Rangers Cook Ducks With Third Period Comeback

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After Henrik Lundqvist stole a point for his Rangers in Sunday’s loss to the Golden Knights, he got a well-deserved rest as the Rangers faced the Anaheim Ducks at MSG. The Rangers had won just a single game in their previous seven contests entering the night, but thanks to some third-period heroics from Kevin Hayes and Vladislav Namestnikov, the Blueshirts were able to get back in the win column for the first time in their last four games.

Vladislav Namestnikov – The Rangers forward has been relatively quiet as of late, having just contributed three points since November 19th. But with the Blueshirts trailing 1-0 into the third, Namestnikov took over the game offensively, scoring the first Rangers goal and assisting on their other two to help lead the Rangers to victory. 

Before we get to Namestnikov’s third-period performance, we have to discuss his involvement throughout the game. This was one of the best games I have seen Namestnikov play since coming to the Rangers. He was involved in a first-period “scrum” with Ryan Getzlaf, a sequence which saw Getzlaf seemingly jump the Rangers forward from behind while jamming away at the front of the net. Namestnikov would get the last laugh though, taking a feed from Brett Howden and beating Chad Johnson from the circles to tie the game at one. Namestnikov has been a feisty player all season, so it is nice to see him get rewarded on the scoresheet.

Kevin Hayes – The hottest Rangers forward sent his team to victory with a shorthanded tally with less than a minute to go in the game. Hayes broke out of the zone as Vlad Namestnikov cleared the puck off the boards. Hayes corralled the puck, broke to the net, and snuck the puck through Johnson to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. The goal was the ninth of the season for Hayes and his fifth consecutive game with at least a point, a stretch which has seen him put up four goals and six assists. Hayes is playing for his next contract, and, with the way he’s been playing as of late, you can see why he is seeking a big payday. 

Alexandar Georgiev – The Rangers’ backup netminder has spent the last couple of weeks down in Hartford getting some playing time while Henrik Lundqvist was holding down the fort with the big club. And although he wasn’t able to win any of the games he started in the AHL, he was happy to be getting into games and getting back into a rhythm. And it was this rhythm that helped Georgiev backstop the Rangers victory, which included this fabulous stop on Ondrej Kase. It’ll be important for Georgiev’s development for him to play as often as he can, and if that includes multiple trips to Hartford, it can only benefit the young Belarusian in the long run.

Next Game: The Rangers will head north of the border for their next contest on Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Puck drops at 7!


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