Game 46: NYR 3 NYI 2, Kreider w/ late PPG, Georgiev brilliant throughout
The Rangers, aided by a late power-play goal, resulting from a mildly questionable call on Derick Brassard, defeated the Islanders 3-2 on Thursday. Alexandar Georgiev was brilliant in the win, stopping 21 of 22 shots in the first and 38 of 40 for the game. The Blueshirts have won the first two games of this three-game set, separated by a game versus the Blue Jackets on Sunday.
A few thoughts:
1) Georgiev won this game for the Rangers. I guess coach David Quinn's decision to go back to him after his fine outing Monday paid dividends. In div career games against the Islanders, Georgiev allowed six goals. From the Rangers press release: "He has also posted a 4-1-0 record, along with a 1.40 GAA, a .955 SV% (128 saves on 134 shots), and 1 SO in five career appearances against the Islanders, and he has allowed two goals or fewer in each of those five appearances." Pretty damn good.
As Steve Valiquette said in the post-game report, I would play Igor Shetserkin, who has sat for over a week, on Sunday. Then come back with Georgiev on Tuesday at home against the Islanders. Not the ideal situation for anyone, especially Henrik Lundqvist. But you know are kind of in a post-season race - six points back with two games in hand - so play who deserves to play.
2) Special teams: again from the Rangers press release:
Power play: The Rangers were 2-for-5 (6:42) on the power play in the game. The Blueshirts have recorded a power play goal in four of the last five games (6-for-18; 33.3%), in five of the last seven games (8-for-23; 34.8%), and in six of the last 10 games (10-for-29; 34.5%).
Penalty kill: The Blueshirts were 5-for-5 (10:00) on the penalty kill in tonight’s game. New York has not allowed a power play goal against in five of the last seven games (21-for-23; 91.3%),
The call on Brassard was one you might not normally see at the end of the game. But the referees may have making a make up call after not calling Johnny Boychuk's knee to Kreider about 45 seconds prior to calling Brassard's cross-check on Fast. You could also argue the diving call on Artemi Panarin was questionable as well, as he was tripped on the play. This was a pretty clean, physical game with both sides giving as good as they got and less chippy action than Monday.
3) Brady Skjei-Jacob Trouba - woof bad. Trouba had a brain cramp on the first Isles' goal, for some reason looking around rather than just playing the puck. He got burned when the puck hopped over his stick, resulting in Tom Kumhackl stealing it and feeding the puck to front of the net. Brady Skjei was engaged with Ross Johnston but no one picked up Josh Bailey in the slot.
On the second goal, Anthony Beauvillier beat Skjei and Trouba to the puck, beating Georgiev. In terms of game score, Trouba and Skjei were the two worst Rangers. After several solid games, the duo regressed Thursday.
4) Artemi Panarin was not dominant but he helped create the game-winner. Panarin carried the puck through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone to set up the power play. He fed Tony DeAnngelo, who got it back to Panarin, and after settling the puck, he dished the slab to Mika Zibanejad in the slot for the shot that led to the rebound goal by Chris Kreider.
You know my view on CK20. Net front presence. Scores big goals. Has been much better after a slow start to the season, as he is up to 16 tallies on the season. I want him here long term, but expect this to play out straight to the trade deadline.
Zib scored the first goal of the game on a fortuitous bounce, when the puck just made it over the goal line. That marker was his 18th of the season and with his apple, Zib is up to 37 points in 33 games. He had the best game score among all players in the game.
5) ADA - took a really bad penalty but made up for it a bit with the goal. Great block by Ryan Lindgren on the PK helped the puck get out of the zone. Really impressed by Jesper Fast, who was hobbling after blocking a shot but made it down the ice to take away the other defenseman and create room for DeAngelo. The goal was a snipe over Semyon Varlamov. Of course, ADA followed that up by arguing with Quinn on the bench.