Rangers takeaways from Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to Islanders, including a nightmare third period
The Islanders scored three times in the third period to stun the Rangers on Tuesday night in front of a sellout crowd of 18,006 at Madison Square Garden, 4-3.
Adam Pelech, Brock Nelson and Anders Lee tallied to upend a game in which the Rangers had carried much of the play. They outshot the Islanders, 40-26, overall, including a 17-6 advantage in the second period when the Rangers scored twice to take a 3-1 lead.
The loss dropped the Rangers to 6-5-3 on the season. The Islanders, who have won seven of their last eight, are 9-5. The Islanders have won both meetings between the rival teams thus for this season with one more game looming in December at the Garden.
Here are the takeaways:
–Gerard Gallant’s gambit to inject some urgency into the Rangers by switching up line combinations seemed to work early on as they scored three straight goals over the first and second periods to erase an early 1-0 deficit. Chris Kreider, one of the players Gallant had demoted to a lower line, scored a goal in the second period to snap a 1-1 tie and nearly had at least one more goal.
-Kreider scored his fifth goal of the season just 22 seconds into the second period, giving the Rangers a 2-1 lead. The power-play goal was set up by a nifty pass from Artemi Panarin, who came down the right side and flicked the puck to Kreider, who tapped it in. The Rangers went on the power play late in the first when Casey Cizikas of the Islanders was whistled for high-sticking on Alexis Lafreniere. On a later power play, Kreider almost had another goal off a redirect on a Panarin shot, but the puck hit the post with a pinging sound that could be heard all the way to the top of the Garden.
-On yet another power play during the period, the Rangers thought they had a goal when the puck went through Varlamov’s legs and appeared to at least get close to crossing the goal line. It was reviewed and waved off. But the ruling only made the Rangers wait a few seconds to enjoy another goal. Later in the same power play, Panarin shot from the point and it was blocked by Varlamov, but the puck bounced to Trocheck, who backhanded it over Varlamov’s shoulder for his fifth goal of the season and the Rangers were ahead, 3-1.
-With 13:56 left in the first period, the Islanders took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Kyle Palmieri, who poked a rebound through Igor Sheskterkin’s legs. Shesterkin had stopped a one-timer from outside at first, but Palmieri swooped in on the carom for his fifth goal of the season. The Isles got the man advantage because Jimmy Vesey was sent off for tripping with 15:46 left in the period.
-Entering the game, Varlamov was working on a streak of four straight shutouts at Madison Square Garden. But with about 8:30 left in the first, the Rangers put enormous pressure on him with two close-in chances. Both failed, but the Rangers didn’t have to wait much longer before they beat Varlamov’s streak – at the 11:36 mark, Filip Chytil pumped a one-timer past the goalie off a pass from K’Andre Miller. It was Chytil’s third goal of the season. Adam Fox was also credited with an assist on the goal, which knotted the score at 1.
–Vitali Kravtsov, who had been out since Oct. 29, returned Tuesday night. The winger has been plagued by upper-body injuries and had only played 29 minutes in four games entering Tuesday. “He’s had great jump in practice the other day and the last couple days. Feels real good,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said before the game. “I’m sure he’s pretty frustrated – a month into the season and he’s played about 25 minutes.”…Julien Gauthier and Ryan Lindgren both skated Tuesday but did not play. Gallant said they are both considered day-to-day.
Source: Yahoo Sports