Filip Chytil, Alexandar Georgiev lead Rangers to a rare win over rival Islanders
This is how hot the Rangers are running right now: They even beat the Islanders.
Filip Chytil scored 29 seconds into the game — becoming the first Rangers teenager to score a goal in five consecutive games — and the Rangers never looked back, ending their recent futility against their rivals in emphatic fashion with a 5-0 win Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
“I think when you lose so often to someone you’re going to win one, eventually,’’ Rangers coach David Quinn said. “I think the odds just were in our favor. And, I think, usually, when you do break through and win a game, it usually happens like that.
“That’s a good hockey team,’’ he said about the Islanders. “We were very opportunistic tonight, for sure. I thought they had some ‘Grade A’ [scoring chances] where they missed the net. It could have been a different game. I’m certainly not ignorant to that. We’ll take it, that’s for sure.’’
The Rangers have played well in the month of November (7-1-1), but they entered Wednesday with a 1-10-2 record against the Islanders in their last 13 games, dating to the 2015-16 season.
“They’ve had our number, no doubt,’’ defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (two assists) said of the Islanders. “I think that’s huge for us, as a confidence-builder, going forward, and just getting over that hump. But really, I think we need to realize that if we play like that night in and night out, we’re going to beat a lot of teams.’’
The Rangers cruised to their third straight win, and their ninth in 11 games (9-1-1). With the victory, the Rangers — 12-8-2 overall for 26 points — moved into a tie for first place in the Metropolitan Division with the idle Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Islanders had topped the Rangers, 7-5, in the teams’ last meeting last Thursday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. But on the game’s first shift Wednesday, Chytil tried to pass the puck to Chris Kreider and Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock dropped down and blocked the pass. As goalie Robin Lehner came off the post tracking the initial pass, the puck came right back to Chytil, who whipped it inside the near post to give the Rangers the lead 29 seconds into the game.
“I think that was luck,’’ said Chytil, who is 19. “I tried to pass to [Kreider] on the back door, for an empty net, and it came back to me, and I had an empty net. That was something special, to score a goal after 29 seconds, and five in a row.’’
Chytil now sits one game short of the NHL record of consecutive games with a goal by a teenager.
Enforcer Cody McLeod then tipped in a shot from Tony DeAngelo for his first goal of the season to make it 2-0 at 3:30 of the period, and Neal Pionk scored on a power play to make it 3-0 at 8:04. Kevin Hayes scored in the second period to make it 4-0 and Kreider netted his 12th goal of the season, with 3:41 remaining in the third to close the scoresheet.
McLeod left the game after a second-period fight with Ross Johnston. The Rangers said he suffered a hand injury.
Georgiev, who played the third period of last Thursday’s game and took the loss after allowing Leo Komarov’s goal that put the Isles up 6-3 got the start in net for the Rangers and improved his record to 4-2-0 on the season.
“It was a great time to get a shutout — a big win for the boys against our rival team,’’ he said. “I’m very happy and thankful for the team, they played great defense today. They jumped out, straight from the gate and got the lead. It was so much easier to play when we were leading 3-0. They played amazing. I think they deserved to win 5-0 today.’’
Georgiev was asked at what point he started to think about possibly getting the shutout.
"I tried to push this thought away, as much as possible,’’ he said. “I tried to keep focused. Because it’s a 60-minute game, at least.’’