The New York Rangers had some success this week and with that success came big performances from players all throughout the lineup.
This week might be the hardest when it comes to picking the New York Rangers’ three stars. The Rangers had a pretty successful week going 2-0-1. It appears that since the trade deadline, they have turned a corner and are playing more relaxed hockey.
For the first time in a long time, the Blueshirts have had contributions up-and-down the lineup. Multiple players had big weeks with multiple point nights. It’s refreshing to see considering how poorly they had played prior to the trade deadline.
With that here are the three stars of the week of March 11 through March 18.
3. Chris Kreider
Chris Kreider is back and in a big way.
It looks like Kreider is starting to feel comfortable after missing time with the blood clot injury.
This week Kreider recorded six points in three games including some beautiful passes. His lone goal was a big one on the power-play with the Rangers down two vs Pittsburgh. That goal started the Rangers comeback as they would beat Pittsburgh 4-3 in overtime.
2. Neal Pionk
Neal Pionk leads all rookie defensemen in points since being recalled Feb. 8.
Pionk has been impressive in his short stint with the Rangers. He has been sound in the defensive zone while still contributing offensively. He and Marc Staal have turned into a pretty reliable pairing on defense.
This week Pionk had five points, all assists, including a three-point performance against Pittsburgh. He has recorded points in four of the last five games but is still looking for his first career goal. It looks like he’ll continue to get playing time even with Kevin Shattenkirk getting closer to returning.
1. Mika Zibanejad
Zibanejad had seven points this week, including back-to-back two-goal games. He will enter play next week with a four-game point streak and has scored goals in three of those four games.
His 24 goals are a career high and with the way he’s playing right now, he will most likely add to that. He has become a staple as the number one center on this team and will most likely play a major role in this Ranger rebuild.
- Jesper Fast: One goal and two assists, including a five-game point streak.
- Jimmy Vesey: A hat-trick against Carolina.
- Pavel Buchnevich: Five assists in the last three games.