Rangers lose to Wild on Lundqvist Night after controversial no goal call

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Jan 28, 2022; New York, New York, USA; Minnesota Wild goaltender Cam Talbot (33) makes a save against New York Rangers center Ryan Strome (16) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers and their fans witnessed an emotional Henrik Lundqvist watch his #30 rise to the iconic Garden ceiling. It was another historic moment at the World’s Most Famous Arena.

However, the Minnesota Wild didn’t come to town for a ceremony. They were looking for a win and it was up to Igor Shesterkin and the Blueshirts to prevent that from happening.

Recap: Wild 3 vs Rangers 2

The game started with Lundqvist dropping the ceremonial puck between his close friend Mats Zuccarello and former teammate Mika Zibanejad. It was another tearjerker moment when Zuccarello and Lundqvist embraced again on Garden ice.

In the past, the Rangers would usually come out of the gate slow after such a big event but not on this night. Probably inspired by seeing Hank’s jersey immortalized among the greats, they were also a little perturbed from losing to the Blue Jackets on Thursday.

Barclay Goodrow scored his 10th goal of the season all alone in front converting a great feed from Jacob Trouba. Ryan Strome picked up the secondary assist after a turnover 8:47 into the contest.

Chris Kreider crashed the net for his league leading 31st goal of the season. There was some minor contact with Cam Talbot but Minnesota opted not to challenge. On the replay, you can see Kreider’s alertness to tuck it between the pads from in between his own legs.

Igor Shesterkin only faced five shots and the opening 20 minutes ended 2-0 in favor of the home team.

“I couldn’t stop smiling. It’s a night I won’t forget,” Zibanejad said after the first period. “It was special to be here and to know him.”

Shesterkin shines in second

rangers wild
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York came out aggressively to open the middle frame, but that would work against them. Just 2:56 into the second, Braden Schneider pulled down Frederick Gaudreau and a penalty shot was called.

Gaudreau tried a couple of dekes, but did anyone think Shesterkin would not make the stop on Henrik Lundqvist night?

Minnesota continued their attack and with each passing minute put the Rangers on their heels.

After the period was up, things were knotted at 2-2 thanks to goals by Kevin Fiala and Mats Zuccarello on a total of 19 shots.

Rangers no goal controversial call

Early in the third period, Gaudreau would exact some revenge by scoring off a blistering a shot to give the Wild a 3-2 lead at 1:49.

Minnesota played a heavy period and controlled play. Shesterkin would battle to keep the Rangers in it and set up a controversial ending.

Gallant pulled Shesterkin, and it appeared Zibanejad scored to tie the game with a second left on the clock. The Garden erupted as Zibanejad was jumping for joy.

Unfortunately, the referee was adamantly waiving the goal off saying Strome pushed Talbot into the net causing interference. The play was reviewed confirming the referees call on the ice.

“I obviously don’t agree with it– I can’t say much more than that,” Zibanejad said afterwards about the call. “Honestly, it just sucks we couldn’t end the night on a better note.”

This is now the first back-to-back loss in regulation for the Rangers since December 14.

“I’d love to play 60 minutes the way we played the first 20,” Gallant said. “We didn’t.”

Notable Rangers

  • Henrik Lundqvist became the 11th NYR to have his jersey retired
  • Igor Shesterkin stopped 31 of 34
  • Jacob Trouba picked up 2 assists
  • Chris Kreider scored his 10th goal in 8 games

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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