Rangers furiously rally with four third period goals in Anaheim to stop losing streak

NHL: New York Rangers at Anaheim Ducks
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers remain undefeated, a perfect 8-0-0, on the second night of back-to-backs this season, thanks to a 5-2 comeback win over Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night.

Artemi Panarin netted his 28th goal and the eventual game-winner at 14:23 of the third period, which was New York’s second man-advantage goal of the night. Earlier, Vincent Trocheck got the Rangers on the board, with Will Cuylle tying it at 2-2 before Chris Kreider padded their lead with his 22nd goal.

Jimmy Vesey added an empty netter in the dying seconds to end the three-game losing streak. After a shaky first period, when he only stopped three of five shots, Igor Shesterkin picked up his 19th win, making 16 saves in the victory.

Former New Jersey Devils player Adam Henrique, who had 17 career points in 31 games against the Rangers, tallied two first-period goals to give Anaheim a lead they held for 49 minutes. Ducks’ Lukas Dostal stopped 28 shots to drop to 0-2-0 lifetime against New York.

“The win was hard,” coach Peter Laviolette explained. “I thought we were controlling the game, but that doesn’t matter after you find yourself down two. The fact that we just stuck with it was a really great job by the guys.”

Related: First line needs to be better

New York Rangers 5 vs Anaheim Ducks 2

NHL: New York Rangers at Anaheim Ducks
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The game’s turning point came at 14:42 of the third period. Mason McTavish scored to restore the Ducks’ two-goal lead. However, Laviolette challenged the play, and in one of the shortest reviews of the year, the play was deemed offside, and the Rangers still trailed by one with half a period to go.

That’s when New York finally saw results from all their hard work. On their 26th shot of the game, the Rangers tied the contest at 2-2 when Will Cuylle deflected home a shot from Jacob Trouba and K’Andre Miller, who picked up an assist on his 24th birthday.

Less than four minutes later, Panarin scored a beautiful powerplay goal to give the visitors their first lead in three games, rallying the Rangers, who trailed the entire game. About 1:44 later, Kreider batted him his own rebound at 16:07 to tally New York’s fourth straight goal.

Once Anaheim pulled Dostal with more than two minutes to go, Vesey fired home his ninth of the season from the other end of the ice to seal the 5-2 victory. When it was over, the Rangers rallied from a 2-0 deficit to score five goals in succession to give them a chance to end the road trip with a 2-2 record after they visit San Jose on Thursday.

The Ducks jumped on the slumping Rangers early, scoring on their first shot when Henrique lifted a backhand on Shesterkin just 51 seconds into the game for his 13th of the season. The opening lamplighter marked the fifth time in the past 11 games that New York has fallen behind first, which has led to a 4-6-1 record.

New York had their chances as the first period progressed. Still, as soon as Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti talked about avoiding a mistake that would end up in the back of the net, Henrique collected his second goal of the period at 15:37. As the puck sat between Ryan Lindgren’s legs after a blocked shot, he slid into Shesterkin, allowing Henrique to poke at the loose puck.

After that offensive outburst, New York shut the Ducks down, limiting them to only five shots in the middle period while controlling most of the play. Both teams swapped powerplay opportunities, with Trocheck giving the Rangers some life at 17:58 when he sniped home a feed from Kreider and Adam Fox.

By the second intermission, the Rangers had 33 shot attempts, with 18 reaching Dostal and the Ducks blocking 15. By the end of the game, those figures reached 33 and 24, respectively. Overall, the Rangers held the home team to just 18 shots, the lowest total of the season, surpassing the 19 shots they gave up to the Seattle Kraken on Oct. 24.

Rangers Notes

  • Trocheck collected his 300th career assist on Panarin’s game-winner
  • Panarin is now just four goals away from tying a career-high of 32, set in 2019-20
  • Shesterkin is 2-0-0 against the Ducks in his career and 5-0-0 on the second night of back-to-backs this season
  • Cuylle climbs into the top 10 in rookie goal scoring with eight lamplighters
  • Miller had a point and skated 20:47 on his 24th birthday

After back-to-back games in Southern California, the Rangers head north to San Jose to play the league’s 32nd-ranked team, the Sharks, on Tuesday night to wrap up their swing through the Western Conference. The game is another late one, with the puck drop at 10:30 pm ET.

Some of Ryan Gagne's all-time favorite goalies have been Mike Richter, Henrik Lundqvist, and Igor Shesterkin. As a Yankees... More about Ryan Gagne

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