New York Rangers hold on to Sweep the New Jersey Devils

While the New York Yankees were getting swept in the Bronx by the Tampa Bay Rays, the New York Rangers kept their playoff hopes alive by sweeping the New Jersey Devils by a score of 5-3.

Sweeping a team in baseball is somewhat common, but not so much in the NHL. According to the NHL Public Relations, the Rangers are the first team in NHL history that has won four consecutive team games that were all against the same opponent in the regular season. The NHL does not usually give teams four straight games against the same opponent, but COVID-19 has required the league to make some scheduling adjustments for this season.

The Blueshirts did not make it easy, blowing another early three-goal lead before Mika Zibanejad slammed home a power-play goal with just three minutes left in the game. Ryan Strome was awarded an empty-net goal after a P.K. Subban hooking penalty on a breakaway to make the final tally for the Rangers.

Vitali Kravtsov scored his first NHL goal at 14:03 of the first period. Chris Kreider and Alexis Lafreniere scored the other goals for the Rangers. After a bit of a slow start, Lafreniere has started to find his groove. HIs seven even-strength goals are the fifth-most among NHL rookies while his 13 even strength points are the fourth-most among NHL rookies.

Alexandar Georgiev made 10 saves on 10 shots but was helped off the ice after making a save at 17:41 of the first period. Igor Shesterkin made two saves on two shots in 2:19 of relief. Georgiev returned in the second period and finished with 25 saves.

After the game, Georgiev stated that something felt out of place with his left knee.  He credited the Ranger’s training staff for taking care of it and getting him back into play.

The New York Rangers once again have to hold off a Devils rally in the third period

In his post-game interview, Zibanejad talked about how the Rangers regrouped after the Devils had rallied to tie the game. “You try to calm down on the bench a little bit and you try not to panic. There was a lot of hockey left and we had to go back and play hockey like we should. But give them (New Jersey) credit, they work real hard.”

Georgiev also talked about how the Rangers were able to “weather the storm” when the Devils tied the game. “After the second goal, they kind of got the momentum going. I think they really wanted to break the streak. It was a great job by us to weather the storm and for Mika to get the goal.”

“I thought we had a good 2nd period,” head coach David Quinn said in his post-game Zoom conference. “That second goal gave them momentum and then all of a sudden it is three-three. We found a way to get it done. Playing a team four times in a row, no matter what league you are in, you have to find ways to win.”

The Rangers are fifth in the eight-team East Division, four points behind the fourth-place Boston Bruins. Boston has two games in hand in fighting for the fourth and final playoff spot.

The Blueshirts will head travel to Nassau County to take on the Islanders on Tuesday night.

 

 

 

 

The New York Rangers use a Buchnevich Hat Trick to Defeat the Devils

After dominating the New Jersey Devils for almost two and a half games, the New York Rangers almost lost a four-goal lead on Saturday afternoon. Pavel Buchnevich had his first career hat trick and the Rangers held off a Devil’s rally to win by the score of 6-3.

Buchnevich is the first player in franchise history to score a hat trick on his birthday. He is the 14th
NHL player with a birthday hat trick and only Wayne Gretzky did it twice.

After scoring the first four goals of the game, the Devils rallied back with three goals to narrow the margin. The Rangers then added two empty-net goals to seal the victory.

Artemi Panarin added four points in the effort, scoring a goal with three assists while Mika Zibanejad and Ryan Strome also added three assists.

Igor Shesterkin finally gave up a goal to the Devils after going over 199 minutes of holding them scoreless.

Per the NHL Public Relations, Shesterkin has established a Ranger franchise record for the longest shutout streak against one opponent. He broke the record held by Dave Kerr, who went 198:07 against the Montreal Canadiens during the 1939-40 season.

The Rangers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period as Buchnevich scored twice. Strome scored the other goal in the first period. Panarin scored in the second period while Buchnevich and Chris Kreider added the empty netters.

The New York Rangers were not pleased with their third-period effort

In his post-game Zoom conference, Mika Zibanejad addressed the issues that led to the Devils almost coming back from a four-goal deficit. “We stopped playing a little bit. We just made it way too easy for them. They were good enough to take advantage of their chances. That obviously was not good but I like how we stuck it out and got the win.”

“They were winning way too many one-on-one battles,” head coach David Quinn said in his post-game conference. It really was a reflection of where we were mentally. Once we got up 4-0 we disrespected the game and our opponent. I wasn’t surprised by the pushback we got from New Jersey. We got outplayed in the second half of that game and we have a very, very difficult game tomorrow.”

The two teams will for the final game of their four-game series on Sunday afternoon in New Jersey.

 

 

 

 

 

The New York Rangers roll for a Second Straight win over New Jersey

Artemi Panarin scored two goals and added an assist to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils. The Blueshirts started the game hot as they scored three of their goals in the first period.

Igor Shesterkin shut out the Devils for the second game in a row, stopping all 16 shots. This was the first time that a Ranger goaltender has shut out a team in two consecutive games since it was last done in 1955.

Ranger nation was a little worried when the team announced that Panarin missed the morning skate due to maintenance. However, head coach David Quinn confirmed that he would be playing on Thursday night.

Quinn seemed very prophetic about Panarin’s performance as he discussed his star player in his pre-game Zoom conference.  “Artemi is a special player. There are not a lot of players in this league that can do what he does.”

Panarin scored the third and fourth goals for the Rangers. Jacob Trouba started the scoring for the Rangers and Ryan Lindgren tallied his first goal of the season for the first two Ranger tallies. Panarin has posted seven different three-point games at MSG this season. He is the first Ranger to post at least seven three-point games at home in the same season since Jaromir Jagr in 2006-07.

Colin Blackwell continues to do well with his promotion to Panarin’s line, adding three assists for the Rangers. Blackwell has established single-game career-highs with three assists and three points. Blackwell and Panarin were on the ice for each of the Ranger’s four goals.

The New York Rangers defensive unit has been excellent in all aspects.

In addition to Shesterkin’s fine play, the Rangers defense played well in front of him. The Blueshirts only allowed the Devils three shots in the first period and four shots in the third. The  Rangers were also credited for blocking 20 shots in the game.

The unit has not only been solid in their defensive end, but they have also contributed on the offensive end as well. Five different defensemen have tallied a goal over the last four games (K’Andre Miller, Libor Hajek, Brendan Smith, Trouba, and Lindgren), and each of the six NYR defensemen (Adam Fox, Miller, Hajek, Smith, Trouba, and Lindgren) have recorded a goal over the last six games.

Leading this offensive output has been Fox, who recorded his 35th assist of the season, establishing a career-high. He is the first Ranger defenseman 23 years old or younger to tally at least 35 assists in a season since Sergei Zubov in 1993-94.

The two teams meet again in a Saturday afternoon matinee at MSG.

 

 

 

Shesterkin’s First Career Shutout leads the New York Rangers to Victory

Igor Shesterkin recorded his first career NHL shutout in leading the New York Rangers past the New Jersey Devils 3-0. Shesterkin stopped all 27 shots that he faced.

Shesterkin came out ready to play as he stopped Jesper Bratt with his right pad on a breakaway attempt 22 seconds into the first. He later denied Miles Wood with his blocker on a breakaway attempt at 4:16 of the second period.

Mika Zibanejad opened the scoring for the Rangers with a goal at 7:02 of the first period. He has registered 12 goals since Mar. 17, which is the most in the NHL over that span. He also has scored 12 goals in his last 15 games.

Artemi Panarin scored the second goal, playing in his 100th game as a New York Ranger. That goal gives him 138 total points, passing Mark Messier for the most points by a player in their first 100 career games with the Blueshirts.

Adam Fox had assists on both the Panarin and Zibanejad goals. Not counting what Victor Hedman did tonight, Fox leads NHL defensemen in assists (33) and points (38) this season.

Pavel Buchnevich added an empty-net goal to round out the Ranger scoring. Buchnevich’s score was the 20,000th goal in New York Rangers history. They join the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Detroit Red Wings to reach the milestone.

Shesterkin was outstanding in goal for the New York Rangers

In his post-game interview, Jacob Trouba had nothing but praise for his goaltender. “He’s been good. Ever since he got here, he has been a top-of-the-line goalie. Every night he seems to make some saves that you don’t expect a goalie to make and usually that is the difference in a game.”

“Igor has been great,” Zibanejad added in his post-game Zoom conference. “It was unbelievable last year as well. I feel that he gives us a chance to win games every night. He comes up with big saves at the right time.”

Shesterkin was pleased and humbled by his first career shutout. “It obviously means a lot,” Shesterkin said in his Zoom conference.  “I want to thank all the players who played in front of me and blocked shots all game, especially at the end when it was so meaningful to me to get this win and the shutout. They did it for me and I’m thankful.”

The two teams will meet for the second game of their four-game series Thursday night at MSG.

 

 

 

 

The New York Rangers Rally but fall to the Islanders in Overtime

The New York Rangers did pick up one point in their playoff run after falling to the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. Ryan Pulock scored his first goal of the season at the 1:13 mark of the overtime period to give the Isles the extra point.

The Rangers came very close to winning the game at 17:19 of the third period when a Ryan Lindgren shot from the left circle hit Scott Mayfield‘s skate and went off the crossbar.

After giving up two goals to the Islanders in the first period, the Rangers rallied in the second to tie the game.

The Rangers have done very well in the second period this season. Per NYR Stats & Info, the Blueshirts have outscored opponents, 52-36 in the second period this season. The Rangers rank third in the NHL in goals and rank fourth in the NHL in goal differential (+16) in the second period in the 2020-21 season.

The Rangers got their first two goals from a couple of defensemen, courtesy of Libor Hajek and Brendan Smith. Vitali Kravtsov earned an assist on the Smith goal, which is his first career NHL point. Mika Zibanejad had the other assist.

Igor Shesterkin stopped 28 shots in regulation, while also facing his former Russian National goaltending teammate and KHL opponent.

Shesterkin and Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin played against each other in the NHL for the first time. Shesterkin and Sorokin faced each other 11 times in the regular season and playoffs in the KHL. They were also teammates on the “Athletes from Russia” Olympic team in 2018.

New York Rangers were pleased by their response after a poor first period

Smith discussed how well the New York Rangers responded after falling behind in the first period. “The Islanders came out hot and I don’t think we weathered the storm as well as we wanted to,” Smith said in his post-game Zoom conference. “But then we go back to our game. We talked about it in the dressing room and I like what our leadership core said there. Our young players bought in and we played good in the second and third.”

Head coach David Quinn echoed Smith’s feelings in his post-game conference. “I certainly like what we did in the second and third periods. I am disappointed that we did not get the two points but every point is life and death now but we have got to be better three-on-three, something that we will probably work on in the next practice. But I did like how we bounced back after a tough first period.”

The Rangers will now face the New Jersey Devils for four straight games, starting with a game on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center.

 

 

New York Rangers Struggle in loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins

What a difference a couple of days makes. Two days ago, the New York Rangers scored four goals in the first period and chased Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry. On Thursday, the Blueshirts could only muster two goals against Jarry in a 5-2 loss to the Penguins.

Colin Blackwell scored the first Ranger goal at 2:02 of the second period. His power-play goal has given him six points in the last six games.

After falling behind by the score of 4-1, Kevin Rooney scored at 13:48 of the third period to close the gap. Adam Fox had the only assist. With the assist, Fox extended his point streak to 12 games. Per the @PR_NHL, his streak is the sixth time that a Ranger defenseman has posted a 12-game point streak or longer in franchise history.

The Rangers had plenty of chances to score more than two goals. Both Mika Zibanejad and Filip Chytil missed open nets. Chris Kreider came up empty on a penalty shot.

Igor Shesterkin made 27 saves as the Rangers’ four-game point streak and Artemi Panarin‘s streak of four straight multi-point games ended.

After the game in his Zoom conference, Zibanejad talked about the difference from the game two nights ago. “I think they (Pittsburgh) were obviously better this game. They made it hard for us and we might have been a little too stubborn with the puck. I thought we were trying to force plays too much.”

“I thought we had a bunch of things lacking tonight'” head coach David Quinn said in his Zoom conference. “Certainly taking advantage of a bunch of opportunities we had tonight and certainly it wasn’t what it was two nights ago. There were other issues that we had that caused us to be in this position.”

The New York Rangers and their road to the playoffs gets a bit tougher as they head out to Long Island to take on the Islanders on Friday night. The Islanders are 17-1-2 on the season at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Mika Zibanejad Helps the New York Rangers from Looking Foolish in Buffalo

Mika Zibanejad saved the New York Rangers from a really bad April Fools prank. Zibanejad scored off an Artemi Panarin pass to lead the Blueshirts to a 3-2 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres. The Rangers appeared to be destined for a regulation win until Buffalo scored late in the third period to send the game to overtime.

The goal and the win spared the Rangers from a loss against the team with the worst record in the NHL. On Wednesday, the Sabres ended a shootout-era record of 18 games without a win by beating the Flyers 6-1.

In his post-game interview, Zibanejad talked about his overtime goal. “It’s a little bit of different game 3 on 3. We got a 2-on-1 and we took advantage of it. We took the two points and we move on.”

Zibanejad tallied his sixth overtime goal with the Rangers, which is the fourth-most in franchise history.

After giving up a first-period goal to Sabres Rasmus Asplund, Colin Blackwell tied the game with a goal in the second period. Blackwell has registered three goals/points in the last three games, according to NYR Stats&Info. He currently ranks fourth on the Rangers in even-strength goals and is tied for fifth on the team in goals his season with nine.

Ryan Strome assisted on Blackwell’s goal. Strome now has an 11-game point streak, which is the longest active point streak in the NHL. It is also tied for the third-longest point streak in the league this season.

The New York Rangers controlled the action in the last two periods

Filip Chytil scored at the 6:14 mark of the third period. His goal gave the Rangers the lead which held up until Buffalo’s Tage Thompson scored with 3.6 seconds left to send the game to overtime.

The Rangers controlled most of the action in the last two periods. The Blueshirts outshot the Sabres by a margin of 47-23, including a 37-11 margin in the final two periods and overtime.

Even though the Rangers had 47 shots on goal, head coach David Quinn still feels that the Rangers still need to shoot more often. After describing how the Sabres overtime goal gave them a kick in the butt, Quinn said in his post-game Zoom conference that “we still have to have more of a shooting mentality.”

Igor Shesterkin stopped 21 of the 23 Sabres shots on goal. He appeared to have been hurt when form Ranger Steven Fogarty was called for interference after sliding into Shesterkin. Shesterkin told the media after the game that he feels fine.

The two teams meet again in Buffalo on Saturday night with a 7 p.m. puck drop.

 

 

 

 

 

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.