Michael Grabner continued his torrid start to the season, scoring two goals, and Antti Raanta made 38 saves to remain undefeated, as the Rangers beat the Oilers, 3-1, Sunday night in Edmonton.
The Blueshirts have won two in a row, 7 of their last 8 games , and 10 of 12.
The team was shorthanded for the game; both Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich missed the game with injuries. Alain Vigneault suited up 11 forwards and 7 defensemen, though Adam Clendening did not see any action.
Grabner’s two goals gave him ten goals on the season, tops on the team, and already more than the nine goals he scored in 80 games with Toronto in 2015-16. [His career high, BTW, is 34, with the Islanders in 2011-12].
Grabner got the Rangers on the board just 1:20 into the game, taking the rebound of a Kevin Klein shot and putting the puck past former Rangers net minder Cam Talbot to make it 1-0.
The Blueshirts made it 2-0 at 13:18 of the 1st with an extra attacker on the ice before a delayed penalty was called; Kevin Hayes‘ shot appeared to deflect off Dan Girardi‘s skate and in for the goal. It was Girardi’s 3rd goal of the season.
Edmonton’s Andrej Sekera scored, off a nice pass from Connor McDavid, to make it 2-1 at 18:45 of the 1st period.
Grabner scored again in the 2nd period, poke-checking the puck away from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and then skating in and beating Talbot to make it 3-1. The goal was reviewed because the net was knocked off its moorings, but was declared a good goal.
Then Raanta and the New York defense took over. Raanta made 14 saves in the 2nd period and another 12 in the 3rd period. And the Rangers’ defense blocked 22 shots on the night.
Raanta is now 4-0-0 on the season.
The Rangers (now 12-4-0, 24 pts] continue their West Coast road trip Tuesday night in Vancouver against the Canucks. The Canucks beat the Blueshirts 5-3 last Tuesday at The Garden.