SUNRISE, FL — Obviously, the key to the Rangers scoring in the power play is to attack and shoot while not playing too hard.
More confused by what the blue jerseys have looked like with the man advantage for most of the past few weeks? Let’s discuss.
Vincent Troschek scored a tough, weak penalty at 12:36 of a scoreless first half on Sunday against the Panthers. One minute and four seconds later, a Sam Bennett goaltender tackle violation nullified Florida’s man advantage and created a four-on-four situation for the next 56 seconds.
Time was running out on the four-on-four when Adam Fox’s feed sent Artemy Panarin through the no-man’s-land before No. 10 Mika Zibanejad’s relay single-handedly pounced on Sergey Bobrovsky while working the wide open spaces allowed by the four-on-four.
Zibanijad, who scored the Bluechers’ only goal in Thursday’s 2-1 penalty shootout loss in Tampa, split between two defenders on the line before losing control of his dick before sliding the ball five holes along the ice apparently from the goalie’s surprise. . for a 1-0 lead.
Although Trocheck wasn’t quite on the ice when the puck entered the net, the scoreboard clock showed 5:24 left in the period. Which, on a technicality, meant that the Rangers scored on the power play that was on lines of 0-for-9 and 1-for-18 after failing at an earlier man advantage.
In fact, the success energized the first unit so much that the club scored a second power play goal, a legitimate goal that drove Troshek to the right door to convert Chris Kreider’s feed from the back door.
Those goals helped seal the Blues’ 5-3 win over the Puddy Tats in a game that was perhaps a little tougher than needed as the visiting team allowed Florida to cut a three-period lead with two goals at 3:27, 3:18 and 1:15 respectively in the second and third periods.
The Rangers, though, won’t argue about style points when the only players that matter are the two they’ve got for the win.
Zibanejad’s power play was the only goal of the period in which Rangers had better play than against Jaroslav Halak, whose hardest save in his first start in 15 days came on Bennett in a reduced four-minute situation. in the competition.
The Blueshirts didn’t quite assert themselves in a second period as they twice assumed two-goal leads of 2-0 and 3-1 but left for the break with only a 3-2 lead after going 13-7 in the middle of 20 minutes while going down three times in the space of 8:02.
Zibanejad and Kreider both converted feeds from Kaapo Kakko for goals – the first at 10:30, the next at 15:44 – but the Belushi yielded a pair themselves, the second coming from Bennett’s power play after a long rebound with 58 seconds remaining in that period. .
This was the first game in 2023 after 2022 that the club went 51-28-8 during the regular season. The Rangers have been well off the playoffs tiebreaker by regulation wins tiebreaker, starting this one with a 19-12-6 record that looks a lot better than winning 19 of their 37 games.
However, the record did not fool coach Gerard Gallant.
“It’s a work in progress but I like our chops. We’re going to be a good hockey team, but we have to be more consistent, like I’ve said many times,” Gallant said. You look at the arrangement and it’s very tight. We can be better, we know that and we believe we will be better.”
Gallant put together a unique mix of lines featuring Filip Chytil between Alexis Lafreniere and Jimmy Vesey for this collection. The tinkering never seems to stop. Then again, the Rangers are not alone.
“I was talking to my friend John Cooper last night,” Gallant said, referring to the Tampa Bay head coach. “They’re a very good team, they’ve been to the Finals three years in a row and he said, ‘I still think about my lineup,’ and I said, ‘Well, now that I mention it, don’t you read the New York Papers?'”
“But it’s true, you’re constantly trying to find the right mix on certain nights and that’s it. It’s never going to be perfect but you work hard, you compete hard and you find ways to win the matches you can win.”
This was not ideal. But this was one that the Rangers not only should have won, they could have won.