The Comeback Kids Do It Again In Overtime Victory At The Garden
Saturday night’s thrilling 6-5 victory over the Canadiens was not a “typical comeback.” It’s not the usual that a team wins a game after trailing by four goals. Tonight, however, the Rangers completed a more typical comeback victory, by tying the game late in the third and winning in overtime.
Brady Skjei – It’s been an up and down season for the veteran defenseman, but, tonight, Skjei opened the scoring late in the first period. After the Rangers got some extended zone time, Skjei received the pass, created some space for himself, and wired a shot past Alex Stalock for the 1-0 lead. Skjei’s goal was his third of the season, as the Rangers defenseman continues to find some consistency during this roller coaster season.
Chris Kreider – With the Blueshirts trailing 2-1 late in the third, Minnesota’s Ryan Hartman was penalized for tripping down Brady Skjei. This gave the Rangers their golden opportunity to tie the game. Artemiy Panarin, who had an assist on each Rangers goal in this one, fired a shot-pass towards Ryan Strome. Strome got a piece of it and it deflected on the Minnesota net. Stalock was unable to handle the bouncing puck, and Kreider put it over top the outstretched netminder to tie the game for the Blueshirts.
Kreider’s tally was his sixth of the season. The veteran is trying to prove to the Rangers that he deserves a long term contract when this season ends, and if he can keep putting the puck in the net, he may just do that.
Tony DeAngelo – The Rangers won the opening faceoff of overtime and ended the game just 32 seconds into the extra frame. DeAngelo took the pass from Panarin, fakes that he was going to give the puck back to the Russian, drove the net and beat Stalock with a wrister to the blocker side for the victory.
DeAngelo, for me, hadn’t been noticeable much during regulation, but he certainly made his mark on this one. The defenseman’s goal was his seventh of the year, as he continues to improve game after game.
Henrik Lundqvist – It was another milestone night for King Henrik, who took sole possession of fifth place on the NHL’s all-time wins list for goaltenders. Lundqvist was solid, stopping 26 of 28 Wild shots including a dandy of a glove grab in the third. Henrik is 4-2-1 in his last seven starts, and he continues to show he is still a solid NHL goaltender.
Hockey Fights Cancer – It was an emotional night at MSG. Not just because Mats Zuccarello was playing against the Rangers at “The World’s Most Famous Arena” for the first time, but because of the team’s annual Hockey Fights Cancer night. The pregame ceremonies saw a young boy drop a ceremonial puck before ringing a bell signifying the end of his treatment. This was followed by two young ladies doing a beautiful rendition of the national anthem. I know I was tearing up watching it, and I’m sure many others in attendance were as well.
Mats Zuccarello – I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Zuccarello. The long time Ranger was cheered on by fans from the first time he stepped on the ice for warmups. Zuccarello received applause the first time he stepped onto the ice, and the very familiar chant of “ZUUUUUUUUC” was heard when he touched the puck. Then the video tribute came, and the former Ranger tapped his heart a few times, waved to the crowd, and took a “lap” in front of his team’s bench to thank the Garden Faithful. All I can say, on behalf of Rangers fans everywhere, is Thank You, Mats!
Next Game: The Rangers return to action on Wednesday night when they host the Carolina Hurricanes at MSG. Puck drops at 7!
LETS GO RANGERS!!