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 recall players for Taxi Squad

The New York Rangers have recalled six players to be used on their Taxi Squad in accordance with the new agreement between the NHL and NHLPA.

The New York Rangers have recalled six players to be on the Taxi Squad as the team resumes their NHL schedule with a contest in Florida on Wednesday night.

Morgan Barron,  Jonny Brodzinski, Tim Gettinger,  Zac Jones, Matthew Robertson, and  Adam Huska will join the team for practices but will have to be officially recalled if and when the club decides to put them in the lineup.

The NHL and NHLPA agreed to have Taxi Squads during the league’s recent pause. The NHL returns to play following a week off to help combat the COVID situation.

Taxi squads will be used through the team’s last game before the 2022 NHL All-Star break. Maximum of 6six players per taxi squad, all subject to waiver requirements where applicable. Nobody can spend more than 20 days on the taxi squad during this temporary period.

The Rangers had recalled goaltender Keith Kinkaid on Monday to back up Igor Shesterkin with Alexandar Georgiev in Covid Protocol.  It’s expected that Huska will be sent back down and replaced by Kinkaid on the Taxi Squad once Georgiev retunes from COVID Protocol.

New York Rangers get back on the ice; 3 players enter COVID protocol

The New York Rangers returned to their training facility on Sunday for Covid testing and their first practice since the NHL paused the season last Tuesday.

Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, and Igor Shesterkin were among the New York Rangers who participated in practice on Sunday afternoon as the team prepares to play in their first game, Wednesday at Florida, since a 3-2 shootout loss to the Golden Knights on Dec. 17.

The day started out with the club announcing that three players were placed in Covid Protocol.

Defensemen Patrik Nemeth, Ryan Lindgren, and goaltender Alexandar Georgiev were unavailable to practice with the team Sunday.

 NHL/NHLPA reach agreement with regards to COVID protocol

The NHL and NHLPA reached an agreement to bring back “Taxi Squads” on a temporary basis.

A brief breakdown of how the Taxi Squad will work for each team is below per an NHL media release.

The NHL and the NHLPA have agreed to the formation of a “Taxi Squad” in order to provide Clubs with readily-available Players who can be recalled to the NHL in order to minimize the chances that Clubs have to play shorthanded or games have to be postponed due to pandemic-related issues. Specifically:

* Clubs will be permitted to form Taxi Squads on a temporary basis beginning on Dec. 26, 2021 (subject to Holiday Roster Freeze restrictions), and lasting through the date of their final game prior to the scheduled dates for the 2022 All-Star Break. After each Club’s final game before the All-Star Break, its Taxi Squad will dissolve. Clubs may then recall or Reassign the Players that were assigned to the Taxi Squad.

* Clubs will be permitted to assign a maximum of six (6) Players to their Taxi Squad. All such assignments will be subject to Waiver requirements as applicable. No individual Player may spend more than twenty (20) cumulative days on the Taxi Squad during the temporary formation period.

* Players on Loan to the Taxi Squad will be permitted to travel and practice with the NHL Club, however, such Players can only play in an NHL Game if recalled and placed on the NHL Club’s Active Roster before such NHL Game (and no later than the appropriate 5:00 p.m. deadline). Although not all Players on Loan to the Taxi Squad are required to travel to all away games, it is recommended that a sufficient number of Taxi Squad Players travel with the Club to ensure an adequate number of Players are available for Recalls as may be necessary.

The Rangers will be able to utilize the Taxi Squad provided their AHL affiliate, The Hartford Wolf Pack, does not have multiple players in Covid Protocols.

The NHL postponed three more games scheduled for Tuesday, but as of Monday morning, the Blueshirts game a the Florida Panthers on Wednesday was still on the schedule.

A game at the Garden against the Detroit Red Wings was scheduled for Monday night but was postponed by the league late last week. Instead, the Rangers will have an 11 a.m. practice.

Notes from Practice

Once the Rangers hit the ice Sunday, the lines that were used in practice looked like this;

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

With Georgiev in protocol and the team waiting for Igor Shesterkin test to come back, the Rangers needed someone to put on the pads at the beginning of practice.

Enter team equipment manager Time Webb. Wearing old pads by former Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, Webb took the ice and made his contribution to help get the team’s practice started.

Keith Kinkaid

Provided he has a negative Covid test expect Keith Kinkaid to be called back to the team and back up Shesterkin. Kinkaid played has played in one game this season defeating the Coyotes 3-2 in Arizona.  Kinkaid made 29 saves on 31 shots keeping the team in the game as they struggled early on.

 

Igor Shesterkin off IR, Patrik Nemeth in COVID protocol

The Rangers inched closer to welcoming back their star goaltender but have lost a defenseman to health and safety protocols.

The New York Rangers announced on Saturday that star goaltender Igor Shesterkin has been removed from injured reserve, sending Keith Kinkaid back to AHL Hartford. Additionally, defenseman Patrik Nemeth was placed in COVID protocols.

Shesterkin has not played since leaving Dec. 3’s win over San Jose with a non-contact lower-body injury. His efforts spurred the Rangers’ hot start that currently has them amongst the Metropolitan Division’s elite. Shesterkin had begun traveling with the team on its recent road trip but now returns to the active roster with this move.

Despite missing the last eight games, Shesterkin (13-3-2, 2.05 GAA) continues to pace the NHL’s qualifying goaltenders in save percentage at .937. The Rangers (19-7-4) have performed respectably in his absence, having gone 4-3-1 with the services of Kinkaid, Alexandar Georgiev, and Adam Huska. Georgiev has taken over the primary duties, going 3-2-1 with a .935 save percentage in the seven games since Shesterkin’s injury.

Nemeth, in the midst of his first season with the Rangers after eight prior seasons with Dallas, Colorado, and Detroit, has been placed in COVID protocols, the team’s first entrant in the NHL’s recent uptick in cases amidst the Omicron variant. He has partaken in all 30 games this season, earning two assists on the third defensive pairing.

It should be noted that the Arizona Coyotes, the Rangers’ Wednesday opponent, placed three players on their own COVID list, including Jay Beagle, Lawson Crouse, and Alex Galchenyuk.

For the time being, the Rangers are currently scheduled to take on the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night (7 p.m. ET, MSG). It will be their final game before five scheduled days off for the league’s annual Christmas break.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Rangers Finish Season in Style with win over Boston

The New York Rangers could have just played out the season and left for vacation. Instead, the Blueshirts put in a strong effort in defeating the Boston Bruins 5-4 to wrap up their 2021 season.

Mika Zibanejad scored two of New York’s four third-period goals, and the Rangers ended their season by halting their five-game losing streak.

Keith Kinkaid made 28 saves before leaving with an injury midway into the third period. Igor Shesterkin finished up in goal with seven saves.

Alexis Lafreniere and Vitali Kravtsov also scored in a wild third when the Rangers overcame a 2-1 deficit. K’Andre Miller started the scoring with a goal in the first period. Pavel Buchnevich seemed a little snakebit with his puck shooting but did add three assists in the victory.

The victory will bolster the spirits of the New York Rangers

Heading into the offseason, the win against a playoff-bound Bruins team should help bolster the spirits of a young Rangers team.

That sentiment was echoed by Zibanejad in his post-game Zoom comments. “It means more than what you would think right now. Especially the way things have been going the whole season, especially the last 10 days or so, that’s been kind of crazy with the guys that are not here right now. The way we battled through it and get the win, that was good.”

In his post-game conference, head coach David Quinn noted that it was nice to give newly appointed general manager Chris Drury his first win. “I know all of us were very happy that we were able to get him that first one.”

After the firing of John Davidson and Jeff Gorton earlier in the week, it will be Quinn that decides which direction the franchise is heading, including on whether or not to retain Quinn as head coach.

Quinn also was pleased with the effort and the win stating that “it’s been difficult. It was great to finish the way we did.”

With the win, the Rangers will finish in fifth place in the NHL’s East division.

 

New York Rangers Taxi Squad Gem: Keith Kinkaid

It was probably not what the New York Rangers were thinking when they signed Keith Kinkaid. When the Rangers signed the 31-year-old Long Island native in October, they thought was that he would be there just in case something happened COVID-wise to Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev. However, that “something” turned into a Shesterkin injury, and Georgiev being very shaky of late.

He was not exactly unknown to the Rangers and head coach David Quinn. “I knew him way back to his Union [College] days and coached him in the World Championships [in 2016], so I’m pretty familiar with him,’’ Quinn said post-game after Kinkaid came in against the Penguins on March 7. “I’ve always thought him to be a good goalie.’’

Kinkaid played for Union College from 2009–2011. In his freshman season, he was named to the ECAC All-Rookie Team and Third Team. Kinkaid had an outstanding sophomore season in which he posted a 25-10-3 record and led the Dutchmen to their first NCAA tournament appearance and was named an AHCA East First-Team All-American. He was also named to the All-ECAC Hockey First Team. He was awarded the Ken Dryden Award as the best goaltender in the ECAC. Kinkaid signed an entry-level contract with the Devils in April 2011 after his sophomore season with Union.

After a couple of seasons with New Jersey, he bounced around a bit in the NHL. Last season he spent some time with the Montreal Canadiens. However, he did not play well in Montreal and was sent down to finish the season in the AHL.

The Rangers then signed him in October as some COVID-19 insurance. With the Shersterkin injury and Georgiev not playing well, Kinkaid got his chance to play on March 7 when he came in for Georgiev.

The veteran netminder has been solid for a team that needed some consistency in net. He is 3-0-1 in his last four starts, but since shutting out the Bruins on March 13 he has just a so-so 2.95 GAA and .885 save percentage.

The New York Rangers gained another benefit from signing Kinkaid.

When the Rangers signed Kinkaid, they inked him to a two-year deal. This allowed them to have a goaltender they could potentially expose for this summer’s Seattle Kraken expansion draft. 

According to the NHL, teams must make available one goalie who is under contract in 2021-22. A player could also be a restricted free agent at the end of his current contract immediately prior to 2021-22. If a team elects to make a restricted free agent goalie available, this will meet a requirement the goalie must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the team’s protected list.

While it is likely that Kinkaid will be made available, his good play the rest of the seasons would at least give them options in case something happens to Georgiev. Shesterkin is ineligible for selection as first and second-year players are exempt from selection.

While Kinkaid waited patiently for his chance to show he can still play the NHL, he gave credit to Rangers goalie coach Benoit Allaire for helping him rebuild his confidence and his game after that rough 2019-20 season.

“I’ve been hoping for a break,’’ Kinkaid said post-game after his first Rangers start on March 9. “I plan on taking absolute control of this opportunity. And to prove I still belong in this league.’’

Thankfully for the New York Rangers, he has done just that.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

New York Rangers: different night, different result

The New York Rangers “flipped the script” in defeating the Washington Capitals 3-1. Coming off last night’s disappointing loss, Mika Zibanejad broke a tie with 2:32 remaining in the third period to lead the Rangers to the victory.

Brett Howden scored into an empty net with 28 seconds left for the final Rangers goal.

Adam Fox continues his solid play for the Rangers. Fox made an excellent pass to Pavel Buchnevich on the Ranger’s first goal. Per NYR StatsandInfo, Fox recorded his 50th career assist and 60th career point in his 99th career NHL game. The only Ranger defensemen who recorded more assists and points than Fox has within their first 100 career NHL games are Brian Leetch, Sergei Zubov, and Reijo Ruotsalainen. Also, ten of Fox’s 16 assists this season have been primary assists, and he is tied for seventh among NHL defensemen in primary assists in 2020-21.

The New York Rangers will be without Quinn for a few more games, Johnson for the season.

Jack Johnson will miss the remainder of the campaign after undergoing core muscle repair surgery, the team announced Saturday.  Johnson had a limited role with the Rangers, averaging a career-low 16:58 per game while only finding his way into the lineup 13 times. He finishes the season with one goal and no assists.

Head Coach David Quinn will probably miss at least two more games, based on the NHL’s Positive Test Protocol as speculated by the NY Post’s Larry Brooks. The protocol states that “Upon the passage of 10 days since the first positive test, provided the individual has remained asymptomatic during the entire period of their self-isolation; and Satisfaction of the Additional Criteria in 4.3 [that mandates the team physician and infectious disease expert must conclude the individual, ‘no longer presents a risk of infection to others.’”

There is also the condition that pertains to persons with symptoms at the time of testing or thereafter states that quarantine may end, “If at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.

All of this points to a possible return next Friday or Saturday for Quinn.

Keith Kinkaid talked about how important this win was after last night’s loss. “It was basically the same script but I guess you would say that we flipped the script,” Kinkaid said in his post-game Zoom conference. Our attention to detail and our blocking shots at the end of the game were huge.”

Kinkaid stopped 28 of 29 shots faced, including 11 in the third period.

The Rangers will be back in action on Monday night when they host the struggling Buffalo Sabres.

 

 

 

 

 

New York Rangers fall to the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime thriller

In a back-and-forth game, the New York Rangers got sloppy with the puck in overtime and fell to the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4. Jakub Voracek intercepted a Keith Kinkaid pass and scored at 3:47 of overtime to give the Flyers the win.

The Rangers played the game without Adam Fox, Pavel Buchnevich, and Phil DiGuiseppe. The three Rangers were earlier placed on the NHL’s COVID protocol list. This also led the Rangers to cancel their morning skate, something that may have influenced their slow start. The Flyers jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead against the Rangers who came out very flat.

Tarmo Reunanen was called up and got his first NHL assist on Artemi Panarin‘s second-period goal. Panarin had two assists in the Rangers’ three-goal second period, and Colin Blackwell, Julien Gauthier, and Kevin Rooney also scored.

Head coach David Quinn talked after this game in his Zoom conference on the importance of Panarin’s return.

“You can see how our lineup is totally different when he is in there,” Quinn said. “We are just a much more of a balanced team. When you have a player of that caliber in your lineup, you are that more dangerous. The whole team feels better about itself and he has certainly given us that jolt in the two games he has played.”

The New York Rangers start slow after losing three players to COVID

Jacob Trouba talked about everything that went on during the last day in the post-game Zoom conference. “Before the game, it was a wild 24 hours for us. We didn’t get off to the start we wanted but I thought we came out and played much better in the second. It was kind of back and forth in the third but we lost the special teams game which was pretty telling.”

Quinn also addressed how his team rebounded from the slow start. “You have to shake off bad stretches. every team has them during the course of a game. How quickly can you shake them off and how quickly can you stop the bleeding? I really like our start of the second. I thought our guys approached it the right way.”

The Rangers will face the Flyers again on Wednesday night, with a 7:30 puck drop due to the national broadcast on NBCSN.

 

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The New York Rangers shutout in “frustrating” loss to Boston

New York Rangers, Mika Zibanejad

Normally, an article about the New York Rangers would start with a little summary of what happened in the game. Not tonight. This article is going to jump right into post-game comments after a very poor showing in a 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins.

In his post-game Zoom conference, Jacob Trouba explained that the Rangers were trying to give it their full effort on the ice. “I don’t think it spiraled out of control. Obviously, we had some breakdowns that led to goals, but I don’t think it totally fell off a cliff.”

“Frustrating.” head coach David Quinn said in his post-game Zoom conference. “I thought we had a good start, was playing well, and had some chances early. The short-handed goal was the backbreaker in a lot of ways. You could kind of sense it. They got goals on their chances and we didn’t.”

Quinn was also disappointed by the lack of production from the Ranger’s power-play. “Our power-play obviously has to be fixed. They get a power-play goal and special teams were really the difference tonight.”

Echoing Jacob Trouba’s comments, Quinn said that “We kept competing right up to the buzzer. We got down 4-0 and it could have got ugly but we kept playing. There are certainly some positives to take out of it and we have to dust ourselves off and get ready to play Saturday afternoon.”

Quinn also mentioned that a lot of the issues for the Rangers was that when they make mistakes, they are big mistakes. This helps explain why the Rangers have been outscored 13-3 in their last three losses.

Takeaways from the New York Rangers loss to Boston

For the second straight time that he has started, Alexandar Georgiev was pulled during the game with just under five minutes gone in the second period. The young Russian gave up four goals in fourteen shots. On the four goals, Boston scored shorthanded, even strength, and on the power play.

Keith Kinkaid finished the game for the Blueshirts by stopping all 13 shots he faced.

Up until tonight, the Rangers had been outstanding in killing penalties. They had not allowed a power-play goal in 15 of their last 17 games, including nine of the last 10 games and each of the last seven games. The Rangers had killed off 54 of their opponents’ 58 power-play opportunities over the last 18 games and have held their opponents to only 73 shots on goal during their opponents’ 58 power-play opportunities over the span.

The two teams will play again Saturday afternoon.