If there was one bummer for the Rangers in Friday’s 4-1 win over the Islanders, it was that Adam Fox saw his point streak end at 12 games.
Fox had owned the longest active scoring streak in the NHL. It was the longest by a Rangers defenseman since Brian Leetch had a point in 14 straight games in 1996-97. The Jericho native still is tied with Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman for the lead in scoring among defensemen with 37 points.
Kravtsov on fourth line
Rangers coach David Quinn said before the game that he hadn’t decided whether to move rookie Vitali Kravtsov from the fourth line to the second line with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome. Ultimately, Quinn decided to stick with Colin Blackwell on the right wing of the Panarin-Strome line for the third straight game, and the decision paid off when Blackwell scored his 12th goal to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead at 10:01 of the second period.
Blackwell played 17:20 and Kravtsov played 12:12 on the fourth line, with Kevin Rooney and Brett Howden. But Kravtsov generated some scoring chances and drew praise from Quinn.
"As the game went on, he made some great plays in that third period,’’ he said. "I thought he was going to get his first goal. But boy, I certainly like his work ethic and skill. He’s made an impact.’’
Quinn kept the same lineup as he used Thursday, which meant that forward Julien Gauthier missed his third straight game and Phillip DiGiuseppe missed his second straight. It also meant Howden, who returned to the lineup Thursday after a stint on the team’s COVID-19 list, remained in the lineup in the second night of a back-to-back. Howden played 12:09 and had two shots on goal.