Rangers rally for thrilling 6-5 overtime win against Islanders in Stadium Series

NHL: Stadium Series-New York Rangers at New York Islanders
Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Rangers rallied for a scintillating 6-5 come-from-behind overtime win against the Islanders outdoors Sunday at MetLife Stadium in the 2024 NHL Stadium Series.

The Rangers extended two win streaks with the exciting result Sunday. They’ve won a season-high seven straight games and are now 5-0-0 all-time in outdoor games.

Artemi Panarin scored 10 seconds into overtime, a goal that was upheld on video review after the net came off its moorings. The forward had three points (one goal, two assists) Sunday.

His goal capped an incredible comeback, marking the Rangers’ 66th such win in the past three seasons.

“I think that’s a great part of our group, I don’t think there are a lot of emotional swings,” Rangers captain Jacob Trouba said. “We got down but just wanted to keep playing, keep fighting, keep grinding away at it. … I thought we did a great job.”

Down 5-3 late in the third period, the Rangers scored two power-play goals to force overtime. Mika Zibanejad’s 6-on-4 power-play goal was the equalizer at 18:31 of the third. Chris Kreider’s power-play goal made it 5-4 at 15:52.

Each of the power-play goals was scored on a two-man advantage after coach Peter Laviolette pulled goalie Igor Shesterkin.

“There were lots of keys in that game, but that had to happen at the end, those guys that were on the ice had to work, had to fight, scratch and deliver a game with under six minutes to go, under two minutes to go, and they really did,” Laviolette said of the Rangers’ power play, which scored three times Sunday.

Vincent Trocheck scored twice and had an assist for the Rangers and Shesterkin made 36 saves. Adam Fox and Alexis Lafreniere each contributed two assists.

“I could feel the environment on the ice,” Trocheck explained. “For us, it was like a playoff game. The environment was unbelievable.”

Five different Islanders scored a goal and defenseman Noah Dobson had three assists. Ilya Sorokin finished with 32 saves.

Related: Rangers react to ‘heartbreaking’ Blake Wheeler injury ahead of Stadium Series

Rangers erase late deficit, defeat Islanders outdoors in overtime

NHL: Stadium Series-New York Rangers at New York Islanders
Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers jumped out to a fast start, scoring the first goal 1:28 into the first period. Erik Gustafsson stepped into a slap shot at the top of the left circle and blasted it over the blocker of Sorokin for his fifth goal, sending the partisan Rangers crowd of 79,600 into an early frenzy.

On the ensuing face-off, Rangers rookie Matt Rempe dropped the gloves on the first shift in his NHL debut with Islanders veteran Matt Martin. The 6-foot-8 forward more than held his own and waved his arms in the air to fire the crowd up even more as he skated to the penalty box wearing a big smile.

But the Rangers didn’t gain momentum from the early goal nor the fight. Instead, they allowed the next four goals, including three in the first period.

Brock Nelson maneuvered past Gustafsson and snapped a shot over Shesterkin’s glove at 4:20 for his 23rd goal of the season, most on the Islanders this season. Bo Horvat put the Islanders up 2-1 at 7:18, blowing past K’Andre Miller on right wing to beat Shesterkin to the far side with the teams skating 4-on-4.

Just 16 seconds later, Mathew Barazal deflected a give-and-go pass from Nelson into the net on the power play to make it 3-1 Islanders. Laviolette used his timeout at this point, with the Rangers reeling and outshot 7-1. It was the eighth time this season the Blueshirts allowed multiple goals in under 30 seconds.

Things settled down the rest of the period, but the Islanders increased their lead to 4-1 just 1:03 into the second. Anders Lee deflected a Pierre Engvall shot past Shesterkin for another power-play goal. It was the first time the Rangers allowed multiple power-play goals since Jan. 16 against the Seattle Kraken, and only the fourth time this season.

The Rangers settled down, though, and slowly turned the rest of the period back in their favor. Trocheck scored a power-play goal when Panarin’s shot hit his stick and flew past Sorokin at 5:36. And then Trocheck netted his second of the afternoon, digging a puck free and chipping it over Sorokin at 18:24 to make it 4-3.

Not to be lost in the comeback was Shesterkin making three outstanding saves – against Engvall at 7:51, Martin point-blank at 10:50 and Nelson off the rush at 15:48.

However, the Islanders caught a big break early in the third to regain a two-goal lead. Alexander Romanov clipped Ryan Lindgren in the face on a follow through, sending the Rangers defenseman down to the ice in the corner. Play continued and Dobson was able to find Romanov alone to Shesterkin’s right for an easy goal at 1:53.

As the Islanders celebrated the goal, Lindgren was helped to the Rangers locker room to close the gash on his face. The defenseman did not return and Laviolette said postgame Lindgren is still being evaluated for an upper-body injury.

Kreider and Zibanejad capitalized on the power play before time could expire in regulation. And Panarin capped an incredible game and outdoor experience with his 32nd goal of the season to tie his NHL career-high in fashion.

“The atmosphere was electric,” Panarin said. “It was something I couldn’t compare with anything else. I had to hold back tears because it was that much of a spectacle.”

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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