3 major reasons the NY Rangers will keep building momentum in Round 1

The NY Rangers got the best of the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of their First Round matchup, and that momentum can continue.
Apr 21, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) celebrates with
Apr 21, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) celebrates with / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

Wow, the NY Rangers Game 1 win over the Washington Capitals could not have gone any smoother sans the one goal they allowed. Overall, fans couldn’t have asked for a better performance from their Presidents’ Trophy-winning team, and it could foreshadow a quick series should the Rangers keep flooring the throttle. 

While the final score plus goals from Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider weren’t surprising, it doesn’t mean their respective playoff performance after the first game are the main reasons for optimism. Sure, fans can rejoice that two of their team’s best scorers are carrying over their regular season success, but there is a trio of reasons why New York could just flat-out dominate this series. 

The NY Rangers know they can click defensively

When you look at the final score sheet and notice the Rangers gave up just 21 shots on goal, that alone tells you how well this team played when they didn’t have puck possession. Goaltender Igor Shesterkin saved 20 of those shots on net, with 17 coming at even strength, and he, too, appears to be more than in playoff mode. 

But perhaps Shesterkin played so well because those in front of him shut down stars like Alex Ovechkin, Dylan Strome, and T.J. Oshie. Per Natural Stat Trick, the trio combined for just one shot on net, while another notable player, Tom Wilson, recorded just two shots. 

The Rangers know how to shut down Washington’s star players, and if it occurs in Game 2, expect a similar result. Things will be looking very good for the Rangers heading into Game 3 when the series shifts to the nation’s capital. 

If you want more fun, New York collectively beat Washington for most of the game in the Corsi. While it sat at just 47.62 in the second frame for New York, the Blueshirts also dominated with a Corsi For Percentage at 5-on-5 of 86.67 in the first period and 56.76 in the third, indicating just how many chances their play gave them in the offensive zone.