The Rangers put in an offensive showing in a dominant win over the Penguins
The Rangers showed Evgeny Malkin and the Penguins how dangerous it can be.
Caution tape should have lined the Rangers bench Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, as the home team edged past the Penguins in a 6-0 win that swelled their lead over Pittsburgh to 12 points in the Metropolitan Design standings.
Each Ranger unit that has jumped boards and snowboards can come with its own warning sticker:
Danger – able to control games.
That includes both the powerhouse, which went 1-for-4 on the night, and the penalty kick, which was a perfect 5-for-5. The same can be said of Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin, who made 33 saves and has been called up in just a few games now.
The Rangers took control immediately after touchdowns. They even ran Pittsburgh’s starting goaltender, Tristan Garry, off the ice less than halfway through the second half.
The Penguins have taken a front row seat to the Rangers’ evolution this season.
From the Rangers in December. 20, yet to be bolstered by the standout additions of Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko, to the Blueshirts’ overtime loss in Pittsburgh on March 12, saw the Penguins bring in plenty of great players. names, but a little chemistry was born.
But the rangers who took the ice against the penguins Thursday and Saturday at the park are finally starting to put it all together.
Pittsburgh was ultimately collateral damage in the Rangers’ pursuit of their star-studded lineup – and Saturday was their most convincing performance yet.
The top six players were particularly great in this victory. Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Tarasenko and Chris Kreider scored four goals to five, all scoring on the scoresheet.
Rangers captain Jacob Trueba also scored his third goal in the last six games with a shot from an acute angle.
Zibanejad, who finished with a goal and two assists, scored the first goal for the Rangers for the third consecutive game. After a backhand shot past Jary, Zibanejad gave Rangers a 1-0 lead after just five minutes into the match.
It was also the Swede’s opening 10th goal of the season, which tied the Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin and the Avalanche’s Mikko Rantanen for the most in the NHL.
Zibanejad’s consistent two-way play has been spoiled by Rangers this season. He currently leads the club with 36 goals and is just five short of matching the career high he scored during the 2019-20 season.
Tensions flared on the ice during the teams’ third meeting in seven days.
Malkin pushed Braden Schneider face first to the boards in the first period, giving the Penguins forward two minutes to rough it up and two minutes to get up. The Rangers, especially Penn Harbor, took exception and caused a brawl in the corner.
After the Rangers got a solid game out of it, Panarin snipped the puck in from the left circle to make it 2-0 going into the first break.
The great Rangers lineup on paper is leaping from the paper onto the ice.
It was only a matter of time.
Most importantly, it’s on time.