After a very successful start to the season, although not without its challenges, the New York Rangers earned themselves a 3-1-1 record to start the season.
This past week, the Rangers looked to keep their positive momentum going in games against the Ottawa Senators, Calgary Flames, and Columbus Blue Jackets. How did the Broadway Blueshirts fair in their three matchups this week?
Let’s dive in. The start of this weekend went from depressing to absolutely exhilarating within three minutes and twenty seconds. The Rangers were down 2-0 heading into the third period with a goal from Nick Paul and a goal from Josh Norris paving the way for a Senators victory… or so everyone thought. It started with Chris Kreider tipping home a pick in front from an Artemi Panarin shot to cut the Ottawa lead to 2-1. Ryan Lindgren and Adam Fox would join in on the fun after. Fox sent a perfect pass to Lindgren in front of the net who snapped it home to tie the game. Finally Barclay Goodrow would score the biggest goal of his Rangers career so far when he deflected a Sammy Blais shot in the high slot for a 3-2 Rangers lead. The Rangers would then hold on and win the game 3-2. It was an impressive comeback win for the Blueshirts who are already looking harder to play against this season.
The Monday night game against the Flames was much less fun from a New York perspective. The Flames strangled and cut the Rangers off at almost every turn and had the neutral zone locked down. The Flames would get goals from Chris Tanev, Blake Coleman and Mikael Backlund and two from Andrew Mangiapane. The lone Rangers goal in a miserable 5-1 loss would come from Dryden Hunt, his first as a Ranger. It was clear after having a perfect four game road trip, the Rangers needed a break and it showed in this game. They were turning the puck over at an alarming rate and none of their passes seemed to be connecting. It was an off night for the team and everyone from the coaching staff to the players knew it was a stinker. Not every game is gonna be pretty over the course of the season and this one was certainly one to forget.
The Rangers would have a date Friday night with the Columbus Blue Jackets and it was a complete 180 from the Monday night game against Calgary. The Rangers were the hungrier team, they won puck battles and with the return of both Ryan Strome and Kaapo Kakko this week, the team is finally back to full strength. Strome would make his presence felt early in this one when he took a beautiful feed from Artemi Panarin and snapped a shot past Elvis Merzlikins for a 1-0 Rangers lead in the first period. Nils Lundkvist would collect his first NHL point on the play with a secondary assist. Just a few minutes later Adam Fox would add to his defending Norris trophy resume when he somehow found a streaking Alexis Lafreniere with a gorgeous pass from the wall. Lafreniere would slap the puck past Merzlikins for a 2-0 Rangers lead. The team was flying.
The Rangers would get two power-play goals in the third period from none other than Chris Kreider, who now leads the NHL in power-play goals this season. Kreider is one of the best net front presences in the league and he is proving it in spades this year on the power-play. The Rangers would go on to win 4-0 behind a 31 save shutout from Igor Shesterkin. They are currently third in the division behind the Hurricanes and Capitals.