Rangers streak into All-Star break with OT win (NYR 3 v OTT 2)

Carl Hagelin ices it in OT versus OTT (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Carl Hagelin ices it in OT versus OTT (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

It was a deft passing play by Derek Stepan and a soft hands finish by Carl Hagelin that gave the Blueshirts a big win at MSG. The Rangers head into the ALL-STAR break on a 3 game winning streak and winners of 16 in their last 19 games.


OTT at NYR 1.20.15 (ESPN)

OTT at NYR 1.20.15 (ESPN)

“A good team wins on a bad day, and that’s what we did today,” said Mats Zuccarello and it was the perfect quote. This was no easy game to watch, especially in the first period where for the most part it was a snooze-fest. The Rangers certainly seemed sluggish out of the gate, especially when you consider how they came out versus Pittsburgh.

Mid-way through the second period, rookie Kevin Hayes scored on a rebound in front to give NY the 1-0 lead. It evaporated in just 1:02 minutes of play. First it was fleet skating defenseman Erik Karlsson then Milan Michalek made it 2-1 on the PP. Trouble was brewing.

Going into the final period, Lundqvist felt the team could pull this one out. “We had a good feeling going into the third, and not losing this game” Hank said. One the league’s hottest goalies talked about leaving it all out there and they did.

Chris Kreider continued to flash his size and speed when he tied the game with his 10th of the year. Brilliant goaltending from both sides pushed the game to OT, where the Rangers took completely control.

The game winner came off of Hagelin’s stick but he laid all the praise to Derek Stepan. Hags explained how he and Stepan were in sync and even made eye contact seconds before the tally. “I’m just going to the net,” Hagelin said afterwards, “I know he’s going to find me.”

Find him he did, in the most artistic way possible with a no-look behind the back pass. It’s especially odd when you hear head coach, Alain Vigneault call the game not a “Picasso.” In the end, they won and that’s all that matters. “This game is about finding ways to win, and finding ways to win when you are not at your best, and that’s what we did.”



Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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