New York Rangers hold off Canucks for third straight win
The New York Rangers are finding ways to win games even when things don’t go their way. In their previous match against the Calgary Flames on Monday, a clearly kicked in goal was allowed to stand forcing them to battle back for an overtime victory.
Last night, against the Canucks, a last second decision in the third period to waive off an icing allowed Vancouver to make it a nail-biter. Igor Shesterkin let his guard down with 3:44 remaining in the game, as Elias Pettersson slipped it through his arm.
In the end, the Rangers shut it down to secure their third straight win and pick up points in five consecutive games (4-0-1).
“Wasn’t quite like the other night (against Calgary),” Gerard Gallant smiled. “We’re finding ways to win. Nothing’s perfect with our group and there’s no perfect teams in the league but you find a way to win the game.”
New York Rangers win third straight
Chris Kreider opened the scoring with his 250th career goal at the 6:53 mark. K’Andre Miller led the transition with a nice pass to a streaking Vincent Trocheck, who made a perfect play to the Rangers’ longest tenured player for a tap in. The tally tied Kreider with Mark Messier for seventh in all-time goals as a Ranger.
That was followed by the red-hot Filip Chytil just 1:38 later. Taking a feed from Kaapo Kakko behind the net, he flipped a backhand shot over Spencer Martin’s outreached glove. The goal gives Chytil 7 in his last five games and 19 on the season. Miller picked up the other assist.
“Kaapo did a great job behind the net to get it to me in front,” Chytil said. “I’ve said it so many times, I love scoring goals. It’s a great feeling, but it’s a great feeling because we’re winning games and getting the points. That’s what’s most important.”
Of course, if the Rangers thought this was going to be an easy night they were mistaken. Every time they thought the game would be a breeze, Vancouver would strike as Connor Garland did after a defensive breakdown with 2:24 remaining in the first.
In the second period, the Canucks were skating well and giving the Rangers some problems. Fortunately for the Blueshirts, the ‘Kids’ struck again. At the 6:23 mark, Alexis Lafreniere took no chances on a Jacob Trouba shot that was trickling towards the goal line. It was also Miller’s third assist, the first three assist game of his young career.
“Feels like the same,” Miller joked. “It’s good. The puck found me tonight and the guys made some great plays. Anyway you can contribute to your team will be helpful in the long run.”
Once again, the Rangers couldn’t remain comfortable as Vasily Podkolzin ripped a shot over Shesterkin’s shoulder to cut the lead heading into the final frame.
The teams went back and forth with the Canucks pressing for the equalizer. However, it was Mika Zibanejad tipping a Trouba shot with under four minutes to play for a 4-2 advantage. It was Mika’s 25th goal of the season and Panarin registered his team-leading 53rd point.
The sigh of relief that fans at the Garden felt lasted a whole 11 seconds.
On a waived off icing, Pettersson snuck in behind the defense and his shot went through an upset Shesterkin to make it a one-goal game again.
Ultimately, the Rangers buckled down to the secure the victory moving four points behind the second place New Jersey Devils. Shesterkin finished the contest with 22 saves.
The Rangers look to close out the four-game home stand against the Seattle Kraken on Friday night. They are 3-0-0 so far and would love to go perfect before heading to Carolina to face the first-place Hurricanes on Saturday.
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