New York Rangers move on to Round 2 with Overtime win

The New York Rangers completed another comeback defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in overtime on Artemi Panarin’s power-play goal.

The New York Rangers didn’t want their season to end.  In order to get that done, they would need to complete another comeback in this series and for the 30th time this season, the Blueshirts did just that as they went on to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime when Artemi Panarin scored the winning power-play goal at 4:46 of the extra stanza.

The win sends the Blueshirts to the second round of the playoffs where they will play the Carolina Hurricanes with game 1 on Wednesday in Raleigh, NC.

Not Looking Good

Things were not looking promising late in the third period with the Blueshirts down a shorthanded goal scored by Evan Rodrigues with just ver three minutes left in the second period. The Rangers were only able to strange four shots on goal prior to Mika Zibanejad (3G) scoring the tying goal at 13:15 of the third period.

When the third period concluded, the two teams were deadlocked 3-3 heading into overtime with the series outcome on the line.

The Rangers were awarded an early rare OT power play when the Penguins Brock McGinn held defenseman K’Andre Miller as he drove to the net. At the time the Ranges were 0-3 with the man advantage, but that didn’t deter the 18,000 plus fans who were all standing on their feet waiting to blow the roof off the Garden if they could connect on the power-play.

Artemi Panarin, who struggle for most of the game and the series as a whole, scored to the gloves side of Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry, over his glove, to send the Rangers to the second round of the NHL Playoffs.

Panarin realized his poor round and his decision not to shoot the ouch when he had quality scoring chances speaking through a translator following the win.

“I don’t really score that many goals, so I’d say all of them are pretty, pretty big, honestly, [my teammates have] been letting me shoot since the first game. Kind of my bad, I haven’t really been making those shots, but maybe I should listen to everyone’s advice and actually get out there and take shots.”

Panarin had three goals in the seven-game series, but none were bigger than his winner on Sunday night.

Chris Kreider put the Rangers on the scoreboard first, but the Penguin’s power-play and penalty kill had earned them the 3-2 lead before Zibanejad tied the game. The Pens were 2-5 with the man advantage and 1-4 on the penalty kill along with a shorthanded goal by Rodrigues in the second period.

Zibanejad’s tying the goal with 5:45 remaining in regulation marked the first time in franchise history a Rangers player has tied a Game 7 in the final 10 minutes of the third period.

Defenseman K’Andre Miller netted an unassisted goal at 11:23 of the second period which even the game 2-2. It was his first NHL playoff goal which tied the game 2-2. Zibanejad had two assists as did Andrew Copp

Igor Shesterkin made 42 saves and went 4-2 in seven starts with a 3.67 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in the series despite being pulled in both game 3 and game 4. Shesterkin recorded 255 saves in seven games, the most in a single series by a Rangers goaltender (since 1955-56 when the League began officially tracking shots on goal). Shesterkin is the third Rangers goaltender (Mike Richter, John Vanbiesbrouck) to post a win in his first career Game 7 and is now the youngest Rangers goaltender to win his first career Game 7 (26 years, 136 days).

During the post-game presser, Zibanejad discussed the euphoria that occurred when Panarin clinched the victory,

“I don’t think I’ve heard this building louder than ‘Artie’s’ OT goal, “I could not hear what I was thinking. … We didn’t want the season to end. I think this has been our team all year.”

The Rangers had trailed in the series 3-1 but found a way to come back and win the best of seven series 4-3. The team trailed in each of the last three games, but found the will to battle back and win each contest. With Sunday’s win, they became the first team in Stanley Cup Playoff history to record three consecutive comeback wins in elimination games within the same series.

Defenseman Adam Fox Adam Fox is the 4th defenseman in NHL history with at least one point in all 7 games of a playoff series. Fox Joins Miro Heiskanen (2020 Dallas Stars), Larry Murphy (1995 Pittsburgh Pens), and Paul Reinhart (1984 Calgary Flames). Fox is the first New York Ranger to accomplish this feat.

 

Game Notes (via NYR PR)

  •  New York won a series after trailing 3-1 for the third time in team history (2015 R2 vs. WSH, 2014 R2 vs. PIT) after coming into these playoffs with a 2-18 series record when trailing 3-1. The Rangers won three of four games in comeback fashion.
  • Kreider scored his 29th career playoff goal to surpass Adam Graves, Ron Duguay,
  • Braden Schneider (20 years, 237 days) became the youngest player in Rangers history to record a point (A) in a Game 7, besting Alex Kovalev (21 years, 110 days) in the 1994 Stanley Cup Final. and Brian Leetch and pull into a tie with Mark Messier for second place in franchise history behind Rod Gilbert (34).
  • Ryan Strome tallied his fifth assist of the playoffs to give him points in six of seven games this series.

What’s Next?

On Wednesday, the Rangers visit the Carolina Hurricanes for Game 1 of Round 2.

Wednesday, May 18 @Carolina 7 p.m.
Friday, May 20 @Carolina 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 22 @New York 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 24 @New York 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 26 @Carolina TBD*
Saturday, May 28 @New York TBD*
Monday, May 30 @Carolina TBD*

Follow Frank Curto on Twitter at @RangerProud

New York Rangers Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins: First Round preview

The New York Rangers are back in the playoffs for the first time in five years and will begin round one against a familiar foe in the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.

New York Rangers: 52-24-6, 110 points

Pittsburgh Penguins: 46-25-11, 103 points

Season Results: NYR 3-1-0; PIT 1-3-0

It has been five long years since the New York Rangers have played in a playoff game.  Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad are the only remaining Blueshirts who were on the team that won their last postseason game, a 4-1 against the Ottawa Senators in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round, on May 4, 2017.

Today’s team has intentions of going deep into the playoffs, but they will be battling an experienced playoff team. The Penguins are in the postseason for the 16th consecutive season and are led by three core players in Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, and Sydney Crosby.

Impressive Season

Coming off an impressive season coached by Gerrard Gallant, the Rangers won 52 games this season, tied for second-most in team history (1993-94). Their 110 points are the third-most in team history. Its the first time in 10 seasons and only the 10th time in the NHL history that a team had at least 50 wins and 100 points with a 50-goal scorer (Kreider was third in the NHL with 52), a 90-point scorer (Artemi Panarin had 96) and a goalie with at least 36 wins (Igor Shesterkin had 36).

The Rangers know that once the playoffs start, all of the regular season stats and accomplishments are thrown away with all 16 playoff teams getting a fresh start.

“It’s been a grind, a couple [of] long years, but definitely worth the wait to be back in the playoffs.” Looking at this group that we have, I’m super happy to be a part of that and to be a part of the solution. I’m just really excited to get this going,” Mika Zibanejead told Dan Rosen of NHL.com.

Mika also discussed how the regular season stats don’t have a say once the playoffs begin,

“We’re familiar with what they do and what kind of team that is, but now it’s 0-0, everyone starts at zero, so I don’t think [the regular season] makes a huge difference.”

The playoff expedience chart leans heavily towards the Penguins, but Andrew Copp has his own view on the value of playoff experience.

“I don’t think experience is all that it’s chalked up to be,” said Andrew Copp , who participated in practice Sunday for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury that sidelined him in three of the Rangers’ last four games of the regular season. “They’re just three really good players and their team is very good. Obviously, I think our team is very good, too. I think we’re ready for this challenge. It’s definitely going to be a great series and we’re looking forward to it.”

Gallant tried to downplay the experience factor, giving credit to the Penguins, but also stating that he is fully confident that his team can win the series,

“I think we’re as good as anybody in the playoffs and I think anybody in the playoffs can beat us,” said the coach, guaranteeing he would not make the back page. “I truly believe, can we win against Pittsburgh? Yeah, I believe that.

“Are we favored against Pittsburgh? I don’t really care about that. I think we can make a run, I don’t know if we’re going to, but I think we have as good a chance as anybody else.”

Defense Prowess

Defense is so important in the journey for a Stanely Cup.  The Rangers have four of the best in the NHL in Adam Fox, Ryan Lindgren, Jacob Trouba, and K’Andre Miller. Their third pair unit of Patrik Nemeth and Braden Schneider are capable of playing against any unit the Pens out on the ice.

Fox lead the defense in points recording 74 with 11 goals. He also led the team with 23:54 average minutes on since per game. Trouba was second in that category avenging just over 22 minutes per game. Trouba (+25) and Miller (+23) lead the defense in plus/minus.

Ryan Lindgren had 129 hits along with 141 block shots.  The team played its best defensive games over the final 10 games of the season with 4 shutouts including three consecutive games between Apr. 19 and Apr. 23.

IGOR -IGOR -IGOR

Igor Shesterkin’s name has been mentioned in both the Hart Trophy and Vein trophy category, but he is more concerned with the first round of the playoffs.

H will make his NHL playoff debut on Tuesday night a Madison Square Garden. The Ranger’s number one goalie led the league in G.A.A 2.07 and a save percentage of .935.

Shesterkin’s .935 save percentage in 2021-22 was the third-highest in NHL history among goaltenders with a minimum of 50 appearances. Tim Thomas (2010-11) – .938 Dominik Hasek (1998-99) – .937 Igor Shesterkin (2021-22) – .935.   Shesterkin posted the highest single-season save percentage in franchise history among goaltenders with a minimum of 30 appearances. (Via NYR Stats).

He had six shoutouts while compiling a 36-13-4 record. His 36 wins were ranked sixth in the NHL.

Projected Lineups & Stats

Based on the Lines used in practice on Sunday, the Ranger’s game one lineup is predicted to be;

Chris Kreider — Mika Zibanejad — Frank Vatrano

Artemi Panarin — Ryan Strome — Andrew Copp

Alexis Lafreniere — Filip Chytil — Kaapo Kakko

Ryan Reeves– Kevin Rooney — Barclay Goodrow

Ryan Lindgren — Adam Fox

K’Andre Miller — Jacob Trouba

Patrik Nemeth — Braden Schneider

Igor Shesterkin

Alexandar Georgiev

 Injured:  Tyler Motte – Upper body injury.

Power Play Units

PP1– Fox, Zibanejad, Strome, Panarin and Kreider

PP2– Trouba, Copp, Chytil, Vatrano and Lafreniere.

Kakko should get some reps on PP2.

It appears the Penguins will be without the services of their number one goalie Tristan Jarry, UBI) for at least the first two games of the series. Their lines in practice on Sunday were;

Jake Guentzel — Sidney Crosby — Bryan Rust

Danton Heinen — Evgeni Malkin — Rickard Rakell

Brock McGinn — Jeff Carter — Kasperi Kapanen

Brian Boyle — Teddy Blueger — Evan Rodrigues

Brian Dumoulin — Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson — John Marino

Mike Matheson — Chad Ruhwedel

Casey DeSmith

Louis Domingue

Injured: Tristan Jarry (lower body, Nathan Beaulieu (lower body), Jason Zucker (lower body)

Leading Scorers

via ESPN.com

The Rangers are led by Chris Kreider’s 52 goals and Artemi Panarin’s 96 points which include 74 assists. The Pen’s leaders in goals are Jake Guentzel (40) who is also the team’s point leader with 84 (tied with Sidney Crosby).  Kris Letang leads the team with 58 assists.

Round 1 Notes

  • Artemi Panarin and Andrew Copp returned to practice and both are expected to play in Game one on Tuesday night.
  • Copp was acquired for the Winnipeg Jets at the trade deadline and has put up impressive numbers since his arrival in New York. He had 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 16 games, but missed three of the last four games of the regular season with a lower-body injury. He had been skating on a line with Panarin and Strome which will be continued in the playoffs.
  • The team is ranked 4th in the NHL on the power play (25.2%).
  • Ranked 7th on the penalty kill (82.3%).
  • Chris Kreider had 26 power-play goals, a franchise record.
  • Artemi Panarin recorded 37 power-play points (5G-32 A).
  • Rangers had a home record of 27-10-4.
  • Road record 25-14-2.
  • Rangers at home vs. Pens this season 2-0.
  • Rangers at Pittsburgh this season 1-1.
  • The Rangers had 27 comeback wins, 4th most in NHL history.

The last time the Rangers and Penguins squared off in the playoffs was in 2016 when Pittsburgh easily took the series in five games. The only player who is still on the Rangers roster from that year is Kreider.

Round 1 Schedule

Game 1 Tuesday, May 3 Pittsburgh 7:00pm MSG Network
Game 2 Thursday, May 5 Pittsburgh 7:00pm MSG Network
Game 3 Saturday, May 7 at Pittsburgh 7:00pm MSG Network
Game 4 Monday, May 9 at Pittsburgh 7:00pm MSG Network
*Game 5 Wednesday, May 11 Pittsburgh TBD MSG Network
*Game 6 Friday, May 13 at Pittsburgh TBD MSG Network
*Game 7 Sunday, May 15 Pittsburgh TBD MSG Network

Prediction

The Rangers take the series in five games.

You can 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.

Rangers shutout Penguins 3-0, magic number to clinch a playoff berth is 2 points

With a solid 3-0 win on Thursday night over the Pittsburgh Penguins, the New York Rangers are just two points away from clinching a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Igor Shesterkin waved goodbye to the Pittsburgh Penguins following a convincing 3-0 New York Rangers shutout win over their division rivals.  The win gave the Blueshirts a six-point lead for second place in the Metropolitan Division with 10 games remaining.

The game had a playoff vibe from the opening face-off at the Garden.  Shesterkin was strong early in the game even though he didn’t face many shots with the Penguins playing without their captain Sidney Crosby who was a last-minute scratch with a non-covid illness.

This contest was chippy throughout the game but became a post-whistle scrum after a high hit by the Pen’s Anthony Angello on Tyler Motte. It appeared Motte, (who has concussion issues) suffered an upper-body injury and did not return for the remainder of the third period.  Gerard Gallant had no further details to announce during his post-game presser.

Newly acquired Frank Vatrano has enjoyed the Rangers-Penguins rivalry in the short time he has been in New York.

“For the most part, I think it was hard through the whistles,” said  Vatrano.  “Then it got a little chippy there toward the end. But I think the three times I played against them since I’ve been here, it’s been a playoff type of game and those are the games you’re going to play down the stretch. Especially against a team that you might see in the first round.”

Vatrano gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead 24 seconds into the second period. Artemi panarin scored his 20th of the season at 9:47 of the second and Igor Shesterkin did the rest as he made 30 saves while recording his fourth shutout of the season.

Shesterkin rebounded after two bad games against the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers last week.

The Rangers head coach said he was never worried about his number one goaltender despite his struggles,

“I thought he was excellent. People were worried about him. I wasn’t. He played really well tonight, made some real key saves at key times.”

With their 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres, the Carolina Hurricanes continue to have a two-point lead over the Blueshirts with the teams jockeying for first place. The Hurricanes have one game in hand.

Game Notes

–       Frank Vatrano opened the scoring with his 16th goal of the season and his sixth as a Ranger. Vatrano has points in six of his last eight games and has totaled eight points (6G-2A) in 12 games with New York. Vatrano’s goal stood up as the game-winner, his third of the season and 17th of his career. Vatrano is one goal away from the 100th of his career.

–       Chris Kreider notched his 21st assist of the season and has points in back-to-back games (1G-2A). In his last 10 games, Kreider has seven goals and six assists for 13 points and a plus-6 rating. 

–       Mika Zibanejad recorded his 20th multi-point game of the year (2A), tying Chris Kreider for the second-most on the team. With his two assists, Zibanejad established a career-high with 46 helpers. His 73 points are one shy of his career-high total set in 2018-19. Zibanejad has points in eight of his last 11 games (2G-9A) and 15 points (5G-10A) in his last 14 games.

–       Igor Shesterkin stopped all 30 shots faced and posted his fourth shutout of the year. Shesterkin’s 33 wins rank tied for third in the league while his .935 save percentage ranks first in the NHL.

–       Artemi Panarin scored a goal, his 20th of the year, in his 500th career game. Since making his NHL debut with Chicago (against NYR) to begin the 2015-16 season, Panarin ranks third in assists (373), fifth in points (558), and fourth in plus/minus (+127). The only active players with more points through 500 career games are Sidney Crosby (706), Connor McDavid (680), Alex Ovechkin (633), and Evgeni Malkin (611). Panarin has points in eight of his last nine games (3G-10A) and has 23 points (4G-19A) in his last 15 games.

–       Andrew Copp tallied an assist and has tallied a point in nine of his last 10 games (3G-10A) and eight of his nine contests (3G-7A) with New York.

–       Jacob Trouba collected his 25th assist of the year, tying his second-most of his career. Trouba has points in two of his past three games (2A).

–       Dryden Hunt scored his fifth goal of the season, a career-high.

–      Barclay Goodrow played in his 400th career game. The two-time Stanley Cup champion has

split his 400 contests between New York (69), Tampa Bay (63), and San Jose (268).   Via NYR PR

The Rangers will host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.

Chris Kreider scores two goals, Rangers declaw Florida Panthers 5-2

The New York Rangers, behind a 34 save performance by Igor Shesterkin, defeated the Florida Panthers 5-2 on Tuesday night. Chris Kreider netted two goals along and a helper with the team heading into the NHL All-star break.

Despite another slow start to a game, the New York Rangers clawed back after falling behind 2-1 to end the Florida Panthers four-game winning streak Tuesday night at MSG winning the game 5-2.

The team’s big players continued to carry the club with Igor Shesterkin winning his 22nd game of the season. Chris Kreider had two goals (32 and 33 on the season) with Mika Zibanejad (18g), Alexis Lafreniere (10g), and Artemi Panarin (13g) all scoring in the contest.

Panarin had a three-point night (1G,2A) which was the sixth time this season he has had three or more points in a game.

Kreider Playing Best Hockey Of Career

Chris Kreider has been the best player on the ice for many games this season. His two goals last night were both scored on the power-play.  He is the NHL’s leading goal scorer with his 33 goals, career-high, and his 17 power-play lead’s the NHL in that category (Leon Draisaitl is second with 13 PPG’s).

“Having a power play that can capitalize on them taking penalties, and potentially taking the kind of penalties that they’re trying to send a message that they’re not going to be bullied, it backs them off and makes them think twice about doing those things,” Kreider said to NHL.com’s Dan Rosen.

Igor Shesterkin continues his great play winning his 22nd game of the season.  His aggressive play in the goal directly resulted in the Rangers winning goal scored by Kreider to gibe the team a 3-2 lead at the time.

Shesterkin played the puck out of the air with his blocker to Panarin, who made a long stretch pass up the ice to Ryan Strome at the far blue line. Strome passed to Kreider cutting to the net for the goal. Kreider pointed back at Shesterkin after the goal to acknowledge his play.

Kreider praised his goaltender’s hand skill after the game saying,

“Igor is just an outlier in terms of playing the puck, having that element, I mean, I’ve never had that before. I think it’s easier on the defensemen. It certainly helps in a situation like that. He’s probably a better passer and has better hands than I do. It adds a ton of value to the team.”

Off Until Feb. 15

With the All-Star Break this weekend and then a schedule that was originally defined to accommodate the Winter Olympic Games, the Rangers don’t play again until Feb. 15.

Head coach Gerard Gallant is welcoming the downtime that he feels the team needs.

“Personally, I think we need it,” New York coach Gerard Gallant said of the break. “We played so many games on the road (26), played 47 games, second most in the league. I don’t mind it. The good part about the (All-Star) break is we’re coming back and we’ve got four great days to practice before we play our first game. We’ll practice on the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th and we play on the 15th. Those are four good days.”

The win on Tuesday was Gallant’s 300th as a head coach in the NHL. He is the 51st head coach in NHL history to win 300 games and 11th active (Trotz, Ruff, Laviolette, Sutter, Tippett, Boudreau, McLellan, DeBoer, Cooper, Sullivan). Gallant tied Peter Laviolette for the 22nd fastest to earn 300 wins (588 games).

Notes

  • The Rangers go into the All-Star break with 30 wins, their most heading into an All-Star break since 2016-17 and the eighth time in history (excluding Olympic years and shortened seasons). New York has won four out of its last six and seven of its last 10 games.
  • The Rangers wrapped the three-game homestand with the win and have won seven out of their last eight games at home and have earned a point in 17 of their 21 home games this season (15-4-2). New York has earned a point in eight of its last nine home games (7-1-1).
  • The Blueshirts improved to 12-2-0 against Atlantic Division opponents.
  • The Rangers improved to 16-1-3 when leading after the second period.
  • Mika Zibanejad opened the scoring 35 seconds into the game, their fastest goal to start a game since March 2, 2021, against Buffalo (28 seconds).
  • Igor Shesterkin won for the ninth time in his last 10 starts and in his last 17 starts, he has allowed two or fewer goals in 12 of them. Shesterkin’s 22 wins rank sixth in the NHL, his save percentage (.937) ranks first among goalies with 20 or more games and his goals-against average is second (2.10) in the league.

Rangers start out slow, drop 3-1 decision to Kings, Goodrow joins long list in Covid Protocol

The New York Rangers found themselves in a hole 55 seconds into their game against the L.A. Kings and suffered a 3-1 loss.

The New York Rangers came out flat at the start of the first period and paid dearly for it when Philip Danault scored his seventh of the year 55 seconds into the hockey game. Blake Lizotte made it 2-0 at 3:41 of the first with the Kings going on to win the game 3-1.

The Covid ghost continued to haunt the Blueshirts with the announcement that Barclay Goodrow entered Covid protocol prior to the start of the game.

Goodrow joins a long list of players and coaches in Covid protocol which now includes head coach Gerard Gallant, Igor Shesterkin, Ryan Reaves, and Julien Gauthier.

Kris Knoblauch arrived in Los Angeles to stand behind the bench for the missing Gallant. He had a busy few days of travel with his Hartford Wolf Pack playing in Utica, N.Y. over the weekend, then heading back to Connecticut. Before he could get any rest he found himself on a cross-country flight to meet up with the Rangers.

Tough Night for Strome’s Line

The night started with the return of Artemi Panarin who missed four games due to protocol. He returned to the left-wing, with Ryan Strome in the middle and Alexis Lafreniere on the right side.  The line was on the ice for all three goals scored against the Rangers Monday night.

The second line wasn’t the only reason the team suffered their 10th loss of the season. Defenseman K’Andre Miller had another inconsistent game, coughing up the puck which lead to theKing’s first goal of the game. It was the second consecutive game a Miller turnover resulted in the opposition scoring a goal.

The Rangers finally scored a goal when Mika Zibanejad (13 goals) deflected a Filip Chytil shot to cut the Kings lead in half to 2-1 at 11:27 of the third period.  Zibanejad’s goal was his eighth goal in his last nine games and his fifth goal in his last five games.

The Rangers had a game plan heading into the game, but as Chris Kreider explained to Dan Greenspan of NHL.com the team was not smart. He took the blame for the team’s overall performance on Monday night.

“We talked about before the game what they do in the neutral zone, and we just decided to work hard and not smart,” Rangers forward Chris Kreider said. “We need to come with speed, support each other, and we made it really easy on them walking out of the zone, and then ultimately trying to get our feet going a little bit too late, and getting beat and giving them rushes and letting them advance the puck up the ice.”

“I think that’s what you saw at the beginning of the second period, and ultimately, it’s on us to settle down and regroup and commit to doing the right things to advance the puck and play the right way. We did that a little bit too late when we’d already given up the lead at that point. You didn’t nip it in the bud early in the game, so it’s on us. It’s on me.”

 

Team Notes

  • ROADSHOW – The Rangers played their 22nd road game of the season tonight, tying Calgary for the most road games in the  NHL. New York has played 22 of 37 games on the road (59.5%), their most through 37 games in franchise history.
  • PENALTY KILLING – New York went a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill tonight and have been perfect on the PK in five of their last seven games, nine of their last 12 games, and 15 of their last 19 games. The Rangers have killed off 45 of their last 49 penalties (91.8) since Nov. 26.
  • FACEOFF FRENZY – The Blueshirts went 31-for-51 (61 percent) in the faceoff circle and have been 50 percent or better in the circle in three of their last five games. Tonight was the fourth time this season in which the Rangers were 61 percent or better (1.10 at LAK, 1.02 vs. TBL, 12.17 vs. VGK, 12.15 at ARI).
  • Mika Zibanejad scored his 13th goal of the season and the Ranger’s lone goal tonight. Zibanejad has eight goals in his last nine games and five goals in his last five games. Since December 15, Zibanejad leads the NHL with eight goals in that span. In his last nine games, Zibanejad has totaled eight goals and four assists for 12 points. Zibanejad has points in four of his last five games (5G-1A). Zibanejad is one goal away from 150 with New York. In addition to his goal, Zibanejad went 16-for-23 in the faceoff circle (70.0 percent), his fifth game this season registering a faceoff percentage of 70 percent or better. Four of those five games have come since Dec. 17.
  • Filip Chytil notched an assist for a second consecutive game, giving him three goals and six assists for nine points this season. It marks the second time this season that Chytil has recorded assists in back-to-back games (Dec. 8-10, 2021).
  • Greg McKegg tallied his second point (A) of the season, in his 17th game, giving him two assists in his last six games. McKegg delivered a team-high and career-high six hits, surpassing his previous high of four hits.
  •  Ryan Lindgren played in his 150th career game, all with the Rangers. Since making his debut on January 15, 2019, among all Rangers, Lindgren ranks third in plus/minus (+44) and blocked shots (201), fourth in hits (261), and second in shorthanded time on ice.
  • Jacob Trouba had a team-high four blocked shots, tying Connor Murphy (82) for the fourth-most blocked shots in the NHL. (via NYR PR)

The Rangers will have the day off on Tuesday. Their next game is Thursday night in San Jose.

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.

New York Rangers to resume schedule with contest against the Florida Panthers Wednesday night

The New York Rangers will finally play a hockey game on Wednesday night when they visit the Atlantic Division Florida Panthers.

New York Rangers: 19-7-4, 42 Pts.
Florida Panthers: 18-7-4 40 Pts.
Venue: FLA Live Arena
Television: MSG 2 / Radio: ESPN 1050 AM

The New York Rangers will play their first game since a 3-2 OT loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday, Dec. 17 and currently are in third place in the Metropolitan Division, one point behind both the Washington Capitals and the Carolina Hurricanes.

In their last 13 games against Florida, the  Rangers are 7-2-4 for 18 points while averaging 3.92 goals per game.

When we last saw the Blueshirts play;

Chris Kreider was leading the team in goals (18) and was second in the NHL in power-play goals (11).
Artemi Panarin was about to return from a lower-body injury that occurred in the team’s 3-2 win in Arizona on Dec. 15.
-G Igor Shesterkin was scheduled to return to action before the NHL postponed their game on Dec. 22 against Montreal. Shessterkin was injured on Dec. 4 and missed seven games (excluding the two postponed games against Montreal and Detroit).
-Mika Zibabnejad has entered Wednesday’s contest with a two-game scoring streak.

Lineup

Prior to leaving for Florida on Tuesday, the club made some roster announcements.

Kevin Rooney was added to Covid Protocol. He joins Ryan Lindgren, Alexandar Georgiev and Jared Tinordi.

The club will be using a Taxi Squad during these uncertain times. Morgan Barron, Jonny Brodzinski, Tim Gettinger, Zac Jones, Matthew Robertson, and Adam Huska will be practicing with the team, but need to be officially recalled in order to be in the lineup.

Keith Kinkaid was recalled on Monday and will be backing up Shesterkin on Wednesday.

The team officially recalled Zac Jones and Tim Gettinger on Tuesday but they are not expected to play Wednesday night.

Projected Lineup

Kreider-Zibanejad-Kakko
Panarin-Strome-Hunt
Lafreniere-Chytil-Gauthier
Reaves-McKegg-Goodrow

Miller-Trouba
Hajek-Fox
Nemeth-Lundkvist

Shesterkin

News/Notes

In this calendar year, the Rangers have a 46-30-10 record for 102 points.

This season the Rangers are:
• 12-0-2 when scoring first
• 9-1-0 when leading after the first period
• 11-0-3 when leading after the second period
• 8-1-1 when outshooting an opponent
• 11-0-2 when outscoring an opponent on special teams
• 16-1-1 when scoring three or more goals

SPECIAL TEAMS

New York and Anaheim are the only two teams that have a power play and penalty kill ranked in the top-six in the NHL.

POWER PLAY

• The Rangers are 22-for-86 (25.6%) on the power play this season, sixth-best (tied) in the NHL.
• The Rangers have power-play goals in three of their last five games, eight of their last 10 games, and 10 of their last 13 games. • The Rangers are 13-2-3 in games in which they have scored a power-play goal.

PENALTY KILL

• New York is 75-for-89 (84.3%) on the penalty kill this season, the fifth-best in the NHL.
• The Blueshirts have been perfect on the PK in four of their last five games and 10 of their last 12 games.
• The Rangers are 16-1-2 in games this season where they have not allowed a power-play goal.
Wednesday will be the second and last game against the Panthers.  The Rangers defeated the Panthers 4-3 on Nov. 8. (NYR Stats)

The team’s roster is subject to change as the NHL is continuing to do daily COVID-19 testing.

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.

New York Rangers: Igor believes he can play better, a tough start for the Breadman & Foco Holiday gear

The New York Rangers have not played a game since Monday’s nights win over the Florida Panthers, but there has been action in Rangerstown on and off the ice.

THeir 7-3-3 record can be misleading. The New New York Rangers might be the most underrated team in the National Hockey League, sitting in third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Winning games can sometimes hide the deficiencies in the team’s game plan, but for the Rangers, this has not been the case. Head coach Gerard Gallant knows his team needs to play better despite the team’s record.

He was visibly irate following the team’s 4-3 win over the 10-0-1 Florida Panthers are Monday night at the Garden. The team built a 4-0 lead entering the third period, and then watched as the Panthers clawed back to within one goal with 40 seconds left in the contest.

The team’s recent three-game road trip last week saw the Blueshirts build multi-goal leads only to see them evaporate in each contest and eventually losing all three games.

Igor Can Be Better

It’s hard to believe that Igor Shesterkin can play better hockey than he has played this season. He holds a 6-2-2 record in 10 appearances with one shutout. He holds a 2.72 GAA along with a .931 save percentage.

Shesterkin spoke about his game and the shots he has faced to the New York Post’s Mollie Walker after practice on Thursday.

“I can play better” was his answer to the question asked if he feels he’s playing the best hockey of his career.

Breadman Struggles

Artemi Panarin has not had the start he was hoping for this year. Has 13 points but only two goals in 13 games this season.

Now that is pretty good for most players in the NHL, but for a superstar, it is sub-par. Panarin recognizes his struggle but knows he will play better as long as he stays in a good mood.

“Not really, tough start. But, right now, better. Most importantly, I’m in a good mood. That [gives] me more motivation,” when asked if his game is where he wants it to be right now.

Regarding his mood, Panarin has to deal with the ups and downs of a professional hockey player like every other athlete,

“Sometimes, but not really. Sometimes when everything is going right and [you’re like], ‘Okay, that’s normal.’ Sometimes you need to [feel] down to appreciate what you have, usually.”

Toughness Questioned Once Again

Shesterkin was bumped, hit, and flat-out ran into throughout the game on Monday which brought up the toughness of the current Rangers squad. Ryan Strome addressed the situation.

“I think a few guys had some words for — I think it was Duclair — when he went by the bench,” Ryan Strome said. “But, I mean, I thought our response — I thought our bottom six was really physical. You can’t just chase around a skill guy to fight, he’s not gonna fight anyone. [Ryan Reaves] was yelling at him and a few guys, so there’s only so much you can do. I think we’ve taken matters into our own hands and been physical. I’ve heard from a few people around the league that they think we’re harder to play against, and they’ve felt that. That’s a good sign. “I don’t mind our response. It’s not always about going on and fighting a guy, especially a guy like Duclair, I don’t think he’s going to drop the gloves. But I don’t think he meant to hurt anybody. We obviously got to watch out for our goalie, for sure.”

Holiday Time In NYC

A schedule change for the day after Thanksgiving now as the Rangers game at Boston is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. on ABC television.

Foco has come out with their Rangers Holiday Collection and they have something for every Blueshirt fan.

Foco offers several different items fans may be interested in from a five-pack of shatterproof glass ball ornaments and other thematic pieces including an ornament depicting a New York Ranger’s recliner.

Other ideas include;

-Mittens and gloves.

-Rangers Nutcracker.

-Rangers slippers.