Rangers Recap: How Sweep it is! – Blue Seat Blogs


The old adage “I went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out” rang true last night. Within 2 seconds, we had 5 fights, 8 ejections, and a raucous crowd. Then, with just 14 skaters aside, the Rangers mounted a 4-3 comeback win. Sweeping the series season with the Devils after beating them to a pulp in the first 2 seconds was fun.

Before getting to the actual game itself, let’s chat Travis Green and his loser mentality, thinking inciting a line brawl would throw the Rangers off their game. It backfired spectacularly. He is the guy who started that line, and anyone with half a brain saw that brawl coming from a mile away, despite what he says to the media. I’d say “be better,” but he seems like a perfect fit over there.

Onto the game itself, despite the close score, the Rangers really did dominate most of the game. Artemi Panarin danced around the Devils all night, Alex Wennberg played his best game as a Ranger, and Alexis Lafrenière remained red hot. The process was solid, and the results were fine enough with the win, though the lapses in the second period almost cost them the game.

It is worth noting, of course, that this game could have gone either way with both teams playing with just 14 skaters and only 4 defensemen aside. You take the win, and perhaps give the Adam Fox, Ryan Lindgren, Braden Schneider, and Erik Gustafsson quartet the day off on Thursday.

Panarin became the first undrafted player since Adam Oates in 1992 to score 45 goals in a season, and is only the 4th player to achieve that feat in the past 35 years. This is the Panarin we want to see for the playoffs, carrying the team despite whatever the refs throw at them. In this case, it was an 8 player ejection, resulting in tired legs. With a goal and an assist in the game, Panarin is now up to 110 points on the year, passing Jean Ratelle for the second most in a single season by a Ranger.

Chris Kreider, now with 124 goals–and counting– over three seasons, came through with the game winner. He’s known for his big time goals, and last night was no different. Kreider is inching ever closer to the franchise PPG record and could possibility hit 40 goals on the season.

Kreider’s game winning goal gave him sole possession of 3rd place in Rangers all time game winning goals (43). The two left to pass: Jean Ratelle with 46, and Rod Gilbert with 52. His number will likely wind up in the rafters, even with all the hate he still inexplicably receives.

It’s tough to fault the Rangers for their lapses in the second period, resulting in a subpar line for Igor Shesterkin, allowing 3 goals on 20 shots. As mentioned, results in a game where each team only had 14 skaters are subject to volatility, and the Rangers’ mistakes wound up in the back of their net. Context matters, and I’m sure we will see a better line for Shesterkin on Friday night.

As the Rangers inch closer to locking up first place in the East and/or a President’s Trophy, getting up for games may present a challenge. Even though it was a regular season game against a non-playoff team, this had the feelings of a heated playoff matchup. It’s the kind of game and win they can point to as the season winds down and the playoff prep…Remps…up.


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