The Rangers finished up their six-game road trip in Boston this afternoon. They were looking to bounce back after a dreadful 4-0 loss in Boston on Thursday. They were also looking to end a three-game losing streak after winning their previous three games. Keith Kinkaid got the nod in net, replacing Alexandar Georgiev, who has had a rough time of it lately. Kinkaid, the former Devil, has appeared in three prior games and started in one. He had a 2.21 GAA and a .912 SV% in his three prior appearances coming into today. Artemi Panarin also returned after a nine-game hiatus to handle some issues regarding allegations made against him.
Rangers Get Early Goal, Take 1-0 Lead
The Rangers came out strong in period number one. This contrasts from Thursday’s game in which a fast start quickly faded away as the Rangers allowed a goal just 4:14 in. The Rangers were unable to get one past Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak last game, who has had the Rangers number over the duration of his career. However, the Rangers were finally able to score one today against him. It ended his shutout streak against the Rangers, which extended through two games and 3:06 this season for a total of 133:14.
K’Andre Miller was able to get his first goal since his first career goal in Buffalo on January 26th. The Rangers were able to capitalize off a face-off win which allowed Miller to control the puck and rip a shot past a screen in front. Halak did not see the shot as Miller got it up top left and off the post. A fast start for the Rangers resulted in a goal early on, differing from the difficulties we saw during Thursday’s game.
Rangers Penalty Kill Continues Its Strong Run
The Rangers took two penalties during the period but were able to stymie the Bruins and prevent any sustained pressure. The Rangers came into the game with an 86.3 PK%, which ranks as fourth in the league. Although they gave up a power-play goal last game to the Bruins, it was the first one allowed in eight games. The Rangers penalty kill has been vastly improved under new defensive coach Jacques Martin and has quietly been one of the more underrated units in the whole league.
The Rangers also had two power plays, within ten minutes remaining of the first period. While unable to develop any sustained pressure and chances, they were able to get a couple of late chances inf front of Halak. Kaapo Kakko tried to set up rookie Alexis Lafreniere in front with a pass, however, Lafreniere was unable to lift the puck over the pads of Halak. In addition, the Rangers had another late chance which stemmed from a drop pass from Kevin Rooney to Ryan Lindgren, who then found Rooney in the slot, who was unable to convert on a quick shot off the pass to Halak’s left pad.
All in all, the Rangers had a strong first period. They probably deserved to come out of that period with more than a 1-0 lead, but Halak stood strong yet again. Lastly, another success was the Rangers held the Bruins to only six shots in the period.
The Rangers had yet again another strong period. They held the Bruins to only five shots, one down from six in the first period. The Rangers, on the other hand, had 11 shots, up from 10 in the first. After two periods, the Bruins lead in faceoffs (22 vs 17) and hits (20 vs 14). The bog difference-maker in the game, however, has been the Rangers penalty kill. The Bruins penalty kill has also been strong, but they’re the team that is behind and needs to take advantage.
The Rangers have had one of the best penalty kills in the entire NHL. The Bruins are up there in the league as well, and it’s no surprise both teams are a combined 0-7. The Bruins had another two power-plays in the second period and could not convert. The Rangers defense has remained disciplined and allowed for Kinkaid to see the puck well.
Rangers Continue To Hold Bruins On Power Play
The best chance that the Bruins had on the power-play came early on in the second period. Brendan Smith took a minor boarding penalty just 53 seconds into period number two. A goal for Boston would’ve been a huge momentum changer, and turned the game around in Boston’s favor. However, the Rangers kept the Bruins from getting back into the game.
Keith Kinkaid made a nice save on the power play after a quick shot from David Pastrnak off a face-off win for Boston. The Rangers were able to get some clears and had some shorthanded offensive opportunities, though to no avail. Kevin Rooney continued being involved on both the offensive and defensive side on the kill as his hot was saved by Halak at 15:13.
Kreider Gets 14th Goal On Nice Setup From Zibanejad
The Rangers continued their offensive push and were rewarded with a goal from Chris Kreider. Kreider would cash in on his team-leading 14th goal of the season following a great pass into the slot area by Mika Zibanejad. Zibanejad has seen his play improve greatly over the last couple of weeks. He has also been much more visible and involved in the action, especially on the offensive side. It would be his second assist of the game, making it just his second multiple-point game of the season. He now has 3 goals and 8 assists on the season for a total of 11 points in 26 games.
At about 9:41 of the 2nd, the Rangers took their second penalty of the period. About a minute into the kill, Kinkaid made his best save of the game on a save on a one-timer from Brad Marchand. Marchand received the cross-ice pass from Long Island native Charlie McAvoy, and Kinkaid was able to see the pass all the way through and came up with the clean save with his pad.
The Rangers started the third period in a similar fashion to the second. An early penalty put the Rangers in the hole for two minutes. Ryan Lindgren took down Brad Marchand and was called for holding. The Rangers were able to similarly handle the power-play as they have all afternoon. The Bruins got an early shot from Patrice Bergeron, which was saved and stopped by Kinkaid.
Then, an attempt by David Pastrnak was blocked by K’Andre Miller, who has played one of his better games in the NHL. Colin Blackwell would then get the final clearance for NY as the penalty kill remained a perfect 5/5.
The Rangers would follow up by getting a power-play of their own, as Bergeron went to the box for interference. The power-play had a few chances to extend the lead, though nothing came of it. One of those chances came off the stick of Ryan Strome on a feed from Artemi Panarin. Halak was able to get enough of the shot to keep it out of the net. Another chance came off a blocked shot in the offensive zone, as Jacob Trouba picked up the puck, but fired it wide of Halak.
Rangers Get Two Goals To Extend Lead to 4-0
Just a couple of minutes later, however, the Rangers were able to capitalize on another great setup from Artemi Panarin. Panarin had been dearly missed in these situations and the Rangers are glad to have him back. Regardless, the return of Panarin has been evident and dearly missed. As a result, Strome was able to finish on a great setup from Panarin in front to give the Rangers a three-goal lead.
With 7:30 remaining, the Rangers got their fifth power-play of the game, and it was by far their best. The Rangers kept the puck in the Bruins zone and threw four pucks at Halak, to no avail. At 3:48, Pavel Buchnevich would pick up a loose puck in the slot and rip it past Halak for a 4-0 lead, which is what the Rangers would end up winning by.
The Rangers pulled a 360 on the Bruins after falling to them 4-0 Thursday night. The Rangers also beat Halak for four goals, after he shut them out in two prior games. It is only the ninth time the Rangers have beaten Halak in 35 games and a much-needed one at that. Kinkaid stopped 18 shots for the shutout and earned his first win since October 2019. The Rangers finish their road trip with a 3-3 record, though they find themselves seven points out of a playoff spot.
They now get ready for two home tilts against the Philadelphia Flyers, followed by two in D.C. Today’s game showed the potential that the Rangers hold and the chance to go on a run, however, it will depend on whether the team can be consistent enough. The team currently stands at 11-12-3 and will play a Flyers team that is now only four points ahead of them. These next two games will be a huge test for the Rangers and a key to their playoff hopes.