After settling their previous three in overtime, the New York Rangers finally won a game in regulation. Before their 5-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, the Rangers’ 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens, 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres, and 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins weren’t their best showings.
Even though the Rangers were able to collect five of six possible points in the three-game stretch before their matchup against the Capitals, they did not meet expectations. They should have come out swinging after a four-day lull in their schedule, but instead, their performance left much to be desired. However, a decisive win over the Capitals could indicate an upward trajectory for the Stanley Cup hopefuls.
Awaiting Lindgren’s Return
The Rangers always seem a step behind when defenseman Ryan Lindgren is out of the lineup. He has missed eight games since sustaining an upper-body injury on Feb. 25 against the Capitals and is still considered day-to-day. In the last week, they could have used his consistent and nearly mistake-free game.
Even though the Rangers haven’t given up a ton of goals lately, they did give up 10, 12, and 15 high-danger scoring chances against the Canadiens, Sabres, and Penguins, respectively, according to Natural Stat Trick. They cleaned up their game against the Capitals, but still, a couple of penalties and moments of defensive collapse nearly cost them a 4-1 lead.
Lindgren’s return won’t fix all of the Rangers’ defensive woes, as the forward group needs to cut down on turnovers and play tighter defense as well. However, the Rangers often find themselves playing more complete games when Lindgren is in the lineup, and perhaps his presence will contribute to more defensively sound play.
New Rangers Still Getting Settled
Rangers general manager, Chris Drury, went all-out at the trade deadline, acquiring scoring wingers Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane. Tarasenko has four goals and nine points in 16 games with the Rangers, and Kane has three goals and four points in six games. However, neither has had a particularly stunning start with the club. Tarasenko hasn’t scored as much as many had hoped, and Kane’s production has been accompanied by a slew of forced cross-ice passes that either became turnovers or halted offensive momentum.
Related: Grading Rangers’ 2023 Trade Deadline Moves
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