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Rangers take care of business vs. the Isles, Rooney nets two, @Bos on Fri

November 25, 2021, 12:18 AM ET [21 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Rangers defeated a shorthanded and undermanned Islanders team 4-1 at UBS Arena on Wednesday. In a game they should have won, the Blueshirts earned the victory, though partway through the third, the Islanders were down just 2-1. The Rangers' fourth line once again were difference makers while the penalty six was a perfect 6-for-6 in the victory. New York takes on Boston on ABC at 1pm on Friday before returning home to face the Ises again on Sunday.

Game recap:

A few thoughts:
1) The fourth line: Rooney-Goodrow-Reaves - once again played a huge part in the win. Rooney has a pair of goals while Reaves notched two assists, the second in which he showed really good hands. Coach Gerard Gallant sent the trio out to change/regain the momentum after the Isles cut the lead to 2-1. They did that and more, notching a tally 20 seconds after the Islanders marker. More impressive has been the group's ability to pin their opponent deep and tilt the ice on the forecheck.

2) I still think the game should have been postponed but the league clearly was having none of that. The Isles played against the Rangers without eight players who are considered regulars in their lineup, including five of their top six defensemen. Give them credit, they hung around and it was a one-goal game in the third, but the Blueshirts did enough to prevail.

3) Chris Kreider:- en fuego, two more goals tonight, one on a brilliant deflection and the second on a give-and-go with Mika Zibanejad. The two tallies give Kreider 15 - no that is not a misprint - 15 in just 19 games. On the first, Ryan Strome made the perfect flat pass feed to Kreider for hos patented deflection down low, his fifth such marker of the season.

The second goal was an indication that Kredier is feeling it and full of confidence. A backhand, between the legs feed, darting to an open spot and burying the dish from Zib. Gallant spoke after the game about the reports of inconsistency but how impressed he has been with Kreider this year.

4) Lines - Gallant and the coaching staff decided yesterday to move Kaapo Kakko, who was rolling lately and meshing well with his linemates, up to play with Zib and Kreider with the hopes he replicates what Pavel Buchnevich did. In conjunction with that swift, he moved Dryden Hunt down to play with Ryan Strome and Artemi Panarin trying to channel what Jesper Fast brought - a high-energy, puck-retrieval style - allowing the two incumbents time and space to create chances. Due to all the penalties and power plays, we didn't get to see the trios play that much together. But the K2Z line was pretty dominant when on the ice, which wasn't a big shock. We will see how well the newly constituted second line plays in the future and how long they remain together.

I thought Patrik Nemeth and Nils Lundkvist were very good tonight. The other two pairs were good as well, but that dup was especially solid. Igor Shesterkin came up big when needed, though he was not tested that hard in the win.

5) Jean-Gabriel Pageau became enemy #! of the Rangers and their fanbase in the third. On his big hit of Ryan Lindgren, from the angle below, it looks his shoulder made contact with Lindgren's chin, which is why Adam Fox, who rarey fights, went after JGP. Later Alexis Lafreniere, who is also not a fighter, had a dust up with Pageau. That one was precipitated by Laf's tripping Pageau, who got the stick up when Laf circled back to fight him. By the way, irrespective of whether you think the hit was legal, I love teammates coming to the defense of something they thought was either illegally hit or banged up and especially when it's two players who don't fight much.

I get why Isles fans are upset, but it sure looked like there was contact to Lindgren's chin, if mistaken, then the Rangers' ire was misplaced. The refs did not do a good job of maintaining control of the game, which is why it got chippy. I could see something similar happening Sunday night.

6) Record - the team right now is rolling. Two wins in a row and victories in five of their last six. After Boston on Friday, New York could create some space between them and others in the division if they can take care of business versus the Isles, Flyers, Sharks, Blackhawks and then Flyers again. The Rangers are right there in the division as well as in the conference, albeit with a very long way still left to go.

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