It was one of the Rangers’ better penalty kills of the season, and it showed how their man-down group is starting to come together.
After Tony DeAngelo took a frustrating interference penalty early in the third period of the 3-2 win over the Islanders on Thursday, the Blueshirts put together a rather inspired kill. It was two full groups: Mika Zibanejad-Ryan Strome starting up front, with Brady Skjei and Jacob Trouba on the back end. When it went to Brett Howden and Jesper Fast along with Marc Staal and Ryan Lindgren, Fast blocked a shot followed by two blocks from Lindgren.
When DeAngelo got out of the box, he started an odd-man rush that he finished himself to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.
“Immense,” is how coach David Quinn described it. “Lindgren and Fast, and Mika and Strome, Staalsy, Brady and Howden — those guys really did a great job.”
The Rangers’ penalty kill went 5-for-5 Thursday and has been 19-of-21 since the debacle in Edmonton on New Year’s Eve, when they allowed three power-play goals. For the season, the kill is ranked 19th in the league at 79.3 percent.
The power play is also coming on, scoring twice against the Islanders, and is now 8-for-23 (34.8 percent) in the past seven games and 10-for-29 (34.5 percent) in the past 10. The Rangers are ranked 11th in the league at 21 percent and are 17-5-2 when registering at least one power-play goal in a game this season.
After getting Friday off, the Rangers will return to practice Saturday, when it should become clearer whom the starting goalie will be for Sunday night’s Garden match against the Blue Jackets.
It seems possible Igor Shesterkin will get back in after not having played since Jan. 9, when he recorded his second straight win to start his NHL career. Henrik Lundqvist has played just once, Jan. 11 in St. Louis, since Shesterkin was called up on Jan. 6. Alex Georgiev has received both of the past two starts., adding to his terrific numbers against the Islanders (4-1 with a 1.40 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage).
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