Well, that was some game eh? In all seriousness, the Rangers and Stars played a very sloppy game on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defense was dreadful, and once again the offense almost saved the team’s bacon. The chart above shows that players were either very good or flat out awful. There was very little ground, and for that reason, we will focus on the players who stood out in a positive.
1.) Derek Stepan deserves a ton of credit for how he has carried himself this season. He’s been one of the Rangers’ top performers and he set the bar high tonight with two goals, an assist and eight shots on goal. He also was the Rangers’ best man at the dot and found a way to remain positive in terms of possession and goal differential.
2.) Mika Zibanejad returned to the lineup in a huge way, and illustrated his importance to the team. Zibanejad also finished with two goals, and he had seven shots on goal while maintaining an impressive 5v5 Corsi differential of nine. He was making things happen all night long and his return should impact the Rangers in a big way going forward.
3.) It is still decidedly early, but Pavel Buchnevich is looking like one heck of a hockey player. The Rangers’ rookie quietly put up a three point night, and his goal helped get the Rangers back in the game. He was a hound on the puck just like Zibanejad and was in the thick of things throughout the evening. He is up to 13 points in 13 games played, and continues to look more confident on North American ice.
4.) Rick Nash had one of his best games of the season even though he didn’t score a goal. He added two assists, played with an edge and finished with a 5v5 Corsi differential of plus six. He was knocked over near the end of the game, and hopefully it isn’t anything that fans should be concerned about.
5.) Mats Zuccarello had another strong game despite remaining in a goal drought, but it is hard to get made at three assists and four shots on goal. The Rangers’ winger continues to pick up points quietly and remains among the leaders in scoring.
6.) Chris Kreider scored again, and he is inching closer and closer to the 20-goal mark. Kreider is trending in a direction that will see him reach the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career, and it would be the cherry on top of a breakout season. During the loss he added an assist, three shots on goal and a Corsi differential of plus two in 5v5 situations.
7.) Kevin Klein had a nice game for a change, and it was a welcome surprise. He’s been at the bottom of the chart for the better part of the season, but an assist, two shots on goal and a Corsi differential of plus six has him high on this list.
8.) Last but not least in the great category is Adam Clendening. Clendening picked up an assist, had a 5v5 Corsi differential of six and blocked two shots. He continues to make a strong case for being a fixture in the lineup each and every night.
HM: Ryan McDonagh had a good game with a Game Score of 0.78. He had an assist, three shots on goal while logging over 21 minutes.
The Rangers next game is on the road vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs.