Skip to main content
The Official Site of the New York Rangers

Recap: Kakko Nets His First, But Rangers Fall Short

Rookie's Goal & Fast Start Not Enough vs. Oilers

by Michael Obernauer

The Rangers' season has only just begun, and Saturday's game against the Edmonton Oilers was never on its own going to make or break an 82-game campaign. And yet there's a good chance that it could be remembered around New York for a long time to come.

Those fans who packed Madison Square Garden for a weekend matinee all can say they were at the game where Kaapo Kakko scored his first NHL goal. It came 18 minutes 28 seconds into the opening period, and it was no soft goal or excuse-me bounce off a shin pad, either - it was a give-and-go to perfection, set up by Kakko's speed and by Ryan Strome's pass, topped off by a clever finish and an 18-year-old's joyful celebration on Garden ice.

"It feels good," Kakko said afterward. "I think it was a great goal, and a big goal for us, for the team - first goal is always big. But it's not enough, one goal."

View More

Recap: Mika's Hat Trick Powers Rangers Past Sens

Sizzling Start Continues for Zibanejad & Blueshirts

by Michael Obernauer

OTTAWA -- Among the reactions and emotions filling the victorious visitors' dressing room at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday night, amid the celebrations of another early-season Rangers victory, some players also couldn't help shrugging their shoulders, shaking their heads. They were finding it hard to imagine a player getting off to a more magnificent start to a season than what Mika Zibanejad has put together in the span of three days.

Just 48 hours after racking up a goal and three assists on Opening Night at the Garden, the Rangers' No. 1 center managed to top that, returning to the place where he started his career and scoring his third career hat trick in the Rangers' 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

View More

Recap: Amid Sparkling Debuts, Greasy Goal Wins Opener for Rangers

Lundqvist: 'The New Guys Look Pretty Good'

by Michael Obernauer

On Opening Night of the 2019-20 season, the fans who packed Madison Square Garden had come to get their first glimpse of some of the Rangers' new weapons in action - and what they got was a sizzling display of firepower in the midst of a back-and-forth hockey game. Then a blue-collar player stepped up and scored a blue-collar goal and won the thing.

Brett Howden's putback with 4:09 to play snapped the final tie of a wild Opening Night at the Garden and propelled the Rangers to a 6-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets to start their 2019-20 season on Thursday night. The 21-year-old center's goal off a faceoff was the decisive blow in a game in which the Rangers held three separate one-goal leads over the opening 40 minutes, then had to stage a third-period comeback to win it.

View More

Recap: Young Rangers State Their Case In Preseason Finale

Quinn & Co. Left with Few Easy Choices

by Michael Obernauer

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- In the preseason finale and with roster spots up for grabs, David Quinn came away feeling that his job was more difficult than when the game began. He also felt that it is a good problem to have.

It's all up to the coach and the front office now - six preseason games are in the books and there are no more tune-ups, no more auditions. The Rangers will have to get their roster down to 23 or fewer by Tuesday afternoon, and the next time they play, on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, it'll be for real.

But on Saturday night at the home rink of the Islanders' AHL affiliate, the young Rangers who were trying to leave Quinn and Co. with a lasting impression achieved exactly that. With most of their top players sitting out the preseason finale, and the Islanders fielding almost entirely their Opening Night roster, the Blueshirts took a tie into the final minutes before Mathew Barzal snapped it in a 4-2 Isles win.

View More

Recap: Lundqvist Keeps Rolling As Rangers Top Flyers

'I Feel Very Well Prepared for the Season'

by Michael Obernauer

There were some young players stepping into prominent roles in the Rangers' preseason game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night: Filip Chytil, Vitali Kravtsov and Kaapo Kakko -- ages 20, 19 and 18, respectively -- each got a chance at a regular shift on a line with Mika Zibanejad as their center, as the Rangers use every bit of their exhibition schedule to give opportunities up and down their Training Camp roster.

So where does Henrik Lundqvist fit into that kind of a youth movement?

"Hank is Benjamin Button," Brendan Lemieux declared after Henrik Lundqvist was named First Star of Thursday night's 2-1 shootout win in a preseason match with the Flyers. "Tonight is pretty self-explanatory."

View More

Recap: Panarin's Pair & Kravtsov's First Lift Blueshirts Past Isles

Top Line Unites in Preseason Win

by Michael Obernauer

Brady Skjei not only had the best view in the Garden of a brilliant offensive display, it turned out he got an assist for it, too.

Skjei earned it by winning a puck behind the Rangers' goal line and moving it ahead to the forwards, after which all he had to do -- all he really could do -- was watch them go to work. The result, down at the other end, was a marvelous rink-wide exchange from Artemi Panarin to Pavel Buchnevich and then back again, resulting in Panarin's one-timer into an open net -- the first of his two goals in the Rangers' 3-1 preseason win over the Islanders on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

View More

Recap: Shesterkin Shines in Goal As Rangers Fall in Philly

Rookie Makes 36 Saves vs. Flyers' A-team

by Michael Obernauer

PHILADELPHIA -- David Quinn wanted to hand this game to Igor Shesterkin. The rookie goaltender grabbed the spotlight, too.

Facing a Flyer team that is both further ahead in its preseason schedule and which fielded a lineup that is not far from the finished NHL product, Shesterkin played all 60 minutes or the first time in the Rangers' preseason and turned in his best performance of his short time in a Blueshirt. He stopped 36 Philadelphia shots, many of them of the high-danger variety, in the Blueshirts' 4-1 exhibition loss in Philly.

View More

Recap: Lundqvist Off to Busy Start As Rangers Finish Tuneups vs. Devils

by Michael Obernauer

Just like that, the Rangers and Devils have no more preseason meetings left to speak of, following two games over three days and a stop in each team's building. The purpose of them, of course, was evaluation, and getting everybody tuned up to start a hockey season. But after 120 minutes between two rivals in which so many new faces, some physicality here, some elite skill there, took turns grabbing the spotlight, who could be blamed for double-checking the schedule to remind themselves when these teams meet again, for real next time?

For the record: Oct. 17.

View More

Recap: Panarin & Power Play Are Electric In Rangers' Preseason Opener

by Michael Obernauer

Broadly speaking, preseason games are an opportunity for a club to try some things out, give different players a look, and generally learn about what they have heading into a season.

The Rangers' preseason opener on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden offered the rest of the League what could be an important lesson: When facing the Blueshirts, best to steer clear of the penalty box.

View More

Recap: Rangers End Season With Overtime Win in Pittsburgh

by Michael Obernauer

PITTSBURGH -- In the bigger picture, and moving forward from here, this is not how the Rangers want to end a season. They aim for more than 82 games, to play beyond this. But when the Rangers woke up on Saturday morning knowing their season would be wrapping up that evening and determined to hold nothing back in the finale of their 2018-19 campaign, this became a night on which the Rangers could not have asked for more.

It was a night that was emblematic of their season in so many ways: Twice they fell behind, and twice they fought back. They battled their way to a third-period lead, only to have to regroup after seeing it slip away.

But the final portrait of the 2018-19 season wound up being a red-white-and-blue mob scene in the corner of a rival's home rink. At the center of it was Ryan Strome, whose overtime strike catapulted the Rangers to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night and allowed them to end their season on the highest note they could aim for.

It was a season that has been all about growth on Broadway, and oftentimes the growing pains that go along with that. It ended with smiles everywhere around the Rangers' room.

View More