New York Rangers played solid 60 in 4-0 win over Blue Jackets
A textbook performance by the New York Rangers against a bottom feeding team led to a 4-0 victory on a night where both teams ahead of them in the standings lost.
Although it’s unlikely the Blueshirts (106 points, 2 games remaining) can overtake the New Jersey Devils (108 points, 2 games remaining) for second place in the Metro, and even less likely they can grab first from the Carolina Hurricanes (109 points, 3 games remaining), it was a solid showing.
The Rangers only turned over the puck three times the entire match and helped Igor Shesterkin to a shutout and a career-high 37 wins on the season.
“We played pretty well and played solid defensively,” Gerard Galant said. “It’s exactly what we needed.”
New York Rangers beat Blue Jackets
The first goal of the game came off a keen defensive play by Barclay Goodrow near the blue-line. After picking off Johnny Gaudreau he quickly found Tyler Motte cutting down the middle, who sent the puck to Jimmy Vesey for a snap shot past Michael Hutchinson at the 10:08 mark in period 1.
Once again it was another quick transition from defense to offense that set up the second tally.
This time Patrick Kane stole a puck but after his shot was blocked K’Andre Miller picked it up and sent it to the net. A mad scramble ensued with Chris Kreider burying it for his 36 just 1:41 later. Mika Zibanejad picked up his first of two helpers on the night and is now at 89 points.
After a scoreless second period where the Rangers gave up only three shots they picked up two more goals
Niko Mikkola increased the lead with his first goal of the season and his first as a member of the Rangers
The defenseman converted a beautiful feed from Zibanejad to make it 3-0. It was his first goal in over a year (1/15/22).
“It was a relief,” Mikkola laughed. “It was nice to get one. Nice pass by Mika. I owe him a couple of beers.”
Vincent Trocheck capped the scoring with off another nice set up with 20 seconds left. Vladimir Tarasenko picked up the lone helper on the play.
Igor Shesterkin barely broke a sweat making a total of 20 saves on the evening.
“The way he plays and gives us a chance to win every night it was nice to get him a shutout,” Zibanejad acknowledged.
The Rangers finished the regular-season on the road with a remarkable 24-9-8 record and 56 points (ranked second all-time in franchise history).
New York’s final two games are at Madison Square Garden against the Buffalo Sabres (4/10) and Toronto Maple Leafs (4/13).