This week found the New York Rangers on a four-game road trip. It started out decently with a win over the Winnipeg Jets. Then, however, things quickly went downhill from there. The Rangers languished in loserland for the middle part of the week, only to score a touchdown deep in the heart of Texas against the Dallas Stars. The boys in blue finished out the road trip 2-2 and are second in the Metropolitan as of the conclusion of the Stars game.
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New York Rangers @ Winnipeg Jets
March 6, 2022
Canada Life Centre
The Rangers went with an unusual lineup of 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Goodrow opened the scoring for the Rangers, and Kreider gave New York a 2-0 lead by the end of the first period. The Jets cut the lead to one on a power-play goal by Ehlers in the second.
Kreider kicked it off in the third by getting his 38th goal of the season. It has been a career season for him, and it seems it will keep on rolling. Trouba’s goal made it 4-1 about three minutes later and would seal the game for the Rangers. Igor Shesterkin got the puck and tried again for an empty-net goal, but it was blocked around center ice.
The final shot count of 46-22 favored the Jets, but looking at the score, you might have thought the Rangers were the ones with 46 shots on goal. But unfortunately, even though the Rangers won, they are still not putting a lot of goals on net. That is concerning because their luck might eventually run out, and they don’t want that to happen during playoff time.
New York Rangers @ Minnesota Wild
March 8, 2022
Xcel Energy Center
05:03-Dryden Hunt, Ryan Strome & Artemi Panarin
09:13-Kevin Fiala, Matt Boldy & Marcus Foligno
13:06-Marcus Foligno, Mathew Dumba & Jonas Brodin
17:44-Kevin Fiala & Mats Zuccarello
New York arrived in Minnesota looking for their fourth straight win. Instead, what they found was a loss. The Wild kicked off the scoring, making it 2-0 in the first. The Rangers tied it up in the second on a goal from Hunt and a shorthanded goal from Zibanejad. However, the tie didn’t last long because around a minute later, the Wild retook the lead. They never relinquished that lead.
Cam Talbot stopped 23 of 25 shots and didn’t have to worry about much from the Rangers, who didn’t exert pressure in their offensive zone. The Rangers rely too much on their power play, which showed in this game as they didn’t get a penalty in their favor.
New York Rangers @ St. Louis Blues
March 10, 2022
00:15-Ryan O’Reilly, Brayden Schenn & David Perron
07:07-Jake Walman, Robert Bortuzzo & Ryan O’Reilly
07:45-David Perron, Marco Scandella & Brayden Schenn
12:23-K’Andre Miller, Artemi Panarin & Adam Fox
The Rangers failed to show up. They had chances in the first but could not convert them into goals. Essentially the Rangers throughout the first hung Shesterkin out to dry, and as much as we love his superman feats, he cannot do it alone. The Rangers finally got on the board with a few minutes left in the first, but they had dug a hole that was a little too deep to climb out of.
Gerard Gallant pulled Shesterkin after the Blues scored 15 seconds into the second period. However, it didn’t help at all. The Rangers were just not present in this game, and it showed. They were horrible in their own end and are still having issues getting it out and back up the ice. The third period speaks for itself. The Rangers didn’t allow any scoring, but on the other hand, they weren’t able to put it in the net either.
New York @ Dallas Stars
March 12, 2022
America Airlines Center
00:49-Esa Lindell & Joel Hanley
04:53-Tyler Seguin, Joel Kiviranta & Esa Lindell
09:45-Greg McKegg, Julien Gauthier & K’Andre Miller
12:59-Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin & Ryan Strome
14:14-Adam Fox, Jacob Trouba & Artemi Panarin
14:50-Artemi Panarin, K’Andre Miller & Dryden Hunt
When the Stars got those first two goals less than five minutes into the first, Rangers fans thought, “Here we go again.” However, New York would answer back, scoring four goals in the first. The last three were scored in a span of two minutes.
The second period found the Rangers not as hot as they were in the latter part of the first. The Stars looked better, and the goal by Robertson brought them within one. However, near the end of the period, it looked like the puck crossed the line into the net. The referees would have to consult the film, and it was a good goal.
The third period would find Dallas bringing it within one again on Pavelski’s goal, but that would be the last goal for the Stars. The goals by Goodrow and Strome were icing on an already delicious cake they were serving up to the sea of blue in the arena.
What We Learned This Week
These games reinforced the observations that the Rangers’ top two lines are working well but that they still need a little something more on the bottom two lines if they want to succeed in the playoffs. Chris Drury will need to decide if there’s a playoff run in the future for the team or if they are going to play it safe.
Shesterkin needs to be rested a little more. Gallant needs to have Alexandar Georgiev in net a little bit more. We know the idea is to keep going with the one that’s hot, but if that player is tired or overused, then mistakes happen.
Follow Liz Pendergraft on Twitter @lizzibear824
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images