The Olympic break should bring an ever-so-brief pause to the Ryan Callahan rumor mill. But despite the NHL roster freeze that went into effect Friday afternoon, without the team making a move, there are still many questions facing the Rangers when they resume play on Feb. 27. “We’re progressing,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “Our intentions are getting into the playoffs. To do that, we’re going to have to continue to get better.” The Rangers finished strong with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Eastern Conference-leading Penguins on Friday night at the Consol Energy Center. Brad Richards netted the shootout winner after James Neal tied the game for the Penguins at 17:04 of the third period on a coverage breakdown by the Rangers. Callahan, Richards and Chris Kreider, the same trio of forwards on the ice for Nail Yakupov’s winner in the Oilers’ 2-1 victory Thursday night, were again at fault. Benoit Pouliot scored twice for the Rangers (32-24-3), including their second power-play goal at 8:29 of the third period to take a 3-2 lead. Both the Rangers, in second place in the Metropolitan Division, and the first-place Penguins (40-15-3), who are still 23-4-1 at home, are sending seven players to the Sochi Games. Callahan and Dan Girardi are the most high-profile of the Rangers’ impending unrestricted free agents and the Rangers have let it be known through back channels they are considering moving the franchise stalwarts if contract extensions cannot be reached by the March 5 trade deadline.
Rangers down Penguins, 4-3, in shootout
North Jersey | Feb 8