New York Rangers shake off the rust, pull out dramatic win over Bruins
K’Andre Miller scored the deciding goal in the ninth round of the shootout as the host New York Rangers outlasted the Boston Bruins for a 2-1 victory on Tuesday night.
In his first career shootout try, Miller won it when he cut to the right, stopped in the low slot to switch from his backhand to the forehand. Miller gave New York its third straight win when he completed the play by lifting the puck over goalie Jeremy Swayman’s right pad.
“A little nervous there, but it all worked out,” Miller said. “Coach kind of turned to me when their guy was up and I was like, ‘Really, you want me to go, am I hearing this right?’ But it was a fun opportunity and I’m glad I made the most out of it.”
New York Rangers get big win after layoff
The Rangers looked rusty after last playing on February 1. It took them over 10 minutes to get their first shot on goal before finding their skating legs and timing.
Boston went ahead on Coyle’s 11th goal 3:39 into the game when he crashed the net and batted the rebound of Smith’s shot over Shesterkin.
The Bruins held the lead until 6:45 into the third when Chytil netted his fifth goal of the season by pushing his own rebound into the net after Swayman made a pad save on the initial attempt.
After Chytil scored, Shesterkin maintained the deadlock by making a pad save on Hall’s breakaway with 11:18 remaining. He then executed a split for consecutive saves on Anton Blidh with about 5 1/2 minutes to go and ended regulation by using his glove to snatch the puck on Pastrnak’s shot.
Shesterkin made 31 saves before exiting for a quick examination with the concussion spotter.
Swayman stopped 33 shots, including 15 in the second period as the Bruins lost for the third time in four games.
Shesterkin’s gutsy performance
Shesterkin appeared shaken up with 2:12 remaining when Smith’s right arm collided with his helmet. He was slow to get up and made a glove save on Hall with 52 seconds left and then exited with when the trainer came out to get him after getting the call from the concussion spotter.
The call likely came after the league’s spotter watched MSG cameras zoom in on Shesterkin, who was blinking and looking like he was adjusting his eyes.
Shesterkin was surprised when medical trainer Jim Ramsay came to him informing of the call. He initially denied the request to come off. As he was leaving the ice, Shesterkin slammed his stick against the glass in anger almost vowing he’d be back.
“I don’t know who called it,” Gerard Gallant said about the concussion pull. “He was outstanding, both goalies were great.”
Alexandar Georgiev finished the OT, but before the shootout began Shesterkin came charging out of the tunnel to the roar of the Garden Faithful.
“When I came back out, the fans gave me so much energy,” Shesterkin said. “I couldn’t do anything else but save the game.”
Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin scored in the opening two rounds of the shootout for the Rangers.
Jake DeBrusk scored in the opening round of the shootout and Charlie Coyle extended the game when he scored in the third round.
New York goalie Igor Shesterkin stopped David Pastrnak, Erik Haula and Taylor Hall, Trent Frederic, Nick Foligno and Craig Smith in the shootout after missing the final 40.5 seconds of overtime.
The NHL had 9 games on the docket and it was loaded with excitement and milestones. Sidney Crosby registered his 500th career goal. Meanwhile Capitals’ coach Peter Laviolette notched career win 700 and Kings’ Drew Doughty played in his 1000th game. Read more here.
–Field Level Media contributed to this report