Rangers lose 2-1 in exhibition, Marc Staal left game in the third but will play against Carolina

The Rangers fell to the Islanders tonight 2-1 at Scotia Bank, where they were the home team. Yes, that all sounds weird but this is the new world for these playoffs.

Marc Staal did not return for the third period

The Rangers main objective tonight was to get ready for Saturday, not win a game. That doesn’t mean they didn’t try, but David Quinn did his best to juggle the lineup and get every player dressed a fair share of touches.

Libor Hajek was dressed as the extra defenseman and was used sparingly, until the third period. That’s because Marc Staal did not come out to play the final stanza. Hajek finished with 9:49 of TOI.

Marc Staal left early (Getty Images)

Good news for Staal is that he was pulled for precautionary reasons and will play in game 1 against the Canes per David Quinn.

Lone Rangers goal

The Rangers only goal of the contest came right after the Islanders made it 2-1. Filip Chytil followed up a Jesper Fast shot to get the Rangers on the board. Chytil played a very good game and was noticeable, as was another young Blueshirt in Kaapo Kakko.

For Kakko, the time off and being home seemed to help. While usually tentative to shoot and a penchant to hold the puck too long, that wasn’t the case tonight. He finished with 12:44 of ice and was tied with Jesper Fast for the team lead in shots with four.

Offensively, the Rangers did not look very good. Both Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad struggled to make plays. Simply put, their timing was really off to do what they were envisioning in their heads with the puck.

Post game notes: NYR vs NYI

  • Seven of the 22 Rangers who played in tonight’s game are 22 years old or younger (Filip Chytil, Adam Fox, Julien Gauthier, Libor Hajek, Brett Howden, Kaapo Kakko, and Ryan Lindgren).
  • The Blueshirts were 5-for-5 (6:25) on the penalty kill in tonight’s game and held the Islanders to only four shots on goal over the Islanders’ five power play opportunities, including none on the Islanders’ 33-second five-on-three power play opportunity in the first period. From Nov. 23 through Feb. 19, the Rangers’ 84.8% penalty kill efficiency was the third-best in the NHL.
  • The Blueshirts only allowed two goals in tonight’s game. The Rangers held their opponent to two goals or fewer in 28 different games this season.
  • The Rangers held the Islanders to 22 shots on goal in tonight’s contest. During the 2019-20 regular season, the Blueshirts held their opponent to 22 shots on goal or fewer in five different games.
  • Filip Chytil tallied a goal, registered two shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating. He recorded 14 goals in 2019-20 and ranked third among NHL players 20 years old or younger in goals during the season.
  • Jesper Fast notched an assist, tied for game-highs with four shots on goal and two blocked shots, tied for the team-hig

Notes courtesy of the NYR PR Dept.

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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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