Rangers’ call-up Tim Gettinger could help fix penalty-kill problem

The Rangers broke even at five-on-five during their fruitless visit to Florida last week that produced regulation defeats in Tampa and Sunrise. But while scoring six goals at full strength against the Lightning and Panthers on Thursday and Saturday, respectively, the Blueshirts were outscored 7-0 on special (easy for you to say) teams.

And so on Monday, the Rangers drilled down on penalty-killing at practice in the wake of that unit being torched for seven goals on 10 disadvantages down south. The Rangers rank 29th in the NHL with a 72.9 percent penalty-kill efficiency after finishing 27th with 78.2 percent a year ago. The team’s shorthanded save percentage of .847 is 10th from the bottom of the league.

“Obviously we need to do a better job of understanding what our responsibilities are and have to be quicker in making decisions,” David Quinn said. “We did a walk-through clarifying what our responsibilities are.

“These last two games have been a disaster from the penalty-kill standpoint. We’ve got to be better.”

Tim Gettinger, recalled from the AHL Wolf Pack on Sunday in the corresponding move to Lias Andersson’s demotion, was working on the penalty kill. That was part of the 6-foot-6 forward’s portfolio with the Wolf Pack under coach Kris Knoblauch.

Andersson had the best goals-against ratio among the Blueshirts’ regular rotation of penalty-killing forwards, on for a goal every 8:15. Mika Zibanejad has been on for one every 7:31, Brett Howden one every 7:15, Ryan Strome one every 5:34, Jesper Fast one every 4:58 and Greg McKegg one every 4:48.

“I take a lot of pride in my defense and penalty killing,” said Gettinger, who played four games with the Rangers from Nov. 24, 2018 through Dec. 1, 2018. “PK for me is big.”

Gettinger will play the wing on the fourth line with McKegg in the middle and Brendan Smith on the other flank. The 2016 fifth-round, 141st-overall selection, had six points (two goals, four assists) in 17 games upon his promotion. He’s a no-frills guy.

“I’m just looking to come up and do here what I did [in Hartford],” Gettinger said. “Use my size, move my feet, be physical and just keep doing what got me here. I can be a net-front presence, be physical down low, taking pucks to the net and creating chaos down there.”

While perhaps helping the Rangers to minimize chaos on the penalty kill.

Zibanejad, who skated on his own before Monday’s practice, was ruled out of Wednesday’s Garden match against the Caps by Quinn. The coach said No. 93 continues to make progress from the neck/upper-body injury he suffered on Patrice Bergeron’s punishing reverse hit late in the first period Oct. 27. This will mark the 10th straight game missed by Zibanejad, who missed nine games two years ago in the wake of a concussion.

Kaapo Kakko, knocked out of both games in Florida by the flu, practiced in full but was not at full strength.

Micheal Haley cleared waivers but had not been assigned to the Wolf Pack as of Monday afternoon.