Notes on the game
With the loss, the Rangers’ record is now 51-24-6 for 108 points. They have dropped to ninth overall in the NHL.
They finished the season 19-4-1 against the Atlantic Division. That’s the most wins against any division by any NHL team.
The Rangers have not allowed a team to score the winning goal against them in the final minute of play until this game.
How rusty were the players who suited up for this game? Here are the numbers:
- This was Kaapo Kakko’s fifth game in the last 40.
- This was Julien Gauthier’s third game in the last 20.
- This was Libor Hajek’s third game in the last 34.
- This was Jonny Brodzinski’s first game in the last 11.
- This was Greg McKegg’s second game in the last 12
- This was Zac Jones’ first NHL game since February 27.
Ryan Strome scored his first shorthanded goal of the season, the second of his career.
He scored his first in December 2014 when he was with the Islanders.
Frank Vatrano notched his eighth goal as a Ranger in his 21st game in New York on a wicked wrist shot in to knot the game early in the third period.
It took him 49 games to score 10 goals for the Panthers this season.
Ryan Reaves scored his fifth goal of the season four minutes into the second period to tie the score 1-1.
It was his second goal in his last 10 games.
Zac Jones joined the offense on several forays, but overall his plus/minus was -2 and his defense partner, Libor Hajek was -3. While Jones can dazzle on offense, his defense can be a cause for concern and he really needs a solid, conscientious defensive blueliner as a partner.
Alexandar Georgiev’s seven game winning streak came to an end. He didn’t have the best game and could be faulted on at least two of the Canadiens’ goals. His goals against average dropped to 2.95. He allowed four goals on 24 shots and his save percentage dropped to .896, 47th overall in the NHL.
Julien Gauthier made some nice power moves, driving to the net, but he is forever branded with an inability to put the puck in the net. He had three shots and two hits, but also took an ill-timed penalty that cut short a Ranger power play after seven seconds. Admittedly, it was a soft call, but it came at a very bad time.
The penalty kill was as good as ever, killing two penalties (though one was only seven seconds long). They have now stopped 28 of the last 29 opposition power plays.
The Rangers were 0-3 on the power play (though one was only seven seconds long) and both units looked like they had never played together.
This was the first game Mika Zibanejad had missed in two seasons.
Going into this game, Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, Jacob Trouba and K’Andre Miller had played every game. Now, only Miller has played in every game this season.
Before the game, Chris Kreider was named the first recipient of the Rod Gilbert “Mr. Ranger” Award, created in honor of the late Rod Gilbert and given to the player “who best honors Rod’s legacy by exemplifying leadership qualities both on and off the ice, and making a significant humanitarian contribution to his community.”