- Mikko Rantanen (16) Assists: Alex Newhook (4), Samuel Girard (4)
- Braden Schneider (4) Assists: Artemi Panarin (28), Barclay Goodrow (7)
- Vincent Trocheck: Missed
- JT Compher: Stopped
- Mika Zibanejad: SCORES
- Mikko Rantanen: Stopped
- Artemi Panarin: SCORES
- That makes three in a row for this Rangers and another step in the right direction.
- They were a step slow in the first period, but were very good through the rest of the game and deserved at least one point and picked up a second.
- Igor Shesterkin was excellent and, for the second or third time this season, seems like he is back on track. Hopefully this time sticks and this is the Shesterkin that the Rangers will have the rest of the season.
- Artemi Panarin is pretty close to back where he was to start the season and close to his 2019-20 Hart Trophy Candidate-self. He’s playing much faster, becoming more of a two-way player than he ever has and is setting an example of how to play. I wondered at times if Panarin slowing things down, staying on the perimeter and not exactly being known for his play in the defensive zone was maybe rubbing off on some other guys, but he has reversed all of that, is fully engaged and is doing more than just accumulating points.
- Maybe the switch from Vincent Trocheck to Filip Chytil has made a huge difference for Panarin. Chytil isn’t the same kind of player that Ryan Strome was, but he’s got great speed and that seems to be opening up lanes and opportunities for Panarin.
- So it’s three in a row and you can discount it by saying that they beat a poor St. Louis team and banged up Vegas and Colorado teams, but it’s not just that they won, it’s how they won that is important. They are playing fast, they look confident, dangerous when they have the puck and with a flow from shift to shift that has been lacking for most of this season. It’s still not perfect and it probably never will be, but they are playing far more good minutes over these three games than bad minutes. Does it help that Igor Shesterkin has been great the past two nights? Of course and when he’s playing like that it adds a whole other level of confidence, but as a whole they look different as a team, they look more determined and like they finally got the message that it was time to wake up, get on the same page and get going. They will lose games, but if they play like this they are going to win far more than they will lose, climb the standings and situate themselves nicely for the playoffs.
- Next up is New Jersey on Monday and Toronto on Thursday. Both are huge tests for different reasons. The Devils embarrassed the Rangers a couple of weeks ago and they are at the top of the division. Monday isn’t a must win game, but it’s a game where they need to play like they did tonight. Toronto has been on a great run and will provide another high quality test. Those are also two home games and the Rangers need to be much better at MSG.