It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and the New York Rangers gave both to us this past week. Everyone knew that the first two games against the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Carolina Hurricanes would be telling of where the Rangers are at as a team. They still have a long way to go, but they are making progress.
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New York Rangers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
January 19, 2022
Madison Square Garden
It was an original six showdown, with the Rangers struggling in the first period. Toronto got out to a quick start and was up 2-0 less than four minutes into the game. Reaves struck back for the Rangers, butting the lead by one, also making this goal his first as a Ranger. Bunting would eventually score, giving the Leafs back their two-goal lead.
Reaves cut the lead to one goal a few minutes into the second, making this the second game in his NHL career where he’s scored two goals. The Rangers appeared to find their game in the second, and toward the end of the period, Fox’s goal tied it 3-3.
Toronto was making a push in the third, outshooting the Rangers 17-9. The Rangers still put it in the net two more times before Matthews gave the Leafs another goal. However, his goal was not allowed as the video review determined he kicked the puck into the net. Eventually, Fox would go on to seal the deal with an empty-net goal.
The Rangers may have started slow, but they picked up the pace. They played hard, and in the end, their play and Igor Shesterkin allowed them to snatch the victory out of Toronto’s hands.
New York Rangers @ Carolina Hurricanes
January 21, 2022
5:09-Chris Kreider, Adam Fox & Mika Zibanejad
06:23-Greg McKegg, Ryan Reaves & K’Andre Miller
17:27-Anthony DeAngelo, Sebastian Aho & Vincent Trocheck
Many were scratching their head for this one. Why would the coach play the backup goalie against one of the best teams in the NHL? No one knows. However, despite the goals let in by Alexandar Georgiev, his teammates didn’t help the situation either.
Going down 2-0 in the first, the Rangers appeared not to be playing a complete game. In the second, the Hurricanes went up 3-0, and eventually, the Rangers answered with a goal. Then, however, the Rangers found themselves back in a deeper hole with two more goals put in by the Hurricanes.
Although it was a little too late, the Rangers appeared to find part of their game and would not go down without a fight. However, despite putting two goals on the board and attempting a late push, it was to no avail.
New York Rangers vs. Arizona Coyotes
January 22, 2022
Madison Square Garden
07:01-Clayton Keller, Nick Schmaltz & Travis Boyd
11:30-Chris Kreider, Jacob Trouba & Mika Zibanejad
15:26-Julien Gauthier, Dryden Hunt & Kevin Rooney
16:33-Artemi Panarin, Adam Fox & Mika Zibanejad
01:33-Jacob Trouba, K’Andre Miller & Ryan Strome
10:06-Chris Kreider, Adam Fox & Artemi Panarin
Shesterkin got the start in net, and as with the last two games, the Rangers started slow, allowing the Coyotes to put up a couple of goals in the first to make it a 2-1 lead. Filip Chytil sustained a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return to the game.
Then Arizona went up 3-1 in the third. It wasn’t until the shorthanded goal by Kreider that the Rangers suddenly came alive. After that, they played a much fuller game and came away with the goals to show for it. New York would go on to score six unanswered goals to give them the victory at the final buzzer.
Three of those six goals were from Kreider, giving him a hat trick, and he added another shorthanded goal to his resume. Trouba hasn’t had a multi-goal game since 2017 when he was with the Winnipeg jets.
What We Learned This Week
The Rangers need to work on the slow starts. It was evident in all three games this week, although the issue in the game against Arizona might be tied partially to the previous night’s game against Carolina. New York needs to play full 60-minute games. The Rangers will continue to be hit or miss against teams until that happens. There should be no need to come back from deficits like they have been lately, as was evident in the games against Toronto and Carolina.
Who is this person named Chris Kreider, and where has he been all his career? Sarcasm aside, there’s no doubt that Kreider is having the best season of his career. As of the game against Arizona, he is currently tied with Alex Ovechkin for the league lead in goals.
Follow Liz Pendergraft on Twitter @lizzibear824
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images
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