Rangers fall flat in preseason finale against Islanders 3-1; Sammy Blais ‘fine’ after injury

sammy blais
Oct 18, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers forward Sammy Blais (91) shoots the puck during warm up before a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers played their final preseason game in preparation for their season opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning next Tuesday and it wasn’t the result they wanted.

While the Rangers did outshoot the Islanders for the game by a 29-16 margin, they simply could not get enough pucks by Ilya Sorokin.

Recap: Islanders 3 vs Rangers 1


rangers preseason schedule
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Islanders scored first after an awful turnover by Vincent Trocheck. Sebastian Aho was the recipient of the puck and he found Kieffer Bellows down low, who beat Igor Shesterkin for the lead 9:06 in.

Mathew Barzal would make it 2-0 using a tremendous snap shot over Shesterkin’s glove with 3:44 remaining.

When the period ended, Ilya Sorokin was able to turn all 9 shots the Blueshirts sent his way. His counterpart and good friend only made 3 stops. It would wind up being a theme in this contest.


Sammy Blais was hit by Alexandar Romanov midway through first period and left some time before the horn sounded. When the Rangers skated out for the middle frame, they announced Blais would not return due to an upper-body injury.

After the game, Gerard Gallant did not seem too concerned with the injury and said Blais was fine. He will have further evaluation on Sunday.

The Rangers were better to start the second period but once again had a difficult time beating Sorokin. Artemi Panarin came close early but it rang off the crossbar.

Unfortunately, it was more of the same as the Rangers couldn’t break through despite outshooting the Isles 12 shots to 7.


The Isles came out with a little more jump in the third period and Zach Parise opened the scoring on a tap-in power play goal with K’Andre Miller in the box for cross-checking.

Chemistry between Trocheck and Panarin will likely need some more time to develop as the two have yet to click. But it was after a strong shift by their line along with Jimmy Vesey that gave the Rangers some momentum.

On the very next shift, Kaapo Kakko scored his third of the preseason from just inside the left circle. Braden Schneider would get the only assist.

In the end, that’s all the Rangers would get on this night.

Notable Rangers

  • Igor Shesterkin only stopped 13 of 16
  • Kaapo Kakko registered his third goal of the preseason
  • Braden Schneider picked up his third assist
  • Rangers PP went 0-4

Tomorrow (Sunday, October 9): Day Off

Next Game: Tuesday, October 11 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (7:30 PM – TV: ESPN)

*Schedule subject to change


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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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