New York Rangers big third period rally thanks to the kids beats Blues

Nothing about last night’s game was pretty, but the New York Rangers finally found a way to win a game trailing heading into the the third period.

Thanks to a late adjustment by head coach Gerard Gallant that saw Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko put on the first line with Mika Zibanejad, the Rangers rallied with three goals in the final frame.

“Our third period was really good,” said Lafreniere, who registered the game winner. “We said it after two (periods), ‘We’re only down by one.’ We know we have good offense and we can score when we work hard.”

New York Rangers rally for a win

New York Rangers
Dec 5, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) celebrates his goal with teammates during the third period against the St. Louis Blues at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

K’Andre Miller got the comeback rolling when his point shot eluded St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington just 4:48 into the final frame. On the play, Lafreniere worked the puck out of a scrum and registered an assist.

The first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft ended the stalemate with 11:44 remaining as he worked himself in front of the net to tip Zibanejad shot for the eventual game-winning tally.

“After the second I wasn’t liking what I was seeing,” Gallant said of the line changes. “I just wanted to try and spark something again. The two kids deserved some opportunities and I thought they played really well. And it made all three lines better.”

Chris Kreider, who was benched for a stretch in the game, scored the insurance marker shorthanded. It was his 13th goal of the year and his emotional response carried the team to a win.

“We’ve got higher expectations for ourselves than anyone else outside this room or even in this organization has for us,” Kreider explained. “We put more pressure on ourselves than anyone else ever could, so for us it’s important to see, like we talked about, pucks go in. It’s important to get the two points and obviously to take the things we did well, the things we had success doing into the next game.”

A beautiful ugly win

The New York Rangers snapped a four game losing streak (0-3-1) on home ice, but it wasn’t pretty by any means. In the first period, both teams looked like they were playing not to lose until about five minutes left when it opened up.

Braden Schneider’s slap shot from the wall started the scoring but just 70 seconds later, former Ranger Pavel Buchnevich evened the score. Adam Fox would restore the lead with a power play goal just 28 seconds after the Blues tied it.

The Blues tied the game just 12 seconds into the second period off a bad turnover by Zibanejad in front of Igor Shesterkin for a slam dunk by Vladimir Tarasenko. Vincent Trocheck regained the lead 67 seconds later off a deflection on Artemi Panarin’s shot, but St. Louis would score two more times to set up the dramatic third period.

Shesterkin finished the game turning aside 25 or 29 shots. Some of those stops were on high quality danger chances, including a big glove save on Brayden Schenn walking in all alone.

“It feels great to see what we can do when we turn our game on,” Trocheck said. “It’s even better that we were down one going into the third and being able to fight back. That’s what this team needed in a little confidence boost.”

Note: Some quotes transcribed from NYR Soundcloud

Notable Rangers

  • Igor Shesterkin picked up his 11th win of the season (25 saves)
  • Vincent Trocheck was the 1st star with a goal and an assist
  • Alexis Lafreniere also had a goal and an assist
  • K’Andre Miller registered his first goal of the season
  • Braden Schneider set a career high in goals with his third of the year

Rangers next game: December 7, at Vegas Golden Knights (10:00 PM ET)

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