Tuesday, May 17, 2022
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Generating more shots a point of Rangers emphasis

The Rangers don’t play again until Saturday at Columbus, so they finally have a couple of days during which they can catch their breath after a tiring travel schedule and to home in at practice on troublesome parts of their game.

“When you’re in the midst of it, you don’t really think about the challenge that faces you,” Ryan Strome said after practice Wednesday. “But then when you have a few days off, you realize — I mean, I slept pretty good the last few nights.”

The Rangers worked at MSG Training Center on getting shots off more quickly and attacking the net. They have been outshot in all but one of their past seven games. Even Monday, when they handed the Panthers their first loss in regulation, the Rangers were limited to fewer than 10 shots in each period.

“[We’re] generating good scoring chances, but not near enough,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “There’s no doubt we need more shots to the net. But the chances we got last game were Grade-A, and the chances we got in the 6-0 loss to Calgary [on Friday] … [Flames goalie Jacob] Markstrom played an unbelievable game.

“I wish we’d have 35 shots a game. I know we got to get to that sometime.”

New York Rangers center Kevin Rooney #17 during the first perio
Kevin Rooney and the Rangers have been outshot in six of their last seven games.
Robert Sabo

Chris Kreider pointed out after the Rangers’ loss to the Flames on Saturday that the team needs to “miss on the net” more. Especially against higher-scoring teams, the Rangers need to generate more second and third scoring chances.

“We got some practice time this week to fix some things up, and hopefully that’ll work,” Gallant said. “We’re not that bad of a defensive team that we’ve shown in the last few games.”

Gallant didn’t dismiss the possibility of Filip Chytil, who suffered an upper-body injury Saturday after colliding with linemate Sammy Blais, returning to the lineup Friday.

After his 42-save performance in the Rangers’ 4-3 win over the Panthers on Monday, Igor Shesterkin improved to 8-0-0 when making 40-plus saves in a game and became just the fourth goaltender since 1955-56 (when shots on goal began being tracked) to win each of his first eight or more games when making at least 40 saves — joining the Bruins’ Tuukka Rask, the Penguins’ Matt Murray and former Islander Roland Melanson.

“I thought he was possibly going to skate today, but he obviously didn’t,” Gallant said. “He’s still day-to-day.”

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