Top moments of the New York Rangers 2021-22 playoffs
The New York Rangers had an amazing regular season going 52-24-6 for 110 points and finishing second in the Metropolitan Division.
They used it as a springboard into the playoffs to go on a magical run to the Eastern Conference Final. The Rangers ultimately lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games. It was also their 20th playoff contest in just 40 days. Simply put, even for a young team like the Blueshirts, it was just too much hockey in a short amount of time.
“When you go 7 twice there’s not much break and guys don’t get a chance to heal,” Gerard Gallant said after being eliminated. “It made it tough but we battled hard and did the best we could.”
Despite falling to Tampa, the Rangers are way ahead of schedule.
“I couldn’t be prouder of what our players and coaches accomplished this season,” Chris Drury said. “We have a special group in that room… we want to build on this as an organization.”
The Rangers run had some very special moments, here’s a look back at some of the best.
New York Rangers Playoffs: Chytil and Shesterkin zap Lightning
Rangers 6 vs Lightning 2 (Game 1, June 1 at Madison Square Garden)
The Rangers exploded in the second period of Game 1 thanks to a member of the Kid Line to grab the series lead.
Chytil would score his first of two in the second period on a strong shift in the Tampa zone. Alexis Lafrenière sent the puck down low to Kaapo Kakko, who has been dominant when cycling. The big Finn drew Lightning defenders to him as he hit his center in the slot for the 3-2 lead at the 10:09 mark.
“I just keep working,” Chytil said. “Everything I can do and I’m happy it’s going in at an important moment.”
The Kid Line would strike again five minutes later in one of the Rangers most dominant couple of shifts of the entire season. It started with Barclay Goodrow’s line cycling in the offensive zone for about a minute before Chytil converted a cross-ice feed by K’Andre Miller to make it 4-2.
Even though the Lightning kept coming, Igor Shesterkin kept turning them away stopping 32 of 34 shots.
Rangers start comeback against Penguins
Rangers 5 vs Penguins 3 (Game 5, May 11 at Madison Square Garden)
This will forever be the game where Jacob Trouba will live in infamy around Pittsburgh. The Penguins were up 3-1 in the series and 2-0 in Game 5 when a collision between Trouba and Sidney Crosby send the latter down hard to the ice and out for the remainder of the contest.
“At the time I didn’t know that was the play he got injured on,” Trouba admitted. “I tried going stick on puck and my stick in between his legs hitting his thigh pushing my arm up. It was a fluky play and not a massively hard contact.”
Adam Fox got the Rangers on the board, followed by Alexis Lafreniere to tie the game. To pour some salt on the wound, Trouba gave his team a brief 3-2 lead before Jake Guentzel tied it up to close out the second period.
Filip Chytil broke the tie in the third and Ryan Lindgren scored the empty-net goal to put the Rangers back in the series.
Shesterkin overcomes hostile Pittsburgh crowd
Rangers 5 vs Penguins 3 (Game 6, May 13 at PPG Paints Arena)
Igor Shesterkin was rocked in both Games 3 and 4 in Pittsburgh. Mock chants of “EEE-GOR, EEE-GOR” rained down from Penguins fans relentlessly whenever the puck was in the Rangers zone. There’s no denying it, Shesterkin was rattled.
The Penguins once again jumped out to a 2-0 lead in Game 6 and the serenading began again. This time, Shesterkin hung in there to make 31 stops on 34 shots to even the series.
Chris Kreider broke the tie in the third period this time around with Andrew Copp sealing the deal with an empty netter.
Rangers take out Hurricanes in Game 7
Rangers 6 vs Hurricanes 2 (Game 7, May 30 at PNC Arena)
The New York Rangers let it all hang out in Game 7 in Carolina and ended the Hurricanes seven-game winning streak at home. They did so in authoritative fashion with a 6-2 victory.
Jacob Trouba set the tone early with a monstrous hit on Seth Jarvis that knocked him out of the game. As the youngster struggled to get back to the bench, the Hurricanes were called for too-many-men on the ice.
With the power play winding down, Alexis Lafrenière hit Adam Fox coming in from the point who scored with just two seconds left on the man advantage.
The scoring parade would continue with Chris Kreider scoring twice and a Ryan Strome goal sandwiched in between before the Canes’ Vincent Trocheck with get them on the board.
Igor Shesterkin was probably at his best in this one stopping 37 of 39 shots.
“We’re a resilient group, we’re a young group and we have a lot of faith in each other,” Fox said. “When our backs are against the wall it brings out the best in us.”
Artemi Panarin wins Game 7 in OT
Rangers 4 vs Penguins 3 (Game 7, May 15 at Madison Square Garden)
With the Rangers down 3-2 late in the third period, the stage was set for hands down the best moment of the playoffs.
The Blueshirts stuck to their system despite the clock winding down on the season. It finally paid off when Andrew Copp centered a puck from the corner that Zibanejad quickly snapped over Jarry’s glove to tie it at 3 with just 5:45 remaining.
“We didn’t want the season to end and this has been our team all year,” Zibanejad explained. “No matter how the game goes we stick together and good things will happen.”
The Rangers and Penguins went to OT with the home team keenly aware of their triple OT loss in Game 1.
K’Andre Miller intercepted a puck in the neutral and picked up a head full of steam. As he cut to the net Brock McGinn hooked him and set the stage for The Breadman.
With the clock ticking on the man advantage, Panarin received a cross-ice pass from defenseman Adam Fox and moved down the slot. His wrist shot must’ve had eyes as it eluded Jarry’s glove for the series winning goal. It was Panarin’s second career overtime playoff tally and probably his most memorable one to date.
“They’ve been letting me shoot from the first game and it’s my bad that I haven’t been making those shots,” Panarin said through an interpreter. “Maybe I’ll take everyone’s advice and shoot more.”
“Honestly, the ice wasn’t great tonight and it effects [Panarin’s] game more than other guys,” Gallant said. “He’s the guy that I said to myself going into overtime ‘I know it’s going to be him’.”
Igor Shesterkin made 42 saves in this contest, matching a great effort by Tristan Jarry who stopped 26 after not playing since April 14.
“It’s a huge win for the team and the organization,” Jacob Trouba said. “That whole No Quit New York is pretty true.”
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