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Panarin/Kreider with two goals in 5-3 win over Columbus, NJD at MSG Sunday

November 13, 2021, 10:52 PM ET [319 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Rangers came out of the box a little slow after four days off but found their groove as the game went on. Down 1-0 on the first, Artemi Panarin, who looked more like his old self, tied the game late in the period. After falling behind in the second, New York posted three goals in 63 seconds and never trailed the rest of the way. Igor Shesterkin left the game after a collision with Alexandre Texier but is fine and could be between the pipes tomorrow against New Jersey.

Game recap:

A few thoughts:
1) Panarin, booed at times by the fans of his former club, notched a pair of goals. More importantly, after talking about shooting more earlier in the week, Panarin had six official shots on goal and 11 shots towards the net in total. On the first goal, he almost missed the net and had the shot stopped, but the puck hit off Elvis Merzlikins' stick and just had enough to get into the open frame. Panarin roofed the puck for his second tally of goal in the second. Kaapo Kakko, who has yet to score, tried to get Panarin the hat trick with the empty net late in the game.

2) Kreider - a power-play machine. Six of his 11 goals have come on the man-advantage, On the first, a typical Kredier deflection to the right of the net, The second was set up by a brilliant zone entry and retention of the puck by Adam Fox, who went cross-ice to Mika Zibanejad and Zib put the puck on the tape of CK20's stick for the easy marker. Consistency has been an issue in the past for Kreider but when he is hot, he gets scalding and right now, he has been a beast.

Beyond the goals, to me way more important was Kredier coming to Igor's defense when he thought Texier knocked him down on his own volition. It turned out Patrick Nemeth knocked Texier into Shesterkin and a penalty should have been called on Kreider. But even though it was 5-3 and a goal would have made the game tighter, I have no issue and support 100R% what Kreider did defending his teammates.

3) Fox - the term wizard was used by Sam and Micheletti. You watch Fox in his own zone sidestep checks or find a way to get the puck out with eyes seemingly in the back of his head and shake your head in amazement. Maybe, eventually, we will realize this is the norm and not an aberration. But I prefer being surprised even though I shouldn't be.

4) Trouba - has taken a lock of flack since signing his contract - which I still think is an overpayment - but has been way more solid, especially lately, then may be thought by many. From the comments by his teammates, Trouba has been a leader off and on the ice. Great read to go the net to notch his first of the season and has been physical game in and game out for New York.

5) Gallant summed up what most of us were thinking during the game. In short, a slow start, but when they play and especially defend as they do, the team will be hard to beat. I did like Gallant giving the bottom-six more ice time in the third period and thought the Hunt-Rooney-Reaves line was very good again while the Laf-Goodrow-Gautheir line had some moments. Filip Chyyil was placed on IR before the game, but that was a procedural move and he could be back tomorrow or Tuesday.

On the game, “I thought the first period was a bit sloppy, it looked like we had four days off and didn’t have real good jump, but after that I thought we played the exact way I want us to play, we controlled the puck in their zone, did a lot of cycling down low, we got our defensmen involved in the cycles  and we sort of took over the game from the second period on. After they scored that second goal I thought we were real good the rest of the night.”

On defending, “100%, that is what we talk about all the time. No team is going to be real successful if they have to defend too much and we’ve defended way too much the first 13 games and we talked about it and addressed it and hopefully we’ve moved past that. A lot of that stuff was self-inflicted ourselves, if we can stay away from that and play the way we played the last two periods tonight, I really like our chances.”

6) Igor was big again when needed. He could have returned to the game and might play tomorrow. What I really liked was after Texier's goal and Alexander Georgiev coming into the game, the Rangers upped their forecheck and improved their own zone play, limiting Columbus to just two shots the final 6:45 of the game, which mainly came with the net empty. 
If Igor's neck is sore, then I would go with Georgive. But if not, ride the hot goalie and play Shesterkin. I think that decision will be a a game-time one, barring Igor waking up with a stiff neck.

7) Thanks to all who bid on the autographed Fox jersey. The auction ended at $770 which will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Well done all.

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