The New York Rangers faced the New York Islanders in an exhibition game before the start of the NHL playoffs.
The final score was 2-1 in favor of the Islanders. The one Rangers goal came from Filip Chytil with an assist by Jesper Fast.
Chytil and Kappo Kakko both played great. The two players stood out the most with how hard they played. Kakko especially, after being sent home to Sweden, you can tell he wasn’t as hesitant to shoot and played a lot stronger than usual.
Both Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad did not stand out on the other hand, while they didn’t play bad their play was just different.
Defenseman Marc Staal left the game with an injury, which allowed Libor Hajek to get some ice time. There were no other announcements made on the injury, but it is expected that Staal will play in the first game against Carolina.
The overall takeaway from this game was to see how much of the paused season affected the Rangers. The team didn’t look horrible and that’s what matters.
While seeing a win would have been nice, it wasn’t needed.
The game started off slow, but eventually picked up the pace once the Islanders scored. It was an overall good matchup for each team. Fans shouldn’t have expected an exciting game, this was definitely more of practice for both teams.
Having not played since March I can imagine how hard it must have been to suddenly go back to playing. This game allowed the players to fix any mistakes now so that in time for playoffs they can be at their best.
The first game against the Hurricanes is August 1st at 12 p.m.
There has been no official announcement on who the starting goalie will be. The series will be a best of five.
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