Notes on the game
With the win, combined with the Penguins loss, the Rangers leapfrogged Pittsburgh into second place in the Metropolitan Division. They now have a record of 33-13-5 and 71 points. The last time they had 71 points in this few games was in 2011-12. They are now a point ahead of Pittsburgh with two games in hand and six points ahead of Washington with two games in hand.
The team’s record at Madison Square Garden is an impressive 17-4-3, one of the best marks in the NHL. They beat the best road team in the NHL in Washington.
The Rangers record against teams currently in the playoffs is 12-12-2. Against non-playoff teams it’s an unbelievable 21-1-3.
The Rangers have now allowed only 12 goals in their last seven games.
The Rangers power play was shut out for only the third time in the last 13 games. Meanwhile, the penalty kill was perfect for the fourth straight game and have now killed ten penalties in a row.
Igor Shesterkin stopped 36 of 37 shots. He is first in the NHL with a .940 save percentage, first with a 1.98 goals against average and fourth in the NHL with 25 wins,
Chris Kreider had not scored a goal in three games and with his 34th goal he moved into third place behind Auston Matthews (36) and Leon Draisaitl (35). He still leads the league with 17 power play goals.
To Wilson’s long anticipated return to the Garden was a bust. He played 15 ineffective minutes with a plus/minus of -2 and he didn’t register a shot on goal or a hit.
Meanwhile, Ryan Reaves had five hits, one assist and one shot on goal. He lined up several times opposite Wilson who meekly avoided any chance of confrontation.
The only “fight” was between Conor Sheary and Ryan Lindgren who tussled late in the third period after some nasty play in front of the Rangers goal.
Patrik Nemeth missed the game with his wife in labor and Zac Jones played well in his stead, notching an assist on the first Ranger goal. Also in the lineup was Morgan Barron who replaced an ill Filip Chytil. Barron had a noticeable game with four shots and three hits.
The Rangers had a tribute to Emile Francis, not seen by the ESPN audience.<
Ryan Strome didn’t have a great game. He took penalties at the end of the first and second periods. Both were unnecessary tripping penalties that could have been costly. He had no shots on goal and was the only minus player on the Blueshirts. He lost seven of 10 faceoffs, including the last one that led to the Ovechkin goal.
Adam Fox had one assist, his 42nd of the season, tops among NHL defensemen. His 49 points is fourth overall among blueliners.