Rangers take on dangerous Capitals in Sunday matinee.
The New York Rangers shipped left winger Brendan Lemieux to the Los Angeles Kings a few hours after dropping one to the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1.
With top prospect Vitaly Kravtsov having joined the team, Phillip Di Giuseppe coming off the COVID-19 protocol list and Brett Howden soon to follow, and the fact that the Rangers are carrying three goaltenders, this was a move that had to be made.
Lemieux had arguably become the worst forward on the team who spends far too much time in the penalty box (he leads the entire league in penalty minutes).
The Rangers won this trade, receiving a fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft in exchange for the 25-year-old.
The Blueshirts would take on one of the best teams in the league, the Washington Capitals, on Sunday afternoon. Di Giuseppe would take Lemieux’s spot in the lineup as the fourth line left winger, playing in his first game since March 13th.
Keith Kinkaid would get the start in net after Igor Shesterkin made a total of 76 saves in his first two games back from a groin injury. It looks like Kinkaid has unseated Alexandar Georgiev as Shesterkin’s backup, at least for now.
Head coach David Quinn would return behind the bench after a stint on the COVID-19 protocol list.
1st period: Missed too many chances
The Rangers had multiple opportunities to score this period. Kaapo Kakko had a fantastic one-on-one chance, but couldn’t score. Artemiy Panarin then took a shot that hit the post.
The third and last of these opportunities was a scoring chance by Mika Zibanejad that hit T.J. Oshie in the face and then was somehow cleared by Dmitry Orlov at the line. It really is unfortunate that none of these chances resulted in goals.
Other than that, the first period of the game was one of the most boring periods of hockey the Rangers have played all season. They couldn’t get anything going at all and looked unmotivated.
Lucky for them, the Capitals didn’t look much better. They outshot the Rangers, but couldn’t get much going offensively.
Everything has its pros and cons.
2nd period: When things fall apart
Everything went downhill for the Rangers in the second period. They conceded three terrible goals and were outshot even though they had three chances on the power play. This wasn’t a great period for the defense, but Kinkaid also looked pretty awful.
With the way the Rangers were playing, getting out of a 3-0 hole in the final period seemed like an impossible task.
3rd period: Kings of hearbreak
Shockingly, the Rangers woke up in the third, but it was too little too late. They scored an impressive four goals this period, highlighted by two from the birthday boy, Colin Blackwell, but they also conceded another two.
The Rangers made too many mistakes this game, but fatigue and exhaustion are factors that must be taken into account. This was their third game in four days, and they looked like a tired bunch all throughout.
The fact that they were able to come close to tying the game up is quite impressive in and of itself, especially against such a team as the Capitals.
Key Moment: 1st period
The key moment of the game was the first period and all of the missed chances that the Rangers had. They had several opportunities to take the lead and gain some momentum by scoring first, but couldn’t capitalize.
The game could’ve ended differently had they scored at least one of these chances.
Player of the game: Kevin Rooney
For the first time this season, Kevin Rooney is the Rangers’ player of the game. He had the best offensive game of the season and this marked his first multi-point game as a Ranger.
Rooney is making sure the fourth line is getting it done even without Lemieux.
Rooney’s numbers: 12:43 TOI, 2 A, 62.50 CF%, 0 iXG, 0.63 xGF, 0.37 xGA, 3.01 GF, 0.94 GA, 2.82 Game Score, -0.25 defensive rating, 1.8 offensive rating, and 1.25 individual rating.
Stats are courtesy of Hockey Stat Cards and Natural Stat Trick.