The Rangers get a nice bounce-back win against the best team in the division.
The New York Rangers entered Friday’s game against their rivals, the New York Islanders, having just come off an ugly loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Their recent inconsistent play isn’t helping them in the standings and now they’d be facing one of the most dangerous teams in the league in back-to-back games.
The clock is ticking on the Rangers and head coach David Quinn, who’s made some questionable decisions behind the bench. Would the youngsters get more time on the power play in this one? Will we see more of Vitaly Kravtsov in the top-six?
Alexandar Georgiev would start in net for the first time in 20 games. The Rangers would hope to score their first goal of the season against Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov.
1st period: Not bad at all
The Rangers didn’t score in the first, but they did much to be proud of. Even after being shorthanded, they outshot the Islanders 13-7.
Georgiev looked extremely sharp this period, which was all about the goalies. The Rangers were unlucky to have had to deal with Varlamov’s elite play in net. If only Mika Zibanejad capitalized on his breakaway attempt…
2nd period: Another good second period
The Rangers entered the second period with an advantage. The momentum was in their favor and they’re generally a much better second period team than their opponent. They didn’t disappoint in this one.
The “Diaper Line” got things going by taking advantage of lackadaisical defending by the Islanders in front of their net. Alexis Lafrenière and his linemates continue to produce at a great rate.
The extremely productive second line gave the team their second of the game not long after with a goal from Colin Blackwell, his sixth in his past seven games.
They lucked into an overturned Islanders goal, but the Islanders got one that counted not long after. The Rangers had the lead heading into the final 20 minutes, but would need to be on top of their game against such a dangerous team.
3rd period: Signed, Sealed, Delivered
It was refreshing to see the Rangers stay in the driver’s seat and not get careless in the third. They outshot the Islanders and doubled the lead.
A great shift in the second-half of the period resulted in a very well-deserved K’Andre Miller goal.
This put some distance between the two teams, and an empty-net goal by Zibanejad sealed the deal.
Kravtsov didn’t get on the scoreboard in this one, but this game was his best. He was a noticeable playmaker, especially in the third, and may have even scored a goal had it not been for Varlamov’s great goaltending.
The Rangers needed this game, especially after dropping a bad one to the Penguins the night before. It was a nice showing for Georgiev, who hadn’t been strong in his last several games.
They’d look to put their inconsistencies behind them by making it two straight wins against the Islanders on Sunday.
Key Moment: Diaper Line gets them going
The key moment of the game was the Rangers’ first goal of the game. This kicked their scoring off and gave them the lead. They never looked back.
It was especially nice to see the kids be the first to score. Lafrenière and company have been hot and are showing great improvement as the season progresses.
Player of the game: Artemiy Panarin
What’s new? To the surprise of absolutely no one, Artemiy Panarin is the player of the game. He’s added yet another multi-point game to his resume and continues to be one of the best players in the NHL.
Panarin’s numbers: 19:21 TOI, 2 A, 53.85 CF%, 0.26 iXG, 1.04 xGF, 0.4 xGA, 2.15 GF, 0 GA, 3.33 Game Score, 0.84 defensive rating, 1.09 offensive rating, and 1.39 individual rating.
Stats are courtesy of Hockey Stat Cards and Natural Stat Trick.