April 9, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left winger Artemi Panarin (10) reacts after a goal scored by New York Rangers midfielder Andrew Cobb (18) against Ottawa Senators during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory credit: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Rangers will get their second streak healthy and sound in the first game of the NHL playoffs when they face the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Both Artemie Panarin and Andrew Cope are doing well in going to the Blues after being cautiously suspended for the last two games of the regular season. They were hurt in the team’s loss to the Carolina Hurricanes late last month, but could have come back if needed.
“They had great exercises and they had no problems,” Gerard Gallant said on Sunday. “They’re as formal as everyone else out there, put it that way.”
Of course, one player missing from drills in defense was Ryan Lindgren. He came swinging in the final minutes of Rangers’ 3-2 win over the Capitals on Friday to wrap up the season.
“It’s fine, it’s a maintenance day,” Gallant noted. “He will be there (for training) tomorrow.”
|GM 1: Tuesday 5/3 NYR||7PM ET||(MSG, ESPN, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)|
|GM 2: Thursday 5/5NYR||7PM ET||(MSG, TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)|
|GM 3: Saturday 5/7 @pit||7PM ET||(MSG, TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)|
|GM 4: Monday 5/9 @pit||7PM ET||(MSG, ESPN, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)|
|GM 5: Wednesday 5/11 NYR||to be announced later on||To be announced|
|GM 6: Friday 5/13 @pit||to be announced later on||To be announced|
|GM 7: Sunday 5/14 NYR||to be announced later on||To be announced|
Banarin and Cobb are ready for the playoff
Artemi Panarin, 30, has played in 75 games this season and scored 96 points. An upper body injury late in the season likely cost him a chance to finally reach the 100 point mark for the first time in his career. Regardless, he’s built a new career high for points and is ready to go.
“I feel my best all year long. I’m ready to go,” Banarin said. “Emotions are so high. I’m just excited.”
When the Rangers lead scorer was asked about his thinking about the upcoming playoffs, he confirmed that teams who can control their emotions usually come out on top.
“I think winners can control their emotions and do whatever they do before,” he added. “So I hope we can do it. I am sure we can do it.”
Andrew Cobb, 27, had scored 18 points in 16 games for Rangers since earning on the trading deadline. It’s my X factor for post-season. However, he appears to have re-exacerbated the same injury against Canes that forced him out of the Islanders game a few days ago.
“I feel good, ready to go,” Cobb said before admitting it was the injury himself. “It was by no means a serious injury, but it definitely felt like it was time to make sure everything was good for the first match.”
Tyler Mott is on the mend
Tyler Motte, 27, was another Deadline Commerce acquisition that was primarily introduced to add speed and continuous foreclosure verification to the fourth line. His ability to kill penalties was an added bonus.
Unfortunately, Rangers enjoyed only 9 games of suspended UFA action before losing it to a major upper body injury in a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on April 7.
At 12:37 in the third inning, Anthony Angelou hit a prone death and reached for the puck in a bent position. The attacker of the penguins could have given up knowing that Mott didn’t see him, but instead came forcefully with his hip to Mott’s shoulder.
The hit triggers a scrum and results in the two teams meeting together at the center of the ice when the game is over and she’s likely to move to the series.
“He knew Mott hadn’t seen him,” said Gerard Gallant. He was in a weak position I think [Angello] benefited from it. I didn’t like the hit.”
Today, the head coach gave an unsolicited update on Motte.
“I hope Mott returns sometime on this tour,” he said. “We’re not sure yet. He hasn’t skated yet, but he is progressing well. Will he play in this series? Not sure, but there is a chance.”
This season, he has 15 points in 58 games (all with Vancouver).
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