The Rangers have had a torrent of goals recently — 26 in five games after Sunday night’s 5-2 victory over Winnipeg — but one of the more telling things about the Blueshirts occurred in the third period Sunday night.
Leading the Jets 5-2 and gassed after five games in eight nights, the Rangers buckled down and held on, blocking 14 shots, killing two penalties and defending on long shifts.
“That’s a good sign,” Henrik Lundqvist said. “We sat in here and talked about going out and playing a little bit better in the third even though we are up by a few goals. We understand how this league is very competitive . . . The amount of goals that are going in right now, obviously we appreciate that. Guys are feeling good about themselves and about their games.”
Buchnevich is flying high
Russian rookie Pavel Buchnevich, who scored his second goal in as many games on Sunday night, got a boost from his first-ever NHL goal on Saturday night in Boston.
“Right after that he’s a different player,” center Brandon Pirri said. “Now he’s smiling and dominant when he has the puck. Last couple games, I should have had a couple where he fed me right in front. Buch has all the skill, so me and Quickie [Jesper Fast] want to get it in his hands, and for me, then it’s just trying to get open.”
On his goal, Buchnevich skated past center Alex Burmistrov and cut across the crease to beat goalie Michael Hutchinson, who looked helpless.
Coach Alain Vigneault said Buchnevich’s goal Sunday night “should be on the highlights. It’s going to be up in Canada anyway. They look for goals like that.”
They’ll take the win
“I would say tonight is a good night to use ‘Never critique a win,’ ’’ Vigneault said in his postgame remarks. “In the second period, we had four chances and scored on all four. In the third period, we were just trying to defend. We’re packing it in in front of our net.”
The Rangers lead the NHL in goal differential, one of the playoff tiebreakers, at plus-26 with 55 goals for, 29 against . . . Brady Skjei had another assist and has seven in the last eight games. He is tied for first in assists among rookies with eight. “What I like about Brady’s progression is he’s skating away from the hard pressure and being able to beat the forecheck,” Vigneault said . . . Ryan McDonagh led in ice time with 25:40 and has led the team in that category in all 13 games . . . The Rangers are off on Monday and will host Vancouver on Tuesday night before a four-game road trip through Western Canada and Columbus, Ohio.