Chris Kreider scored inside the first minute of play and the Rangers got a boost from goaltender Alexandar Georgiev to defeat the Oilers, 3-2, in Edmonton on Saturday night. Both teams scored two goals in the second period and Georgiev had 35 saves on the night. >> Box score
- 0:54 NYR Chris Kreider; Assists: Mika Zibanejad, John Gilmour
- 5:43 EDM Connor McDavid; Assists: Matthew Benning, Cam Talbot
- 7:51 NYR Mika Zibanejad (power play); Assists: Pavel Buchnevich, Mats Zuccarello
- 9:07 NYC Paul Carey; Assists: David Desharnais, Cody McLeod
- 16:48 EDM Ryan Nugent-Hopkins; Assists: Andrej Sekera, Connor McDavid
From the Rangers Game Notes:
NET RETURNS - Alexandar Georgiev earned his first career NHL win in tonight's contest. Georgiev is the fifth Rangers goaltender who has earned a win since the start of last season (along with Henrik Lundqvist, Antti Raanta, Ondrej Pavelec, and Magnus Hellberg), and he is the third Rangers goaltender who has registered a win this season (along with Lundqvist and Pavelec).
FINISHING THE JOB - The Rangers have posted a 19-0-0 record when leading entering the third period this season. The Rangers are one of two NHL teams that have won every game when leading entering the third period in 2017-18. Since the start of the 2010-11 season, the Blueshirts have posted a 213-7-8 record when leading entering the third period, and their .934 winning percentage when leading entering the third period over the span is the best in the NHL.
Alexandar Georgiev made 35 saves, and stopped all 15 shots he faced in the third period, to earn his first career NHL win. Georgiev, who was born in Bulgaria and grew up in Russia, is the first Bulgarian-born goaltender to earn a win in NHL history, and he is also the first goaltender of Russian nationality to earn a win with the Rangers in franchise history. He is the 63rd goaltender who has earned at least one win with the Blueshirts in franchise history. Georgiev has made at least 30 saves in each of his three career NHL appearances, and he has posted a .930 SV% in those three appearances (106 saves on 114 shots).
Pavel Buchnevich tallied a power play assist and posted a plus-one rating in 17:08 of ice time. Buchnevich has established career-highs in assists (22) and points (36) this season. He has notched six points (one goal, five assists) in his last 11 games and 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his last 15 games.
Mats Zuccarello registered a power play assist, recorded two shots on goal, and was credited with two takeaways. Zuccarello added to his career-high in power play assists this season (15). He leads the Rangers in assists (34), points (44), power play assists, and takeaways (52), and is tied for the team lead in power play points (16) in 2017-18.
Cody McLeod notched an assist on the game-winning goal, led all skaters with six shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating. McLeod's six shots on goal were the second-most he has registered in one game in his NHL career (his single-game career-high is eight).
David Desharnais registered an assist on the game-winning goal, won seven of 10 faceoffs (70.0%), and posted a plus-one rating. He is tied for third on the Rangers in even strength assists (16) and ranks fifth on the team in assists (21) in 2017-18.
- The Rangers were not going to lose out and there was every reason to believe that the team might start play better once the clock hit 3:01PM on Monday. They haven't been great during this three game streak, giving up 100 shots in the two prior games is not ideal, but they have started to find a way to win again.
- Ultimately the Rangers are not going to make the playoffs. The odds are stacked very much against them with the standings so tight, Florida having four games in hand and a lot of games against good teams coming up.
- The Rangers may be hurting their potential draft position, but if they can find ways to win where they don't have to totally rely on goaltending, and we see progress and strong play from Zibanejad, Hayes, Kreider, DeAngelo, Gilmour, Namestnikov and Pionk, or anyone else likely to stick around, it could help things long-term.
- For a long while, and certainly since the deadline, I have not understood the Rangers fourth line. I thought David Desharnais would get traded, I thought it was possible Paul Carey might and Cody McLeod probably should have never joined the team. That said, the trio played a nice game against the Oilers and helped them win on Saturday.
- There is a benefit to having veteran players around at this time of the year, especially with so many young players, but the Rangers fourth line, at this point, should be Boo Nieves, Vinni Lettieri and Ryan Gropp or Adam Tambellini. AHL call up rules possibly prevent all of that and the Rangers want to save some spots for Andersson and Chytil later in the year, but there has to be a better situation for the Rangers and their fourth line.
The Rangers return home to face the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.