Top 5 New York Rangers games of 2023
As we start a brand new year, Forever Blueshirts looks back at some of the best New York Rangers games of 2023. Before we reveal which memorable wins made our list, let’s look back at some of the key takeaways from the last calendar year.
Earlier in 2023, Blueshirts fans welcomed the acquisitions of Vladamir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane. However, the hype and eventual outcome did not live up to its expectations. The New Jersey Devils knocked out the Rangers in a seven game first round playoff series, and only days later Gerard Gallant was fired after two seasons in New York. The search for a new head coach continued throughout May, but ultimately it was the veteran Peter Laviolette who emerged to replace Gallant.
In a summer where Chris Drury was cap strapped the Rangers went out and signed veterans Blake Wheeler, Jonathan Quick, Erik Gustafsson, and Tyler Pitlick to short term deals. Leading into the 2023-24 campaign there was a lot of skepticism over how this Rangers team would compete in a loaded Metropolitan Division after losing key unrestricted free agents.
Despite a slow start, the Rangers soon began soaring to the top of the division and eventually the NHL standings with 51 points after 35 games. With two impressive wins against the Boston Bruins and other top teams in the league, the Rangers look like the team to beat in the early stages of this season.
Top 5 New York Rangers Games of 2023
January 12, 2023: 2-1 OT Win vs Dallas Stars
A 7:00 pm Thursday night game seemed ordinary as fans packed into the Garden. After falling 1-0 to a Tyler Seguin power play goal early in the second, the Rangers couldn’t get anything going offensively.
In the dying seconds of the third period and with an extra skater it appeared Jake Oettinger was destined for his third shutout of the season. Then a miracle occurred. K’Andre Miller got his own rebound off a blocked shot to tie the game with a tick on the clock.
Early in the overtime period, in a chaotic sequence, Miro Heiskanen lost his stick and Artemi Panarin was able to find Adam Fox who roofed a backhander past Oettinger for the win. Panarin urged Fox to try his signature “kick celebration” following the goal and the Garden was electric.
The dramatic victory was featured on major sports media platforms such as ESPN and the game was one of the Rangers best wins last season.
February 6, 2023: 5-4 OT Win vs Calgary Flames
In their first game back from the All-Star break the Rangers welcomed the Calgary Flames to MSG. The first matchup of the season became an instant classic.
Things started off with a bang as captain Jacob Trouba delivered two thunderous open ice hits each in turn resulting in fights. That was followed by Sammy Blais catching Milan Lucic with a clean hit that brought the Garden to its feet. Ensuing scuffles, that even included rookie Will Cuylle, occurred throughout the whole night making this a game to remember.
With the Rangers down 4-3 in the third period Mika Zibanejad tied the game to send it to overtime. On a 2-on-1 during the extra session, Zibanejad rifled a slap shot that missed the net, but Alexis Lafreniére buried the rebound to end the game.
February 17, 2023: 5-4 Shootout Win Vs Oilers
Hopefully Rangers faithful stayed awake for a wild game in Edmonton. Surely we remember the last time the Rangers were at Rodgers Place? Who can forget Connor McDavid dangling four Rangers and beating Alexander Georgiev for a highlight reel goal.
The Rangers lost that game 6-5 in overtime that time around, but this trip to Alberta would be more successful. After trailing 4-1 at the end of the first, the “No Quit In New York” mantra became a reality.
Chris Kreider netted a shorthanded goal in the second period to cut the lead to two. Alexis Lafreniére added a goal early in the third, and Mika Zibanejad hammered a shot past Jack Campbell on the power play to tie the game.
After a chaotic overtime, it was a goalie showdown in the shootout. In the sixth round of the shootout Lafreniére slide a backhand past Campbell for the Rangers seventh straight win. Hopefully, Rangers fans didn’t fall asleep or had their DVR’s set!
October 12, 2023: 5-1 Win vs Buffalo Sabres
Opening night this season featured a new look behind the bench. It is only fitting to remember the year on a high note. Peter Laviolette’s Rangers coaching debut proved to be a success. From puck drop Laviolette’s pressure style of play became apparent.
Lafreniére scored the first goal of the season silencing some of his preseason criticism. The veteran Chris Kreider made his mark on the man advantage and on the penalty kill. Panarin made it 3-0 in the second period and Igor Shesterkin recored his 100th win of his career.
Building on this opening night in Western, New York things only improved as the Rangers progressed through 2023 as one of the top teams in the league. A whirlwind of a year that had Rangers fans uncertain about the future in the spring has ended with the Rangers being atop of the league as we ring in 2024.
December 16th, 2023: 2-1 OT comeback win vs Bruins
Vincent Trocheck led the rally by scoring twice, including the OT winner to give the Blueshirts a huge 2-1 overtime win in Boston over the Bruins. It also marked the second time in two tries they were able to beat last year’s Presidents’ Trophy winners this season.
The games was defined by two elite goalies as Igor Shesterkin and Jeremy Swayman combined for 53 saves.
New York evened the game with their potent power play midway through the third period as Zibanejad dished a beautiful feed to Trocheck. In the extra session, it was the aggressive Rangers pivot, who is having a marvelous season, giving his team a big win.
“I give our guys a lot of credit for staying with it,” Laviolette said afterwards. “It’s 1-0 and we’re attacking with nothing going in. We stayed the course and eventually got one and into overtime… we’re happy to get out of here with two points.”
Editor’s Note: Happy New Year readers! First off, I want to thank you all for another year of support. Forever Blueshirts has an exciting 2024 planned, as we will soon be adding even more talent to our already wonderful group of writers. So from all of us to all of you, we wish you health, peace, and happiness this new year.