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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Defense?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Follow Frank Curto on Twitter at @RangerProud

New York Rangers 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

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’ Mika Zibanejad voted in “Last man”, unable to attend due to personal reasons

New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad was voted into the NHL All-Star Game but will be unable to attend the event due to personal reasons.

New York Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad has been selected as an NHL All-Star through the Last Men In fan vote, but will not be going to the event due to personal reasons.

Zibanejad, 28, has been selected to his first career All-Star Game and is the third member of the Rangers (Chris Kreider and Adam Fox) to be selected to the event in Las Vegas on February 5.

Zibanejad put a post out via his Instagram account stating that he had to fly to Sweden for personal reasons and was unable to attend the All-Star game next month.

Thank you to all of the fans who voted for me to play in the 2022 NHL All-Star Game. Unfortunately, due to a personal situation in Sweden, I will be unable to attend this year.

Being an NHL All-Star, and representing the Rangers with Kreids and Foxy, would have been an absolute thrill. Thank you to everyone for understanding.

Pittsburgh Penguins Jake Guentzel will replace Zibanejad.

Per NHL rules, a player who is named to the All-Star Game but does not participate is suspended for one regular-season game, either immediately preceding or following the All-Star break.

A source, Forever Blueshirts, has told me that the New York Rangers have stated that  Zibanejad will not be suspended for missing the game.

 

 

Kreider scores 200th NHL goal as Rangers drop San Jose 3-0

Chris Kreider scored his 200th career goal, Braden Schneider netted his first NHL goal, and Igor Shesterkin shut out the Sharks in the  New York Rangers 3-0 win.

Chris Kreider scored his first career short-handed goal in the first period of the New York Rangers and ended that game by recording his 200th NHL as the Blueshirts defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-0 on Thursday night.  Earlier in the day, he was named to the NHL All-Star along with defenseman Adam Fox.

As has been the case most days recently, the Rangers had another player enter Covid Protocol and this time it was Alexis Lafreniere.

The Blueshirts lineup was a mix of NHL and AHL players with the team doing its best to maneuver through the pandemic issues.  Head coach Kris Knoblauch ( up from the AHL due to Gerrard Gallant’s positive test earlier this week) must have felt comfortable with many of his Wolf Pack players in the game on Thursday.

Kreider scored his first of the game off a short-handed feed from Mika Zibaenajad.  It was the 22nd goal of the year for Kreider with Zibanejad and Adam Fox getting the helpers to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead early in the first period.

Zibanejad extended his point streak to four games (2G-2A). It was his second shorthanded point of the season and 16th of his career. In his last 10 games, Zibanejad has registered eight goals and five assists for 13 points and has points in five of his last six games (5G-2A).

Adam Fox continues to have a great season. He recorded his team-leading 32nd assist and team-leading 37th  point of the season. Fox’s 37 points are the third most among league defensemen.

That score held until the third period when rookie Braden Schneider made the score 2-0 last 1:27 of the third period. Ryan Strome found Schneider on the top of the circle and then blistered a shot past Sharks goalie Adin Hill.

The goal was the first of his NHL career in his first NHL game. Schneider is the seventh defenseman in Rangers franchise history to score in his first NHL game.

Rookie Jitters

The 20-year-old Schneider was expectedly nervous before the game began on Thursday as was reported by Chelena Goldman of NHL.com.

“The whole day I was quite jittery, I couldn’t really sit still. My nap wasn’t too great. I came to the rink and same thing, I had nerves and I just tried to stay in the moment. When I got on the ice for warmup, it became a little bit more real. Then I don’t think it hit me until my first shift of the game. I felt like after that I settled in and I got a little bit more confident as the game went on.”

Kreider scored his 200th career into an empty net to close out the game for the Blueshirts. Kreider became the 12th player in franchise history to score 200 or more goals.

Shesterkin returns

Igor Shesterkin returned from his Covids hiatus to record his second consecutive shutout and third shutout of the year. Shesterkin extended his shutout streak to 126:57 minutes. In the win, Shesterkin made 37 saves and improved to 11-0-0 over his career when making 37 or more saves. Among NHL goaltenders who have played 10 or more games, Shesterkin ranks first in save percentage (.939), second in goals-against average (1.99), and tied for seventh in wins (16). Shesterkin has won seven of his last eight starts.

The win was the team’s 14th of the season, which leads the NHL.

Notes:

  • The Rangers have won seven straight games against the Sharks, dating to Jan. 25, 2018, which is tied for their longest win streak against an opponent (seven, New Jersey Devils).
  • Kreider tied Tomas Sandstrom for 18th place in Rangers history with 380 points. He has 200 goals and 180 assists in 611 games in 10 seasons with the Rangers.
  • Zibanejad has scored 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in the past 10 games.
  • Forward Anthony Greco, playing his second NHL game, had five shots in 9:44 in his Rangers debut. He is the son of a former FDNY firefighter who passed away due to a 9/11 illness.

The Rangers will not have a game start later than 8:00 p.m. for the remainder of this season.

The team’s next game is Saturday in Philadelphia 7:00 PM, TV: MSG+.

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 fail to play a complete game, lose 3-2 in OT to Vancouver

The New York Rangers’ five-game road winning streak ended on Tuesday night with a 3-2 OT loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

A complete 60-minute hockey is going to be needed if the New York Rangers are going to have any chance at a playoff birth.  Tuesday night loss to the Canucks was a result of the team failing to play a strong final period in their 3-2 loss.

The good news for the New York Rangers is they have been improving when they have the man advantage. The bad news from Tuesday night’s loss was the team couldn’t find a way to score an even-strength goal.

With that loss, the team’s five-game road win streak comes to an end, but they continue to extend their road point streak to six games.

The Rangers had built a 2-0 lead entering the third period on power-play goals by Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin.  Adam Fox had assists on both of the goals, giving him nine points in the team’s first 10 games.

Mika Zibanejad recognized why the team was unable to keep their road winning streak alive, acknowledging that it takes a complete game to get wins in the NHL.

“We made a couple mistakes, they obviously had a push back and scored on their chances in the third,” center Mika Zibanejad said to Kevin Woodley of NHL.Com. “I thought we did a pretty god job up until the third, but it wasn’t a full 60 minutes and that’s why we sit here with the loss.”

With his two assists, Fox recorded his 100th career point in his 135th career game. Fox becomes the 22nd defenseman in NHL history and third in Rangers history (Sergei Zubov, Brian Leetch) to notch 100 points in 135 or fewer games. Of the 22 defensemen, 16 are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. With 11 points in 10 games, Fox is the first Rangers defenseman since Brian Leetch in 2001 to record 11 or more points in the first 10 games of a season.

Penalty Killing Supremecy

The Rangers were 6-6 on the PK Tuesday night. They have killed off 27 of their last 28 penalties since October 16. In that span, New York’s 96.4% PK leads the NHL. The last time the Rangers had a perfect PK when shorthanded six or more times was Feb. 1, 2021, against Pittsburgh. (NYRPR)

Third Period Struggle

Jacob Trouba and K’Andre Miller had a poor third period, as did the entire team.  Trouba was a minus 2 on the night with Miller a minus 3.

The third line of Lafreneier-Chytil-Blais was a combined minus 3 on the night. The coach had called out that line, stating he expected them to play better than they did in their last game at Seattle.  The line combined for just one shot on goal which Blais had in the first period.

For the second consecutive game, the Blueshirts allowed 13 shots against.  Igor Shesterkin held the Canucks scoreless in that period but was unable to keep them off the scoresheet in the third period.

Former Ranger J.T. Miller scored two goals including the OT game-winner.

Igor Shesterkin stopped 33 of 36 shots and is now 4-0-1 on the road this season.

The Ranger’s next game will be against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night.

Rangers win their 5th road game defeating Seattle 3-1

rangers

The New York Rangers ended the month of October with a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken.

The New York Rangers had no right winning last night’s game in Seattle. If not for the outstanding play of Igor Shesterkin, the Blueshirts would be wondering what went wrong instead of enjoying a 6-1-2 record.

New York finished the first month of the season with a 6-2-1 record and 13 points, five of those wins coming on the road. It marks the Rangers’ most points in the month of October since notching 16 (7-2-2) in the 2015-16 season. The Rangers have set a franchise record for the most road wins through the first nine games of a season and their five road wins in October are the most road wins in the month of October in franchise history.

Shesterkin made 31 saves in the remand 3-1 victory on Sunday night.  He earned his fifth win in his seventh start of the season. Shesterkin’s five wins are tied for the third-most in the NHL. On the road this season, Shesterkin is an NHL-best 4-0-0 with a .970 SV%.

The Rangers were outshot 32-18 for the game including an outstanding 13-2 in the second period. 

Kreider lights the lamp in the first period

Chris Kreider netted his seventh goal of the season scoring early into the first period in the Ranger’s first trip to Seattle since that city was awarded an expansion team. 

The Rangers took the ice in the second period flat. They were outplayed in all areas of the ice and if not for Shesterkin’s brilliance the score would have been worse at the conclusion of the second period than the reality of a 1-1 contest. 

Fox gets Blueshirt’s a 2-1 third period lead

A more even third period allowed the Rangers to grab their second lead of the game when Adam Fox took a pass from Artemi Panarin and wristed a shot past the Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer. 

It was Fox’s second goal of the season. 

Barclay Goodrow ended the night with an empty netter. 

Post Game Numbers

  • The Rangers have set a franchise record for the most road wins through the first nine games of a season and their five road wins in October are the most road wins in the month of October in franchise history.
  • The Rangers won their fifth-straight road game, tied for the 11th longest streak in franchise history and longest since winning nine straight from Jan. 16-Feb. 27, 2020. The Rangers have also tied Calgary for the most road wins in the NHL (5).
  • The Rangers went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill tonight and have killed off 21 of their last 22 penalties since October 16. In that span, New York’s 95.5 PK% leads the NHL.
  • The Rangers blocked a season-high 20 shots tonight. New York finished the first month of the season with 130 blocked shots, the sixth most in the NHL.
  • Artemi Panarin notched an assist to give him four points in his last two games and eight points in his last eight games.
  • Mika Zibanejad assisted on Goodrow’s empty-net goal, his sixth assist and seventh point of the year. Zibanejad was a plus-2 and a team-high 8-for-12 on faceoffs tonight (min. two draws).

Via NYR PR

The Rangers will visit the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night.

Mika Zibanejad, Gerard Gallant send support to Kyle Beach

New York Rangers reps extended their support to Beach, the “John Doe” in the sexual assault report centered around the Chicago Blackhawks.

Members of the New York Rangers expressed their support for Kyle Beach during practice proceedings on Thursday. Beach has been identified as the “John Doe” of a damnatory report released on Tuesday, one that exposed the Chicago Blackhawks’ inaction in the wake of sexual assault allegations made against video coach Brad Aldrich en route to a championship during the 2009-10 season.

Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant commended Beach for his bravery in coming forward, namely through an interview with Rick Westhead on TSN’s SportsCentre program on Wednesday night.

“He came out publicly and got a lot off his chest (after) 11 years, so that’s got to be real tough on the kid. But I think he’s courageous and did an outstanding job when he came out last night. It’s a tough, tough situation, but hopefully, he can heal and feel a lot better about himself,” Gallant said, per Vincent Mercogliano of LoHud.com. “I watched that press conference last night, and I’m sure you all watched that, too. It’s really tough to watch and it really chokes you up, just as a person watching that. I didn’t know the kid personally, but the positive thing that I took out of that last night was he talked about the healing, and that’s going to take place now.”

One of Gallant’s leading scorers, Mika Zibanejad, concurred.

“It’s a terrible thing that happened and I really feel for him and for the victims,” Zibanejad said in Mercogliano’s report. “It takes a lot of courage to be able to come out and tell his story. It’s just a terrible situation that shouldn’t happen, and all the things that kind of caused him and his family all this (pain) and everything. It’s just shocking, but first and foremost, it’s a terrible, terrible thing that happened.”

The independent report declared that neither Blackhawks management nor the NHL Players’ Association acted upon allegations brought forth by Beach as the team embarked on a run to the Stanley Cup Final in May 2010. Action was taken only after the Blackhawks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers to win their first championship since 1961. Aldrich resigned but was allowed to partake in the Stanley Cup celebrations and later took a job at a Houghton, MI high school, in part thanks to a recommendation from the Blackhawks. He plead guilty to criminal sexual conduct charges against a teenager three years later.

Chicago general manager Stan Bowman and vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac have since resigned. Despite appear in the report, then-Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville was allowed to coach the Florida Panthers in the wake of the report’s release and was said to be meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday.

Beach is currently under contract in the Oberliga, a third-tier German league. He spent parts of the 2013-14 season with the Rangers’ organization, appearing in 39 games with their AHL affiliate in Hartford.

The Rangers (4-2-1) return to action on Friday night at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m ET, MSG).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags