Kaapo Kakko scores twice but Rangers fall to Bruins 5-4

The New York Rangers and Boston Bruins went at it right out of the gate on Wednesday night. Both teams exchanged goals within the first few minutes of the contest and pace didn’t let up.

That drama actually started before the puck was even dropped. Jaroslav Halak was announced as the starting goalie despite Igor Shesterkin leading the team out for warm ups. Turns out the reason for the late change was a “stomach issue.”

Recap: Bruins 5 vs Rangers 4

kaapo kakko injury
Nov 16, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

1ST PERIOD

It took all of 27 seconds for the Rangers to get on the board thanks to a tap in goal by Mika Zibanejad. He finished a nice cross-crease pass by Chris Kreider for the early lead. Jacob Trouba recorded the secondary assist.

Maybe Halak wasn’t mentally ready for the game being a replacement starter for Shesterkin, because he allowed one two minutes later to Jake DeBrusk to tie the game. It looked like Halak didn’t see the puck come back out in front, but he wasn’t alone as his defense wasn’t set for the reversal by Marc McLaughlin.

Halak settled down nicely after that and then the Kid Line went to work. Filip Chytil drew a holding penalty on the Bruins Dan Renouf for the team’s first power play.

On the ensuing man advantage, Zac Jones made a nice defensive play on an odd-man rush to help turn it back the other way. The Rangers were able to set up with Vincent Trocheck getting the puck over to Jones, who acted as the quarterback. He wisely took a wrist shot at the middle of the net where Mika tipped it for his second of the game with 1:52 remaining.

With 45 ticks on the clock, Kaapo Kakko stole a puck and moved it quickly to PTO defenseman Matt Bartkowski who gave it back for a breakaway. The Rangers second overall pick of the 2019 draft put on a series a dekes that completely fooled Jeremy Swayman on the backhand.

By the time the first period was up the Bruins outshot the Rangers 14-12, but New York had a the 3-1 lead.

2ND PERIOD

The middle frame was a bit of a role reversal when Pavel Zacha intercepted a dangerous pass by K’Andre Miller to Trouba. He came in with speed on a breakaway and snapped by Halak to cut the lead by one just 36 seconds in.

Boston would tie the game on a David Pastrnak one-timer off a feed from David Krejci at the 8:09 mark. The Rangers were not pleased as they felt the play should’ve been whistled for icing.

Pastrnak would return the favor by feeding Krejci for a goal with 4:14 left in the second period. It was Boston’s third goal of the period on just five shots.

3RD PERIOD

The Rangers and Bruins came out for the third each pushing for the next goal. It took 6:49 seconds, but it was the Kid Line that got it done.

Libor Hajek blasted one from right point and as the puck appeared to be trickling into the net, Kakko wasn’t taking any chances as he slammed home the equalizer. It was his second of the game. Alexis Lafreniere picked up an assist on the play.

“Maybe I have to buy something for him,” Kakko said afterwards realizing Hajek’s goal may have gone in without his help.

Artemi Panarin had a shot ring off the post soon after but as it happens so often, the Bruins came back the other way to retake the lead. Mike Reilly would fake a shot in the middle of the ice and then rifle it over Halak’s blocker with 7:50 remaining.

The Rangers would try to make one final dash at tying the game with the goalie pulled, but could not penetrate the Bruins defense to get a dangerous scoring chance on Swayman.

Notable Rangers

  • Jaroslav Halak stopped 21 of 26 shots
  • Kaapo Kakko registered 2 goals
  • Mika Zibanejad notched 2 goals
  • Zac Jones picked up his 2nd assist of the preseason
  • The line of Vincent Trocheck, Artemi Panarin, and Vitali Kravtsov was a combined -6
    • Panarin was -3

Tomorrow (Thursday, October 6): Practice at 11:30 AM (MSG Training Center)

Next Game: Saturday, October 8 at New York Islanders (7:00 PM – TV: MSG)

*Schedule subject to change

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