J.T. Miller
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Fresh out of the All-Star break, the New York Rangers returned to action and it wasn’t pretty.

After having a week off for the All-Star break, the New York Rangers returned to the ice.

The return to action was much anticipated considering it had felt like an eternity since the Rangers had last played. Their return, however, was not a fun one as the team struggled in their two games this week.

Finding stars from a team that continues to underperform is extremely hard. But, we’ll give it a try so here are this week’s three stars.

3. Ondrej Pavelec

Ondrej Pavelec didn’t make a start this week, but he still had an impact.

Pavelec has done a decent job filling in for Henrik Lundqvist this season. The numbers aren’t extraordinary but he has gotten the job done, which is all the Rangers are asking from him at this point.

In the Rangers 4-0 loss to Toronto, Pavelec replaced Lundqvist in the second period. He stopped 19 shots that he faced allowing the Rangers to try and come back. With the Rangers continuing to struggle, Pavelec might see more playing time in an attempt to get Lundqvist some rest. If he plays like he did against Toronto, the Blueshirts will be in good shape.

2. Mika Zibanejad

Mika Zibanejad scored just the Rangers second goal in six periods following the All-Star Break.

The goal was Zibanejad’s first goal since Jan. 13. Despite his lack of scoring, he still ranks second on the team with 15 goals this season.

If the Rangers have any hope of making a push for the playoffs they will need Zibanejad to start scoring goals consistently. Already down Chris Kreider and Kevin Shattenkirk, the Rangers just lost Pavel Buchnevich to a concussion. With three key offensive players out it’s up to Zibanejad to get the offense going. He and the rest of the Rangers hope this goal against Nashville will be the start of another goal-scoring stretch.

1. J.T. Miller

J.T. Miller continues to be a big-time player for the Blueshirts.

Miller scored the Rangers last goal prior to the All-Star break in San Jose and now he scored their first goal after the break, five periods later.

He continues to be one of the Rangers top guns ranking second on the team with 34 points. With Buchnevich out, Miller is another player who will need to step up their game. Miller will be an important part of what the Rangers do the rest of the season and his play against Nashville has him off to a good start.

Honorable Mention

  • Ryan McDonagh: An assist in two games this week. McDonagh was also solid defensively this week showing flashes of the player from a season ago.
Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.