Last night was the Igor Shesterkin show for the Rangers, as the rookie netminder showed no rust or signs of slowing down in this three goalie rotation, stopping 42 of 43 shots as the Rangers beat the Kings 4-1. This game went about as expected, as the Kings are a good process team but lack finishing skill and goaltending to truly be competitive. Yes – skill matters, in addition to process.
The Kings controlled much of the game, getting dominant margins in shot attempts, scoring chances, and expected-goals. But that lack of finishing skill, coupled with a Czar in net, kept the Kings at bay. The third line had a solid night for the Rangers too, showing that when the kids get going, they get going.
Rangers 1, Kings 0
— Rangers on MSG (@RangersMSGN) February 9, 2020
Rangers 2, Kings 0
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) February 10, 2020
First things first, what a pass by Filip Chytil here. And a good job by Kaapo Kakko to find the open space for the easy goal. But good lord what are the Kings doing here. You have Adrian Kempe with his back to the play and not even skating towards Kakko in front. You have Jeff Carter in front just minding his own business, giving Kakko a foot for the one-timer.
Rangers 2, Kings 1
— LA Kings (@LAKings) February 10, 2020
This whole play was a mess, from two guys behind the net, to forwards backing up and letting Trevor Moore walk out and get a backhanded pass across the slot. Then luck wasn’t on the Rangers’ side, as the pass hit off Austin Wagner’s skate and went right back to Moore, who for some reason was still wide open.
Rangers 3, Kings 1
— Rangers on MSG (@RangersMSGN) February 10, 2020
Artemi Panarin caught the Kings pinching, and it led to a 2-on-1 with Ryan Strome. Shot, rebound, goal. Something that the best offensive players do is what Panarin does at the blue line, which is shift to put himself in a shooting position. That draws the passing attention, which gives Strome the room to put a shot –low and to the outside pad, fundamentally sound– on Quick and the rebound goal.
Rangers 4, Kings 1
Tony DeAngelo empty netter.
This game was pretty fast paced, with the teams combining for 130 shot attempts at even strength. Scoring chances were pretty even at evens, but you can see that slight edge to the Kings came with chances in front of the net. Again – the Kings, despite their record, have good process. They just don’t score.
As mentioned, a very strong game for the third line, as they got the quality along with the quantity. In terms of shot attempts, most everyone was in the “fun” side of things – a product of a fast paced game.
The Blueshirts have exactly one day off to fly to Winnipeg for Tuesday night. They then have a back-to-back in Minnesota and Columbus. This February schedule is rough.