Brennan Othmann lights up Broadway as Rangers take down Isles 4-1
The New York Rangers got off to a great start in their first of six preseason games on the schedule.
The pace of play in this exhibition match was sharp and crisp for both teams, especially to open up the contest. Eventually, off the sticks of players fighting to make the team, the Rangers handily beat the rival New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden by a 4-1 final.
Recap: Rangers 4 vs slanders 1
The Rangers came out of the gate with speed and tenacity as they had control of the play early. All four lines and three defensive pairings looked strong to start.
Top Rangers prospect, Brennan Othmann took a big hit from Alexander Romanov and went down hard, he came up with a bloody nose but was able to help clear the zone. However, the hit did shift the momentum to the Isles, who got a few solid chances that Igor Shesterkin turned aside.
New York got the first power play of the game when Jeff Kubiak hooked Adam Sykora, another Rangers prospect who was living up to his agitating reputation in this one.
On the ensuing man-advantage, Othmann had a great chance alone in the slot but his shot went over the net. Just a few seconds later it was Jimmy Vesey putting one off Semyon Varlamov’s face for a power play goal and a 1-0 advantage. Filip Chytil and none other than Othmann picked up the assists at the 10:58 mark.
The Rangers would get another one by Varlamov when Chris Kreider found the puck all alone in front with 4:12 remaining. Newly named captain Jacob Trouba made the play to get it to the team’s leading goal scorer with 52 last season.
Then with Skyora in the box for hooking, Othmann made a great play to create a 2 on 1 chance. Flying into the zone, he made a perfect pass with just 4 ticks on the clock to K’Andre Miller for the shorthanded goal and a 3-0 first period.
“Romanov is a big boy, I gotta keep my head up,” Othmann joked on MSG Network. “I heard the fans (on the shorthanded goal) letting me know how much time I had on the clock. Key did a great job coming up the ice, I just threw it to his stick and he did the rest.”
The Isles came out quick to start the middle frame with a 2 on 1 chance. Mathew Barzal’s one-timer to Shesterkin blocker side was stopped with a sliding pad to keep them off the board.
Slowly, the Blueshirts regained momentum and it was a Zac Jones point shot that found its way past Varlamov after Anders Lee deflected it in. It was a huge goal for the kid playing alongside Braden Schneider, who picked up an assist as did Kaapo Kakko.
“The biggest thing for us is to communicate and act like one defenseman,” Jones said of playing with Schneider. “Try to make plays whenever we can.”
That goal with 8:19 remaining signaled a goalie change for both teams with Dylan Garand coming in for the Rangers and Jakub Skarek for the Isles.
Unfortunately for Garand, a seeing-eye shot by Robin Salo off a face-off loss got by him with 3:50 left in the period.
Things settled down in the third period as the Rangers focused on keeping it simple and allowing Garand to see the puck.
The 20 year-old goalie was able to stop all 6 shots hurled his way in the final stanza to seal the Rangers victory.
- Igor Shesterkin stopped all 15 shots he faced
- Dylan Garand made 9 saves on 10 shots
- Brennan Othmann picked up two assists and two shots
- Chris Kreider registered a goal
- Mika Zibanejad and Kaapo Kakko had an assist
- K’Andre Miller scored a shorthanded goal and picked up 5 hits
Next Game: Tuesday, September 27 at Boston Bruins (7:00 PM – TV: MSG)
Rangers preseason camp battle notes
Jimmy Vesey really looked good as he fights for a roster spot. The former Ranger signed a PTO just to get this chance and he was used on all situations. His goal from a sharp angle is why he’s got a great chance to make the team. In 17:07 of ice time, he also picked up 1 hit, 3 blocks, and 4 shots on goal.
Vitali Kravtsov looked comfortable out there in his 15:05 of ice time, but wasn’t able to generate as much offense as you’d hope to see. He was used on the right wall during his time on the power play and able to move the puck around nicely. He finished with three shots.
Brennan Othmann looked lightyears better in this preseason than he did all of last year’s. Playing in all situations he proved why he’s the Rangers top prospect with two assists. The 2021 first round pick was named first star playing 14:37 in the game.
Adam Sykora was noticeable in his 12:37 of action but also took two penalties (the second was questionable). He’s a player that likes to play on the edge so penalties are to be expected. However, he will need to be smarter if he wants to make the Rangers one day.
Gustav Rydahl played a decent game but wasn’t very noticeable as compared to his two young linemates Sykora and Othmann. He did look good on the PK, getting a shorthanded breakaway after great read to intercept a pass. He played 13:07 with 1:57 of it on the PK.
Bobby Trivigno didn’t do much with his 11:07 in this contest. However, he was engaged and to his reputation didn’t back down from a scrum. Heck, he looked like he wanted to start them.
Zac Jones looked excellent with Braden Schneider while playing 20:33. He also got some power play time looking good as a quarterback. In the game he registered a hit and 2 blocks and added 4 shots. Scoring a goal in this contest will go a long way.
Libor Hajek was also solid in 21:44 of ice time. While he still has a chance to win the starting spot with Schneider, he appears to be a shoe-in as the 7th defenseman.
Dylan Garand won’t be making the Rangers with Shesterkin and Jaroslav Halak in front of him this season. He was very solid in net, including a beautiful sliding stop on an Islanders PP in the third.
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