The New York Rangers rallied back from a 3-1 deficit on Monday behind two goals from Rick Nash, but it wasn’t enough for them to get a much-needed win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The New York Islanders got a win on Tuesday, pushing the Rangers to eighth in the Eastern Conference standings and dangerously close to slipping further. With a rematch with the Maple Leafs on tap for Wednesday night, the Rangers need to come out strong offensively while not putting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist in a bind like they did on Monday.
Nash has once again found a groove for the Rangers, and has five goals in the last five games. Derek Stepan had the other Rangers goal on Monday and is now second on the team in scoring, but the time has come for other Rangers players to step up. Ryan Callahan has two goals in the last five games after going eight games without a goal, and Brad Richards got his sixth goal of the season in Saturday’s win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Rangers rank 23rd in the league in scoring, and are 20th in power play scoring – two marks that need to improve if they hope to hang on to a playoff spot. After the game with the Maple Leafs, the Rangers face a game with potential for a four-point swing in the standings when they visit the Islanders on Saturday.
The Rangers have failed to score on the power play in their last four losses, and need to start taking advantage of their chances with the man-advantage over the next stretch of games. That will be no easy task, as two of their next three opponents rank in the top six in the league in penalty kill percentage.