New York's offensive woes continue

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Corey Abbott
·3 min read
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The Rangers were missing a large chunk of the team’s offense on Friday night due to the absence of Artemi Panarin. He leads the team in goals (five), assists (10), points (15) and shots (39) this season. Panarin is day-to-day due to a lower-body injury,

It’s been a tough start to the year for Mika Zibanejad, who has one goal and two assists through 13 contests. It’s reasonable to wonder if he’s still trying to get back on track following his bout with COVID-19. Zibanejad was also banged up Jan. 19 against New Jersey, but he played through it and needs to break through. He was a star for the Rangers last year, while racking up 41 goals and 75 points in 57 matches.

Zibanejad isn't alone in his struggles, as Kaapo Kakko still hasn’t taken the next step and Alexis Lafreniere has had difficulty producing in his rookie year. Ryan Strome and Chris Kreider have experienced offensive shortages as well.

New York ranks 26th in the league in goals for per game played (2.38) despite sitting eighth in shots for per game played (31.5), seventh in scoring chances for during five-on-five situations and seventh in high-danger scoring chances for at five-on-five.

Simply put, the Rangers need to start taking advantage of their opportunities. The team hasn’t been scoring much at even strength and the power play has been abysmal while going six-for-52 through 13 games. Only three teams are worse on the man advantage than the Rangers.

Getting Panarin back in the lineup would certainly help, but it’s time for other players on the team to start stepping up and generating some points.

Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out Rotoworld's Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_ HK and @CoreAbbott on Twitter.

BOSTON 1 NEW YORK RANGERS 0

The Bruins have won five straight games to open February, including the past two games versus the Rangers. Boston currently sits at the top of the East Division with a 10-1-2 record.

Jaroslav Halak got the nod for the Bruins in the first half of the team’s back-to-back situation and he stopped all 21 shots he faced. He has won his past four starts to give him a mark of 4-0-1 on the year with a 1.38 goals-against average and .938 save percentage.

Nick Ritchie scored the only goal of the match. His fifth of the season was assisted by David Krejci and Jeremy Lauzon.

Lauzon also earned 15 minutes in penalties after dropping the gloves with Pavel Buchnevich and being assessed a misconduct.

Jacob Trouba had a game-high seven hits.

Igor Shesterkin stopped 29 of 30 shots, but came away with the loss.

Boston is back in action on Saturday versus the New York Islanders.

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ST. LOUIS 4 ARIZONA 1

The Blues-Coyotes series continued in a fifth straight game on Friday. Game postponements and rescheduling have created a string of seven consecutive contests versus the two teams. Arizona has won three of the games so far.

Justin Faulk was the star of Friday’s matchup with a three-point performance. He opened the scoring in the first period with a power-play goal. Faulk also provided the game winner at the 13:05 mark of the third period.

St. Louis added two empty-netters thanks to goals by Ivan Barbashev and Brayden Schenn. Faulk and Schenn assisted on Barbashev’s first goal of the year.

David Perron, Mike Hoffman, Jordan Kyrou, Carl Gunnarsson, Jordan Oesterle and Barrett Hayton earned one helper apiece in the contest.

Darcy Kuemper blocked 23 of 25 shots in the defeat, while Jordan Binnington stopped 24 shots to end his two-game winless (0-1-1) winless skid.

The Blues and Coyotes will meet again on Saturday night.