Rangers News & Rumors: Kreider, Motte, Kakko & More

Chris Kreider continues his career-best season by hitting the 50-goal mark. Tyler Motte went down in his ninth game for the New York Rangers with a “significant” upper-body injury. Kaapo Kakko got on the score sheet for the first time since being back from his injury and more.

Kreider Hits 50 Goals

Kreider scored his 50th goal in the Rangers’ 4-2 loss to the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night. He scored at 18:22 of the third period to bring the Rangers within one before the Hurricanes added an empty-net goal to finish the game. The goal made Kreider the fourth 50-goal scorer in Rangers’ history. Vid Hadfield, Adam Graves and Jaromir Jagr are the others.

Chris Kreider New York Rangers
Chris Kreider, New York Rangers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The Rangers’ power forward had this to say after the game, “I could feel guys looking for me and they play very tight man to man,” Kreider said. “I was telling Mika [Zibanejad] I felt like a shooting guard a lot of the night trying to work my way around picks and get open, but that’s how they play defense. It’s better for the whole team now that we can just go back to playing hockey and taking what the other team gives us. We’ve got some absolutely incredible people in that room who were pulling for me and that means the world to me, but put it behind us and everyone can go back to shooting the puck and I can go back to screening the goalie.”

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Kreiders’ goal was assisted by Andrew Copp and Ryan Strome off of a rebound while Igor Shesterkin was pulled for the extra attacker. Head coach Gerard Gallant had this to say about the goal, “I think it’s awesome he scored 50 goals,” Gallant said. “That’s huge. It’s great to see. That’s a great feat. He’s had a great season for us. It’s too bad we had to lose when a guy scores his 50th, but hats off to him. It’s a phenomenal season.” Half of Kreider’s goals are his franchise-record 25 power-play snipes. He’s also got a franchise record of 10 game-winning goals.

Motte Out Indefinitely

Motte, who was acquired by Rangers president and general manager Chris Drury from the Vancouver Canucks near the trade deadline, suffered what the team called a “significant” upper-body injury. Gallant said he won’t miss the rest of the season but it’s uncertain when he’ll return. The Rangers head coach also said, “I thought actually [Thursday] night it was a blow to the head, but it was the back part of the shoulder that got him,” Gallant said. “I don’t think it was as bad as I thought originally, but still, I didn’t like it. … He knew Motte didn’t see him.” about the hit. From (from ‘Tyler Motte out with ‘significant’ injury as Kaapo Kakko nears Rangers return’, New York Post, 4/8/22).

Tyler Motte New York Rangers
Tyler Motte, New York Rangers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Motte has yet to register a point with the Blueshirts but he’s provided much-needed depth and a solid 200-foot game since arriving. He’ll come in handy for their playoff run when he returns.

Kakko Gets 2, Georgiev Gets Shutout Win

After a lengthy stay on injured reserve, Kakko netted two goals in his third game back. He scored the first two for the Rangers in their 4-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday night. He has seven goals and nine assists in 40 games thus far. Alexander Georgiev notched his sixth win in a row with a shutout victory. That’s his second shutout of the season and 13th win. Georgiev provided rest for Shesterkin after Tuesday’s loss to the Hurricanes.