Forward Vitali Kravtsov played in his second consecutive game and scored his first goal of the season Friday night in the Rangers’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden. Kravtsov returned to the lineup Wednesday night in Ottawa after missing the previous eight games.
Kravtsov, who played 12:22 Friday and had five shots on goal, wasn’t particularly delighted that he had scored.
“To be fair, I’m still not happy with my game,’’ he said through an interpreter. “You know, goals, they come and go. The main goal is to keep winning games . . . not focusing on scoring points.’’
Coach Gerard Gallant liked what he saw from Kravtsov on Wednesday enough to promote the 22-year-old rookie from the third line to the second line, with Artemi Panarin and Filip Chytil.
“Kravy played really good last game,’’ Gallant said. “So we’ve got to give him some opportunities. And he got through the game healthy, and that was a big thing.’’
Rangers captain Jacob Trouba fought Senators captain Brady Tkachuk in a real heavyweight encounter at center ice with 5:02 remaining in the second period. There wasn’t any apparent incident that led to the fight, just two guys who, after the play, squared off, dropped their gloves and went at it old-school-style.
The Rangers’ Barclay Goodrow then fought Ottawa’s Austin Watson at 17:48 of the period.
Gallant said the fights did give the Rangers a little boost.
“Yeah, that was one spark,’’ he said. “[Trouba] and Goody had to spark something up, because we were pretty flat before that. And that was pretty frustrating for the group, and it’s too bad you have to have a couple of fights to get your team motivated and playing hard.’’