Rangers Celebrate 90 Years with 5-3 Win Over Islanders

kim kardashian

The New York Rangers marked their 90th year in the NHL with a 5-3 victory over their cross-town rivals the New York Islanders.

Entering the 2016-2017 season, there were a lot of questions surrounding the Rangers in terms of defense. Over the offseason, they were successful in acquiring younger, cheaper, and faster forwards. Mika Zibanejad, Jimmy Vesey, and Pavel Buchnevich were all new names that are expected to make immediate impacts. Others include Brandon Pirri and Michael Grabner to complement returners like Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, and J.T Miller.

Thus, it wasn’t by mere coincidence that all of those names contributed to the 5-3 victory. Grabner, Pirri, Kreider, Zuccarello, and Miller scored, with two assists by Zibanejad and a gorgeous feed from Buchnevich that sprung Kreider to give them the go-ahead goal.

So while the offense proved to be a strength, it was the defense that would raise the biggest question mark. The first two periods showed a stalwart backend for the Rangers, and Lundqivst–whose age was a point of scrutiny–looked as good as ever for the limited workload he faced in the first 40 minutes. But within the first 5 minutes of the third period, the 2-0 lead the Rangers were holding onto was erased by a few defensive lapses.

Suddenly, the Rangers from two years ago looked like the Rangers from last year: shaky and hesitant.

Except, for at least the first game of the season, the Rangers were not the Rangers of last year. After the Islanders tied the game at 2, the Rangers began pushing forward again. At the 9:45 mark of the third period, Pavel Buchnevich found the puck on his stick just within his own blue line. At the opposite boards, Kreider was streaking through the neutral zone, using his world class speed to separate himself from Islander defenders. Like a quarterback leading a receiver, Buchnevich hit Kreider with a firm pass 4 feet off the ground. Kreider gloved it down, in stride, dropped the puck onto his stick, and crossed the Islander blue line ahead of everyone. With a simple move, Kreider transferred the puck to his backhand and buried it into the net, giving them a 3-2 lead.

On an ensuing power play, the Rangers gained a two goal lead again after Kreider found Brandon Pirri with a no-look, behind the back pass. Kreider finished the night with two points and as one of the Rangers best forwards of the night. Pirri’s goal, who scored 4 in the preseason, was the first of his Rangers career, while Buchnevich’s primary assist was the first NHL point of his career.

On the night, goaltender Henrik Lundqivst stopped 25 of the 28 shots he faced. For Jaroslav Halak, on the other side, turned 34 shots out of 38 away. Nick Leddy, Cal Clutterbuck, and Brock Nelson found the scoresheet for the Islanders.

The Rangers face the Blues in St. Louis on Saturday, while the Islanders will face the Washington Capitals.

About Alec Montecalvo

Just an aspiring writer trying to make his mark on the world. Ask me and I'll explain to you why an All-Pitcher's Home Run Derby is a good idea, and how hockey is perhaps the greatest North American sport we have. That's all I got for now. I should get back to writing.

Have a tip we should know? tips@rhd.news

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