The New York Rangers have received their ticket to the playoffs. Not including the ridiculous “bubble playoff” visit in 2020, it has been five years since the Rangers last made the playoffs. It has been a long road back for the boys in blue, but it has been worth it all. The easiest part is now done.
Be sure to keep up with all of our NHL coverage.
New York Rangers @ New Jersey Devils
April 5, 2022
11:07-Ryan Strome, Chris Kreider & Artemi Panarin
17:57-Chris Kreider, Artemi Panarin & Adam Fox
03:55-Justin Braun, Braden Schneider & Andrew Copp
If you tuned this game out because of what happened the last time the Rangers and the Devils played, you missed a good one. When Sharangovich scored, it appeared as if it would be like the previous game all over again.
Then it happened—the kerfuffle to end all kerfuffles. Well, at least for now.
Schneider laid a massive, clean hit on Jesper Boqvist. Sharangovich attempted to defend his teammate but took on a little more than he bargained for when he started a fight with Schneider. He deftly took care of Sharangovich, who was given an instigator penalty and a fighting penalty. The Rangers were able to tie the game on a power play goal by Strome in his first game back since his injury.
Kreider also scored a power play goal, making it his 25th season and setting a new franchise record. Jaromír Jágr held the previous record of 24 since the 2005-06 season. Kreider’s goal was also the game-winning goal, which is his tenth of the season and is now the new franchise record for game-winning goals. In addition, he is the only player in NHL history to record 47+ goals, 25+ power play goals, three or more shorthanded goals, and 10+games winning goals in the same season.
Although somewhat eclipsed by Kreider, Panarin reached a career-high total of 64 assists. Also, Braun finally got his first goal as a Ranger. After this game, it is the fourth time in team history that the Rangers have had 45 or more wins through 71 games, and the fifth time they have accrued 96 or more points through 71 games.
New York Rangers vs. Pittsburg Penguins
April 7, 2022
Madison Square garden
00:24-Frank Vatrano, Chris Kreider & Mika Zibanejad
09:47-Artemi Panarin, Andrew Copp & Jacob Trouba
19:22-Dryden Hunt & Mika Zibanejad
If fans watching the game on ESPN plus weren’t aware, Sidney Crosby was not playing in the game. It was only mentioned about a million times if you missed it the first time. Other than that, not much was going on in the first period. There was a lot of back and forth between the teams, but no one could get the puck in the net.
In the second period, both teams appeared to have come alive. The Rangers got on the board seconds into the period, thanks to the goal by Vatrano. Then, about nine minutes later, Panarin was able to bury a puck in the net off a beautiful backhand shot. Understandably the Penguins were frustrated throughout the game, and after the hit on Tyler Motte, things got a little spicy.
Mainly the Penguins were frustrated. The Rangers were not allowing them much in the second and third periods. Finally, Hunt was able to throw one in the empty net to ensure the victory over Pittsburgh. The kerfuffles during and after the game were definitely spicy, especially the ones after the last buzzer sounded. It was chaos, but it was eventually broken up, and the Penguins were having difficulty finding the exit and continued to stay on the ice. One might have thought a fight was going to break out, but it was mainly chirping.
If these two teams happen to meet in the postseason, you can be assured it will be highly entertaining to watch.
New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators
April 9, 2022
Madison Square Garden
02:22-Austin Watson, Mark Kastelic & Parker Kelly
06:56-Andrew Copp, Artemi Panarin & K’Andre Miller
09:05-Chris Kreider, Ryan Lindgren & Mika Zibanejad
17:27-Ryan Strome, Artemi Panarin & Ryan Lindgren
17:31-Chris Kreider, Frank Vatrano & Justin Braun
The Rangers needed to win this game to make it into the playoffs, and they were able to accomplish their task. It didn’t start too great with Ottawa getting on the board first. However, throughout the first, the Rangers looked solid and in control. The same could be said for the second and third periods.
Panarin opened up the scoring for the Rangers with an unassisted goal almost midway through the first. He was also able to get two more points on assists. Copp, who has been a pleasant surprise since his acquisition at the trade deadline, got the party started in the second for the boys. Kreider put two in the net and is now sitting with 49 goals for the season, tied with Mike Gartner. If he can get one more, he’ll join Jágr, Adam Graves, and Vic Hadfield, who have had 50 or more goals in a season with the Rangers. It’s good to see Strome score and continue to play well after returning from an injury.
Ottawa tried, but their best wasn’t good enough for a Rangers team with something to play for, and we’re not just talking about a playoff bid.
What We Learned This Week
Hard work pays off, and to never give up on what you want.
Follow Liz Pendergraft on Twitter @lizzibear824
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images