NHL roundup: Rangers cruise into first overall, Oilers coach brutal assessment, and Talbot out indefinitely

Jan 3, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) celebrate the 4-1 win with New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) against the Edmonton Oilers after the game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL had one game on the docket thanks to two postponements.

Last night saw the New York Rangers beat the Edmonton Oilers to claim first overall in league by virtue of their 22 wins. Both they and the Washington Capitals have 48 points and sit atop the Metro Division and League standings.

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Rangers 4, Oilers 1

Ryan Strome collected a goal and two assists and Alexandar Georgiev made 33 saves to lift the host New York Rangers to a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

“The last few nights have been just a really good team effort all around top to bottom, ‘D,’ forwards, goalies,” Strome said about the team’s recent play. “It’s been nice to see. I think maybe the [holiday] break did us well. The rink is buzzing. Guys are excited and happy. It’s a good feeling.”

Alexis Lafreniere and Barclay Goodrow each scored and set up a goal and Chris Kreider also tallied to propel New York to its third win in a row. Defenseman Adam Fox notched two assists for the Rangers, who blocked 22 shots on their way to avenging a 6-5 overtime loss in Edmonton on Nov. 5.

Ryan McLeod scored in the second period for the Oilers, who have dropped four in a row (0-2-2) and 10 of their last 12 games (2-8-2).

Dave Tippet’s brutal assessment

Mikko Koskinen turned aside 24 shots en route to losing his sixth straight start (0-5-1). It was an unforced error in the first period that put a struggling team early when he was beaten to a puck by Strome. It led to an easy goal for Alexis Lafrenière and sent the Rangers rolling.

After the game, head coach Dave Tippet, who may be on the hot seat had a brutal assessment of his goalie.

“Our goaltender wasn’t very good, and we didn’t find enough pucks at the net to get us back in the game,” Tippet said. “It’s a brutal mistake. What are you going to do? Call it what it is. We’re playing well. It’s a brutal mistake.”

When asked about his team’s lack of scoring he simply added, “trying to (generate chances, but obviously not.”

Cam Talbot out indefinitely

Jan 1, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild goalie Cam Talbot (33) makes a save against St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly (90) in the first period of the 2022 Winter Classic ice hockey game between the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Goalie Cam Talbot stopped 22 shots through two periods before being replaced by Kaapo Kahkonen for the third period at the Winter Classic.

“It wasn’t precautionary,” Wild coach Dean Evason said after the game. “We wouldn’t have taken him out of that hockey game. He’s a battler. He’s a competitive guy. We don’t take him out of that game because he’s still going to give us a chance to come back.”

Yesterday, the team announced Talbot would be out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

“I don’t know,” Evason said about Talbot’s recovery time. “[He won’t be practicing] tomorrow, that’s for sure. He’s not going to play in Boston.”

Talbot, 34, is 15-8-1 on the year with a 3.00 GAA and a .909 SV%.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report