The New York Rangers offensive outburst was on display once again this evening, where they defeated the San Jose Sharks by a final score of 7-4. Throughout the first two periods of this game, the Rangers were playing very well in their own end and kept the Sharks in check. Antti Raanta was also great in his first start of the year, and had a solid outing despite the flurry of goals that went past him in the third period.
In the opening minutes of this game, the Rangers came out strong in the offensive zone, and were eventually awarded a little over the halfway mark. Marc Staal was the recipient of the first goal, and capped off of a beautiful passing play between Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan. Jimmy Vesey didn’t get credited with an assist on the goal, but he did all of the heavy lifting on this goal with his great board play.
Nearing the end of the first period, the Rangers got caught up in some penalty trouble and were forced to kill off an extended 5-on-3. While two players down, Rick Nash had an opportunity to go and created a scoring opportunity. However, what happened after led to the Sharks breaking up the ice and capitalizing on a 5-on-2 rush.
Brent Burns wound up sitting on top of Nash behind the net prior to the goal, and surprisingly, there wasn’t a penalty called on the play. That allowed the Sharks to create a quick counter-attack, and they made it a 2-1 game. Following a rocky ending to the first period, the Rangers came out firing in the second period and went up by a pair of goals to make it a 3-1 score.
Rick Nash came away with his first goal of the season after slamming home and intentional bank shot off of the end boards from Ryan McDonagh. A few minutes later, it was Chris Kreider scoring in dominating fashion and absolutely shelfing a shot from just inside left circle. Martin Jones cheated away from the post, and Kreider rocketed the shot right under the crossbar for his third goal on the year.
Then, the third period happened.
Brent Burns pulled the Sharks back within a goal at the 9:13 mark of the third period, which then sparked a seven goal third period between both teams. The Rangers quickly responded with goals from Kevin Hayes, and Jimmy Vesey, who FINALLY notched his first career goal.
Both goals were almost identical, with Hayes and Vesey finishing off beautiful centering feeds from Jesper Fast and Derek Stepan. Then, it was the Sharks turn for a pair of goals, and they pulled back within a goal after goals coming from Brent Burns (again) and Joe Pavelski.
Finally, after a few tense moments, the Rangers iced the game with empty net goals by Mats Zuccarello and Michael Grabner to close out the 7-4 scoreline. While the defense remains a bit of a question mark, there’s no doubting the Rangers offense at the moment. They’re firing on all cylinders, and aside from the game in St. Louis (although they deserved to win that game), they have put up some big goals over the first three games.
The Rangers will be back in action this coming Wednesday, where they will host the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden.