It wasn’t the most scintillating game of the season, but the New York Rangers were able to come up with a workmanlike 4-0 win over the Flyers in Philadelphia. Though the Flyers outplayed the Rangers early, the team rode two goals by Kaapo Kakko and Alexandar Georgiev’s goaltending to a solid, boring win.
Coach Gerard Gallant gave all of the credit to Georgiev, saying “Georgie was excellent. Real strong game. He looked really solid, made some big saves for us. He was the difference in the game for sure.”
The best you can say about this game was that they won and no one got hurt. The biggest positive was the offensive contributions from Kaapo Kakko who scored for the first time since December 15. True, he missed 31 games with an injury, but he also had not scored in his last 14 games.
Alexis Lafrenière was a healthy scratch so the third line was Kakko, Barclay Goodrow and Filip Chytil, back from an injury. Chytil played a very strong game and Goodrow added two assists.
Gallant liked the combination. “The line was excellent, they made some real good plays, they played the way you’re supposed to play, they created some good offensive down low and I thought they were the most consistent line all night for us.”
After the game, Kakko spoke breaking the scoring drought. “I was out for a long time. I think always the first couple games, not so good, but getting better…that was my best game in the last three games.”
Gallant was complimentary of Kakko’s effort. “Even after he scored his two goals, I liked the effort he made coming off the boards and driving the middle of the lanes trying score his third goal. That’s what we talk about with young players. Get to those scoring areas and he did that tonight. It’s great for his confidence and for our team.”
As for sitting Lafrenière, Gallant said he looked tired lately and considering how young he is and that he had never played an 82 game season, he was getting a break and will be back in the lineup next game.
The best way to describe this game was that the Rangers took care of business. They need to do it again on Saturday afternoon against Detroit.