Madison Square Garden – It’s a good time to be a fan of the New York Rangers.
Just 24 hours after dismantling a Metro division rival, the Blueshirts set multiple franchise records Sunday night in a 7-0 blowout win over the short-handed Predators.
“I thought our guys did an excellent job.” Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant said. “They worked hard, played the game the right way. I was proud of those guys…I can’t remember a game we played that well.”
The offensive onslaught started early on Sunday when the Rangers set a franchise record for most goals in a first period with six. Filip Chytil, Mika Zibanejad, Tyler Motte, K’Andre Miller, and Artemin Panarin all attributed goals in an overwhelming period that saw New York tally six goals on just 10 shots. Miller, on his own, attributed to four points in the period – a franchise record for a defenseman in a single period.
“I couldn’t complain.” Miller laughed. “I can’t tell you the last time that has happened. The puck was finding me so I couldn’t complain.”
New York’s dominance continued into the second period when Chris Kreider put in a rebound to give the Rangers a 7-0 lead after two periods. It also meant that the Blueshirts had gone on a 15-0 run in their last three contests against the Capitals, Penguins, and Predators combined – the biggest point differential by a team all season.
It was also their second straight shutout win while in the midst of a four-game winning streak. It’s also given the team tremendous confidence as they get closer to the playoffs.
“We’re liking how we’re playing. We’re liking how we’re starting and finishing games. It’s been good.” Miller added.
From there, the Rangers used supreme goaltending from Jaroslav Halak to put the game on ice for the remaining 40 minutes. New York’s backup goaltender put up 22 saves in his ninth win of the season.
“It was a team effort out there tonight. Even though we had a big league, we were still blocking shots. I’m glad we got two points. It’s going to be important for us to keep getting two points before the playoffs.” Halak said after the win.
The win moved the Rangers to 41-19-10 on the season and three points back of the rival Devils for second place in the Metropolitan division. Their next slate of games is a home-and-home series against the Hurricanes starting on Tuesday at MSG.
- Ryan Lindgren missed his 10th straight game with the Rangers due to an upper-body injury. New York now moved to 7-3 in their top defenseman’s absence.
- New York wasn’t the only team dealing with injuries going into Sunday. Nashville was without Ryan Johansen, Roman Josi, and Ryan McDonagh due to injuries of their own.
- New York chased Tristan Jarry of the Penguins out of the game in the second period Saturday night. On Sunday, they only needed five shots to chase Kevin Lankinen of the Predators from the game. The Rangers scored on six successive shots on goal in the first period to jump out to their insurmountable lead.