Kreider and Georgiev the heroes on Long Island
While Monday night’s victory at MSG was comfortable for David Quinn’s team, tonight’s game was the complete opposite. It wasn’t until there were just 24.6 seconds left in regulation for this one to be decided, and thanks to Chris Kreider, it would be the Rangers on the positive end of the 3-2 scoreline.
Mika Zibanejad – It may not have been called a goal right away, but that won’t matter for Mika Zibanejad, who got his 18th of the season, tying the game at one. After Tony DeAngelo’s point shot was stopped by Varlamov, the puck trickled through the goaltender’s pads. Zibanejad darted from his spot between the circles, found the loose puck, and got it just over the goal line before Ryan Pulock cleared it away.
Zibanejad played 23:14 in this one, a third of which was on special teams. His ability to play well in all situations makes him so valuable to the Rangers, and he’ll be the team’s top center for many years.
Tony DeAngelo – Despite taking a bad penalty, DeAngelo made up for it as soon as he came out of the penalty box. The Rangers did a fantastic job killing off his penalty, and when the puck came out to the neutral zone as DeAngelo stepped out of the box, the defenseman came down and sniped one behind Varlamov.
DeAngelo has had a fantastic season so far. His defense has markedly improved from last season, and his offense is coming through night after night. The goal was DeAngelo’s 12th of the year, which ties him with Ryan Strome for fourth-most on the team.
Chris Kreider – It was one of the handful of Rangers that had experienced this rivalry at the old Nassau Coliseum that would send the Islanders contingent of the crowd home very unhappily. After former Ranger Derick Brassard was called for cross-checking his former teammate Jesper Fast, the Rangers power-play went to work. Artemiy Panarin passed it from the half-wall to Zibanejad in the slot. The Swede’s shot was stopped by Semyon Varlamov, but the rebound kicked right to Kreider, who slotted the puck into the net.
The goal was Kreider’s 16th of the season and his fourth in the last five games. He may be leaving the Empire State in the next few weeks, but he’s going to try and convince Jeff Gorton otherwise.
Alexandar Georgiev – Had it not been for the Bulgarian netminder, this game would’ve been over after the first period. Georgiev made 38 saves, including a few doozies, on 40 Islanders shots. Like Kreider, Georgiev is possibly on his way out of the friendly confines of MSG come the February 24th trading deadline. But he won’t be going quietly, as he continues his strong play in net.
- The Blueshirts were 5-for-5 (10:00) on the penalty kill in tonight’s game. New York has not allowed a power-play goal against in five of the last seven games (21-for-23; 91.3%), in 13 of the last 20 games (58-for-68; 85.3%), and in 17 of the last 26 games (78-for-91; 85.7%). The Rangers have posted a 16-6-1 record when not allowing a power-play goal against in a game in 2019-20.
- The Rangers have registered at least three goals in eight of the last 10 games, in 25 of the last 34 games, and in 30 of 46 games this season. New York has posted a 22-6-2 record when registering three or more goals in a game in 2019-20.
- The Blueshirts have earned a win in 10 of their last 11 games against Metropolitan Division opponents (10-1-0 record) and have posted a 10-3-0 record in 13 games against Metropolitan Division teams in 2019-20. The Rangers have earned more wins in intra-division games this season than any other Metropolitan Division team. Following tonight’s contest, 15 of the Rangers’ final 36 regular-season games in 2019-20 are against teams in the Metropolitan Division.
- Jacob Trouba tied for the game-high with three blocked shots while skating in a team-high 26:01 of ice time. Trouba has logged at least 20:00 of ice time in each of the last 29 games, including 23:00 or more of ice time in each of the last nine games. In addition, he logged at least 25:00 of ice time for the ninth time in 2019-20.
- Brady Skjei was credited with two hits in 25:03 of ice time in tonight’s contest, and he logged 9:47 of ice time in the first period. He has logged at least 24:00 of ice time in four of the last five games.
Next Game: The Rangers host the Blue Jackets at The Garden for their penultimate game before the All-Star break. Puck drops at 7!
LETS GO RANGERS!!
Post-game notes courtesy of the Rangers