The New York Rangers haven’t been the best team when it comes to five-on-five play this year. Luckily for them, their power play is producing at an unseen level. The Rangers’ power play hasn’t been this good in the last five years. The power play propelled them to a big 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night.
If Alain Vigneault deserves credit for anything, it is for making the Rangers power play a threat. It is not the power play that the Washington Capitals have, but it makes opposing teams pay for taking penalties. The Rangers are 8-for-23 on the power play over their last five games. They rank ninth in the NHL in power play percentage and are finding incredible balance.
You could make the argument that the Rangers’ second power play unit is just as good as the first. With Brad Richards and Michael Del Zotto or Ryan McDonagh anchoring the point, Benoit Pouliot, Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello have been working magic on the power play.
Pouliot has recorded a point in seven straight games, a career-high for him. The first unit of Rick Nash, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider is effective as well.
This is a great sign for the Rangers. It has been a long time since this team has put fear into the opposing teams’ hearts when they take penalties. The Lighting only took three penalties, but the Rangers converted on all three. When a team is struggling to score in five-on-five play, it is great to have a power play that can produce.
Don’t look now, but the Rangers have won three of their last four games. They are playing with confidence and even Henrik Lundqvist played a fine game on Sunday. But the real story was the Rangers’ power play. If their power play can continue this production, the Rangers can start stringing some wins together.