The New York Rangers made the biggest splash at the trade deadline with the addition of Patrick Kane just weeks after getting Vladimir Tarasenko.
The veteran forwards bolstered the Rangers‘ top two lines and give coach Gerard Gallant different options as he juggles them in search of the right mix. They helped the Rangers finish third in the Metropolitan Division as they look for another deep playoff run after reaching the Eastern Conference final last year.
“There’s a comfort level if they play with Mika (Zibanejad) or with (Vincent) Trocheck, I don’t think it’s a huge difference,” Gallant said. “They feel comfortable. They play with both of those guys.”
Tarasenko, acquired from St. Louis on Feb. 9, had eight goals and 13 assists in 31 games with the Rangers after totaling 10 goals and 19 assists in 39 games with the Blues. The right wing’s contributions helped the Rangers go 18-7-5 since he joined the team.
Kane came over from Chicago on Feb. 28 and finished with five goals and seven assists in 19 games with the Rangers after putting up 45 points (16 goals, 29 assists) in 54 games with the Blackhawks. All his goals with New York came during an 11-game stretch from March 9-28 in which the Rangers went 9-1-1.
“Both of us want to produce, both of us want to do well here,” Kane said. “We’re both here to try and create offense and produce.”
Here are some other players who were traded midseason and helped their teams reach the postseason:
BO HORVAT, ISLANDERS
Horvat had already matched his career high for goals with Vancouver — set last season — before he was traded to New York on Jan. 30. With the more defensive-minded Islanders, he had seven goals and nine assists in 30 games to finish with career bests in goals (38), assists (32) and points (70).
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Horvat said. “Trying to still work out some kinks in my game and get familiar with a lot of things, but I’m starting to feel more and more comfortable.”
The Islanders went 17-9-4 after the trade to take the top wild card in the Eastern Conference while playing much of the last two months without star center Mathew Barzal.
TIMO MEIER, DEVILS
Meier was one of the big prizes at the trade deadline, coming to New Jersey from San Jose as part of a deal involving 13 players and draft picks. The 26-year-old right wing had nine goals and five assists in 21 games with the Devils to finish with a career-high 40 goals and 26 assists. His 66 points matched the second highest of his career, 10 shy of his career-best set last season.
Meier was heating up down the stretch, with five goals and three points in the final eight games, as the Devils were vying for first place in the Metropolitan Division. New Jersey was 13-7-3 since the trade.
DMITRY ORLOV AND TYLER BERTUZZI, BRUINS
Orlov and Bertuzzi helped solidify a Bruins team that set league records with 65 wins and 135 points to run away with the Presidents’ Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
Orlov had four goals and 13 assists in 23 games after coming over from Washington to finish with a career-high 36 points. The 31-year-old defenseman had three goals and nine assists in his first 10 games after the trade on Feb. 23.
Bertuzzi, a 28-year-old left wing, had four goals and 12 assists in 21 games in Boston, topping the 14 points in 29 games he had with the Red Wings. The 28-year-old left wing finished the season with three goals and seven assists over his final eight games.
MATTIAS EKHOLM, OILERS
Ekholm had four goals and 10 assists in 21 games with Edmonton after being acquired from Nashville on Feb. 28. The 32-year-old defenseman helped the Oilers finish 18-2-1 to end up two points behind first-place Vegas in the Pacific Division. His addition helped stabilize Edmonton, which had lost six of eight before the trade.
JONATHAN QUICK, GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Quick joined Vegas at the trade deadline, just days after he was dealt by Los Angeles to Columbus after going 11-13-4 with one shutout and a 3.50 goals-against average with the Kings. He went 5-2-2 with a shutout, 3.13 GAA and .901 save-percentage in 10 games with the Golden Knights, filling a void for a team that was hit hard by injuries to their goalies.
HONORABLE MENTION: Anthony Beauvillier, acquired by Vancouver in the deal that sent Horvat to the Islanders, finished with nine goals and 11 assists in 33 games with a Canucks team that missed the playoffs for the eighth time in the last 10 years. Beauvillier matched his output in 49 games with the Islanders this season, and his 40 points were a career high.
AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno contributed to this report.
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