Rangers survive Maple Leafs in overtime led by four point performance by Strome
The Rangers were fast right from the get-go; skating well, shooting the puck, and pressuring the Leafs puck carriers. The Blueshirts hopped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal from Brett Howden before Toronto quickly tied it with a William Nylander powerplay goal.
Not long after, the Rangers regained the lead after a Ryan Strome goal off a beautiful steal and set up from Artemi Panarin. The first period also featured a rare penalty shot. Pavel Buchnevich was awarded the shot after being taken down on a breakaway but failed to convert. Having failed on several good chances, this was a frustrating night for Buchnevich.
The Rangers widened their lead in the second period with another goal by Strome, this time a blast to the top corner on a fast break making it 3-1.
The Leafs cut into the lead making it 3-2 not long after. The Rangers lost a defensive zone faceoff and a lack of communication resulted in the puck landing on Auston Matthews’ stick, who rocketed one home. The Blueshirts made it 4-2 late in the period after a fantastic breakaway goal by Mika Zibanejad.
Toronto managed to get within a goal after a tipped shot from the point. From that moment on it was an onslaught. For ten straight minutes, the Leafs controlled the puck and poured shots on Alexandar Georgiev. Despite the Rangers making a plethora of excellent defensive plays, Matthews tied the game on a shot deflected by the stick of Ryan Lindgren with under a minute left to make it 4-4.
In overtime, the Leafs controlled early and got a prime chance. However, a robbery by Georgiev led to a two on one the other way on which Panarin dished to Tony DeAngelo who proceeded to net the game-winner to give the Rangers a 5-4 victory.
Strome has continued his excellent play. The Rangers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead off a nifty centering feed from Strome to Brett Howden who wristed one by Freddy Anderson from the high slot. It was not only a much needed goal for Howden, who has had trouble scoring this season, but also for the whole squad which entered the game looking to build off a dominant win against the Carolina Hurricanes last night at Madison Square Garden.
Strome scored the Rangers second goal off a fantastic diving pass from Artemiy Panarin after stealing the puck in the offensive zone. Strome went forehand to backhand before finding space to slip the puck through the five-hole of Anderson giving the Blueshirts a 2-1 lead.
Strome kept it going with a rocket past Anderson giving the Rangers a 3-1 lead.
As if Strome wasn’t already having a great game, he got a secondary assist on Tony DeAngelo’s game winner in overtime.
Zibanejad has continued his elite play, scoring another goal tonight off a great up-ice feed from Chris Kreider, who is also continuing to rack up points.
Artemiy Panarin is still ”fresh out of the oven” hot. He notched three assists tonight including the primary assist on the game winner. He now has 51 points on the season, which ties him for sixth in scoring league-wide. He also now leads the Metropolitan division in scoring.
Next Game: The Blueshirts start their trip through western Canada on Tuesday night with a New Year’s Eve matchup against the Oilers. Puck drops at 9!
Let’s Go Rangers!