Rangers Recall: No rematch for Rempe, Panarin and Shesterkin red-hot

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at New York Rangers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers erased the bad memory of losing to the Columbus Blue Jackets last Sunday with a 4-1 win at the Garden on Wednesday.

By doing so, they closed out the month of February with an incredible 10-1-0 record, and outscored the opposition by a whopping 40 to 22 margin. They also became the first team in the League to hit the 40 win mark.

With the NHL Trade Deadline on Mar. 8th, New York has two more games to play starting with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday and the Florida Panthers on Monday. The Rangers have been sending scouts out to watch potential trade targets, but a reunion with Frank Vatrano could be inching closer. That’s because Anaheim Ducks GM Pat Verbeek was in attendance against Columbus, increasing speculation that the two teams are working on a deal.

Stick with Forever Blueshirts throughout the deadline for all the latest news and rumors! Now, let’s take a look at some of the key takeaways from the Rangers big win.

Related: Rangers Trade Board

Rangers Recall: What a month!

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at New York Rangers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Rempe doesn’t fight

It’s been a wild week for 21-year-old rookie Matt Rempe, who’s become an overnight sensation for the Rangers thanks to his big hits and even bigger fights. On Tuesday, a gaggle of media from all over the country were at Rangers’ practice to get a close up look at this 6-foot-8 monster of young man, who was sporting a bruising visage after his last bout with Blue Jackets forward Mathieu Olivier.

“It’s cool, I appreciate all the support.” Rempe said. “I was at a Cheesecake Factory [Monday] and I was getting some photos with people, rocking the black eye, so it was pretty cool.”

For the media that attended Wednesday night’s game hoping for a bloodbath rematch between Rempe and Olivier, they left disappointed. So far, all three of his fights are considered staged because he and his opponents discussed it during pregame warmups. The NHL does not like that, and commissioner Gary Bettman was in attendance, likely keeping a close eye himself on what might transpire.

Whether it was Bettman being there or being wobbled by Olivier in their last encounter, the kid didn’t fight. Instead, Rempe played a very effective 7:42 of ice time, registering 4 hits and 1 shot on goal.

Hot Bread and Shesty

Artemi Panarin put on a show at the Garden by picking up two goals and an assist to power the Blueshirts to victory. He now has 82 points (35 goals, 47 assists) in 60 games.

“The conversation in the locker room was to return the debt to Columbus,” Panarin said. “It’s about having the right mindset.”

In the second period, Panarin opened the scoring collecting his 34th goal and 80th point of the season. The 32-year-old winger became the only other Blueshirt with four 80-point seasons tying Rod Gilbert. Only Mark Messier has recorded 80+ points for the Rangers more with five.

His Russian compatriot, Igor Shesterkin closed out the month of February by winning all seven of his starts. After struggling earlier in the season, he’s now upped his totals to 26-12-1 with a GAA of 2.65, and a .911 save percentage.

“It’s nice,” Shesterkin politely commented on his extraordinary month. “I hope it will continue in March.”

Two other players also picked up some notable milestones with Chris Kreider registering another 30 goal season, his third straight. Meanwhile, Adam Fox notched his 10th goal of the year for the third straight season becoming the first defenseman to do so since Brian Leetch.

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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