Hot Rangers get quick chance for revenge vs. Wild
Posted on: 08 Nov, 2023 at 09:54 PM
Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Rangers sustained their worst showing of the early season when they blew a three-goal last weekend on the road against the Minnesota Wild.
Five days later, the Rangers are coming off another win and attempting to continue one of the best starts in team history Thursday night when they host the Wild.
At 9-2-1, the Rangers are off to a start that has seen them accumulate 19 points through their first 12 games. It is the fifth time in team history the Rangers won at least nine of their first 12 games and the first instance since 2016-17.
Among the major reasons for New York's flying start are the individual performances of Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider, who helped the Rangers bounce back from blowing that three-goal lead by forcing overtime in an eventual 5-4 shootout loss at Minnesota.
The Rangers extended their points streak to eight games (7-0-1) in Tuesday's 5-3 home win over the Detroit Red Wings when they scored four times in the second period.
Panarin extended his points streak to 12 games by scoring his seventh goal and getting his 13th assist on Kreider's power-play goal.
Panarin's points streak is the second-longest of his career and two behind Hall of Famer Rod Gilbert's 1972-73 team record for the longest streak to start a season.
Kreider scored his ninth goal in the victory over the Red Wings and his league-leading sixth power-play goal. The Rangers scored multiple times on a man advantage for the third time to raise their total to 14 power-play goals.
"Overall, I thought we came out with the right attitude and the right pace and really put the game where we wanted to put it right from the start," New York coach Peter Laviolette said. "In Minnesota, I thought that we were just too passive all over the ice -- on the penalty kill, on the five-on-five play. And, so, I thought all three areas were really on point."
The Rangers scratched goalie Igor Shesterkin for the second straight game due to a lower-body injury he sustained a week ago in a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Shesterkin practiced fully without any restrictions Wednesday and could be ready to return.
The Wild are playing their fifth straight game against a New York-area team and seeking a season-high third straight win to follow up a four-game losing streak.
Minnesota followed up the win over the Rangers by scoring the final three goals of a 4-2 win against the host New York Islanders on Tuesday.
"About time," Minnesota goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. "It's a good feeling."
Pat Maroon scored 19 seconds in and Vinni Lettieri tallied in the second before Kirill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek scored 42 seconds apart in the third period.
"Good things happen when you just work hard. Just got to work hard, work yourself out of it," Maroon said. "I think when you work hard, you get yourself out of a little slump that you're in. And that's what we did in that second and third period against the Rangers and it led into this game."
Among the good things Maroon is referring to is improved defense. Since the opening-period against the Rangers, the Wild have allowed three goals in five periods.
--Field Level Media