Those well-timed victories may also help starting goalie Henrik Lundqvist get a rest.
Lundqvist has started 36 out of 41 games this season, including the last seven. The last time backup Martin Biron got the nod was March 30.
The Rangers have seven games left, with ninth-place Winnipeg still nipping at their heels.
Head coach John Tortorella said Monday he expects Biron will see some action down the stretch; he’s just not sure how much.
“You go into the season thinking about trying to keep [Lundqvist] fresh, but when you struggle and you’re as inconsistent as we are, you need to use him in some spots where maybe you’re gonna go with [Biron],” Tortorella said, per the Daily News. “And that certainly isn’t a negative with Marty, but Hank is our number one guy. So for the rest of the year as we progress, we’ll see where we’re at, and we’ll go from there.”
Lundqvist — a candidate to win his second straight Vezina Trophy — will reportedly start again Tuesday in Philadelphia. The 31-year-old is 19-14-3 with a .928 save percentage.
The Rangers return home to play Florida on Thursday, which could present Biron a chance to get back between the pipes.
Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp
It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.
Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.
Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.
The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension
The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.
It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.
Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.