Rangers take on Boston Bruins in their reverse retro Liberty jerseys in a Sunday matinee.
That was their best game of the season and they’d look to turn it into a winning streak when they faced the Bruins again on Sunday afternoon.
The lineup went unchanged, with Alexandar Georgiev getting his second start in as many games.
1st period: Rangers don’t believe in momentum
Of course, the game began with some drama for the Rangers. While the Bruins were on their first power play of the game, Nick Ritchie fell on Georgiev’s head, who was shaken up upon impact.
He then conceded a goal and was immediately taken to the locker room to be replaced by Igor Shesterkin.
The first period was highlighted by multiple penalties by both teams. The Rangers looked a little better later in the period, but the Bruins were able to score a second before the period came to a close.
The Rangers have been unable to build momentum after wins this season, which has been a devastating trend. They had trouble getting to the net in the first 20 minutes of the game, an issue they would need to rectify in the second.
2nd period: Where’s the offense?!
Georgiev ended up getting back to the bench in the first period and, to the surprise of many, was out to start the second. He made a nice save on a breakaway early in the period, a good sign.
The Rangers were struggling on all fronts this game, allowing the Bruins to score a third goal in the second.
Offense has been the Rangers’ biggest issue this season, and this game was no different. A win looks very unlikely, at this point, but anything can happen when a team applies constant pressure in the offensive zone.
That’s what the Rangers would try to do in the third.
3rd period: Blackwell and the rookies
The first half of this period was flat and uneventful. However, the Rangers were able to end the shutout and get on the board over 10 minutes in.
Colin Blackwell, who has been such a pleasant surprise for the Rangers this season and had been one of their best players this game, scored an important goal on assists from the two rookies.
The hope was that the Rangers would add some quick goals to their first, especially after being rewarded a power play, but the Bruins just ended up scoring a short-handed empty-netter to seal the deal.
Appropriately, as soon as the game ended, Brendan Lemieux dropped the gloves and got into it with Ritchie.
This was clearly a frustrating game for the players and the fans watching. The Rangers have a serious problem building momentum over the span of multiple games, a burden that falls on the coaches, as well.
It’s imperative that they find a way to keep the offense hot in back-to-back games.
Key Moment: Georgiev’s breakaway save
There wasn’t much to celebrate or praise on the part of the Rangers, but their key moment of the game was Georgiev’s big breakaway save.
Back to business. pic.twitter.com/H7WziR1MRd
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 28, 2021
He made this save after coming back into the game in the second period, having fallen victim to a tough hit not long before.
This was a big save that showed Georgiev was ok, and he looked solid thereafter. He himself wouldn’t concede a single goal after giving up his first two.
Player of the game: Alexis Lafrenière
The golden boy rookie Alexis Lafrenière is finally the Rangers’ best player in a game. It was an ugly game, and everyone would’ve wanted this honor to come in a victory, but at least he’s looking better by the day.
He was impactful and the Rangers’ sole goal of the game wouldn’t have happened without him. He was also very solid defensively and did even better in that regard than he did offensively.
His numbers: 16:01 TOI, one assist, 0.08 iXG, 0.33 xGF, 0.49 xGA, 0.92 GF, 0 GA, 0.38 defensive rating, 0.06 offensive rating, 0.74 individual rating, and 51.72 CF%.
Stats are courtesy of Hockey Stat Cards and Natural Stat Trick.