Rangers on verge of deal for Patrick Kane with pieces in place

WASHINGTON — Everything is falling into place for the Rangers, who on Saturday took the necessary preliminary steps to clear enough cap space to accommodate the acquisition of Patrick Kane by waiving Jake Leschishin and trading Vitaly Kravtsov to Vancouver for spares.

The savings through those two maneuvers will allow the Blueshirts to add Kane to the roster before their game Wednesday in Philadelphia, per CapFriendly, though they will have to do without Kane on Sunday when the Kings visit the Garden for an early evening start.

Indeed, it appears the Blueshirts will have to play a shortstop against Los Angeles in the wake of Ryan Lindgren’s left shoulder injury suffered Saturday. Lindgren was injured in the first period of Rangers’ 6-3 loss to the Kefalonians and had his arm in a sling as the club returned home.

Kane left the Blackhawks’ road trip to California to return home to Chicago, either to engage in some final soul-searching before officially waiving his no-movement clause or to pack up for a four-month stint in New York.

Rangers general manager Chris Drury still has the responsibility of identifying a third-team pipeline to take on a quarter of Kane’s $10.5 million cap hit after helping the Blackhawks stay. He still needs to complete the trade with Chicago in an environment in which Kane and the Rangers appear to have significant leverage, but the Blackhawks still need to get the deal done without feeling taken advantage of.

Jacob Trouba falls to the ice during the Rangers' 6-3 loss to the Capitals.
Jacob Trouba falls to the ice during the Rangers’ 6-3 loss to the Capitals.
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But the trade seems more than just on track. It seems inevitable. More than 15 months after Kane was first linked with Rangers this time around, it looks like it’s only a matter of days before he slips into the shirt.

If it is until Wednesday, manager Gerard Gallant will have 22 games in which to work Kane into the lineup. Vladimir Tarasenko is finding it hard to get along with his team-mates after eight games with the club following his initial signing on February 10 from the Blues.

Off the ice, the deal is on track, but on the ice, the Rangers are crumbling, a third straight uninspired and undisciplined performance resulting in a third straight loss in regulation and fourth straight loss overall (0-3-1) after seven – The winning streak that apparently lulled everyone into thinking that everything was going to come easy.

“I think after this streak we feel like we can just show up and win games,” said Chris Kreider, who scored a third-period power-play goal to open the game but played as poorly as anyone. “We play tenacious hockey.

Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane

“Playing against a team that played 1-3-1, we refused to play simple hockey and just lay it down and force the defense to turn and recover the box. It starts with the veterans. It starts with me, I’m not someone who should be handling the puck in the neutral zone. It’s up to me to enter it. I didn’t do it enough.”

The Rangers were sloppy with and without the puck, causing a huge number of lone steps and breakaways. Goaltender Igor Shesterkin was ejected after allowing five goals on 22 shots in 40:00, which included four goals on 14 shots in the second period when the Capitals, who had lost seven runs while being outscored 24-10, went 5-1 head Start.

However, Shesterkin may have been his team’s best player. Thus it became a disorganized and delinquent effort. All that was missing was Jacob Truba throwing his helmet to the Rangers bench.

“Everybody hears the buzz going around, but it happens in one form or another every year. That can’t be an excuse for that. The players have a responsibility to play,” Troumba told The Post. “We have to be ready.

“Perhaps the goals were coming a bit easily during our winning run and we got the idea that it would. But it’s not easy. And we give up too many Grade A looks against. We’ve been around for a while. “We’ve been getting away with it during this run,” the captain said, “but it’s not a sustainable way to play. It’s not a sustainable way to win.”

The Blueshirts lost Lindgren at 8:11 of the first period after he was smashed hard against the wall by TJ Oshie on a check that Gallant deemed “a bad hit … dirty.” Ben Harpur, dressed as the seventh defenseman, took a regular turn, finishing with 15:50 of ice time.

The defense wasn’t particularly strong, but backtracking and backchecking were non-existent. The Rangers, who are in the midst of their second four-game losing streak (0-2-2 from Oct. 20-26) and second three-game losing streak (Nov. 23-28) of the season, are off the hook. .

This is understandable if one of them is at home in Chicago.

Hurry up, Wednesday, hurry up.