Home Sweet Home? Not quite yet.
The Blueshirts are 1-3-1 at Madison Square Garden after Tuesday night’s 5-4 overtime loss to Pittsburgh. The Rangers play their next four games on Seventh Avenue.
During coach Alain Vigneault’s first four seasons, the Blueshirts were 93-54-17 at the Garden, an average of 23 wins per season.
But last season — and his first year in New York — were disappointing bookends to that overall record. In 2013-14, the Blueshirts were 20-17-4. Last season, the record was 21-16-4. Impressive road records helped them into the playoffs, and that may be what this year’s edition will need.
Cracknell centers fourth line
Adam Cracknell, claimed off waivers from Dallas on Oct. 9, centered a fourth line of Michael Grabner and Pavel Buchnevich. Cracknell, 32, played 69 games last season, Vigneault said Cracknell, who was on the wing for his first two games as a Ranger, told him he played in the middle more than half the time. He was 135 for 295 in faceoffs, a 45.8 winning percentage for the Stars.
Buchnevich and J.T. Miller scored power-play goals on a double minor penalty with Penguins center Sidney Crosby in the box for high-sticking Jimmy Vesey and drawing blood in the second period. It was the first time the Rangers did so since Feb. 17, 2016 against the Chicago Blackhawks . . . Buchnevich’s goal was his first of the season. David Desharnais picked up his first goal as a Blueshirt at 6:02 of the second . . . With his goal at the 43-second mark of the first period, Phil Kessel extended his point streak against the Rangers to seven games. He added an assist in the second . . . Defensemen Nick Holden and Steven Kampfer and forward Paul Carey were healthy scratches. The Rangers are one of only four NHL teams without a player on injured reserve.