The New York Rangers’ goaltending situation is uncertain due to Igor Shesterkin and Jonathan Quick recovering from minor injuries, but the scheduling is working favorably for the surging club.
With five full days off before their next game, the Rangers could turn to Louis Domingue again Sunday when they host Columbus Blue Jackets.
Domingue made his season debut Thursday and provided the Rangers with ample evidence of his capabilities by making 14 of his 25 saves in the second period in a 4-1 home win over the Minnesota Wild. He was summoned from Hartford of the American Hockey League because Shesterkin missed a third straight game with minor soreness and Quick sat out because of an upper-body injury sustained Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings.
“He was in place on everything,” New York coach Peter Laviolette said. “I thought he played a heckuva game. I thought defensively we were really good in the first, and even in the third we were pretty good. But the goaltender still has to make saves.”
The Rangers did not indicate how they would approach the goaltending for Sunday’s game. Shesterkin skated on his own before practice on Saturday, a session in which Quick and Domingue both participated.
Whoever is in net Sunday hopes to benefit from another productive night from New York’s offense. The Rangers scored at least four goals for the sixth time this season Thursday as Alexis Lafreniere collected a goal and two assists to help the Rangers improve to 8-0-1 in their past nine games.
Blake Wheeler also scored but no Ranger is rolling like Artemi Panarin, whose empty-net goal and assist against the wild gave him a point in all 13 games so far. In addition to matching the longest point streak of his career, Panarin is one game shy of Hall of Fame member Rod Gilbert’s 1972-73 team record to start a season.
One of New York’s worst showings this season was a 5-3 loss in Columbus on Oct. 14 when Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner recorded a hat trick by scoring three straight goals. Columbus started with three wins in its first five games but is 1-5-3 in its past nine contests.
The Blue Jackets are mired in their second four-game winless streak of the season after taking a 5-4 loss at Detroit on Saturday afternoon. Of the past eight losses, five came by one goal.
Alexandre Texier, rookie Adam Fantilli and Sean Kuraly each scored when the Blue Jackets got three straight goals after falling behind 2-0 in the first 4:26 Saturday afternoon.
“We have to find a way to get some points,” Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski said. “There are obviously some good things we can take away from this game, but we need points in the standings.”
Perhaps the best news for Columbus was the return of Patrik Laine. Laine recorded his 200th career goal when he scored in the third period after missing the previous nine games with an upper-body injury.
New York is 7-4-0 in the last 11 meetings with Columbus.
–Field Level Media