Rangers Drop Fifth Straight In Heartbreaker Against Rival Islanders
The Rangers entered tonight’s contest having dropped their last four games, including three blowouts against Pittsburgh, Colorado, and Arizona. And in their first game at MSG since the aforementioned game against Pittsburgh, the Blueshirts would lose in one of the more horrid ways the writer has ever seen. Josh Bailey one-timed the pass from Cal Clutterbuck with 1:26 remaining in the third period, which was the only shot in the final frame for the Islanders.
Ryan Strome – The game started off with Cody McLeod stirring things up with Matt Martin and Ross Johnston in the opening moments of the game, with the latter getting a penalty for his actions. And on the ensuing Rangers man-advantage, the Blueshirts capitalized thanks to Ryan Strome finishing off a great pass from Jimmy Vesey to give David Quinn’s team the early lead.
Kevin Shattenkirk – The New Rochelle native played a solid game in front of his hometown fans. Shattenkirk registered six shots on net, had two hits, three blocks, and three takeaways, and got the game tied at two with this snipe just inside the far post. It’s been a tough season for Shattenkirk, but this was one of the better games he has played since joining the Blueshirts in the summer of 2017.
Jesper Fast – Perhaps the hardest working Ranger, Jesper Fast doesn’t always end up on the scoresheet. However, in this game, it was Fast that knotted the game at three with this fantastic goal from the top of the crease. After Pavel Buchnevich had his shot deflect up into the air, Fast battled for position in front and was able to take a baseball swing at the puck and put it into the back of the net. Fast has now scored in consecutive games for the Blueshirts, as he continues to show his work ethic night after night.
Neal Pionk – It was not a good night for the rookie Rangers defenseman. Pionk made an errant breakout pass that was intercepted by Johnny Boychuk and fed to Mat Barzal for the first Islanders goal. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Pionk got himself turned around when Cal Clutterbuck passed the puck to Josh Bailey for the game-winning goal with less than 90 seconds remaining in regulation. Pionk, who started the season with such aplomb has struggled in the last few weeks. Perhaps a trip to the “Quinn Bin” will help Pionk get himself refocused for the second half of the season.
Next Game: The Rangers will face the Islanders on Saturday afternoon at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Puck drops at 1!
LETS GO RANGERS!