The New York Rangers absolutely dominated the Vancouver Canucks tonight, and defeated them in overtime by a final score of 3-2. This game probably shouldn't have went to overtime, but Ryan Miller's spectacular performance tonight kept the Canucks afloat all night long. Thankfully, a late goal by Mats Zuccarello tied the game up at two, and J.T. Miller eventually ended the game in overtime.
If not for Zuccarello's tying goal, this game might have turned into an extremely disappointing loss, especially after how strong the Rangers were playing. However, the Rangers just kept pressing and when you keep getting high quality chances, one is eventually going to break in your favor. Henrik Lundqvist, despite letting up two goals, was equally spectacular tonight and kept the Rangers in the game when the Canucks had an occasional chance.
Even though the Rangers jumped on the Canucks from the opening faceoff, it was Vancouver who got the early lead in this game. Bo Horvat started it all off by burning Dan Boyle down the left wing, and quickly dished the puck out front after circling the net. Sven Baertschi was left all alone streaking in and he tapped home the beautiful centering feed from Horvat.
It took the Rangers until the 4:18 mark of the the second period to finally answer back, and it came courtesy of Derek Stepan on the delayed penalty. After Chris Kreider fanned on a one-timer attempt, the puck skipped towards the net and Ryan Miller was unable to handle it. Derek Stepan was camped right at the top of the crease and slammed home the rebound to knot the game up at 1-1.
About 12 minutes after the Rangers tied the game, the Canucks responded and regained their one goal lead. This time around, it was ex-Ranger Emerson Etem setting up Alexander Burrows on a backdoor feed after Kevin Klein lost his man. Burrows had an easy tap-in from just at the top of the crease, and based on Lundqvist's reaction, the Rangers were not pleased.
After a countless opportunities, the Rangers just couldn't find a way to beat Miller, but then at 11:46 of the third period, Mats Zuccarello delivered. Keith Yandle set up the entire play with a beautiful centering feed from the corner, and Zuccarello finished it off with an even better redirection in the front of the net. The Rangers were able to take advantage of Miller not having a stick and they were able to find a way to get this game knotted up at 2-2.
Unfortunately, the Rangers couldn't grab another goal in regulation and they had to settle for an overtime period to decide the winner. Although, that would later prove to be some good news for the Rangers. A little under four minutes into the extra period, J.T. Miller came off the bench in relief of Derek Stepan, and created the game-winning goal. After a failed shot attempt from the goal line, Miller picked up the loose puck and beat Miller on a wraparound in one fluid motion.
After an extremely dominating performance, it was relieving to see the Rangers finally get rewarded for their strong performance. Of course, it probably was more stressful than it needed to be, but in the end, they found a way.
In the words of Mats Zuccarello, "We've got to show that Zed is not dead."