Rangers overcome bad start, but fall to Flames 3-2 in overtime

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Feb 18, 2023; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Rangers goaltender Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Mikael Backlund scored the overtime winner and added an assist to give the host Calgary Flames a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday, snapping a two-game losing skid.

With Adam Fox in the penalty box for high-sticking, Backlund was parked at the doorstep and deflected Huberdeau’s shot 88 seconds into overtime. It was Backlund’s 11th goal of the season.

Andrew Mangiapane and Nazem Kadri also scored for the Flames, who relinquished a 2-0 lead built in the opening minute but recovered. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom made 18 saves in a fantastic netminding duel and Jonathan Huberdeau collected two assists.

Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexis Lafreniere replied for the Rangers, who saw their seven-game winning streak snapped, but are still on a torrid 8-0-2 run. Goalie Jaroslav Halak made 29 saves and Vincent Trochek collected two assists.

“The start was interesting but after that it got a little better,” Gerard Gallant said. “To come out of here at the end of a road trip with a point is pretty big for us to battle back.”

New York Rangers overcomes bad start for a point

New York Rangers Alexis Lafreniere
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Flames staked a 2-0 lead by the 46-second mark, the third fastest pair of goals to start a game in franchise history.

Mangiapane opened the scoring with Calgary’s first shot just 38 seconds into the clash. He fought through K’Andre Miller while driving to the net and lifted a backhand shot for his 12th goal.

Kadri’s 21st of the season doubled the lead on his team’s next offering eight seconds later. Off the ensuing faceoff, Kadri finished a three-way passing play with a one-timer from the high slot.

Combined with scoring twice just 30 seconds into their Dec. 20 game in San Jose, the Flames are the first team in NHL history to have twice scored a pair of opening-minute goals in the same season.

Tarasenko put the Rangers on the board with 3:07 remaining in the second period when he converted from the doorstep for his 12th of the season. With an assist, Artemi Panarin has collected six goals and 15 points in a seven-game point streak.

“I think we should start better,” Tarasenko said via NHL.com. “It’s nice to win games when you’re coming back, but you should play better at the start. Everybody knows that we can play better. I don’t think anybody’s satisfied with the result today.”

The Flames again missed out on a couple of golden chances to restore a two-goal edge early in the third period. Kadri was denied on an odd-man rush and Dube couldn’t convert on a partial breakaway — only to see Lafreniere tie the game with 7:13 remaining in regulation. He netted his 10th of the season on the power play with a shot that just trickled over the line.

At the end of the day, it was Jaroslav Halak that saved the Blueshirts’ bacon with brilliant goaltending after a shaky start by the defense.

“That’s not the start we want,” Ryan Lindgren explained. “We hung [Halak] out to dry early, but some of the saves he made were unbelievable.”

–Field Level Media

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