New York, New York: Rangers snap slump, Isles win second straight
It was a good night in NYC.
In Manhattan, the Rangers snapped a three-game losing streak with a win over the ‘Canes at MSG and, while that was going on, the Isles won their second straight with a victory over the Avs in Brooklyn.
Nice little Monday, that.
Let’s begin with the Rangers.
Heading into tonight’s action in arguably their worst slump of the season, the Blueshirts got goals from Mats Zuccarello, Oscar Lindberg, Chris Kreider and Derick Brassard to edge the ‘Canes. While it was hardly an oil painting -- New York was out-shot 36-22 -- the club will gladly take the win, and the positives that came with it.
Like the power play, that went 2-for-4 on the night with Zuccarello’s and Lindberg’s tallies. And the fact the club was able to withstand the loss of d-man Kevin Klein, who exited early in the first period -- despite missing a steadying presence that plays over 21 minutes per night, the Rangers’ remaining five d-men (Ryan McDonagh, Keith Yandle, Dan Girardi, Dan Boyle and Marc Staal) all played at least 20 minutes save Yandle, who clocked in at 19:43.
The Rangers also got a solid outing from Henrik Lundqvist, who made 33 saves on 36 shots. Jordan Staal, Victor Rask and Chris Terry scored for Carolina.
Now, over to Barclays.
The Isles overcame Blake Comeau’s game-opening tally in the first to win 5-3, thanks to a three-goal barrage in the final period.
Head coach Jack Capuano will no doubt be pleased with the balanced scoring across the board, as five different Isles found the back of the net: Cal Clutterbuck, Kyle Okposo, Ryan Strome, Casey Cizikas and Mikhail Grabovski, with Cizikas’ goal proving to be the eventual game-winner.
The win was also sweet given it came with backup netminder Thomas Greiss in goal. The victory pushed him to an impressive 7-3-2 on the year, putting him in the conversation among the NHL’s top second-string goalies.
For the Avs, tonight’s loss will sting. It was another unremarkable outing from Semyon Varlamov (four goals on 27 shots, an .852 save percentage) and a forgettable night for three of Colorado’s best players. Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene combined to go pointless on the night, with a minus-8 rating.
And yes, I just referenced plus-minus.
Update: As longtime and cherished PHT commenter bcislesman pointed out, I neglected to mention Wednesday’s Rivalry Night game on NBCSN -- between the Rangers and Isles! Don’t worry, we’ll have plenty on it in the coming days. A reminder the game will be available on TV and via NBC Sports’ Live Extra at 8 p.m. ET.