EDMONTON, Alberta – The Oilers lost face before the 2023-24 season even started, and the Rangers simply walked over them.
Edmonton was without Connor McDavid for the second straight game due to the star center’s upper-body injury and looked a shell of his former self through the first seven games. The Rangers took full advantage in a 3-0 win Thursday night at Rogers Place .
Even though the Oilers’ self-inflicted errors and confusing periods played a role in the game’s outcome, the Rangers showed the type of performance that wins games no matter who the opponent is at the other end of the ice.
They dictated the tempo in all three zones.
Both strikers and defenders were aggressive on offense.
And backup goaltender Jonathan Quick was impenetrable with a 29-save performance in his first shutout in a Rangers jersey.
The Rangers had offense and power play throughout the lineup, scoring in all but one of the first seven games this season.
There wasn’t much action in a scoreless opening game.
The Rangers didn’t give the Oilers much leeway back then, and that remained the case for most of the evening.
What they asked Quick did in his second start with the Rangers.
The Oilers were then booed from home ice at the end of the second and third periods.
It was a one-time shot off Adam Fox’s stick during the power play that got the Rangers on the board in the second period.
The top man advantage unit returns to its automatic behavior, holding the attacking zone with ease and working it until the perfect scoring opportunity arises.
The goal marked Fox’s sixth power play point of the season, tied for the NHL lead with Shayne Gostisbehere of the Red Wings.
The Rangers, whose defensive stickwork gave the Oilers problems all night, applied the intense pressure in the offensive zone that head coach Peter Laviolette had called for before the game.
That led to Braden Schneider’s first goal of the season and the eighth of his career after the young defenseman converted a shot from a high position past Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner at midfield for a 2-0 lead.
We really liked the newly formed second cast, which includes Artemi Panarin, Filip Chytil and Alexis Lafreniere.
Not only have they consistently moved the game forward this season, but their creativity with the puck has proven to be so difficult to defend.
Lafreniere, who had one of the strongest starts of his Rangers tenure, extended his scoring streak to three games with a quick one-timer to cap the team’s three-goal streak.
It is the first time in his career that Lafreniere has scored three games in a row.
This season could be the season of many firsts for the 2020 first overall pick.
The Rangers, now 3-0 on this West Coast road trip, weren’t happy with their overall performance in their 3-1 win in Calgary on Tuesday.
This is just a testament to the high expectations this team has for itself.
The fact is that in all five wins this season, the Rangers have kept an opponent away with one goal or no goals at all.
Fighting opponent or not, this stat says something about him.