NHL Rink Wrap: Rangers top standings (by points) after beating Oilers

NHL Rink Wrap: Rangers top standings (by points) after beating Oilers
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Top player from Rangers vs. Oilers

Alexandar Georgiev, Rangers

Plenty of people will focus on these tough times for the Oilers, which the Rangers added to during the only NHL game on Monday. No doubt, Mikko Koskinen‘s gaffe to allow the Rangers’ first goal will draw a lot of attention.

But don’t ignore how great Alexandar Georgiev was in helping the Rangers hold off (then pull away from) the Oilers. Georgiev made 33 out of 34 saves, including stopping a Leon Draisaitl to Connor McDavid chance that got Madison Square Garden rocking.

Sure, you can argue that McDavid maybe didn’t get all of that. Still quite a stop. Most of all, the reaction from the crowd really brought it to another level.

It wasn’t the only chance McDavid had either, as he fired seven shots on goal, and fed teammates for some Grade-A opportunities as well. Rangers – Oilers was closer than the 4-1 New York win would indicate, and Georgiev was a big reason why.

Although Georgiev took the cake, the Rangers provided honorable mentions. Ryan Strome enjoyed a strong night, scoring a goal and two assists. Adam Fox collected two assists, while both Alexis Lafrenière and Barclay Goodrow both scored a goal and an assist.

Rangers – Oilers highlights

Watch the Rangers beat the Oilers 4-1 in these highlights:

Monday NHL takeaways

Senators game postponed; Auston Matthews tests positive for COVID

Catch up on the NHL COVID news from Monday in this post.

NHL Power Rankings; A look at Kraken’s troubles

In case you missed some Monday NHL content from PHT, read up with the latest Power Rankings and also a breakdown of the Kraken’s bumpy first season, both by Adam Gretz.

After beating Oilers, Rangers sit atop NHL standings — at least by points

Apply heavy caveats here. But, yes, at the end of Monday, the Rangers sat atop the NHL standings — at least by sheer points — by reaching 48 points (they hold the tiebreaker edge over the Capitals, also at 48).

Naturally, with COVID disrupting an NHL schedule that already lends itself to games played disparities, that’s misleading. In their division alone, the Rangers (48 points in 34 games) are unlikely to hold off the Hurricanes (47 points in 31 GP).

Even so, the Rangers sure feel ahead of schedule, don’t they? (Or they went from lagging a bit to meeting expectations?) This is a team with plenty of weapons, and against a flawed Oilers team with some of the deadliest weapons in the game, the Rangers looked very promising.

Still coming to grips with it being 2022? Catch up on ‘last year’ with PHT

The gang over here at PHT hit the high and low notes of 2021. As much as the league wants fewer interruptions in 2022, here’s hoping that, most of all, people stay as safe as possible.

Tuesday’s big story

Golden Knights – Predators a test of two hot teams with very different expectations

If someone told you that the Predators would head into early 2022 with just about the same points percentage (.636) as the Golden Knights (.643), how would you feel? Would you assume something went wrong for Vegas?

While the Golden Knights certainly haven’t enjoyed the greatest injury luck this season, they’re more or less positioned as expected. With games in hand, the Flames have a strong chance to grab the Pacific Division title from Vegas. Still, though, this feels a bit like business as usual.

The same can’t be said of the Predators, who seemed to enter 2021-22 in an existential crisis.

Instead, they enter the calendar year of 2022 on a roll. That’s what could make Tuesday’s game especially fun, as the Predators are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, and the Golden Knights are almost as hot (7-2-1).

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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