NY Rangers April 2021 – Down the Stretch
As it stands: Rangers begin month in 5th place
The Rangers (44-28-3) recovered from a rough patch earlier in March to win 5 of their last 6 games. Entering the final stretch, they’ll feel secure in 5th-place, 9 points ahead of 9th-place Toronto, but staying healthy before the playoffs will be a key concern.
Rangers zeroing in on a playoff berth.
What to watch for
The games against Columbus and Philadelphia will have a lot riding on the line for the Jackets and Flyers as each club is trying to rise up to the last playoff spot. If the Rangers can take care of Boston and Montreal to start the week, the pressure will lessen and going 3-2 or 2-3 in the last 5 games should guarantee a playoff spot as the 4th or 5th seed.
Week of April 2 (3-1)
Sun. – (W) Adam Fox scored twice, and Igor Shesterkin made 20 saves to fuel the Rangers 3-2 victory over Boston. The Bruins brought the anger and out-hit New York 15-7 and knocked out Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider from the game, but Shesterkin held the line down the stretch to preserve the Rangers 1-goal lead. (PP: BOS 0/2, NYR 0/1)
Thu. – (L) Despite a 5-2 loss to Philadelphia, the Rangers backed into a playoff berth. That leaves 3 spots remaining open in the East. The Flyers (87), Panthers (87), Sabres (91), and Penguins (92) will be battling to earn a chance to advance to the postseason. Last season’s #1 seed in the East, Toronto (85) has an outside chance, but is still alive.
Sat. – (W) The Rangers rallied for two 3rd period goals to tie New Jersey 3-3 at the end of regulation. after a scoreless overtime, Adam Fox’s goal in the 1st round of the shootout was the game-winner, giving New York a 4-3 win.
Week of April 9 (2-1)
Sunday — @New York 3, Columbus 1
Tuesday — New York 5, @Carolina 2
Thursday — @Toronto 3, New York 0
Sun. – (W) Early in the 3rd period, Andrew Copp scored on an assist from Alexander Radulov to break a 1-1 tie and the Rangers went on to defeat the Blue Jackets 3-1 at Madison Square Garden. Marcus Foligno scored the opening goal in the 1st period and Tarmo Reunanen tied the game before the end of the frame. Backup goalie Calvin Packard earned his 3rd win since joining New York after a trade.
Tue. – (W) Filip Chytil scored his 1st hat trick of the season to lead the Rangers past the Hurricanes 5-2. Chytil’s goals, scored in each period of the win, raised his season total to 17. Igor Shesterkin got the win, improving to 38-20-2. The victory also brought New York even with Carolina in points (101) with a game remaining. The Hurricanes have 2 games remaining.
Thu. – (L) In the Rangers’ regular season finale, goalie Petr Mrazek stopped all 26 shots by New York and the Maple Leafs kept their season alive, winning 3-0. Ondrej Kaze’s 14th of the season in the 1st period was all Toronto needed. NY’s Reilly Smith let the game with a pulled groin and will be sideline until April 29.
Quick glance at who made (and who didn’t) make the playoffs
EAST – New Jersey, Boston are the new teams to make the playoffs. Florida, and Philadelphia did not return. The Panthers were knocked from 8th-place after the Maple Leafs defeated the Capitols on the final day of regular season games.
WEST – St. Louis and Winnipeg are the new clubs to make the playoffs, while Minnesota, and Edmonton failed to repeat. The 9th-place Wild finished 2 points behind 8th-place LA Kings.