February 9, 2021

K’Andre Miller’s defense a bright spot in Rangers 2-0 loss to Islanders

Feb 8, 2021; New York, NY, USA; K’Andre Miller #79 of the New York Rangers trips up Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders during the third period at Madison Square Garden on February 08, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers did not play a bad game last night, they just didn’t play the right game to beat the Islanders. “We have to play that much quicker to allow ourselves to make plays and get going north get more pucks to the net,” Chris Kreider explained after the loss.

This loss ends the Rangers two game winning streak and four game point streak. They now face their toughest test of the season when the Boston Bruins come to town on Wednesday.

K’Andre Miller a star defensively

KANDRE MILLER
Feb 8, 2021; New York, NY, USA; A shot by Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders is blocked by K’Andre Miller #79 of the New York Rangers during the first period at Madison Square Garden on February 08, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

While fans want wins, the truth is the Rangers are still in the process of shaping their team. One of the lone bright spots in the loss is the continued dominant play of 21 year-old rookie, K’Andre Miller.

Miller saw a lot of Mat Barzal last night and won every battle against the Islanders best offensive player. He also prevented a tap in goal due to his size and anticipation. K’Andre finished the night even with 2 hits and 5 blocks in 19:58 of ice time.

The not so good in the loss to the Islanders

Rangers youth actually played a role in the loss. Libor Hajek who has been playing well made a mistake on the game winning goal with a blind pass to the middle of the ice. Hajek needed to eat it up against the boards and wait for help. That’s just who the Islanders are, boring to death and happy to win a game 1-0.

Afterwards, David Quinn addressed the Rangers issues, including not doing what they needed to to score a goal against a stingy defense.

Post-Game Notes

  • New York was 1-for-1 (2:00) on the penalty kill in tonight’s contest and held the Islanders to only two shots on goal during the Islanders’ one power play opportunity. The Rangers have not allowed a power play goal in each of the last four games (15-for-15) and have successfully killed off 18 of their opponents’ 19 power play opportunities over the last five games (94.7%).
  • The Rangers were credited with 25 hits in tonight’s contest.
  • The Blueshirts registered 19 blocked shots in tonight’s game. The Rangers have been credited with 18 or more blocked shots in each of the last three games.
  • The Rangers won 27 of 44 faceoffs in tonight’s contest (61.4%). The Blueshirts’ 61.4% faceoff win percentage was a single-game season-high.
  • Igor Shesterkin stopped 28 of 30 shots in tonight’s contest. He has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last four appearances.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb. 9): Practice, 12:00 p.m. at MSG Training Center

–       Next Game: Wednesday, Feb. 10 vs. Boston (7:00 p.m. ET – TV: NBCSN)

*Post Game notes courtesy NYR

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