Rangers return the favor and shutout Islanders 5-0 for first win of the season

By Forever Blueshirts
Buchnevich opens the scoring Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

David Quinn had a message for his team coming in; stay disciplined, focus on defense, compete, and we will win. The Rangers did all that and completely flipped the script on the Islanders by shutting them out 5-0.

“I was 100% sure we weren’t going to be bad as we were the other night,” David Quinn said after the game. “I have to give our leaders a ton of credit. Jacob Trouba stood tall for us. Everything is right for us after tonight.”

Rangers win 5-0 as rookie Ilya Sorokin thrown to the wolves

The Islanders looked dominant last game with Semyon Varlamov earning an easy shutout. Unfortunately for him, he took a shot from Cal Clutterbuck high during warmups and was unable to start tonight.

Highly touted rookie Ilya Sorokin was thrusted into action and did not have a great NHL debut. He yielded 2 goals in the first, 2 in the second, and PP tally in the third.

All in all, he only stopped 27 of 32 shots.

Rangers Russians on Fire tonight

Lafreniere Panarin
Lafreniere celebrates Panarin’s breakaway goal (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Rangers opened the scoring with a 2-on-1 goal as Mika Zibanejad set up Buchnevich for the tally. It was a shot that Sorokin simply played poorly.

If you wanted to know how David Quinn’s lineup changes would work, let me break it down for you simply.

Lafreniere was moved up to the second line on the right side and had a great night. He didn’t have a point, but he was making plays and came close a few times.

Brendan Smith was inserted for Tony DeAngelo, and played one of the best games he’s ever had in a Rangers sweater. It was epitomized on the Rangers second goal where he made a key block and then turned it up ice to Artemi Panarin for a breakaway. You can guess how that went. After the goal, Lafreniere was right there to hug the Breadman and was trailing the play just in case there was a rebound.

Panarin would score a PP marker in the third period giving him 2 points on the night.

Pavel Buchnevich was all smiles tonight

Everyone’s top breakout candidate for the New York Rangers, Pavel Buchnevich had quite a night with two goals and one assist. He was on the puck every shift and scored an absolute beauty to make it 3-0.

What should be noted on this goal was K’Andre Miller helped push it out of the zone, and Alexis Lafreniere fought along the boards to force a turnover that Buchnevich made count.

After the game, there was no one happier for Buchnevich than David Quinn. “I love the guy!” a smiling coach exclaimed. “He’s working hard, he’s coachable, I’m glad he’s getting rewarded statistically. Give him all the credit.”

Kaapo Kakko takes the demotion in stride

Kaapo Kakko actually started the game on the 4th line but worked his way up to the third. The coach praised his efforts remarking how it was much better than Thursday.

Quinn made it clear that Kakko is going to be a big part of what they are building in New York and was happy to see him smile.

Stone cold shutout

Alexandar Georgiev was tracking the puck like a hawk but got plenty of help from his goal posts. I counted four rings of the iron for the Islanders, with two of them coming within seconds of each other.

The 24 year-old netminder picked up the shut out stopping all 23 shots he faced. There’s no doubt that he will start the next game against NJ.

Post Game Notes:

  • Following their win tonight, the Rangers have posted a 1-0-0 record in the game following a loss in 2020-21. During the 2019-20 season, the Rangers posted a 20-8-0 record in their final 28 regular season games which followed a loss (beginning with their loss on Oct. 22, 2019 vs. Arizona through the end of the regular season).
  • Alexandar Georgiev stopped all 23 shots to earn his first win and his first shutout of the 2020-21 season while making his season debut in tonight’s contest. Georgiev was selected as the game’s First Star. He has now posted a 6-2-0 record in eight career appearances against the Islanders (including a 6-1-0 record in seven career starts), and he has earned more wins against the Islanders than against any other opponent in his NHL career.
  • Pavel Buchnevich tied single-game career-highs with two goals and three points, tallied the first goal of the game (which was the game-winning goal), led all skaters with five shots on goal, and posted a plus-two rating. He was selected as the game’s Second Star.
  • Artemi Panarin registered two goals, including a power play goal, and recorded three shots on goal. Panarin was selected as the game’s Third Star. He has tallied 64 points (25 goals, 39 assists) in 43 career games at MSG. He has registered more points against the Islanders than against any other opponent in his NHL career (25; 10 goals, 15 assists in 17 games). Panarin notched a point in 34 of the Rangers’ 37 wins last season.
  • Kaapo Kakko tallied a goal in tonight’s contest. He recorded 10 goals as a rookie last season, and his 10 goals in 2019-20 were the second-most by an NHL teenager during the season (only trailing Andrei Svechnikov). According to NHL Stats and Information, Kakko’s 11 career goals as a teenager are fourth-most by a teenager in Rangers history (Mike Allison – 24; Alexei Kovalev – 15; Filip Chytil – 12).

*Post game notes courtesy New York Rangers.

The Blueshirts have a day off tomorrow but will be back at practice at the MSG Training Center on Monday at 11:00 AM ET.

Rangers next game is against New Jersey at the Garden on Tuesday, January 19. (TV: MSG Network 7:00 PM ET)