No issues with the New York Rangers not being ready to play in the first period were not evident in this game. They came out with flying led by trio Artemi Panarin, Andrew Cope and Ryan Strom, and Cobb scored three goals in the first half en route to an easy 6-3 victory.
Rangers remained tied for first place with Hurricane who also won, coming from behind against Winnipeg. It was a night of outstanding individual efforts as the team won for the fourth time in a row and seventh in the quarter-finals. The only sure thing is that the Rangers snatched away second place with the win, so they definitely have an ice advantage at home in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Rangers’ shooting streak ended for just over 200 minutes and they came out first in defense, but looking at the match and the competition, they should be satisfied with the win.
Gerard Gallant was pleased with the overall effort. “We got off to a great start of course.. I thought we played well. He was disappointed to break the closing streak, but it will happen sooner or later. Overall, the players played very well, they played a good solid game. They are two big points.”
Gallant also noted Panarin’s game, stating, “He’s a very cool player. He doesn’t play the same way everyone else plays, but that’s what makes him special.” Panarin said he has changed his playing style and is getting results.
Galant talked about Panarin’s unique ability. “He doesn’t play Area D coverage perfectly, and he doesn’t dip as hard as some guys. Because he reads plays…that’s what he does and that’s how he gets 100 points a year. He makes those special plays.”
He was especially happy with how the Panarin battles in this game. “I thought tonight they went a little behind him and he bounced back on them and kept making his plays. Over the last four games he’s back, and he’s done really well in D-zone. He’s a — a zone, he’s not trying to flip the pucks, he’s going down and trying to do his plays. He’s done that.” In most cases. ”
One troubling note was that Andrew Cobb went to the locker room more than five minutes before the end of the match. He preferred his left foot when he left the ice, but there was no obvious play that would cause an injury. He was fighting on planks for the puck disc and may have sprained or injured his ankle, Casey Sisikas.
The team announced that he had sustained a lower body injury, but no one asked Gallant about it (not that he would have had an answer).
Gallant made a good point, as he talked about the fact that the Rangers were able to play well against good teams and teams that play the title role. They’ve kept their focus, and if anything, they’ve really improved over the past few weeks.
As much as a team would like to finish in first place, maintaining health is a bigger priority in the playoffs. This was their 25th victory on the road this season, one less than their 26 home wins. This team can win anywhere.