Hot Bread burns Canucks, New York Rangers win 6-4
The New York Rangers are hot and no one is hotter than the Breadman. Artemi Panarin scored twice and nearly missed recording consecutive hat tricks in beating the Vancouver Canucks on the road by a 6-4 margin.
Panarin finished the night with three points including his sixth goal in his last two games and registering 12 points in his last six (6 goals, 6 assists).
“He can be as deadly as anyone in the League,” said Jimmy Vesey, who assisted on Panarin’s first tally. “Right now he’s hot, and it’s a tough matchup for other teams.”
New York Rangers outlast Canucks 6-4
After demolishing the Carolina Hurricanes and having a few days off to practice, the Blueshirts were expected to beat the hapless Vancouver Canucks with ease. However, from Curtis Lazar’s opening score just under five minutes in, you knew it was going to be one of those nights.
Fortunately, the Rangers dynamic duo of Panarin and Mika Zibanejad would be too much for Vancouver to handle it this one.
Zibanejad tied the game just 59 seconds later using a fake to freeze goaltender Arturs Silovs and snapping a goal through the wickets. Adam Fox notched the only assist.
Panarin gave the Blueshirts the lead with a one timer 72 seconds later. The red-hot forward took a Vesey feed in the left circle and made no mistakes for his 17th of the season.
The see-saw battle continued with Alexis Lafreniere in the penalty box watching J.T. Miller score on a great shot past Igor Shesterkin, who struggled all night long. On the play, Shesterkin lost his stick after he jammed it in Jacob Trouba’s skates. Miller’s shot beat him stick side.
Niko Mikkola registered his first point as a member of the Rangers when Panarin deflected his point shot for his second of the game and 18th of the year. The goal was initially credited to the defenseman.
The Rangers came out flying in the second period and scored a beauty just 40 seconds in.
Vladimir Tarasenko earned his first assist with his new team off a pretty set up with Zibanejad and finish by Chris Kreider. For the longtime Ranger, it was his 251st career goal to surpass the legendary Mark Messier for seventh all-time in franchise history.
“It’s awesome,” Gerard Gallant said. “Kreids is a big player for us. Good for him. Mark Messier is a hall of famer obviously, and one of the great players of all time, so it’s good for Kreids.”
Although on this night, the Rangers simply struggled in their own zone as Conor Garland reduced the lead back to one. On the play Andrei Kuzmenko made a series of world-class moves to get in on Shesterkin. His shot rang off the crossbar and right to Garland’s stick.
K’Andre Miller would score an unassisted goal at the 13:28 mark to restore the two-goal margin heading into the final frame.
In the third period, Kuzmenko walked into the slot unbothered to make it a 5-4 game with a strong shot. Shesterkin finished the night with 25 saves and his third straight win, but he’s allowed 3 or more goals in four consecutive starts.
Zibanejad sealed the deal with an empty net goal, his 29th of the year assisted by Panarin. Both players finished the night with two goals and one assist.
The Rangers next game is in Edmonton on Friday night, followed by the Calgary Flames on Saturday.
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