Mon, 01 Mar 2021

Rangers return favor, shut out Islanders

Field Level Media
17 Jan 2021, 12:55 GMT+10

Pavel Buchnevich had two goals and an assist, Artemi Panarin also scored twice and Alexandar Georgiev made 23 saves as the New York Rangers defeated the visiting New York Islanders 5-0 Saturday night.

Kaapo Kakko also scored for the Rangers, who avenged a 4-0 loss to the Islanders on Thursday at Madison Square Garden in the season opener.

The Rangers spoiled the debut of Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin, who stopped 27 of 32 shots. Semyon Varlamov was scheduled to make his second consecutive start in net for the Islanders, but he was hit in the left collarbone by a shot from teammate Cal Clutterbuck before the game.

That opened a spot for Sorokin, 25, who was 26-10-3 with a 1.50 goals-against average and nine shutouts in 40 games for CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League last season.

The Rangers jumped out to an early lead, just as the Islanders had Thursday.

Mika Zibanejad stole the puck from an Islanders defenseman to set up a two-on-one break, with Buchnevich sneaking the puck under Sorokin's left elbow on a shot from the left faceoff circle at 2:12 of the first.

Panarin doubled the lead at 13:46, scoring on a breakaway after taking a long lead pass from Brendan Smith.

Buchnevich converted another turnover to make it 3-0 at 5:57 of the second. Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield ran into a linesman along the boards just inside the blue line, and Buchnevich was able to skate past and corral the puck at the top of the faceoff circle. From there, he ripped a wrist shot off the post and in.

The 19-year-old Kakko made it 4-0 at 15:24 of the second off an Islanders turnover at their own blue line. Phillip Di Giuseppe found Kakko alone on the right wing, and his one-timer beat Sorokin to the near post.

Panarin capped the scoring with a power-play goal at 15:56 of the third.

The Rangers' Alexis Lefreniere, the top overall pick in the 2020 draft, didn't record a point but had a plus-two rating in 15:39 on the ice.

--Field Level Media

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