New York Rangers gutsy penalty kill units key to early success

Well, it happened again! The gritty 2023-2024 New York Rangers laid their bodies on the line to kill another GINORMOUS 5 on 3 penalty, leading to an eventual 2-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night.

So far, in both of their wins during the early part of this season, they have needed to kill off a dangerous two-man advantage against, and both times they have succeeded.

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New York Rangers PK electric down two-men

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at New York Rangers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Witnessing the electricity of the Garden first hand as they killed off a full two minute 5 on 3 power play against, while the game was still very much in the balance and tied 1-1, was enthralling.

Barclay Goodrow, Jacob Trouba, Mika Zibanejad, Nick Bonino, and really everybody on the PK, were diving and sliding all over the ice, trying to block shots with whatever parts of their body they could. Their initial efforts had everyone in the crowd on their feet, screaming and yelling as the horn to end the 2nd period eventually rang. But the job was not complete with the team still needing to kill off the remaining 41 seconds in order to position themselves for a win.

Zibanejad and Trouba were key to start the third period to complete the kill with the crowd on their feet the entire time. The Rangers delivered and that’s when the fans knew they had the Coyotes right where they wanted them. With momentum on their side, the Rangers scored the next goal on the power play by Vincent Trocheck, to take a 2-1 lead. Igor Shesterkin made penalty shot save, and that was all she wrote in this one.

One could look back and see that it all stemmed from that 5 on 3 kill, especially after such a brutal second period for the Blueshirts, who could not find any rhythm.

“Coming off that second period and the five on three you’re in your own zone taking a lot,” Peter Laviolette said. “To be able to turn it around and get the kill in the third period to me that’s a positive sign. I was proud of our guest and the way they took charge.”

It’s a helpless feeling watching a team kill a two-man advantage, as it seems like the other team is going to score. Usually, most 5 on 3 are never a full two-minutes, which made that kill such a momentum generator.

As the Rangers are learning an entirely new system this season, coupled with questions about the way things ended last year, moments like these can show what they are made of. The Blueshirts have never had a talent problem in recent years, and if they continue to show the type of heart, I think this team is going to be just fine.

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