The New York Rangers are coming off a 3-2 win against the Seattle Kraken Sunday afternoon. The Rangers will be facing the Florida Panthers on Tuesday before the break. Here is a Rangers vs. Panthers pregame analysis.
Rangers vs. Kraken
The Rangers were outplayed throughout the game having spent most of the time in their own zone. The Kraken had 42 shots on goal to the Rangers 24. The Kraken would have had a lot more, but the Rangers 22 blocked shots and Igor Shesterkin’s remarkable saves, allowed the Rangers to steal the victory. Shesterkin was amazing and this is why he received the first star of the game, but first, here is how the game went down.
The first period was probably the Rangers best period both offensively and defensively. They had something to prove after losing their last two games. At 11:46, Mika Zibanejad (17) scored a PPG on a snap shot on a beautiful pass from Artemi Panarin (37). Jacob Trouba (16) also assisted on the goal.
From the second period on, the Kraken really upped their game to a completely different level. They were beating the Rangers in every way, whether it was getting to the puck faster or making plays. However, the Rangers did make it 2-0 on a wrist shot from Alexis Lafreniere (9). Zibanejad (29) and Zac Jones (1) assisted. Jared McCann (18) made it 2-1 on a wrist shot, assisted by Jordan Eberle (13) and Marcus Johansson (10).
The Kraken got their first lead at 18:52 in the third period on a slap shot by Yanni Gourde (10). Mark Giordano (13) and McCann (10) assisted. This lead didn’t last as K’Andre Miller (3) got the game winner with only 34 seconds left. Zibanejad (30) assisted on the play. Again, Shesterkin kept the Rangers in the game and that is why they won.
Rangers vs. Panthers
The last time the Rangers faced the Panthers was on December 29, 2021. The Rangers lost 4-3 after leading 2-1 entering the third period, but blowing it as the Panthers scored three goals in a row. Chris Kreider (19) scored late in the period on a tip-in to make it 4-3 Panthers, but this was the final score. The Rangers couldn’t produce anymore offense as the Panthers win.
The Panthers and Rangers are two of the best teams in hockey. The Rangers are second in the Metropolitan Division with 62 points, two points behind the Caroline Hurricanes. It is a four-way race between the Rangers, Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals for top spot in the division.
As for the Panthers, they are tied with the Colorado Avalanche with the most points in the league at 67. The Avalanche has played two games less though and are hot, winning 10 straight.
What to Expect
The Rangers don’t want a repeat of the previous matchup. They need to get things done like they did against the Kraken, but with much more offense and physical play. With this said, there are a few key players that each team needs to look out for.
On the Panthers, the Rangers have to look out for Jonathan Huberdeau. Huberdeau has eight points in five games, six of them assists. Also, Mason Marchment has four goals and is +6 in his last five games. The Panthers’ goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky has a remarkable 22-4-3 record with a 2.51 goals against average (GAA) with a .921 save percentage.
The Rangers have a few key players as well. Zibanejad has eight points in five games, six of them assists. Kreider has five goals in five games and Miller is +6. Shesterkin is 21-5-2 with a 2.10 GAA and a .937 save percentage. He also has three shutouts.
It is going to be an epic battle between two great teams. Who will win the battle between these East Coast teams? Watch to find out as the Rangers host the Panthers Tuesday, February 1, 2022 at 7 p.m. ET.
Featured Image Courtesy of PRO Hockey
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