No Quit in New York Rangers overcomes big deficit against Oilers

The New York Rangers and Igor Shesterkin were overwhelmed by the high-scoring Edmonton Oilers in the first period. Before they knew what hit them, they were down 4-1 after 20 minutes of play.

That’s when Gerard Gallant walked into the dressing room and told his players they were going to win.

“Turk came in and said, ‘We’re doing good things and not losing this game,'” Adam Fox, who celebrated his 25th birthday revealed. “We got some timely goals… Shesty made some big saves. We kept battling and got the result we wanted.”

A dominant second and third period led to a tie score setting the stage for Shesterkin to redeem his shaky start by stopping five Oilers in the shootout before Alexis Lafreniere won it in the sixth round.

New York Rangers rally for a win

new york rangers
Feb 17, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; The New York Rangers celebrate a goal scored by forward Chris Kreider (20) during the second period against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers hadn’t forgotten what the Oilers did to them on November 26. A four goal third period at Madison Square Garden snatched victory from the Blueshirts, who were up 3-0 before Edmonton’s comeback.

On Friday night, the Rangers were down 3-0 after 12:30 of the first period, before Chris Kreider recorded his first of two to spark an incredible comeback.

Oilers defender Darnell Nurse was in the box for slashing Vladimir Tarasenko when Kreider completed a nice passing play between Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad.

The rally would be halted by a Leon Draisaitl tally with 1:33 remaining in the opening frame. It was a power play goal that eluded Shesterkin, who did not look comfortable allowing four goals on 12 shots.

After Gallant’s locker room speech, the Rangers dominated the Oilers.

Once again, Chris Kreider would be at the forefront for the Rangers by scoring a crucial shorthanded goal for the only score of the middle frame. Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren notched the assists on the play.

“Again, there’s ‘No quit in New York,'” Zibanejad repeated the team’s mantra. “If you look at that first period, you might say that’s a horrendous first period after going down 4-1. Yes, result wise… We had to make sure we trust our way of playing. I mean there’s 40 minutes left at that point, and little by little you get back into the game, and that’s what we did.”

The Rangers would tie it in the third period as they dominated with a 10-2 shot margin.

First, Alexis Lafreniere finished a nice set up by Kaapo Kakko and Filip Chytil to cut the deficit to 4-3 just 96 seconds in. It was the 2020 first overall pick’s fourth goal and ninth point in his last 10 contests.

Zibanejad would register the equalizer on a two-man advantage with a laser from the middle of the ice. Fox and Panarin picked up the helpers on Mika’s 30th goal of the season.

In overtime, the Rangers had to kill off an Oilers power play with 61 seconds remaining to set up an incredible shootout.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Kaapo Kakko exchanged opening round goals before Jack Campbell and Igor Shesterkin started to shut the door.

Connor McDavid and Draisaitl failed to score as did Panarin and Zibanejad. On it went for six rounds before Lafreniere slipped it through Campbell’s legs for the 5-4 shootout victory.

“I knew I was going backhand five-hole– it worked,” Lafreniere said. “We never quit. We came back and had a big kill in overtime. It was a good comeback from us.”

The Rangers have now won seven in a row and registered points in nine consecutive games (8-0-1) as they get set to face the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

“It’s the new NHL, it’s not like the game was going to be over,” Gallant noted. “We battled hard and found a way.”

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