New York Rangers pick up an Important Victory over the Islanders

After a difficult loss on Thursday night, the New York Rangers rebounded to defeat the New York Islanders by a score of 4-1. Alexandar Georgiev was outstanding in goal after not seeing action for the last 11 games.

The Rangers are the second NHL team that has earned a regulation win at Nassau Coliseum this season. The Islanders came into the game with a 17-1-2 home record on the season. They have won each of their last five games at Nassau Coliseum, dating back to Feb. 16, 2015.

Alexis Lafreniere opened the scoring for the Rangers by scoring at 6:05 of the first period.

Colin Blackwell scored the second goal for the Rangers, extending his goal streak to three games, which is a new career-high. He ranks third on the Rangers in even-strength goals this season with nine.

K’Andre Miller scored the third goal for the Rangers as Mika Zibanejad added an empty-net goal to finish up the Blueshirts scoring. Miller now leads all rookie defenders in scoring.

Artemi Panarin had two assists on the night. He has 93 career assists, passing Mark Messier for the most assists by a player within his first 100 games with the franchise.

Georgiev was a big factor in the New York Rangers win.

The young Russian made 31 saves on the game, only giving up an Andy Greene goal in the second period. Georgiev hadn’t started a game since March 19.

“I haven’t played for a while,” Georgiev said in his post-game Zoom conference. “But I felt comfortable coming into it. I just did my job, the same as I usually do. It felt like kind of like a playoff game and it was really fun to take part in it.”

Georgiev gave credit to Ranger’s goaltending coach Benoit Allaire for keeping him ready while he waited to get his turn in goal. “Every practice I would come out early and spend with Benny,” Georgiev said. “A lot was more mental, trying to be better every day. Tried to take it one day at a time to make my game better.”

Head coach David Quinn was very pleased with his goaltender’s performance. “I liked a lot about his game tonight. I thought Georgie was sharp, as he usually is against the Islanders. It is not easy to sit as long as he has and come out and play the way that he did.”

The New York Rangers will face their cross-town rival again on Sunday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New York Rangers use big First Period in Victory over Pittsburgh

The New York Rangers jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first period and cruised to an 8-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Eight different Rangers scored goals, which happened for the first time since Jan. 19, 2010, vs. Tampa Bay.

Artemi Panarin had three assists and a goal to lead the Blueshirts in their scoring outburst. Panarin has certainly enjoyed the Broadway spotlight as he has recorded a three-point game in six different games this season. All of these have been at MSG Arena.

Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry allowed four goals in the first period before being replaced by Casey DeSmith to start the second period. The Rangers also scored four times off of DeSmith.

Colin Blackwell celebrated his promotion to the second line by scoring the first Rangers goal and providing one of the assists on Kappo Kakko’s goal.

Adam Fox continues his red-hot play as he added a goal and two assists on the night. Per NYR Stats&Info, Fox has registered 30 or more assists in each of his first two NHL seasons. He is the first Rangers defenseman who has tallied at least 30 assists in each of his first two NHL seasons since Reijo Ruotsalainen in 1981-82 and 1982-83. He also has an 11-game point streak, the longest by a Rangers defenseman since Brian Leetch had a 14-game streak in the 1996-97 season.

Ryan Strome, Alexis Lafreniere, Pavel Buchnevich and Mika Zibanejad also scored goals for the Rangers. Igor Shesterkin had 41 saves on the night.

The New York Rangers discuss their offensive outburst.

In his post-game Zoom conference, Fox talked about the Ranger’s fast start. “I think when the power-play scores goals, it helps,” Fox said. “I think we just capitalized on our chances and got some goals around the crease.”

“I thought we were very opportunistic, our power-play was very good,” said head coach David Quinn in his post-game Zoom conference. “It was a funny game. We found a way to win tonight but we are going to have to play better than that if we want to win consistently.”

The Rangers went three for three on their power-play, which tied their single-game season-high.

The two teams square off again on Thursday night at MSG.

 

Colin Blackwell: Player on the Rise for the New York Rangers?

Nothing separates the New York Rangers fan base, as well as all of New York sports, like questioning the decisions Big Apple coaches make in their lineups. Today, the Rangers raised a few eyebrows when head coach David Quinn shuffled his lineups in practice, as posted by lohud.com’s Vince Mercogliano:

Of course one of the first things that everyone noticed was the “demotions” of Kappo Kakko to the third line and newcomer Vitali Kravtsov to the fourth line.

It was not like either player deserved to be demoted and Quinn explained after practice in his Zoom conference that neither player should look at the line shuffles in this manner. “We like Kakko, it is certainly nothing with the way he has played,” Quinn said. “I am anxious to see how they (Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere, and Filip Chytil) play together.”

As far as Kravtsov going to the fourth line, Quinn said “That doesn’t mean that Kravstov will be down there forever, or even during the whole game, you can move people around. Right now we feel that it is the best lineup we have at our disposal.”

The New York Rangers shift Blackwell to the second line.

The other move was to put Colin Blackwell to the second line with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome. Blackwell also received some time with the second power-play unit during Tuesday’s practice.

As for Blackwell skating on the second line, Quinn said: “One of the things that we thought were getting Blackwell on that line with Strome and Bread, it gives that line a little bit of a different look. This is the best lineup we feel we have for tomorrow night.”

With the move up from the fourth line to the second, Blackwell will bring a little more of a defensive presence to that line. He has also been a little more opportunistic than some other players and is not afraid to shoot the puck, something that Quinn has stressed with the team in recent games.

Blackwell discussed his new role in his post-practice Zoom conference. “I was just kind of waiting for my chance,” Blackwell said. “I have done it in the American Hockey League on many different occasions. That chance doesn’t always come, and a lot of good players do get their chance but then they don’t necessarily make the most out of it.”

The Rangers signed Blackwell as a free agent on a two-year contract worth $725,000 annually.

Blackwell had one of his best games in the NHL on March 28, which also happened to be his birthday. On that night, he scored a career-high 2 goals against the Washington Capitals.

The Rangers will start Igor Shesterkin in goal as they begin a two-game set at MSG against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

 

The New York Rangers Squander Third Period Lead Against Buffalo

The New York Rangers once again gave up a late third-period goal against the worst team in the NHL. This time it cost them a point in the standings as they lose in a shootout to the Buffalo Sabres by the score of 3-2.

Artemi Panarin scored goals in the first and second periods to lead the Blueshirts scoring effort.

Panarin continues to contribute in so many ways for the Rangers. He has posted a multi-point game in each of the last three games with three goals and four assists. Panarin has also posted a multi-point game in 12 of 26 games he has played in the 2020-21 season.

Adam Fox assisted on Panarin’s second goal. His 29 assists this season are tied for the most among NHL defensemen, tied with Victor Hedman.

This game also marked the debut of Vitali Kravtsov, who joined the Rangers after a very nice season in the KHL. With the addition of Kravtsov, the Rangers played four Russian-born players in tonight’s game (Panarin, Pavel Buchnevich, Igor Shesterkin, and Kravtsov). According to the NHL public relations department, this will be tied for the most Russian-born players to appear in the same game in Rangers franchise history.

The New York Rangers fall short in Vitali Kravstov’s season debut.

Kravtsov finished the game with 10:45 TOI and three shots, including one diving attempt that almost won the game for the Blueshirts.

In his post-game Zoom conference, Panarin talked about how his young Russian teammate fared in his first game. “He started a little nervous at the beginning,” Panarin said. ” He played not to make a mistake but also played for the team. Had a really good chance at the end, and we’re really happy to have [him].”

Even in the loss, head coach David Quinn was still impressed with Kravtsov’s debut. In his post-game Zoom comments, Quinn said: “He played well. I thought he was engaged, I thought he played at a good pace and I actually liked that line (he played with Alexis Lafreniere and Filip Chytil), for the most part.”

The Rangers return home on Tuesday night to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

 

 

 

New York Rangers Defeat the Caps Behind Five Unanswered Goals

After giving up two early goals, the New York Rangers scored five unanswered goals to defeat the Washington Capitals 5-2. Adam Fox scored at 6:32 of the third period, which proved to be the game-winner. It was the first time this season that the Rangers have come-back to win a game when trailing in the third period.

Fox was selected as the NHL’s First Star of the Week for the week ending on Mar. 28. Since the NHL began awarding Three Stars of the Week at the start of the 2006-07 season, Fox is only the eighth defenseman who has been named the NHL’s First Star of the Week. He is the first Rangers defenseman to win that award.  Also, Fox has recorded 20 points in March. Per @PR_NHL, Fox is the third Rangers defenseman who has recorded at least 20 points in a calendar month in franchise history.

Artemi Panarin had three points on the night with a goal and two assists. Per NYR Stats&Info, Panarin posted his fifth three-point game of the season, and all five have taken place at MSG.

Panarin’s goal came on a breakaway, as did Filip Chytil‘s, who scored the first goal of the night for the Blueshirts.

Kaapo Kakko and Pavel Buchnevich also scored for the Rangers.

Igor Shesterkin was excellent in goal, saving 30 of 32 shots, some of which were of the outstanding variety.

Ryan Strome extended his point streak to 10 games and his assist streak to nine games. With an assist in the next game, he will tie Rod Gilbert’s franchise record for consecutive games with an assist by a forward.

New York Rangers come alive and score four goals in the third period

After a lackluster first two periods, the Rangers came out fast and furious with their four-goal effort.

In his post-game interview, Chytil talked about what the difference was in the third period for the team. “We didn’t shoot too much the first two periods'” Chytil said. “We said in the locker room that we needed to shoot more. put more pucks to the net and we had a couple of nice plays.”

Shesterkin played extremely well after the first two early goals. The Rangers usually help their goalies out by limiting the number of shots that teams get on them. Coming into tonight’s game the Blueshirts had held its opponent to 30 shots on goal or fewer in 11 of the last 13 games and in 23 of 34 games this season. In his post-game Zoom conference, Shesterkin was asked about how he responded after the first two goals and he replied” “I just did my job. After the first two goals, I removed myself from that moment and continued to do my job.”

Head coach David Quinn was very pleased with his team’s response after giving up the two early goals. He talked about that and their excellent third period in his post-game Zoom conference. “We have to continue to have a shooting mentality. It’s really killing us against a team like that. We have to get more pucks to the net. I thought that third period the way we came out and got more pucks to the net. To come out with the tenacity we did was a really great sign.”

The Rangers return to action when they travel to Buffalo to take on the Sabres on both Thursday and Saturday nights.

 

 

 

 

 

New York Rangers Win Behind Mika Zibanejad’s Hat Trick

For the second game in a row against the Philadelphia Flyers, Mika Zibanejad scored a natural hat to lead the New York Rangers to an 8-3 victory. The Rangers had jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the second period before hanging on for the win. The Rangers have recorded eight goals in a road game for the first time since Mar. 18, 2014, at Ottawa.

The Flyers got a goal from Claude Giroux in the second period. This ended, to coin a basketball phrase, a 15-0 run of goals the Rangers had scored against Philadelphia in the last two games. Per the NHL Public Relations, the 15 consecutive Ranger goals against the Flyers were tied for the third-most against one opponent in franchise history. The top two were 17 consecutive against the New York Islanders in 1972-73 and the California Golden Seals in 1974-75.

Adam Fox had five points and five assists in the contest while Ryan Strome added four points with a goal and three assists. Pavel Buchnevich has two goals in the win. Two of the team’s younger players, Filip Chytil and K’Andre Miller also added goals.

Igor Shesterkin returned to action after missing the last 11 games due to a groin injury. He saves 41 shots in the game.

Carter Hart started in net for the Flyers. He was pulled after giving up five goals on the first 11 Rangers shots.

Recently, the New York Ranger’s offensive outburst has lead to many records and streaks.

Thanks to the fine people at the NHL Public Relations and NYR Stats&Info, the New York Rangers have had many accomplishments in recent games, including this one.

The list starts with Zibanejad. With his second consecutive six-point game, Zibanejad has become the first player in NHL history to record 6+ points in consecutive games played against one opponent within a regular season. Also, he is the second Ranger who has posted two different six-point games in franchise history (along with Anders Hedberg) and the first to do so in the same season.

A modest Zibanejad talked about his recent hot-streak in his post-game Zoom conference. “The puck seems to be going in right now. It’s nice to be able to contribute offensively for this team, especially since the first part of the season. Obviously, it is a great feeling when you win and you can contribute.”

For Fox, he tied single-game Rangers franchise records for defensemen with five assists and five points in tonight’s game. The other defenseman with five was Brian Leetch,  who did that on April 18, 1995, against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Between Zibanejad and Fox, the Rangers have had a forward and a defenseman each tally five points in the same game for the first time in franchise history. The last time the New York Rangers had two players record five or more points in the same game was when Mark Messier and Adam Graves did that in November of 1992 at Pittsburgh.

Finally, Zibanejad, Strome, and Fox have each recorded four or more points tonight. Prior to tonight’s game, the last time the Rangers had three players tally four or more points in the same game was Dec. 28, 2005, at the New York Islanders.

The teams will square off again Saturday afternoon. It will be interesting to see how the game starts as the Flyers were clearly frustrated by the second straight big loss to the Blueshirts. There were a handful of physical altercations within the last couple of minutes of the game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Rangers Able to Squeak by the Woeful Buffalo Sabres

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

The New York Rangers were able to take advantage of a slumping team by defeating the Buffalo Sabres by the score of 5-3. Chris Kreider and Kaapo Kakko scored two goals each for the Blueshirts.

Carter Hutton started in net for Buffalo and made two saves before leaving 2:51 into the game after Julien Gauthier slid hard into him while being pushed by Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. Former Ranger Dustin Tokarski, called up from the taxi squad earlier in the day, came on and finished the game.

The Rangers continue with their habit of playing close games this season. Eighteen of the Rangers’ 30 games this season have been decided by two or fewer goals, and 13 of those games have been decided by one goal.

With his second goal, Kreider scored his 173rd career goal with the Rangers, tying Mike Gartner and Tomas Sandstrom for 18th place on the franchise’s all-time goals list, per NYR StatsandInfo. His first goal was on the power play, tying him with Sandstrom for 13th place on the franchise’s all-time power-play goals list. His second was also a power-play, passing Sandstrom on that list.

Adam Fox scored the third goal of the second period, skating in his 100th career NHL game. He has registered 60 points (10 goals, 50 assists) in his first 99 career NHL games. Fox has also been somewhat of an ironman for the Rangers this season, leading the team in ice time in 24 of 30 games. He also had two assists in the game.

The New York Rangers and Fox continue to play solid defense in front of their net

Even though Keith Kinkaid had to make only 16 saves in the game, a couple of the saves could have categorized as outstanding. The Rangers continue to play well in front of their goalies. Heading into tonight’s game, they had held their opponent to 30 shots on goal or fewer in each of the last nine games and in 21 of 30 games this season.

In his post-game Zoom conference, Mika Zibanejad talked about the Ranger’s solid defensive play, especially Adam Fox.”He is unbelievable. The way he plays with the puck, I think everyone can see that. He is so calm and I feel that he makes the right decision all of the time. Defensively he has been really good this year, teaming up with Lindgren, and I feel like they have been rock solid.”

Acting head coach Kris Knoblauch echoed Zibanejad’s words in his post-game Zoom conference. “He (Fox) is really good defensively, making the read. He is not overly physical, he doesn’t play the game like Trouba or Lindgren but he is able to defend with the skills he has.”

The Rangers face two huge games coming up, traveling to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers Thursday night and Saturday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

The New York Rangers mid-season report card

With the New York Rangers playing just over half of their games for the 2020-21 season, it is time to assess how the Blueshirts have played to this point.

Going into Sunday night’s action, the Rangers are 13-13-4, sitting in sixth place in the East Division. They are six points behind the Boston Bruins for the fourth and final playoff spot.

Having one of the youngest teams in the league, inconsistency was to be expected, and it has happened.

New York Rangers forwards grade: C

Much of the forwards issues center around Mika Zibanejad. To be fair, his slow start could have been due to his bout with COVID-19 during training camp. Even though he will not say it, this appears to have been a huge factor in his slow start.

Nevertheless, the Ranger’s offense was not as it was last year, even though they have many of the same cast, along with the addition of the first overall pick.

In 2019-20, the Rangers averaged 3.33 goals per game to rank fifth in the NHL. This year, they are averaging 3.00 goals per game, good for just 15th place ranking in the league.

It has not helped that Artemi Panarin missed 11 games with an injury and a personal leave of absence. He was sorely missed during this time.

The Ranger’s power play has struggled, possibly missing Tony DeAngelo who did do a fine job of being the quarterback for that unit. Lost

Lost faceoffs have been an issue for the offense and the power play. too many times this season, the Ranger’s power play seems to be chasing the puck back in their own end, after losing a faceoff and having their opponents clear the puck.

New York Rangers defense-grade: B+

New assistant coach Jacques Martin has done an outstanding job of getting this unit ready for the season.

In addition to Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba, K’Andre Miller has been a pleasant surprise in his rookie season.

Last year under defensive coach Lindy Ruff, the Rangers ranked 23rd in goals against (3.14 per game) and 30th in shots allowed (34.0 per). This season, the Rangers rank 11th in goals against (2.68) and eighth in shots allowed (28.6). This is even with some inconsistent goaltending.

The penalty kill has been superb. A group that finished 23rd last season is ranked fourth this year. They are pressuring the puck more and force opposition power plays to move it quickly. The defense still needs to be a little tougher in front of the net (think Alex Ovechkin‘s two goals Friday night), but overall this unit has been very solid.

New York Rangers goaltending grade: C

The Rangers can thank Keith Kinkaid for receiving even this high of a mark.

Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev were supposed to be the one-two punch in the net for now and the future. Besides the Islander’s shutout, Georgiev has given up way too many soft goals. He is also getting himself out of position, leaving the net open for opponents. (Again, reflect back on Ovechkin’s first goal on Friday)

While Shesterkin still recovers from a “minor” groin strain, he has also been guilty of giving up too many soft goals.

Think about it, have the Rangers won a game this year when they were outplayed? No, because the goalies have been unable to steal even a single one in the first half of the season.

New York Rangers coaching grade: Incomplete

While basing head coach David Quinn has been fashionable, the reality of what is going on in the world has made it necessary to not evaluate a coaching staff until the entire season has been completed.

Plus, it would be a bit insensitive to grade a coaching staff who is sitting home due to the NHL COVID protocols. It is possible that one or even more of the coaches have contracted the virus.

While it is great to win games, one of the other tasks of a coach is to teach and develop players. One can argue that he has done that with some, and not so much with others.

Overall, Quinn and the Rangers are sitting exactly at the point in the standings that many pundits thought they would be at, and where they will be at the end of the season.

After the season is the best time, especially during a pandemic, to look at how the coaching staff has done their jobs.

 

 

 

 

New York Rangers fall on two Ovechkin third period goals

The New York Rangers took a one-goal lead into the third period, but Alex Ovechkin scored twice in the third period and the Washington Capitals rallied for their seventh consecutive win by the score of 2-1.

Artemi Panarin scored the first and only Ranger goal at 16:42 of the first period. Per the fine people at NYR Stats&Info, Panarin extended his point streak to four games. He has also registered a point in each of his last eight games against the Capitals and has tallied 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in his last five games against Washington.

Goaltender Alexandar Georgiev allowed just those two goals to Ovechkin on 18 shots in the loss.

The New York Rangers were done in by Ovechkin

Coming into the game, Ovechkin had six goals and one assist over the last 10 games for Washington.  He recorded his 147th career multi-goal game and tied Gordie Howe for fourth place on the League’s all-time list. Ovechkin has seven goals in his past seven games and 720 in the NHL, 11 behind Marcel Dionne for fifth place in NHL history.

After the game, Jacob Trouba talked about the game and the Ovechkin goals in his post-game Zoom conference. “We had some breakdowns but we liked how we played. He had a couple of rebounds in the last five minutes, it’s tough to lose that way. That is a team that has been playing really well and they have some high-powered offensive weapons.”

Acting coach Kris Knoblauch said in his post-game Zoom conference that “I think on the first Ovechkin goal it was a matter of sorting out who was the first man back. Goal scorers find a way to score goals and usually it is around the net. It was a small mistake but ultimately you can’t keep him off the score sheet all the time.”

There was a little bit of good news on Friday, as the Rangers reported that goaltender Igor Shesterkin skated Friday morning and remains day to day with a strained groin. Keith Kinkaid backed up Georgiev while Shesterkin missed his eighth consecutive game since getting injured on March 4.

The two teams will square off again in Washington with a 7 p.m. puck drop.

 

 

New York Rangers rally behind substitute coaches in beating the Flyers 9-0

On an unusual night, the New York Rangers showed some unusual offensive prowess in beating the Philadelphia Flyers 9-0.

What made this game unusual was that head coach David Quinn and assistants Jacques Martin, David Oliver, and Greg Brown were not available for the game. They are were out due to the NHL COVID-19 protocol guidelines.

Kris Knoblauch, coach of Hartford of the American Hockey League, the Rangers’ affiliate, replaced Quinn as acting coach for the game. Hartford associate coach Gord Murphy and Rangers associate general manager Chris Drury were the assistants.

The Rangers responded in a big way with their 9 goal output. In his post-game Zoom interview, goalie Alexandar Georgiev said of the nine-goal effort: “I have no words, to be honest. It was surreal. I obviously tried to focus on my job but you could not ignore how unbelievable the guys were playing.” Georgiev stopped all 26 shots to earn the shutout victory. This was a big win for the young goaltender after being pulled in his last two games.

Mika Zibanejad tallied six points in the New York Ranger victory

Mika Zibanejad was nothing short of brilliant in tying an NHL record by scoring six points in the second period of the New York Rangers’ win. Zibanejad scored a natural hat trick and had three assists to join former New York Islanders center Bryan Trottier as the only players to score six points in a period of an NHL game.

Pavel Buchnevich scored four points (two goals, two assists) after missing the game Monday, a 5-4 overtime loss against the Flyers because he was on the NHL COVID-19 protocol list. Buchnevich was only told of him being eligible to play this morning. After the game, he told the media that “I don’t know what was going on there, I have the antibodies.”

Artemi Panarin, Brendan Lemieux, and Filip Chytil also scored goals for the Rangers.

In his post-game Zoom conference, Zibanejad talked about how the team came together after hearing about the coaches who were placed on the list. “You get a little shock when you hear that, you just have to be able to adapt. We came together as a group and played for each other.”

They will need to come together regardless of who is on the bench as the Rangers travel to Washington on Friday and Saturday to take on the division-leading Capitals.