The Rangers went to Ottawa looking to build momentum off their season opener win over Winnipeg, and that they did. The Blueshirts dominated the lowly Senators, with Mika Zibanejad leading the way. The Rangers’ top center notched a hat trick, with a goal at each strength, and an assist to give him 8 points through two games. Spinning those sick beats must be helping.
The top powerplay unit showed how good they are with tremendous puck moving ability and creativity. The new defense pairings looked good. Eventually Lias Andersson found himself as the 3C, swapping with Brett Howden, but both had pretty strong games. All around solid by the club.
Rangers 1, Sens 0
Ottawa just kind of lost Zibanejad here, but that’s what happens when that top unit gets moving and controls the puck. Eventually the PK just breaks down, and that’s what happened here.
Rangers 1, Sens 1
Rangers 2, Sens 1
Rangers 3, Sens 1
Rangers 4, Sens 1
Another powerplay goal, and again creativity reigns supreme. This time it was Artemi Panarin’s turn.
Now this surprised me a bit because the Rangers dominated, but that’s an interesting shot heatmap. The Rangers actually didn’t get many chances from high danger areas at even strength. Just interesting.
Ottawa was actually getting the better quality chances at even strength based on this. It ties into the shot heatmap, which is also at even strength. It makes logical sense, since the Rangers scored twice on the powerplay and once shorthanded. This needs to be taken with a grain of salt though, since the Rangers were out on top early and score effects play a role here.
The Blueshirts looked a lot better last night compared to Thursday night, but again it’s Ottawa. Even though it is the Senators, there are a lot of positive takeaways from the game, specifically the special teams, the defense pairings, and the play of the kids. Now a week off because of the NHL schedule.