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Rangers Vs. Panthers: Heave Ho! Three in a Row!

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Kevin Shattenkirk scores two, including game winner, to lead Rangers to third win in a row.

New York Rangers v Florida Panthers Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images
  • It wasn’t the prettiest of games, especially compared to the game vs. Tampa Bay, but the New York Rangers defeated the Florida Panthers to pick up their third win in a row. It reminds me of a speech given by Lou Brown from the cult classic Major League II
  • It was a rare quiet night for the KZB line, and it was encouraging to see the rest of the team step up offensively and earn a win.
  • Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves on 34 shots, and there are at least two goals he would like back, but the Blueshirts still found a way to win.
  • While the game wasn’t pretty, there were some pretty slick moments including this alley-oop goal started by Jesper Fast and finished by Michael Grabner.
  • This was Fast’s second assist of the night after picking up a secondary assist on the Rangers’ first goal of the game scored by Nick Holden. This was only Fast’s 10th game of the season but with two assists he now has five points on the season which is more than Brady Skjei, Jimmy Vesey and Marc Staal just to name a few.
  • Rick Nash is starting to heat up, and it couldn’t come at a better time for the Rangers. Heading into the evening Nash had two goals on 48 shots and two assists for four points. Against the Panthers Nash had a subtle tip on Ryan McDonagh’s point shot for his third goal of the season and the primary assist on Kevin Shattenkirk’s game-winning goal.
  • Speaking of Shattenkirk, man oh man what a start he has gotten off to. The Rangers’ marquee offseason addition picked up two goals against the Panthers and he now has a blistering stat line of four goals, nine assists and 13 points in 15 games which puts him third on the entire team in scoring, and in the top-five among NHL defenders.
  • Shattenkirk had a cough up that led to a goal scored by Colton Sceviour in the second period, but no one will be thinking about that a few days from now.
  • What they will be talking about is his game-winning goal.
  • J.T. Miller is another player who had another strong game, and he picked up three assists in the win, including a secondary assist on the game-winning goal. Miller is now tied with Mika Zibanejad for the team lead in points with 14 in 15 games played. This is a contract year for Miller, and if he keeps up this torrid pace the Rangers are going to pay big time.
  • Boo Nieves missed the game because of the flu, and Paul Carey replaced him in the lineup skating for a total of 8:35. It was an interestingly low amount of ice time because originally he was going to replace David Desharnais in the lineup. Desharnais dressed as played 14:00 all at even strength, as he was replaced by Brady Skjei on the second power-play unit.
  • Steven Kampfer had the lowest ice time among defenders with 14:32. Marc Staal was next at 16:51 and after that pretty much every other Ranger defender skated about 20:00. Kevin Shattenkirk (23:06), Brady Skjei (22:44), Ryan McDonagh (21:32), Nick Holden (19:55). Based on this usage it is safe to guess that Brendan Smith will draw in on Monday vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets.
  • Smith needs to get in games and to develop a rhythm and continuing to scratch him doesn’t appear to be a good option.
  • For those who didn’t see on Twitter, I have made a pledge to donate money in support of Hockey Fights Cancer month.
  • I have outlined parameters in the embed tweet and already I have had a few people say they will match my total at the end of the campaign. I plan on donating to a number of organizations, and if you can I would recommend doing the same. Whether it is a little or a lot, every bit helps. If you want to track my progress, I will be posting an updated tracker at the end of each game. Here’s what it looks like thus far.
@TomUrtzJr
  • Back to the Rangers, the team now sits one point out of a wild card spot with a record of 6-7-2 and 14 points. The Washington Capitals are ahead of them with a record of 7-6-1 with 15 points in 14 games played.