Rangers Week in Review: Shaking Off the Rustby Liz Pendergraft February 21, 2022 0 comments
The New York Rangers are third in the Metropolitan Division behind the Carolina Hurricanes and the Pittsburgh Penguins. This week they took on the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, and the Ottawa Senators. These are teams the Rangers are expected to win against. They needed to shake the rust off against Boston and fared about the same against Detroit. The game against Ottawa was a little bit better. However, it was still on the snoozefest side.
Going to shootouts for the first two games back from the break was not very promising unless you watched Igor Shesterkin give his team chances to win. And he did. The Rangers were able to capitalize on it, winning over Boston. However, luck did not go their way against Detroit. They were able to secure a win over Ottawa, though the Rangers looked like they had just played the night before. Nevertheless, they ended up where they started, still in third place.
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New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins
February 15, 2022
Madison Square Garden
Trent Frederic-No Goal
Filip Chytil-No Goal
Nick Foligno-No Goal
Dryden Hunt-No Goal
You could tell the Rangers had not played for quite some time when the game started. As a result, they were slow and rusty, letting Boston score less than four minutes into the game. The Bruins outshot the Rangers 8-2 in the first.
The second period showed a much more normal New York team. There were many chances available despite neither team scoring, with the Rangers outshooting the Bruins by six. Both goalies, Shesterkin and Jeremy Swayman, made good stops in the second and throughout the third.
Chytil was able to get one by Swayman after Swayman had lost control of the puck after making a save. Chytil was able to get the puck and tuck it into the net.
Czar Igor to the Rescue
Overtime was more of the same, with both goalies making saves. Shesterkin was hit hard by Craig Smith at 2:48, which resulted in a goalie interference penalty. With almost 41 seconds left in overtime, Shesterkin was pulled, slamming his stick against the boards as he left. Alexandar Georgiev took over the goaltending duties for the remainder of overtime.
Just when you thought Georgiev would have to do the shootout, Shesterkin emerged back onto the ice. Rangers fans were so thrilled that they were on their feet, and chants of “Igor” echoed throughout the Garden. Shesterkin was able to give his team the chance to win, and Miller was able to get it done in the bottom of the ninth round.
New York Rangers vs. Detroit Red Wings
February 17, 2022
Madison Square Garden
11:51-Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox & Artemi Panarin
Dylan Larkin-No Goal
Artemi Panarin-No Goal
Adam Erne-No Goal
Adam Fox-No Goal
Tyler Bertuzzi-No Goal
Alexis Lafreniere-No Goal
Sam Gagner-No Goal
Ryan Strome-No Goal
Filip Chytil-No Goal
Another nailbiter. However, the Rangers did not come out victorious. As is the new normal, New York allowed the Red Wings to get the first goal, not even three minutes into the game. It was another slow start for them, and the Rangers did their best. However, they did just about everything but score throughout the first and second periods. They didn’t even have a power play until the third, giving fans for the second game in a row a view of their not-so-great 5v5 game.
Miller and Zibanejad were able to put the puck in net to keep the Rangers alive; Shesterkin was at his best again, giving them the chance to grab the win. In the shootout, Strome almost won it for them. He had a wide-open net and managed to miss it. Detroit would get the win on a goal by Suter in the sixth round.
New York Rangers @ Ottawa Senators
February 20, 2022
Canadian Tire Centre
09:14-Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad & Ryan Strome
The game seemed kind of slow at first, at least on the Rangers’ end. As with the other games this week, they allowed Ottawa to score first, less than 5 minutes into the game. However, the Rangers would battle back, scoring two goals to have a 2-1 lead.
Despite Ottawa scoring first, the Rangers battled back, and Strome tied the game getting his tenth goal of the season. Panarin gave New York the lead with a power-play goal. Also, Panarin was putting more shots on goal than he had in the previous two games this week. A few times in the game against Detroit, he could have taken a shot at the goal but chose to pass it instead.
Throughout the third, the Rangers did an excellent job of shutting Ottawa down. Shesterkin was there, making some pretty big saves for his team. He even came close to getting a goal of his own near the end of the game. Ottawa had pulled their goalie, and Shesterkin launched the puck from almost behind the net. It went wide left, barely missing the net. Despite the icing call, he was smiling and laughing about it. He made a few more saves before the buzzer sounded, and the Rangers collected two more points.
What We Learned This Week
The Rangers will need to figure out how to stop with the slow starts and letting their opponent score first early in the game. New York’s issue with 5v5 play was on display throughout all three games this week. Their power play is a well-oiled machine, but they cannot continue to rely on it and Shesterkin to eke out wins.
Shsterkin is the 14th goalie in NHL history with 50 or more wins through 79 career games played.
Gerard Gallant is the second coach in NHL history to record at least 32 wins in 50 games with multiple Franchises. Those 32 wins also put him second in franchise history, behind Mike Keenan for the most wins through 50 games.
Starting now, until we reach the end of the season, every game counts for the Rangers. They are not in any danger of missing the playoffs…right now. However, they are not doing themselves any favors at the moment.
Follow Liz Pendergraft on Twitter @lizzibear824
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images