The Rangers dominate the Blue Jackets, and the main test against the Devils follows


March 28, 2023 | 10:06 p.m

In their first game since earning a playoff spot, the Rangers took care of business.

That would remain the challenge for the remaining eight games of the regular season, but their 6-2 win over the Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night – in which six Rangers scored different goals – was an encouraging start for the club. final batch.

The win puts the Rangers up against the Devils on Thursday at the Prudential Center, where second place in the Metropolitan Division and possibly home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs will be at stake.

There aren’t many meaningful games left on the Rangers schedule, but they need to continue to up their game in preparation for the playoffs.

“That will be the mental part of it,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said earlier Tuesday of preparing for the final contests of the regular season.

“We have to make sure we’re ready to play. We get paid to come here and be ready to play and win hockey games. There are nine games left, you can’t cancel any games no matter who you play.”

Vladimir Tarasenko celebrates after scoring a goal in the Rangers’ 6-2 win over the Blue Jackets.
Robert Sabo for the New York Post

The Rangers, who were without defenseman Ryan Lindgren for the 14th time in their last 15 games, notched up their third straight win and seventh in their last eight games.

The pieces fall into place. The offense is neglect with kindness. The third periods were a strong point.

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Goaltender Igor Shesterkin is nearing his peak performance, which he showed again with 28 saves on Tuesday.

Patrick Kane scored a goal in the first half as Rangers won.
Robert Sabo for the New York Post

The Rangers skated with power and dominated the ice in the offensive zone for the majority of the game.

With a 3-0 half-time lead, the Rangers’ aggressiveness in attack turned into corner pieces in defence. This allowed the Blue Jackets to make it a competitive game with two goals at 7:31 at the end of the first half.

The result was automatic for the Rangers during the first eight minutes of the match.

Igor Shesterkin made one of his 28 saves during the Rangers win.
Robert Sabo for the New York Post

Filip Chytil scored first, flicking a rebound around a crowded Blue Jackets net at 5:23 of the first period. Then Braden Schneider sent a royal road pass to Vladimir Tarasenko, who put it up 2-0 after less than a minute and a half.

After jamming the ball off the post after a terrific movement between the legs, Patrick Kane demanded a win-win and ended up with a short lateral snipe on Blue Jackets goaltender Michael Hutchinson in the eight-minute mark.

Rangers have admitted they are sometimes guilty of sitting back, and their laxity in the defensive zone has detracted much from their power play this time around.

Artemi Panarin celebrates with his team mates after scoring the winning goal for Rangers.
Robert Sabo for the New York Post

Kirill Marchenko scored in a power play before Johnny Goudreau curled into the top corner on Rangers goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin to make it 3-2 with 28.1 seconds left in the opening frame.

The faltering performance of Artemi Panarin and the Rangers was the deciding factor for the home side, who took the lead on the Russian winger’s goal with the man ahead at 17:36 of the second period.

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The goal is the Rangers’ first on power play in three games, during which they went 0-for-9 with a man advantage.

Panarin drove the quarterback later, pulling the Blue Jackets’ players and then downing to Mika Zibanejad for a wide-open one-timer and a 5-2 lead with just over 5 minutes left in the system. Then Vincent Troshek capped the scoring with an empty net goal.

The Rangers did what they were supposed to do with a last-place team in the division.

Closing out this regular season will be tough, but there will be plenty of opportunities to continue to improve as the Rangers get closer to their anticipation of the year.

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