The New York Rangers opened the 2020-21 season in the loss column following a 4-0 defeat by the New York Islanders. The Islanders jumped on the Rangers early and often, and the Rangers were just never able to recover. Igor Shesterkin got the nod in goal by David Quinn, and despite a rocky start, turned aside 29 of the 33 shots he faced throughout the evening.
Brock Nelson (1) - Anthony Beauvillier (1) & Nick Leddy (1) PPG - 2:33
A quick holding call by Jack Johnson gave the Islanders some very early work on the power play, and they capitalized almost immediately. Following some good puck movement, the initial shot by Anthony Beauvillier gave Igor Shesterkin some trouble and a rebound kicked out the high slot. Brock Nelson was right on the doorstep and banged home the rebound to give the Islanders the first lead of the game.
Anders Lee (1) - Nick Leddy (2) - 3:52
A little over a minute after the opening goal, the Islanders added an immediate insurance marker off of a 2-on-1 rush into the offensive zone. Four different Rangers were caught up ice and Nick Leddy made them pay with a crisp pass through the neutral zone. Anders Lee was able to collect the pass, broke in on an odd-man rush and knocked the puck in off of Shesterkin’s glove hand.
Mathew Barzal (1) - Cal Clutterbuck (1) - 13:31
As if things couldn’t get any worse for the Rangers, Mathew Barzal extended the Isles lead to 3-0 just about three minutes past the halfway mark of the period. Barzal completely blew the doors off of Tony DeAngelo as he entered the offensive zone with a quick move, and wired a snap shot just under the crossbar. The Rangers clearly weren’t ready for an early surge in this game, and were burned pretty badly as a result.
Jordan Eberle (1) - Anders Lee (1) & Noah Dobson (1) PPG - 14:54
The Rangers’ penalty kill had done plenty of work at this point in the game, and Alexis Lafreniere’s hooking penalty sent them back onto the ice yet again. Just under a minute into the power play, Jordan Eberle caught a favorable bounce after attempting a pass to the far side of the net, and the puck deflected back on Igor Shesterkin. It appeared as if Anders Lee deflected the puck after several looks at the replay, so I’m sure this one will be changed in the boxscore.
No goal scoring.
The Rangers certainly had their work cut out for them tonight going up against an Islanders squad that was within two wins of the Stanley Cup Final. The slow start didn’t do the Rangers any favors either as they were chasing the game right from the opening puck drop. There were some encouraging scoring chances, but the Rangers as a whole just looked off all night long. Thankfully, this is just night one of the sprint, so the Rangers will go over what went wrong and hopefully return with a better effort on Saturday night.