New York Rangers second annihilation of the Flyers puts East on notice

new york rangers captain
Mar 25, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) celebrates his goal with left wing Artemi Panarin (10) and left wing Chris Kreider (20) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have won four of their last five and are now just three points behind the Bruins for the final playoff spot in the East. Two of those wins have came at the expense of the Flyers whom they’ve outscored 17-3 in those contests.

It’s been a difficult year for the Blueshirts as they continue to deal with adversity. From last season’s top scoring defenseman Tony DeAngelo hitting a self destruct button to Artemi Panarin’s 9 game hiatus after a politically motivated allegation, the ride has been bumpy. Injuries, COVID, and slumps threatened to derail the season.

Still, here they are with a 15-13-4 record good for fifth place tie in the East. In their last 7 games they are 5-1-1 with wins against the Bruins and Capitals included. They have scored 34 goals in that time and only given up 14. More importantly they are healthy, and Mika Zibanejad isn’t slumping anymore.

Did I fail to mention they are 4-1 with David Quinn on the COVID list? The East is now on notice.

Rangers vs Flyers: Mika Zibanejad scores 6 against Philly….again

Last week Mika Zibanejad scored a natural hat trick and six points in the second period of a 9-0 wash out of the Flyers. Yesterday, he took a little longer but completed the feat again. The Rangers center posted another natural and six points in an 8-3 clubbing of the host Flyers. Since that first breakout game, Zibanejad has recorded 15 points in his last five contests.

“The puck seems to go in right now, obviously,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to contribute offensively for the team, especially since (struggling) the start and the first part of the season. It’s obviously a great feeling when you win and you can contribute.”

The Rangers will look to claim sole possession of fifth on Saturday. If by some miracle the Sabres can knock off the Bruins that day, New York will be one point out of 4th. It should be noted that the Bruins have three games in hand.

Mika’s Magic Show

  • First player in NHL history to score 6 points or more against the same opponent in the same season
  • Has 15 points in his last 5 games
  • Has 23 points in his last 17 games

Adam Fox dominating, Ryan Strome still surging, and Igor Shesterkin easing back in

rangers vs flyers
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Fox is on fire but he’s either being overshadowed by Mika’s big games or Panarin’s razzle-dazzle assists and goals. All he does is play a dominant role night in and night out while logging top minutes. Last night he set a career high with five assists in the win against the Flyers. In his last five games he’s notched a goal and 11 points.

Ryan Strome continues to make his mark for the Rangers this season as he’s now reached 30 points in 32 games. Last night he recorded a goal and three helpers in the rout. The Blueshirts second line pivot has a seven game point streak with 12 points in that span. Furthermore, he’s been clutch picking up at least one point in 13 of the team’s 15 wins this season.

Igor Shesterkin had a busy night in his first game back from injury stopping 41 shots. He made some big saves to keep the Rangers in control of the game. The most important take away is that he showed no lingering effects from his groin injury as his lateral movement was sharp. His stats this season continue to improve with a 7-7-1 record, a .922 SV% and a 2.36 GAA.

Post Game Notes

  • The Rangers registered 15 consecutive goals against Philadelphia (nine consecutive goals in their 9-0 win on Mar. 17 and the first six goals of tonight’s game).
  • The Rangers tallied eight goals in tonight’s contest, including three goals each in the first period and second period. The Blueshirts have registered three or more goals in each of the last three games (16 goals over the span) and in six of the last seven games (including four or more goals in five of the last seven contests) and have tallied 34 goals over the last seven games. 
  • The Rangers have earned at least one point in six of their last seven games (5-1-1 record over the span), dating back to Mar. 13 at Boston, and have outscored opponents, 34-14, over the seven contests.
  • The Blueshirts established a single-game season-high with three power play goals in tonight’s contest (3-for-5; 6:45 – all three goals scored by Mika Zibanejad). New York is 5-for-8 (62.5%) on the power play over the last two games.

Rangers will practice today, 12:00 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center.

Next Game: Saturday, Mar. 27 at Philadelphia (1:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network).

Notes courtesy NYR

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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