Rangers vs Flyers: Blueshirts look to get back in win column in final game of season series

By Anthony Scultore
Apr 22, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Zac Jones #6 of the New York Rangers passes the puck during a power play in the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers vs Flyers: The Blueshirts tried to comeback last night late in the third period but fell short by a goal. Artemi Panarin scored a blast from the blue-line with Igor Shesterkin pulled, but they couldn’t get one more and have lost two in a row. New York looks to get back in the win column tonight.

Rangers: 23-18-6 (52 pts)
Flyers: 21-18-7 (49 pts)

 (7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network, Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM)

Rangers won’t quit, Alexandar Georgiev expected to start

“There’s been a lot of stuff around this team and there’s been a lot of chances for our group to quit, and we haven’t,” Ryan Strome said after the last game. “There’s nine games left, and that’s going to be the message going forward. I think we have to finish strong here and see what happens. Our team has the ability to win games and go on a run like we’ve seen. Unfortunately, tonight wasn’t our best. At this point in the season these games are huge, and obviously with the scoreboard watching, that hurts a little bit more too.”

David Quinn will speak at 5:30 prior to the contest. No lineup changes are expected except for Alexandar Georgiev getting to start in the tail end of a back-to-back. That also means Zac Jones will get another look and hopefully more ice time.

Jones debuted yesterday and had a respectable first game. In 9:45 of ice time, the young defender had 3 shots on goal, one hit and one takeaway. He finished the game with a -1 rating but did not look out of place.

Per NYR: Alexandar Georgiev – 6 GP, 3-3-0, 2.00 GAA, .930 SV%, 2 SO – Georgiev stopped all 26 shots to earn a win and a shutout in his last appearance against Philadelphia on Mar. 17, 2021 at MSG.

Time to give the kids more responsibility and ice time

alexis lafreniere
Apr 20, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Alexis Lafreniere (13) reacts after losing to the New York Islanders 6-1 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Alexis Lafrenière played a spirited game and was extremely visible on the first line with Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich. Thanks to six penalties including a double minor his ice time was limited to just 13:31. It would be great to see him given more time, especially on the power play going forward.

Also, it’s time to promote Kaapo Kakko back on to the second line with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome. While Colin Blackwell has done a nice job on the line, the playoffs are unrealistic. Kakko needs more than the 11:40 he got yesterday. Furthermore, Vitali Kravtsov needs to be placed on the third line with Filip Chytil and Chris Kreider. The rookie is only getting 11:39 per game and needs more.

Rangers Pre Game Notes

  • All-Time vs Flyers: 135-125-37-10 (70-53-23-6 at home; 65-72-14-4 on the road)
  • Of the 20 players who dressed for the Rangers in last night’s game vs. Philadelphia, 14 were either selected by the team in the NHL Entry Draft and/or have only played with the Rangers in their NHL career.
  • Artemi Panarin ranks second in the NHL in points per game (1.47) and assists per game (min. two games played – 1.00) this season, only trailing Connor McDavid in each category, and he also leads the NHL (min. 20 games played) in points per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 (3.33) and assists per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 (2.30) in 2020-21.
  • Adam Fox leads NHL defensemen in assists (37), is tied for first in points (42), ranks second in power play assists (19) and power play points (21), and is tied for third in takeaways (30) in 2020-21.

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