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Streaking Rangers roll past Oilers

New York Rangers center Barclay Goodrow (21) celebrates

New York Rangers center Barclay Goodrow (21) celebrates his goal against the Edmonton Oilers with teammates during the second period at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY, on Monday, Jan 03, 2022. Credit: Brad Penner

First the Rangers swept a New Year’s weekend home-and-home series against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

Then they beat two of the best players in the world, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

So things already are coming in twos in 2022 for the Blueshirts — including the two points the NHL rewards for a victory.

The latest came on Monday night at Madison Square Garden as the Rangers beat McDavid, Draisaitl and the Oilers, 4-1, to improve to 22-8-4. That is good for 48 points — tied with the Capitals for the most in the NHL.

The victory sent the Rangers off in style on a five-game road trip that begins in Las Vegas on Thursday night.

"The rink’s buzzing and guys are excited and happy," said Ryan Strome, who had a goal and two assists. "It’s a good feeling."

Strome and coach Gerard Gallant noted the Garden crowd’s added juice in Sunday’s 4-0 victory over the Lightning and Monday’s win.

Strome said it is unusual on a weeknight to have the place full in time for the national anthem, but so it was this time.

"It’s a good feeling that our team is playing well and we’re winning for them and they’re giving us a great response," he said.

Said Gallant, "The last two games have been incredible here. For me, the first part of the year was a little quiet and we saw some empty seats, but I think right now it’s just taken off.

"They believe in our team and they’re great for our team, and to hear the noise and to hear the way they’re reacting to our team, it’s a lot of fun."

The Rangers are 10-3-2 at home.

The Oilers fell to 18-13-2 and have lost 10 of their past 12, including one in overtime to the Islanders on Saturday.

While McDavid had his chances, totaling seven shots on goal, the Rangers played team defense against him and Draisaitl and kept them off the scoresheet.

Alexandar Georgiev, playing his first game since Dec. 17, was outstanding in making 33 saves. He gloved a shot by McDavid in the third period when the Oilers superstar was alone in front of the net on a power play.

The Rangers led 2-1 entering the third, then padded the lead when Chris Kreider tipped Adam Fox’s shot on a power play and the puck trickled between the legs of Mikko Koskinen.

The clincher came at 14:11 when Strome’s pass attempt went in off the skate of the Oilers’ Tyson Barrie.

Strome played with Alexis Lafreniere and Barclay Goodrow, each of whom had a goal and an assist.

The Rangers took a 1-0 lead at 5:25 of the first period behind an impressive hustle play from Strome. He

charged behind the net and took the puck from Koskinen as the goaltender tried to gain control of it.

Then he whipped the puck to Lafreniere, who was charging into the slot alone and trying to get Strome’s attention. Lafreniere fired the puck in.

The Rangers made it 2-0 at 3:49 of the second period when Lafreniere skated down the right wing and made a perfect pass to Goodrow, who beat Koskinen stick side.

The Oilers scored at 14:00 of the second period when Ryan McLeod tipped in a nifty crossing pass by Tyler Benson.

Gallant said of keeping the Oilers’ offensive stars mostly under wraps, "They’re great players. They get their scoring chances. But we did a great job tonight."

New York Sports