Vladimir Tarasenko stars in Rangers 6-3 win over Kraken
It took Vladimir Tarasenko just 2:49 to hear the Garden crowd chant his name by scoring on his first shot with the New York Rangers.
In a whirlwind 24 hours after being traded by the St. Louis Blues along with defenseman Niko Mikkola, he was all smiles and genuinely happy with his debut.
“It was a lot of emotions,” Tarasenko said about the chants. “I was thinking I misheard.It’s amazing. Like I said, I’ve had a very warm welcome. So far it’s very good and I’m excited.”
Vladimir Tarasenko stars in first game with Rangers
The home crowd was electric early giving the 31 year-old Tarasenko a huge ovation when he was announced as one of the starters.
It took just his second shift to bring them to their feet in a frenzy when Artemi Panarin took an errand Seattle pass to head into the offensive zone. Drawing a defender to him, Panarin slid a pass to his good friend Tarasenko, who made no mistake to direct it under Martin Jones.
“He’s a world class player,” Mika Zibanejad said during the MSG Intermission. “He can obviously score and make plays. Big strong body and can hold on to pucks. Unbelievable player.”
The Rangers were feeling the energy and made it 2-0 thanks to a beautiful passing sequence by the Kid Line. Kaapo Kakko was the final recipient of the play with Filip Chytil and Alexis Lafreniere getting the helpers. For Chytil, he extends his point streak to six games (9 points).
As the Garden rocked the Rangers rolled. This time it was Vincent Trocheck crashing the net for his 15th goal with 5:31 remaining to build the lead up to 3-0.
The Blueshirts power play had a few new looks thanks to the addition of Vladimir Tarasenko and went 2 for 3 on the night. The first goal was by Jacob Trouba, who simply took a loose puck and flung it at the net. Seattle’s Will Borgen was in the crease and was helpless as the frozen rubber disc banked in off his body a minute into the middle frame.
The Rangers let their guard down and paid for it when Oliver Bjorkstrand scored on a breakaway to beat Igor Shesterkin off a lazy line change.
Mika Zibanejad would restore the four goal lead by completing a pretty passing play started by Adam Fox and highlighted by Chris Kreider in the third. That was Mika’s 15th power play goal this season.
Things got dicey as the Kraken scored two quick ones to make it 5-3.
Ultimately, Shesterkin would prevail in net with 26 saves and watched Ryan Lindgren launch a long distance shorthanded goal into an empty net to seal the deal.
The win gave the Rangers a perfect home stand (4-0-0) and points in their last six games (5-0-1).
“It went well tonight,” Gerard Gallant said. “It was good to see [Tarasenko] score that goal early in the game. We played well, that’s a real good hockey team over there. Happy with our effort.”
New York will travel to Carolina on Saturday to face the Hurricanes.
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