Rangers Recall: Braden Schneider flashes offense, Igor Shesterkin rebounds vs Leafs, and more

Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers wanted to win this one after the Toronto Maple Leafs embarrassed them on home ice 7-3 last week. To a man, they all spoke of delivering a modicum of payback on Tuesday night at Scotiabank Arena, and they did so with a resounding 5-2 triumph.

Defenseman Braden Schneider broke a 22-game goal drought by going end-to-end and scoring the eventual game-winner.

“We had it circled, (on the calendar)” Schneider said afterwards. “We thought we owed them one. It was a game we wanted to get back at them for and we did just that.”

Let’s take a look at some key takeaways from the Blueshirts 22nd win of the season

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Rangers Recall: Braden Schneider takes down Leafs

NHL: New York Rangers at Toronto Maple Leafs
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Branden Schneider flashes offensive upside

The Rangers continue to get scoring from almost every player on their roster, with young blue-liner Braden Schneider scoring an absolute beauty versus the Leafs on Tuesday.

Schneider, 22, has registered 2 goals, 6 assists, and 8 points in 30 games this season. Prior to being selected in the first-round of the 2020 draft, he was considered a two-way defenseman in the WHL that notched 27 points in 22 matches for the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Obviously, since joining the Rangers, he’s played primarily as the third right defenseman, averaging just 15:36 in parts of three seasons in New York. His role at this time is to not be a liability on the ice while Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba rest for their next shift. However, last night, he saw an opportunity and made the most of it.

“The rules are the same for everybody,” coach Peter Laviolette stated. “He could get up and go whenever he wants to and that was a perfect example of it. He does have that skillset. I see him more as a two-way defenseman and I do think he’s capable of that.”

As Schneider continues to develop, we can expect to see more offense from a player who’s certainly proven in juniors that he can do it.

Igor Shesterkin rebounds against the Leafs

A little over a week ago, Igor Shesterkin struggled to verbalize his thoughts and could not hide his disappointment after getting hammered by the Leafs.

I don’t know what to say to you,” he said. “Sorry.”

Flash forward two starts later, and Shesterkin not only beat the Bruins in Boston 2-1, he got his revenge in Toronto as well. Not only is it great to see Igor bounce back nicely with those victories, but it’s impressive because he looks like the goalie everyone expects.

Shesterkin has recorded a 1.48 GAA and an outstanding .945 save percentage in his last two appearances. If he’s back on track, the Rangers’ lofty perch in the NHL standings should continue.

Alexis Lafreniere breaks slump

When Alexis Lafreniere pumped home his second power play goal of the season, he snapped a long goalless streak of 12 games. It’s been a tough stretch for the 22 year-old with only 4 assists during that span.

However, in what has been a big difference for the 1st overall pick of the 2020 draft, his coach never lost faith. Matter of fact, after the game, Laviolette sang his praises.

“He’s been on point with his game the entire year,” Laviolette noted. “We’ve been really happy with him and how’s he’s playing. For me, if you’re doing the right things, it always turns around. It was nice to see him chip in tonight.”

This season, Alexis has notched 9 goals and 17 points in 30 games. He’s currently on pace for a career-high 25 goals and 46 points.

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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