The Rangers win streak is now at 9 in a row, and it’s in large part to Igor Shesterkin. He had another stellar performance, stopping 39 of 40 shots. He is back. Alexis Lafrenière had his best game as a Ranger with 2 goals and nearly had his first hat trick. Artemi Panarin was again magical with a 3 assist night. This team is rolling right now.

Do not let the shot discrepancy fool you either. This was a special teams game. The Rangers, thanks to a match penalty, a double minor, and some rather soft calls, had to kill 20 minutes of penalties in the game. The Rangers’ penalty kill did it’s job though and did not let the Devils convert on any of their 5 power plays.

All of that special teams time was going to allow the Devils to rack up on the shots on goal, but aside from the penalties, this was a good game defensively for the Rangers. Many of the shots were from low percentage areas of the ice, and Igor stood tall. Jack “People Pay To See Me Lose” Hughes got a garbage time goal to end the shutout bid.

Igor was the main story in net, but this was also another Alexis Lafrenière game. He was everywhere last night, racking up 2 goals and 4 shots on goal. It is clear this is an extremely confident player right now. He is going to set career highs this season. Just imagine if he ever gets regular powerplay time to pad those stats.

Chris Kreider remains red hot and scored yet again, bringing his total to 29 on the season and is now 113 goals away from tying Rod Gilbert’s franchise record. He has to average 37 goals a season the remainder of his deal to do it, not including the 25 games remaining this season. It took a long time for the full package to take shape, but just what an unbelievable Ranger.

A quick word on Matt Rempe, who took a match penalty for a check to the head of Nathan Bastian. I both agree and disagree with the premise of the call. Rempe needs to keep in mind that, with his size, he cannot be skating full speed into a guy’s brain. But he is also 6′ 8″ and I really have no idea how he avoids the contact to the head of the majority of the league.

Rempe didn’t extend his elbow or anything, but absolutely destroyed Nathan Bastian on the hit. All I care and hope for is that Rempe takes this experience and learns from it, and maybe takes his shots to body check a little more selectively. There’s value in this type of player, but there’s no value if he’s getting match penalties. Let’s see what happens and if he will still be in the lineup come Saturday.


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