New York Rangers power past Blue Jackets 4-0 thanks to Chris Kreider and Igor Shesterkin
The New York Rangers honored Essential Workers on Friday with a complete performance. It was a great way to say thank you to those who put the safety of others ahead of themselves.
When the game was over, they watched the Blueshirts fill the net four times and deny the Jackets a single goal.
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Recap: Rangers 4 vs Blue Jackets 0
The Blueshirts came out flat in the opening minutes of the first period. As Igor Shesterkin was forced to make a few key saves an ‘uh-oh, here we go again’ thought crept into the minds of fans. That wasn’t the case, because after the Rangers resisted the Jackets early pressure they broke through.
Nils Lundkvist picked up his first NHL point when he moved the puck to Artemi Panarin. The Breadman straddled the biscuit just within the zone and hit Ryan Strome with a pass. Columbus’ defense parted like the Red Sea and Strome sent it top shelf on Elvis Merzlikins for the 1-0 lead at 12:29.
The Rangers kept the pressure up and took a 2-0 lead a little more than 3 minutes later. Alexis Lafrenière, who heard his coaches call for playing a “man’s game”, worked a give and go with Adam Fox. The reigning Norris Trophy winner went behind the net and made a gorgeous feed converted by Laffy with authority.
When the period was over, the Rangers had a 13-12 shot advantage, out hit the Jackets 11-2, but more importantly a 2-0 lead on home ice.
The second period was a scoreless affair with the Blueshirts carrying play and outshooting Columbus 14-7. Unlike their last game, the Rangers really maintained a consistent competitive level. Even more important, they stayed within their system and did a better job at managing turnovers which burned them against the Flames.
New York started the third period on the PP after a late hook by Jack Roslovic. Chris Kreider would tip a Panarin pass behind Merzlikins for a 3-0 lead just 1:19 into the final frame. “Those four guys just draw so much attention,” Kreider said of his PP mates. “If you leave those guys open they’re going to score, so a lot of times I’m the guy [teams] seem to leave open.”
Kreider wasn’t done yet. With Jake Bean off for a hook he redirected a beautiful shot/pass from Fox over Merzlikins. The Rangers were magic with the extra man on this night and it was all due to Kreider, who now has 5 PP tallies and 6 goals on the year.
In the end, the Rangers played their best and most complete game o the season. Shesterkin was finally rewarded by his defense, and earned his first shutout of the season stopping all 31 shots sent his way.
- Igor Shesterkin recorded his first shutout of the season, and third of his career
- Adam Fox was lethal with the dishes picking up 3 assists
- Artemi Panarin looked like his old self with 3 helpers as well
- Nils Lundkvist finally registered his first NHL point
- Chris Kreider continues being one of the best in front of the net with 2 PPG
- Rangers PP was 2/3 and PK was 3/3
- NYR out hit CBJ 26-11 and out shot them 37-31
Next Game: Sunday, at Seattle Kraken 9 PM ET
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