Rangers rally together and outwork Penguins for a big win

Make no mistake about it, this was not an easy game to play.

The Rangers were coming off a blown lead, an altercation between teammates, false accusations, and struggling at both ends of the ice.

Artemi Panarin to the rescue!

The Rangers best player continues to carry this team on his back as best as possible. Tonight, Artemi Panarin was the offense as he picked up two assists and sealed the victory with an empty net goal.

His first assist came on a delayed penalty where he found Kevin Rooney in front. Panarin then picked up the secondary assist on Kreider’s game-winner.

Panarin now has 12 points on the season with 5 goals in 9 games. He’s been by far and away the best the team has night in and night out.

Not a bad 400th NHL game to his career.

Chris Kreider set the pace with his battle level

The Rangers de facto captain, Chris Kreider scored the game-winner off a tip in front on the PP. It was his 4th goal of the year and his third in the last four contests. He was without a doubt the team’s hardest worker and made sure they followed his example.

“I’m really proud of our guys,” David Quinn said after the game. He called it a “true team effort” and he noted that the team’s third period was one of their best and that they played “intelligent hockey.”

K’Andre Miller thrust into top role

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K’Andre Miller (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

One of the immediate impacts of Tony DeAngelo being waived was the fact that K’Andre Miller was going to play a bigger role. Prior to tonight’s game he was averaging around 18 minutes a night, against the Penguins he logged 21:59.

Miller has been stellar this season and made a crucial defensive play late in the game. Using his speed, size, and reach he prevented a wraparound goal.

It should also be noted that Igor Shesterkin played a great game himself. The Czar stopped 25 of 26 shots and picked up his first regulation win of the season.

Post Game Notes:

  • The Rangers have earned at least one point in three consecutive games for the first time this season (2-0-1 record over the span). In addition, the Blueshirts have earned at least one point in four of the last six games and in five of the last eight contests.
  • Blueshirts held the Penguins to 26 shots on goal in tonight’s game, including only five shots on goal in the second period. The Blueshirts have held their opponent to 30 shots on goal or fewer in seven of the last eight games.
  • The Rangers were 1-for-4 on the power play in tonight’s game and registered seven shots on goal over their four power play opportunities. The Rangers have recorded a power play goal in each of the last two games and in five of nine games this season.
  • New York was 6-for-6 (12:00) on the penalty kill in tonight’s contest and held Pittsburgh to only seven shots on goal over the Penguins’ six power play opportunities. The Blueshirts have killed off 13 of their opponents’ 14 power play opportunities over the last three games (92.9%), including all 10 power play opportunities over the last two contests.
  • Igor Shesterkin stopped 25 of 26 shots, including all 14 shots over the final two periods, to earn his second consecutive win and his second win of the 2020-21 season. Shesterkin was selected as the game’s First Star. He has stopped 48 of 51 shots over his last two appearances (.941 SV%).
  • Artemi Panarin recorded three points (one goal, two assists), including a power play assist on the game-winning goal, while skating in his 400th career NHL game in tonight’s contest.
  • Adam Fox recorded a power play assist, led all skaters with five blocked shots, and posted a plus-two rating while skating in a single-game career-high 26:03 of ice time.
  • Chris Kreider recorded a power play goal, which was the game-winning goal. He registered his 161st career goal with the Rangers in tonight’s game, passing Cecil Dillon for the second-most goals by an American-born player with the Blueshirts in franchise history (the only American-born Ranger who has registered more goals with the Rangers than Kreider has is Brian Leetch).

Post Game Notes courtesy of the NYR

The team is scheduled for a day off tomorrow. Their next practice will be Wednesday, 11AM at the MSG Training Center.

Their next game is set for Thursday, Feb. 4 vs. Washington (7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network).



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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