- Pavel Buchnevich (11) Assists: Adam Fox (16), Mika Zibanejad (12)
- John Carlson (7) Assists: Tom Wilson (11), Nicklas Backstrom (22)
- Mika Zibanejad (7) Unassisted
- Brett Howden (1) Assists: Ryan Strome (14), Pavel Buchnevich (17)
- I don’t think I’m the only one that figured that this was going to end up just like last night with the Rangers leading going into the third, but unable to get the second goal. The Caps did tie it and pressured, but the Rangers did get the second goal as Mika Zibanejad made his best play of the season and won it.
- The six points against Philly was nice, but Zibanejad’s goal tonight was the biggest sign that he is about to turn things around and have a strong second half of the year. On first glance I thought he was going to get penalized for that push on Dillon, but he wasn’t, made a great move and picked up the winner. He also had that great block with his skate that helped seal things.
- It was another strong overall team performance for the Rangers against the Caps. They gave up more shots than last night, but they still did a good job of limiting the Caps. They were especially good on the PK and came up with a really big kill only a few minutes after the Caps tied it. In general, whether it’s a greater commitment to defense, new/better players, Jacques Martin instead of Lindy Ruff, the Rangers are a much better defensive team than they have been in years. The question though is whether that greater commitment to defense or new system is what is limiting their offense.
- Keith Kinkaid really continues to impress. I think, like Georgiev, he is at his best with some time between games, which is what makes him/them back ups, but he has come up big at times when Georgiev has struggled and Igor Shesterkin remains out.
- Kaapo Kakko had another noticeable night, passed up a great opportunity to shoot on an odd-man rush and made and broke up plays defensively. Again, all of that is great and it will certainly make him a better player, but he has to score at some point. Outside of the top-six, or really five of the six, not Colin Blackwell, the Rangers aren’t getting much production.
- So the Rangers end up 2-2 in their last four games and picked up five of eight points, but they gave away Monday against the Flyers and could have/should have won last night. Next up it’s the Sabres on Monday, but then two in Philly and two more against the Caps. Boston will have games in hand when they return from their Covid issues, but the Rangers are only a small winning streak away from really being in the playoff mix. A lot has to break right for them, and wrong for other teams, but it’s not that far fetched.