New York Rangers eke out a win in Montreal
The New York Rangers ended their two-game losing streak with a 4-3 shootout win against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. However, it didn’t happen without some of the same issues that has plagued them in recent weeks.
Once again, the Rangers continued to cough of the puck, make ill advised pinches, and struggled with defending against the rush. Despite all that, there were plenty of bright spots which included a revamped power play that went 2 for 4, saw Patrick Kane light the lamp, and witnessed Igor Shesterkin put together a clutch performance to steal a win.
“We’ll take that game,” Artemi Panarin said via NHL.com. “It’s maybe not the best game for us, but it tries to build the team.”
New York Rangers eke out a win
It took all of 35 seconds for the Rangers to find themselves behind on the scoreboard when Habs’ defenseman Kaiden Guhle capitalized on an Adam Fox turnover to smack home a shot by Shesterkin.
Fortunately for the Blueshirts, the changes they made to their power play units paid off when Alexis Lafreniere tipped a point-shot by Fox for his 14th goal of the season and his third tally in the last two games. Panarin registered the first of his three assists of the evening at the 3:16 mark.
The Canadiens took a 2-1 lead into the second period when Alex Belize whipped a shot through Jacob Trouba and over Shesterkin’s shoulder. New York’s captain would make up for that play less than a minute into the middle frame.
Patrick Kane dumped the puck into the corner that only Panarin could retrieve. Trouba took a pass from him and showed patience moving into the right circle and snapping one over Sam Montembeault for the equalizer.
The Rangers turnover issues reared its ugly head on the power play when Kane simply lost control of the puck leading to an odd man rush. Josh Anderson scored the shorthanded goal with Kane trailing behind him.
To Gerard Gallant’s credit, instead of getting frustrated and yanking that unit off the ice, he kept them on. That allowed Kane to make up for his mistake and equalize the game with a nice snap shot through traffic.
“Obviously, it’s not something you want to see,” Kane said of the turnover that led to the shorthanded goal. “It was pretty nice move for the coaching staff to leave us on there and give us a chance to get it back. Nice to score there after a play like that.”
The Rangers did not learn from any of their mistakes through the first 40 minutes but were saved by a clutch final 25 minutes and a shootout by Igor Shesterkin. He finished the contest with 23 saves, including a huge stop on another Anderson breakaway in the third and thwarting all three shootout attempts.
Mika Zibanejad helped get the win by scoring the only goal in the shootout on a beautiful deke.
The Rangers now head to Buffalo to take on the Sabres on Saturday and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.