The Rangers found a way to gut out an overtime victory on Tuesday night and head into the All-Star break on a three-game winning streak.
All season long, the Rangers have looked like two different teams when Derek Stepan is and isn’t in the lineup. They need him back and healthy ASAP.
When the Rangers and the Islanders take the ice Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden for their second meeting of the season, the rivalry will be back front and center in the minds of New Yorkers for the first time in a long while.
Ryan McDonagh, Chris Kreider and Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist each, and the New York Rangers got back to their winning ways with a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night.
The Rangers always seem to find a way to kick their game up a notch when Alex Ovechkin and the Caps enter MSG.
Ten seconds later, MSG’s public address announcer introduced the color guard for the national anthem — four members of the NYPD, who walked onto the ice to a rousing ovation.
Having extended their winning streak to six games, the Rangers are brimming with confidence.
Are the Rangers a playoff-caliber team? Certainly. Are they Stanley Cup contenders? It sure isn’t looking that way.
The Rangers are battered and bruised on the blue line, and if the other areas of strength on this team do not step up, the Blueshirts will slip in the Metropolitan Division and the Eastern Conference to very precipitous depths.
The injury-ravaged Rangers will be without inspirational captain and all-situation defenseman Ryan McDonagh for the majority of a packed November schedule.
The Islanders and Rangers — and their fans — have been at each other’s throats for years. The rivalry lost some luster over the last decade, but it now appears to be back and healthier than ever.
Last season, the Rangers surprised many by reaching their first Stanley Cup Final since 1994. The 2014-15 Rangers have more of a youthful look after a number of familiar faces moved on to new teams.
“We all kind of knew Mac’s a real young leader on this team,” Girardi said. “He’s only going to get better. He was the definite choice to lead us as captain and lead us in the right direction.”
Fellow defensemen Dan Girardi and Marc Staal, and forwards Derek Stepan and Martin St. Louis, were chosen as alternate captains.
The sting of the double-overtime loss in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals is mostly gone. However, don’t think for a second that it is forgotten by the New York Rangers.