New York Rangers march past Penguins in 6-0 romp
The New York Rangers put on a show for fans in attendance at the Garden as they marched past the Pittsburgh Penguins to the tune of 6-0.
Igor Shesterkin registered his first shutout since November 1 by stopping 33 shots and picking up his fifth straight victory. Meanwhile, the team’s top six forwards combined for eleven points (five goals, six points).
The Blueshirts now have 90 points on the season (40-19-10) thanks to a six-game point streak (5-0-1) and are now just five points behind the New Jersey Devils for second place in the Metro.
“Two weeks ago we weren’t playing well at all,” Gerard Gallant admitted. “It changes that quick and the chemistry is coming together. Overall the last six, seven games have been real good. A lot of guys are trending in the right direction and that’s key.”
New York Rangers march over Penguins
Once again it was Mika Zibanejad that got the Rangers going after a slow start where Shesterkin thwarted several decent chances. The Rangers leading goal-scorer swiped in a backhand shot through Tristan Jarry for his 36th of the season at the 5:10 mark.
Artemi Panarin would score his first of two goals on the evening with a power play snipe from the left circle off a nice set up by Adam Fox. The tally came with 11 seconds left in the opening stanza and the rout was on.
“I’m like eight years here, I speak english a little bit,” the Russian winger said. “Enough to say pass me the puck.”
In the second period, the Penguins were pushing hard and found themselves caught behind enemy lines watching Vladimir Tarasenko finish off a three-on-one with Zibanejad and K’Andre Miller at 3:54.
Patrick Kane then played Penguins magnet drawing yellow shirts his way before finding Chris Kreider backdoor and chasing Jarry from the net.
Jacob Trouba gave Casey DeSmith a rude welcome with a sharp angle shot he banked in off his head and shoulder for a 5-0 lead. In the matter of 4:45, the Blueshirts blew the doors off the Penguins displaying a lethal ability to score on mistakes.
The Rangers capped their scoring with a beauty as Kane once again drew Penguins defenders to him and found his buddy Panarin for an easy goal.
“I know a lot of guys have been here a long time, but there are still some new players here that are getting accustomed to everything,” Kane said. “It seems like we’re just building (chemistry) every day, every game.”
From there, it was the Shesterkin show as he covered up several Rangers mistakes with brilliant acrobatic saves.
“I miss that taste (of a shutout),” Shesterkin said. “I’m so happy right now.”
The Rangers will take on the Nashville Predators tonight. Jaroslav Halak has already been named the starter.