- Nicolas Aube-Kubel (2) Assists: Michael Raffl (4), Kevin Hayes (6)
- Colin Blackwell (3) (Power Play) Assists: Pavel Buchnevich (6), Anthony Bitetto (1)
- Brendan Smith (1) Assists: Artemi Panarin (11), Ryan Strome (3)
- Joel Farabee (7) Assists: Kevin Hayes (7), Ivan Provorov (6)
- Kevin Hayes: STOPPED
- Kaapo Kakko: SCORES
- Sean Couturier: SCORES
- Artemi Panarin: SCORES
- James van Riemsdyk: STOPPED
- Well that was obviously a much needed two points and much needed win for the Rangers. Of course it wasn’t easy and it saw them give up a goal at the end of the third and waste a PP chance in OT, but they got big saves from Georgiev during the game, and twice in the shootout, and huge goals from Kakko and Panarin to win it.
- A win is a win and while they were better than they were against NJ, the Rangers still only got goals in regulation from depth players, though Colin Blackwell has been one of the better Rangers lately, and they couldn’t hold a lead in the third period.
- They defended extremely well, especially considering that they were without Trouba and K’Andre Miller and that Jack Johnson was only cleared to practice yesterday. It certainly didn’t hurt that the Flyers hadn’t played in nearly two weeks and they were missing numerous key forwards, but either way, they limited the Flyers, blocked a ton of shots and got a solid performance from Alex Georgiev. Anthony Bitetto and Libor Hajek were really good. Bitetto has been a really nice surprise and Hajek has a chance to grab
- Artemi Panarin came into this game looking to be the guy for the Rangers and he was. 16 shot attempts (8 on goal, 6 blocked, 2 that missed the net), an outstanding little pass to Brendan Smith on his goal and a terrific shootout winner. It’s obvious how important he is when he isn’t in the lineup and he more than showed his worth and value tonight.
- Something, obviously, is clearly up with Mika Zibanejad and I’m not sure if it’s physical, mental or both. He was struggling to receive passes, couldn’t hit his one-timers on the PP, was taken off the PP at certain points and just looks out of sorts, out of sync and like someone who needs a complete reset. He won’t get that and he’s too important to be demoted, especially since there is no other center capable of playing his minutes, so he will need to figure something out. He looked like he was on the right track last week, but looked far from it tonight.
- The penalty kill was terrific and the Rangers were lucky they didn’t get burned, especially since so many of the penalties were taken in the offensive zone. Chris Kreider seems to take an offensive zone penalty every game and that needs to stop.
- I love that Kaapo Kakko got the chance in the shootout. He didn’t get as many chances offensively or have the puck as much, which is to be expected to a degree if he’s going to play with Panarin, but he made an outstanding play/pass to Buchnevich in OT to draw that penalty and he buried his chance in the shootout. I really do think that the progress he has made will start paying off offensively. Alexis Lafreniere is on a checking line, but he was involved in the Blackwell goal on the PP.
- So it’s one win and they face the Caps on Saturday. After the Caps they are off until next Wednesday, when they return to Philly, so if K’Andre Miller isn’t ready Saturday, he should be good to go on Wednesday. Again, it’s one win and hopefully it’s something that they can build on when they face the Caps.