has appeared in this playoff.  He has a 4.25 GAA along with a .905 save percentage.

His struggle is real but the team defense has hung him out to dry for most of the series. Surprisingly he has not looked comfortable in goal aside from the game two win.

For those who may believe there could be a goalie controversy brewing, Gallant put that issue to bed during last night’s presser,

“He’ll be back in there ready to win on Wednesday”

The Rangers find their backs against the wall now.  Down 3-1, they will need to win the next three games in order to advance to round two.  A tough task to endure with so many issues in front of them.

Defenseman Jacob Trouba talked about the next game in front of the team following Monday’s loss,

“I don’t think you’re going to find a guy who’s happy with that performance,” Jacob Trouba said. “There’s really not a whole lot to say passed that. I think we know we’ve got to be better, to a man. We’re going to show up to Game 5, put that behind us and be ready to play.”

 

Follow Frank Curto on Twitter at @RangerProud

New York Rangers HC Gerrad Gallant’s message to team ‘Move On’ with Game 2 Thursday night

After an epic triple-overtime loss on Tuesday night New York Rangers head coach, Gerrard Gallant has a simple message for his team, “Move On”.

The New York Rangers didn’t practice on Wednesday following their game one, triple-overtime defeat to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Instead, head coach Gerard Gallant held a media session, along with some player availability, displaying confidence, and calm which shows why his players respect him so much. There was no panic in his voice, no threats of things would change for game two but instead, he told the media and all that were listening what he expects of his team Thursday night.

“Move on, get ready for the next one”, was the message he told his players. The head coach, in his first playoff series behind the Rangers bench, went on to say, “It was a battle last night. We got the short end of the stick, but it’s one game so you’ve got to move on. No big deal. We would have loved to have won it, but we’ve got to battle back and win the next one. Last night it was tough, no doubt, the game is over and you lose in six periods and you lose your home ice a little bit. But we still believe we’re a real good team. We still believe we’re going to win this series. Tomorrow night is a big game for us now.”

That confidence is a breath of fresh air that has not been seen or heard in several past seasons.

The team recognizes what went wrong after the first 25 minutes of the game, in which their speed and physicality enabled the team to build a 2-0 lead early in the second period. The wheels fell off the bus after that with the Penguins outshooting the Rangers 25-8 in that second period.

Defenseman Adam Fox, who logged 44:28 of ice time while scoring a power-play goal, talked about what went wrong against a good Penguins team,

“We’ve talked about it, that first period we were real good and even at the start of the second and the tide kind of turned there,” defenseman Adam Fox said. “I think we let the game get away from us there. It’s definitely a lesson to be learned. They had 25 shots in the second period and it’s tough to hold a lead when you’re giving up that many shots, that many chances.”

Echoing a similar view of what the Penguins did so well, Gallant wants the team to focus on the style of play they demonstrated in the first portion of the game and at the same time keep the Pens away from what made them successful on Tuesday.

“Once we started letting them go ‘D’-to-‘D’ across the ice, then the game opened up and that’s not where we want to play,” Gallant said. “We have to be quicker on the forecheck. Puck management hurt us probably halfway through the second. Instead of driving the net and getting pucks behind their defensemen, we started making plays in the high slot and they were broken up and then they started going the other way.”

The Blueshirts look to implement their coach’s message for game 2 Thursday night at MSG.

Ranger’s look for answers after epic performance by Igor Shesterkin is wasted in Game 1 loss

The New York Rangers game one loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins was a result of a horrid second period that the team could not overcome physically or mentally.

The New York Rangers‘ loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in triple overtime last night will be forgotten the next time the Blueshirts hit the ice. What shouldn’t be forgotten was the total collapse the team suffered allowing the Pens to battle back from two leads in the second period.

A 1-0 first intermission lead for the Rangers turned to 2-0 early in the second period when Andrew Copp scored at 3:08 of the period.  The Penguins then found another gear, heck another two gears, and dominated play putting  Rangers on their heels and in their zone for almloost the whole period.

Poor 2nd Period costs lead

Pittsburgh put 18 shots on Igor Shesterkin in the first 12 minutes of the second period and tied the game at 2-2 at on two Jake Guentzel goals before the halfway mark of that period.  The Pens would take 25 shots, scoring three goals, with the third period ending tied 3-3.

The stellar play of Igor Shestrkin was the only reason this game was close making as he made 79 saves in the loss. The 79 saves were the second-most in NHL history (Joonas Korpisalo made 85 saves for the Columbus Blue Jackets against the Lightning in Game 1 of the 2020 first round, won by the Lightning 3-2 in the fifth overtime).

Shesterkin surpassed the 56 saves performance from Gump Worsley (April 5, 1962) for the most in franchise history.

Center  Ryan Strome acknowledged the caliber of play by Shesterkin following the loss,

“I mean, he made like 80 saves or whatever it was, so obviously he was good,”  “He’s done it all year. Our best player, and he showed it tonight. He [did] everything he had to do, and we couldn’t get one for him obviously.”

Head coach Gerrard Gallant, coaching his first playoff game with the Rangers, liked what he saw early on in the game

“Great game by two teams, thought the first 25 minutes we were real good, dominated that part of the game and then they come back in the second and they played really well after that. It was one of those games, three overtime periods, it’s tough to lose like that, but you get back on the horse and get ready for the next game.”

The club played a textbook first period, but somewhere after they scored their second goal, they took their foot off the pedal and it probably cost them a victory.

“I think we learned a lesson a little bit in the second period,” said Ryan Strome, who set up Andrew Copp for the one-timer in the slot for the two-goal lead. “When you’re up 2-0, you like to think that you can shut them down a little more, but they clawed back in so. It’s tough to remember the second period, it feels like so long ago, but I thought we battled hard. We did a lot of good things.

Many believe the Rangers overturned goal by Filip Chytil late in the third was the reason the team lost game one. In reality, the loss could be attributed because the team was unable to sustain the forecheck and hitting they displayed in the first period along with some poor shooting decisions in the overtime.

Game two is Thursday night and as the head coach said, it’s time to get back on the horse.

Notes

  • The status of Ryan Lindgren is unknown for Thursday’s game. He is listed as suffering from an LBI.
  • Igor Shesterkin made 79 saves on 83 shots, the second-most saves in NHL history behind Joonas Korpisalo (CBJ) on August 11, 2020, against Tampa Bay. His save total surpassed the 56 saves from Gump Worsley (April 5, 1962) for the most in franchise history.

  •    Chris Kreider scored his first career playoff shorthanded goal a part of his seventh career multi-point playoff game (1G-1A). Kreider’s shorthanded goal was his 30th special-team tally of 2021-22 (regular season and playoffs combined) – the highest combined total in a season since Eric Staal had 30 with the Hurricanes in 2005-06 en route to a Stanley Cup win. Kreider scored his 53rd combined goal of the season. Only three players in Rangers history recorded a higher combined total in a single campaign: Adam Graves (62 in 1993-94), Vic Hadfield (57 in 1971-72), and Jaromir Jagr (54 in 2005-06). Kreider’s goal, his 25th, surpassed Steve Vickers for the sixth most playoff goals in franchise history. Kreider’s 41 career playoff points rank tied for 15th in Rangers history.

  •    K’Andre Miller led the Rangers with 45:08 minutes of time on ice, the third-highest TOI in franchise history behind Ryan McDonagh (53:17) and Marc Staal (49:34) – both on May 2, 2012, at Washington.

  •   Mika Zibanejad notched two assists for his fourth career playoff multi-assist effort and first since April 29, 2017, against Ottawa. Zibanejad has 20 career playoff points (5G-15A).

  •   Adam Fox opened the scoring for New York with his first career playoff goal/point. It marked the ninth time in franchise history that a defenseman scored the team’s first goal of the postseason and the first since Matt Gilroy in Game 1 of the 2011 Conference Quarterfinals. Fox became the third reigning James Norris Memorial Trophy winner to contest at least one playoff game with the Rangers, following Doug Harvey (1961-62 Norris; 0-1—1 in 1963 SCP, 6 GP) and Harry Howell (1966-67 Norris; 1-0—1 in 1968 SCP, 6 GP). Fox (Jericho, N.Y.) became the fourth New York-born player in franchise history to score a playoff goal for the Rangers, following Ryan Callahan (14 G), Brian Mullen (2 G), and Matt Gilroy (1 G).

  •   Andrew Copp scored his fourth career playoff goal, giving him a combined nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points in 17 total games with New York. Copp is appearing in the playoffs for a fifth-straight season after spending the last four playoff seasons with Winnipeg.

  •  Ryan Strome tallied an assist, giving him three goals and eight assists for 11 points in 19 career playoff games between the Islanders and Rangers. Strome led the Rangers with eight shots on goal, tied for his career-high in the regular season and playoffs.

  • Jacob Trouba notched his sixth career playoff assist and second as a Ranger. (via NYR PR)

Follow Frank Curto on Twitter at @RangerProud.

New York Rangers lose Panarin, Copp to injuries in loss to Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes clinched first place in the Metropolitan Divison on Tuesday night with a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers. The result was not nearly as damaging as the news during the second period that both Andrew Copp and Artemni Panarin would not return for the rest of the evening due to injuries.

The Rangers said Panarin suffered an upper-body injury, with Copp suffering a lower-body injury. After the loss, Gerrard Gallant said the players were kept out of the remainder of the game in an abundance of caution.

“They told me between periods, ‘Do you want them back? And I said no, I need them back next week,” said Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant, who added that the two forwards should be fine. “I hate to see it, but I’d [rather] be cautious than not have them when the games really matter.”

Gallant seemed to have no intention of sitting any of his players as the regular-season schedule concludes this week. That mindset changed following last night’s loss with the head coach admitting, “I’ll think about it tomorrow morning.”

Ended Strong

With the Rangers down two forwards and Kappo Kakko still out with an injury, the Rangers battled back from a three-goal deficit to get within one when Alexis Lafreniere scored a late third-period goal to bring the score to a 4-3 Carolina advantage, but that was as close as the Rangers could get.

News & Notes

  • Chris Kreider scored his 52nd goal of the season, tying Adam Graves (1993-94) for the second-most goals in a single season in franchise history. Kreider is the 11th player in NHL history, first since Ilya Kovalchuk in 2005-06, to have 52 or more goals and 26 or more power-play goals in a season. With the goal, Kreider surpassed Bill Cook to take sole possession of 10th place on the Ranger’s all-time goals list with 229 goals. Kreider added an assist in the third period, tying his career-high in assists with 25. Tonight was Kreider’s 22nd multi-point game of the year. Kreider has points in five-straight games (2G-4A), eight of his last 10 games (6G-5A), and in 14 of his last 18 contests (12G-9A).
  • Jacob Trouba established a career-high with his 11th goal of the season, tying Adam Fox for the most goals by a Rangers defenseman this season. His goal gave New York its 40th goal by defensemen this season. Trouba has one goal and three assists for four points in his last six games and six points (1G-5A) in his last 11 contests.
  • Mika Zibanejad assisted on Trouba’s goal, extending his point streak to five games (2G-4A). Zibanejad has points in eight of his last nine games (2G-8A) and in 15 of his most recent 19 games (5G-15A). Since April 1, Zibanejad’s 12 points are the third most in New York. Zibanejad has points in seven-straight games against Carolina (5G-7A).
  • Adam Fox notched his 62nd assist of the year and his 73rd point, tying Brad Park (1971-72) and Reijo Ruotsalainen (1984-85) for the ninth most points in a single season by a Rangers defenseman. Fox has points in four of his last five games (1G-5A). Fox’s 62 assists rank second in the NHL among defensemen while his 73 points rank fourth among defensemen.
  •   Alexis Lafrenière scored his 18th goal of the season, extending his point streak to three games (1G-2A). Lafrenière’s 18 even-strength goals are the second most in New York. He has three goals in his last five games. In addition, Lafrenière’s goal brought him to 30 points on the season (18G-12A). (via NYRPR)

Kreider Wins Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award

Chris Kreider was named the 2021-22 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award. The Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award is presented annually to the Ranger who, as chosen by the fans, “goes above and beyond the call of duty.” The award, which has been given annually since the 1987-88 season, bears the name of devoted Blueshirt fan and New York City Police Detective Steven McDonald, who was shot and injured in the line of duty on July 12, 1986, and passed away on January 10, 2017.

The Rangers host the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.

Ugly win against the Kraken continues to show cracks in New York Rangers game

The New York Rangers might have gotten the win on Sunday afternoon against the Seattle Kraken, but their poor play throughout most of the game is a concern to the head coach.

The New York Rangers had just come off the Garden ice celebrating their 3-2 win over the Seattle Kraken on Sunday afternoon with K’Andre Miller scoring the game-winner with just 34 seconds remaining in the third period.

The win was the team’s 29th of the year and they have won six of their last nine games.  Rangers rank tied for fourth in wins and points (62) in the NHL but you would never know the team was playing at this level after hearing what head coach Gerard Gallant had to say following the game reported by the New York Posts’s Larry Brooks.

“I think it was awful, loved the win, but I’m not happy.  Competitiveness … quite a bit [missing]. Very disappointing. I’m not disrespecting their team, they play hard, I’m talking about my team and we didn’t play hard enough.”

Failing to Hold Leads

For the third consecutive game, the Blueshirts found themselves failing to protect a two-goal lead. Thanks to Miller’s late goal the Rangers were able to find a win, but it wasn’t pretty.

Shots on goal have not been easy for the team to find. Sunday’s game was the same with the Rangers only managing 12 shots on goal combined for the first and second period ( six in each of the first two periods).

Rangers forwards had 11 of the team’s 24 total shots on goal for the game. Miller lead the team in shots with four followed by Ryan Lindgren with three.

The head coach has noticed a noticeable drop in the play of his team over the past week.

Igor Shesterkin won his 21st game of the season as he kept the game close. He made 14 saves in the first period and gave the team the opportunity to win by stopping 16 of 17 shots in the third period. Having your goalie stand on his head all night to get a win is no way to go through the season ( though don’t mention that to Henrik Lundqvist).

Goal scoring has become a problem that goes side by side with a lack of shots on goal. The Rangers have the lowest goal differential of any team that is currently in a playoff spot (+20). In comparison, the first place Carolina Hurricanes have a +49 goal differential.

It’s apparent that the club is a top-heavy team with Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Ryan Strome, and Artmei Panarin producing most of the scoring for the team.  Gallant has continued to search for another forward on the team to take one of the top six spots, but he has been unsuccessful in finding a suitable player on the roster to carry the load.

The Blueline has been able to hold its own while Adam Fox has been out with an injury suffered last Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sunday’s game saw the defense pairings scrambled with Jacob Trouba and Miller paired as always. Lindgren was paired with Mathew Schneider and Libor Hajek played alongside Zac Jones.

The team has struggled with finding some consistency with their third pair unit. The Fox injury magnifies the importance of finding a fifth defenseman. Patrik Nemeth, Jeff Tinordi, and Nils Lundkvist had been a few who have tried to grab the opportunity but failed to do so.

Kappo Kakko, Filip Chytil, and Adam Fox missed Sunday’s game with injuries and are expected to miss the team’s last game before the All-Star break when they host the Florida Panthers on Tuesday at MSG.

Trade Deadline

The trade deadline is fast approaching with many decisions yet to be made. The team is in the “buying” position this year and general manager Chris Drury will need to make the right deals to improve not only the remaining portion of this season but upcoming seasons in order to go deep into the playoffs.

The issues now are the same that have lingered throughout this season. The team needs a top-six forward, a veteran defenseman, a decision on whether Alexandar Georgiev is the team’s best option as back-up goalie and should they re-sign Ryan Strome.

The head coach is not a happy camper right now with good reason. To continue the progress the team has made, some changes need to be addressed, hard decisions need to be discussed and in the end, the team will continue to play well enough to play hockey in mid-April.

 

 

Kreider nets 30th, Rangers go on to defeat Kings in shootout 3-2

The New York Rangers handed the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 shootout loss on the strength of Chris Kreider’s 30th goal of the season and an incredible move by Adam Fox to lock up the win.

Poor starts to hockey games have become far too familiar for the New York Rangers.  Monday night’s game against the Los Angeles Kings looked quite familiar to Saturday night’s game against the Arizona Coyotes but the result was the same as the Rangers overcame a late one-goal deficit and came back to win the contest in a shootout 3-2.

New York extended its home winning streak to five in a row and has earned points in six straight home games (5-0-1). On the year, the Rangers have earned a point in 15 of their 18 home games (13-3-2).

Before the Rangers could celebrate their 28th win and 60th point of the season, the 60 points in 43 games, it marks the fourth-fewest contests needed in franchise history to hit the 60-point mark, they had to survive a horrid first period that saw the Blueshirts outshot by the Kings 11-3.

 Kreider Hits 30

The only salvage the team could take into the first-period intermission was the 1-0 lead they possessed on a power-play goal by Chris Kreider. His 30th goal of the year was scored with 1.5 seconds left in the opening period.  It was his 15th power-play goal and has him the leading scorer in both categories as of last night.

He is the fourth different player in franchise history to score 30 goals in 43 or fewer games in a season, joining Rod Gilbert (42 GP in 1971-72), Bill Cook (42 GP in 1930-31 & 1926-27), and Don Murdoch (43 GP in 1976-77).

Adam Fox registered his 39th assist of the season on Kreider’s goal, the second-most in the NHL and the most among defensemen. Fox’s 46 points lead league defensemen. Fox has recorded points in six-straight games (2G-8A) and has points in eight of his last 10 games (2G-11A).

The Kings scored the next two goals taking a 2-1 lead into the third period. The third period was played with the Rangers putting a lot of pressure o the Kings and it paid off when Barclay Goodrow deflected a shot by Artemi Panarin to tie the game at 2 with less than five minutes to play in the game.

Spectacular Shootout Goal To Win It

After a scoreless overtime period, the skills competition, correction, the shootout began. It went six rounds with the Rangers needing to score twice to keep the shootout tied before Adam Fox stood at center ice to take the team’s 6th shot against the Kings netminder.

Fox skated down the ice and backhanded the puck that wedged itself in the top of the cage to give the Rangers the win.

 

“The [move] I did, I’m comfortable doing that,” he said after the win, I didn’t want to over-complicate anything, so I just made a little fake there and you know, just glad it worked out.”

Igor Shesterkin recorded his 20th win of the season for the first time in his career.

The Rangers visit Columbus on Thursday night before coming back home for Henrik Lundqvist’s jersey retirement on Friday.

New York Rangers: A decision on Ryan Strome is fast approaching

The New York Rangers have been exceeding expectations all season, but the business side of hockey is about to show its ugly self regarding the status of Ryan Strome.

Center Ryan Strome has been a stud for the New York Rangers since his arrival to the club following a trade with the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Ryan Spooner in November of 2018.

Strome has done everything asked of him and more since he stepped on the ice for the Rangers. In his first year in New York, he appeared in 63 games scoring 18 goals and 15 helpers for 33 points.

Then the Rangers signed superstar Artemi Panarin in July of 2019 and a beautiful partnership was created.  In the 2019-202 season Strome played in 70 games (the season was shortened due to the pandemic).  Strome had 41 assists that season with 59 points.

He had proven himself as a bonafide playmaker, but not without some criticism. Many believed his numbers were based more on the hands of Panarin than the skill of Strome himself. This is an unfounded and unjust rumor in the hockey world.

Contract Extension in 2020

Former General Manager Jeff Gorton and Strome’s management team negotiated a two-year $9 million contract. The ending term would make Strome an unrestricted free agent. The 28-year-old will be able to walk away without any compensation to the team if the two sides don’t work out another deal.

Another scenario would be to make a trade before the deadline in March.  This is the last thing the Blueshirts would need with the team and its close bond is so strong currently.

The question is what is the value for the 10-year veteran and are the Rangers willing to pay that price?

Salary Cap Issues

With the new contracts signed by Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, and Adam Fox along with Artemi Panarin’s large deal, the team will have to be selective about how much they offer Strome if they offer anything at all.

Chris Drury also has to look at future contracts for this team.  Kappo Kakko will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season along with Julien Gauthier, Libor Hajek, and Alexandar Georgiev.  The latter two are arbitration-eligible which adds more drama to the contract issue next season.

Yet it’s hard to believe the Rangers would trade Strome, never mind let him walk away. Since this is considered to be his best year to sign a long, lucrative contract, He will probably be looking for a 6-7 year deal between $6.3-7.3 million per.

This would be in line with what Kevin Hayes of the Philadelphia Flyers, signed in June 2018. That was a seven-year $50 million contract. New York Islanders Brock Nelson signed a similar contract to Hayes in 2019.  The difference with Strome is his value to the team is much higher than is Hayes and Nelson to their clubs.

Leadership On and Off the Ice

Strome is not just a playmaker on the ice, over the course of this season he has become the face of the Rangers.  There have been plenty of nights when Strome is on the podium talking to the media regardless of wins or losses. The enthusiasm and respect he has earned from the media make him the logical person to speak on behave of the Blueshirts.

His support for the team, the way he speaks to the media, displays the pride he has in wearing the Rangers sweater.

Sometimes signing a player is more than the money, it is sometimes about a player’s personality, passion, and what he brings to the rink every day. Strome has an infectious smile and enthusiasm that makes everyone a better player around him.

He does this without effort. The love of the game is part of the price the team will pay to keep him in New York. This former firsts round draft pick of the New York Islanders (5th overall selection in the 2011 NHL Draft) has done everything to earn himself a big contract.

Would he be willing to take a “home town discount”?  Time will answer that question, but just seeing how he handles himself this writer wouldn’t be surprised. Either way, the Rangers have to find a way to keep him on this team.

It would be devastating to lose Strome right before the playoffs began due to a trade.

Conversations are probably underway, numbers and years being thrown around by both sides in the hope that he will be skating with Panarin and the rest of his teammates for several years to come.

 

New York Rangers begin 2022 with matinee against Tampa Bay, Panarin in Covid protocol

The New York Rangers kick-off 2022 with an afternoon game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at MSG on Sunday without the services of Artemi Panarin.

New York Rangers: 20-8-4
Tampa Bay Lightning: 21-7-5
Venue: Madison Square Garden
Television: MSG Networks

The New York Rangers look to continue their surprising season with a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning with a matinee contest at the GArden starting at 12:30 p.m.

They will have to play without the services of their best player, Artemi Panarin as he is in COvid protocol and will be unavailable for today’s game.

With a win over Tampa Bay on New Year’s Eve, the Blueshirts won their 20th of the season and it was their 12t road win of the year.

Last game at Tampa Bay

New York Rangers 4, Tampa Bay Lightning 3 – SHOOTOUT – Dec. 31, 2021 (Amalie Arena)

NYR Goals: A. Lafreniére (7), B. Goodrow (5, 6), M. Zibanejad (SOW)
TBL Goals: S. Stamkos (16), R. Colton (4), C. Perry (8)
NYR Goalie: I. Shesterkin (W – 25/28)
TBL Goalie: B. Elliott (OTL – 20/23)
NYR Shots: 23
TBL Shots: 28
NYR PP: 0/4
NYR PK: 3/4

New York closed out 2021 with a shootout win in Tampa Bay, earning its 20
win of the season. It was a back-and-forth battle in Tampa as the Lightning took a 1-0 lead into the second where the Rangers took hold of 2-1 lead 15 minutes into the frame. The two teams exchanged
goals and eventually went to a shootout where Mika Zibanejad scored the lone goal. On the night he received his Stanley Cup ring from last season, Barclay Goodrow scored two goals, including one shorthanded.

Today’s Matchup

• The Blueshirts begin their seventh back-to-back of the season with a game tomorrow night against Edmonton. This season, the Rangers are 3-2-1 in the first game and 3-2-1 in the second game of a back-to-back.
• The Rangers are 9-2-0 against Atlantic Division opponents this season.

Lineup

Kreider – Zibanejad – Kakko
Lafreniere – Strome – Goodrow
Hunt – Chytil – Gauthier
Gettinger – McKegg – Reaves

 
Miller – Trouba
Hajek – Fox
Jones – Lundkvist

Shesterkin

 

Injuries/Covid Protocol

As of this morning Artemi Panarin,  Ryan Lindgren, Jeff Tinoridi, and Kevin Rooney remain in Covid protocol. Sammy Blais is out for the season with an LBI.

 

Recent Transactions

Jan. 1 – Alexandar Georgiev cleared Covid protocol. Keith Kinkaid was re-assigned to the taxi squad. Adam Huska was re-assigned to Hartford. Morgan Barron recalled from Taxi Squad.
Dec. 28 – Zac Jones and Tim Gettinger were recalled from the Taxi Squad.
Dec. 28 – Morgan Barron, Jonny Brodzinski, Tim Gettinger, Zac Jones, Matthew Robertson, Adam Huska assigned to the taxi squad.

Rangers drop 2nd consecutive game with 4-2 loss to Colorado

The New York Rangers were defeated by the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 on Tuesday night, their second loss in a row.

The New York Rangers are a good hockey club, yet they were no match for the complete game the Colorado Avalanche put on display Tuesday night in their 4-2 win.

Colorado’s Valeri Nichushkin scored two goals and Nazim Kadri recorded three assists in the victory. The Avalanche has beaten the Rangers two times in the last six days.

Ryan Strome and Julien Gauthier scored for the Blueshirts with Alexandar Georgiev making 27 saves in the loss.  The Rangers have now lost their last three out of four games following their seven-game winning streak.

Adam Fox played a massive 27:22 with 30 shifts. Jacob Trouba was second in ice time with 23:29.

Strome found some positive things coming from the loss.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for growth,” Strome told Mollie Walker of the New York Post. “When things are going well, sometimes you get a little bit complacent, and sometimes it’s a little bit of a reality check. Although it’s a loss, I think that the effort was there. Teams that are good go through adversity no matter where it is in the season, and maybe we’re facing a little bit of it now before Christmas.”

Recap Rangers Scoring

Ryan Strome scored to cut the Avalanche lead in half at 10:31 of the 2nd period with his sixth goal of the year.

In the third period, with the Rangers down by a score of 3-1, Gauthier scored his second of the season, with Geogiev pulled for an extra attacker.

Post Game Notes

Adam Fox reached the 25-assist mark and 30-point mark when he got the helper on Ryan Strome’s second-period goal. Fox’s 25 assists are the second in the NHL behind Connor McDavid (29) and lead all NHL defensemen. Fox joins Brian Leetch as the only defenseman in team history to reach the feat. Leetch did it in 1990-91, 1991-92, and 2000-01. With 30 points, Fox required the fewest games (28) to reach the mark among Rangers defensemen since Brian Leetch (24 GP in 2000-01).

Ryan Strome scored his sixth goal of the season and fourth in his last nine games. Strome has five points (3G-2A) in his last seven games and 16 points (5G-11A) in his last 18 games.

Artemi Panarin notched his team-leading 33rd point of the season with an assist, his 24th of the year. Panarin has recorded 10 points (3G-7A) in his last six games and has points in seven of his last nine games (5G-9A), four of them being multi-point games.

Julien Gauthier scored his first goal since November 16.

The Rangers visit the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday night with a 9 p.m. Eastern time faceoff.

New York Rangers’ last second goal defeats Buffalo 5-4

New York Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren scored the game-winner with .07 seconds left to cap a crazy 5-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

The New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres appeared to be ready to take their contest into overtime Sunday night.

Chris Kreider had the puck pinned in the Saber’s end with a little over five seconds remaining when the puck found its way onto his stick. He then chipped the puck to a pinching Adam Fox who feed it to Mika Zibanejead.

All the while Ryan Lindgren skated his way to the right of the Buffalo’s goaltender, the only one who saw him was Zibanejead who feed him a perfect tape-to-tape pass that Lindgren easily put into the net, sending the Garden faithful into a frenzy on Hockey Fights Cancer night.

The win was the 11th for the Blueshirts (11-4-03) and was their fifth win in their last six games (5-1).

Sneaking In

Lindgren and Adam Fox were at the blueline and decided to sneak into the offensive zone as they both realized there wasn’t much time should the Sabres get possession of the puck to skate into the Ranger’s end.

“Me and ‘Foxy’ are standing up kind of back towards the point and look up and see the clock and kind of realize with five seconds left there’s probably not going to be enough time for them to bring it all the way down, so you just keep sneaking in,” Lindgren said to Heather Engel. “The puck got to Foxy, who kicked it out to Mika. Obviously, a great play by him. Just a great win.”

Artemi panarin had another three-assist game and was named the number one star of the game. The Rangers and Sabers combined to score four goals in the second period in a span of 1:22. The two teams scored three goals each in that stanza taking a 4-4 game into the second intermission.

Georgiev Continues to Struggle

Alexandar Georgiev started the game for the Rangers, but it was Igor Shesterin who led the team onto the ice for the start of the third period.

Georgiev seemed to be fighting the puck off most of the night. The Sabres’ fourth goal of the game and third of the second period by Rasmus Dahlin seemed to be the last straw for head coach Gerard Gallant.

Shesterkin made four saves in the third period winning his ninth game of the year.

 

Notes (Via NYR PR)

Ryan Lindgren scored the game-winning goal with 0.7 seconds left in the game, marking the fourth time in franchise history that the Rangers have scored a go-ahead goal in the final second of a third period. The last to do so was Brad Richards in 2011 against the Phoenix Coyotes. It is the 24th time in NHL history a team has won a game in the final second of the third period. Lindgren became the fourth defenseman in NHL history to score a go-ahead goal in the final second of regulation.

The Rangers pushed their home win streak to five games with a win tonight, their longest win streak at home since Dec. 22, 2019-Jan. 13, 2020.

New York recorded at least one point for the ninth time in its last 11 games (7-2-2) and has at least one point in 14 of its 18 games this season.

The Rangers won their third-straight game against the Sabres and have extended their point streak to eight games against them (7-0-1). In their last 18 matchups dating back to Feb. 2, 2017, the Rangers have only lost three times in regulation to Buffalo (14-3-1). At MSG, New York has won five straight and nine of 10 games against the Sabres. In their last 16 games at home against Buffalo, the Rangers are 13-3-0 for 26 points.

The Rangers had 12 different players record a point tonight, the most players to record a point in a single game this season.

The Rangers and Sabres combined for four goals in a span of 1:22, marking the fastest four goals in a game since March 21, 2017 (SJS at MIN: 1:03).

New York scored three goals in the second period tonight, the third time this season they have scored three second-period goals. The Rangers have 19 second-period goals this season, tied for the 10th most in the NHL.

Tonight was the fourth occurrence this season in which the Rangers scored five or more goals in a game.

Artemi Panarin recorded his 50th career three-point game with three assists. Since entering the NHL in 2015-16, his 50 three-point games are tied with Patrick Kane for the third-most in the NHL. Tonight marked the 11th time since joining the Rangers that Panarin has recorded three or more assists in a game, trailing only Connor McDavid (16) for the most among all players over that span. Panarin has recorded points in four of his last six games (2G-6A). Tonight was the 20th time in his career that Panarin has faced the Sabres and he has points in 15 of those matchups. Panarin has points in six of his last seven games (3G-10A) against Buffalo.

Chris Kreider scored his team-leading 13th goal of the season and eighth on the power-play, trailing Leon Draisaitl (9) for the most PPG’s in the NHL. Since 2019-20, Kreider’s 28 power-play tallies are second in the NHL to Draisaitl (40) Kreider has points in four of his last six games against Buffalo (3G-2A) and seven of his last 10 games against them (6G-2A).

 Adam Fox notched his 13th and 14th assists of the season, giving him the most assists among defensemen in the NHL. Fox extended his assist/point streak to seven games against the Sabres (1G-13A).

Ryan Strome prolonged his point streak to six games (1G-6A) with an assist tonight, his longest point streak since his 11-game streak from March 13-April 1, 2021 (2G-14A). It marks the third time in his career that Strome has had a point streak of six-plus games.

Mika Zibanejad registered an assist on the game-winning goal, giving him five assists in his last six games. Zibanejad has at least one point in six of his last seven games against the Sabres.

Kaapo Kakko tied his career-long point streak of four games (3G-2A) originally set Apr. 6-11, 2021. In each of his last five games, Kakko is a plus-1 or better and in total is a plus-6 since Nov. 13.

 Ryan Lindgren scored his second goal of the season and first career game-winning goal with the tally with 0.7 seconds left to play.

Jacob Trouba scored his second goal of the season and tallied his fifth point (2G-3A) in his last six games.

Filip Chytil recorded his 75th career NHL point in his 201st NHL game. Chytil is the 89th Czech-Republic-born skater in NHL history to tally 75-plus points. Chytil has three points (1G-2A) in his past five games.

 Ryan Reaves skated in his 700th NHL game tonight and recorded his first point as a Ranger (assist). Reaves became the 20th skater from the 2005 draft class and second from the fifth round (Darren Helm) to skate in 700 games. Reaves has split the 700 games between St. Louis (419), Vegas (209), Pittsburgh (58), and New York (14). Since the NHL began tracking hits in the early 2000’s, Reaves is one of 11 players in the NHL who have played in as many games (700) and recorded as many hits (2,387) as Reaves has.

 K’Andre Miller scored his second goal of the season tonight, giving him his 15th career point. Miller scored his first NHL goal against Buffalo on January 26, 2021.

Barclay Goodrow earned his 101st career point with an assist tonight. Goodrow has three goals and five assists for eight points this season, one of six players on New York with five-plus assists.

The Ranger’s next game will be at the new UBS arena when they visit the New York Islanders on Wednesday night, 7 p.m.