Rangers Steal Two Points With Comeback Win Over Penguins

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Here is our recap of the Rangers 4-3 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Chris Kreider – As Mike Milbury correctly said (I am just as shocked writing this as you are reading it) on the broadcast, Chris Kreider has all the tools to be an elite player in the NHL. And with the Rangers trailing 2-0 entering the third period, Kreider took the game over and led the charge for the Blueshirts. Kreider got the Rangers on the board with a power-play goal, potting the rebound of Pavel Buchnevich’s point shot.

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Kreider wasn’t done making his mark on this game, finishing the night with assists on each of the team’s three remaining goals to take down the Penguins. Kreider has all the potential in the world to be one of the best power-forwards in the NHL. His speed and strength make him very difficult to defend; and if he can put it all together, he will be racking up the points in no time.

Pavel Buchnevich – Regardless of what he would have done during the game, Pavel Buchnevich was already the hero of the night when he gave a fan one of his sticks during warmups.

But Buchnevich would also record the primary assist on Kreider’s goal, endearing himself to Rangers fans even more than they already adore him. Buchnevich has one more year on his entry-level contract and is appearing to be a key building block for Jeff Gorton and the rebuild.

Jesper Fast – After being absolutely robbed by Casey DeSmith minutes earlier, Jesper Fast tied the game with a nifty redirect of Marc Staal’s shot from the half-wall. Fast’s goal was his 11th of the season, a new career best, and as always, has been the hardest working player outside of Henrik Lundqvist. Fast is under contract for two more years and will be almost guaranteed to be part of the leadership group going forward.

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Mika Zibanejad – Playing one of his best games as a member of the Rangers, Mika Zibanejad netted the game-tying and game-winning goals to send the MSG crowd home happy. On his first goal, he was the beneficiary of some gorgeous stick handling by the aforementioned Chris Kreider, who found the center at the back post for a tap-in on the power-play.

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On the game winner, Zibanejad took a backhand pass from Kreider and snuck a shot through DeSmith at the near post.

Much like his teammate Mats Zuccarello did on Monday against Carolina, these goals were the 99th and 100th in Zibanejad’s NHL career. Unlike Zuccarello, Mika Zibanejad’s future will be spent on Broadway, and he will be one of the team’s leaders during the rebuild.

Growing Up So Fast – For a team undergoing a rebuild with young and inexperienced players, the Rangers look like they have found some young NHL-ready talent in the forms of John Gilmour, Neal Pionk, and Alexandar Georgiev. For the blue-liners, you are seeing Gilmour, and for that matter, Pionk, use their speed and puck-carrying abilities to get the team out of trouble, while also being smart and solid in the defensive zone. Pionk picked up three assists in the game, good for nine points since being recalled and fifth on the team since that point. Along with Brady Skjei, a hopefully healthy Kevin Shattenkirk, and Marc Staal, the Rangers blue-line looks like it will be in pretty good hands for the next few years.

As for Georgiev, he has made a very strong case for being the understudy to Henrik Lundqvist next season. With Ondrej Pavelec being out with injury, Georgiev has stepped in and taken his spot between the pipes with confidence. He made 37 saves on 40 Pittsburgh shots last night, with only the Hagelin goal being a “soft” one to let up. He has given the Rangers a chance to win in every game he has played so far, especially in this one, stopping a late penalty shot attempt from Evgeni Malkin. Georgiev is just one of a handful of Rangers goaltending prospects, and with seeming heir-apparent Igor Shestyorkin still a couple of years away from coming to the NHL, Georgiev looks like he would be the perfect backup for King Henrik.

(For more on Georgiev, read Justin’s story here)

Next Game: The Rangers will go for their third win in a row on Saturday in St. Louis when they face the Blues. Puck drops at 8!

LETS GO RANGERS!!