New York Rangers look for sweep against Blackhawks; Panarin one point from 500
The New York Rangers have won three of their last four road games with points in 10 of 13 road games this season. Coming off a home win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, they look to complete the sweep tonight.
After going winless in their first nine games to open the season, the Blackhawks have earned nine victories in their past 15, including seven by the slimmest of margins. They picked up a 3-2 shootout win over the Islanders on Sunday.
Per NYR PR, the Blueshirts are tied for the third-most road wins (8), and have the third-most road points (18) and fourth-best road points percentage (.692).
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Artemi Panarin’s one point away from 500
Panarin is chasing a milestone as he sits just one point away from 500 career points. The fact that he could set it against the team he broke into the NHL with isn’t lost on him. However, he holds no ill will for trading him.
“No – they trade me a long time ago,” Panarin said after the Rangers 3-2 win at the Garden. “Nice to see [Patrick Kane] and [Jonathan Toews] – fun game.”
The Breadman has been playing extremely well of late, and he is giving credit to his center Ryan Strome.
“I think [me and Strome] work together pretty good and there’s good energy in the locker room, off ice too,” said the Rangers’ Artemi Panarin, who had a goal and two assists against his former team Saturday. “Good friends. We respect each other. Then Coach gives us confidence too.”
Georgiev takes the reins
The team announced before Saturday’s game that Igor Shesterkin would go on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and miss at least the next three contests.
That vaulted Alexandar Georgiev to the starting role, and Georgiev responded with 25 saves against the Blackhawks in his first start since Nov. 21, helping the Rangers to their sixth straight victory.
Georgiev has stopped 34 of the 36 shots he has faced since relieving an injured Shesterkin on Friday night.
“I don’t really want to talk about the last two weeks,” Georgiev said. “Not much playing time and things haven’t gone the best, but at the same time I’m happy that I got a chance to play, happy that I got a chance to win games. That’s most important for us.”
New York has won six of its last seven games decided by one goal and is 8-1-3 in such games this season.
“You’ve got to play the same way whether it’s Georgiev or Huska in net,” head coach Gerard Gallant said. “Once you start changing the way you play you get in trouble.”
Georgiev, 25, is 3-1-1 this season with a 3.58 GAA and a .876 SV%.
Blackhawks look to get Fleury his 500th win
Chicago will look to stay resilient against the visiting New York Rangers on Tuesday night after falling to the Rangers 3-2 on Saturday in New York.
While the Rangers have been idle since that night, the Blackhawks rebounded Sunday with a 3-2 shootout victory against the New York Islanders.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who got a breather on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, made 22 saves against the Islanders, including all three attempts against him in the shootout.
Fleury stands one victory shy of 500 in his career, as he tries to join Martin Brodeur (691) and Patrick Roy (551) as the lone netminders to attain that milestone in the NHL. An offseason acquisition, Fleury has won six of his past eight starts while posting a 1.71 goals-against average and .944 save percentage.
“He’s unbelievable,” the Blackhawks’ Dylan Strome said. “Vezina Trophy winner for a reason. Without him, we’re not in a lot of these games. He’s a heck of a goalie, probably Team Canada goalie I’d say. He’s unbelievable, great guy in the locker room, too. You hear about it, guys coming to your team and hear how great of a guy he is, and every word’s been true. One of the best teammates I’ve ever had, for sure.”
Could Roberto Luongo be the next Canucks GM? And are the Islanders in on Evander Kane? Read it here.
–Field Level Media contributed to this report