Hayes keeps Rangers’ offensive machine humming vs. Oilers

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Hey, did you hear that Kevin Hayes lost 20 lbs. during the off-season?

It’s unclear if a lighter version of that power forward is the real difference right now, but either way, Hayes and the New York Rangers’ offense is just on another level as of late.

From Cam Talbot to Connor McDavid, the Edmonton Oilers enjoyed some great moments on Thursday night, but it wasn’t enough against the rumbling Rangers. New York won 5-3 in a scintillating contest.

The Rangers won a third straight game and managed their sixth win in seven contests. During this three-game winning streak, New York generated a lofty 16-4 goal differential.

And, again, Hayes has been in the thick of things for a guy who lost all that weight. Consider his work during this three-game winning streak:

Tonight: one goal, two assists, nice overall stats including +2
Nov.1 against Blues: one goal, +1
Oct. 30 against Lightning: three assists, +4

Wow.

That’s impressive work for Hayes, a guy who occasionally found himself in Alain Vigneault’s doghouse last season.

The beauty of the situation for the Rangers is that they aren’t counting on Hayes do this every night. Their remarkably deep group of forwards means that they can ride hot hands from night to night, especially if key figures can stay healthy.

It’s the sort of luxury that can take that Big Apple limelight away from Connor McDavid, Cam Talbot and other standouts from Edmonton.