The New York Rangers kept their winning streak alive this afternoon and defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 at Madison Square Garden. Henrik Lundqvist also picked up his sixth straight win and kept the Rangers in the game early in the second period.
The Rangers came out with another quick start this afternoon, but an early interference call on Mika Zibanejad halted that momentum for a short time. Following a successful penalty kill, the Rangers started to push the play back towards the Oilers and eventually caught a fortunate bounce. A Mats Zuccarello clearing attempt took a weird bounce in the neutral zone, and sent Rick Nash the other way on a 2-on-1 opportunity.
Nash fed the puck over to Kevin Hayes, who returned the favor on the far side, and Nash buried the puck into the empty net. Hayes did an excellent job selling the shot on Cam Talbot, who remained on the far side and the Rangers took the 1-0 lead in this game. A short time later, the Oilers would break even with a goal coming from Jesse Puljujarvi in the high slot.
The Rangers would have a late power play opportunity and despite creating chances, were unable to convert before closing out the first period. Unlike the first period, the Rangers came out of the intermission absolutely flat and had their teeth kicked in during the first 10 minutes. Things went from bad to worse pretty quickly after Steven Kampfer went sent off for an unnecessary hooking penalty in the defensive zone.
That eventually led to a power play goal by Connor McDavid, who slammed home the loose puck off to the right of Henrik Lundqvist. Down by a goal, the Rangers’ power play went to work and scored twice nearing the end of the second period. Pavel Buchnevich was the recipient of the first goal after opening up in the high slot, and redirected home a ridiculous pass from Kevin Shattenkirk.
About three minutes later, it was Rick Nash giving the Rangers their second lead of the afternoon with a redirection of his own. Brady Skjei put the puck right on Nash’s stick near the right post, and Nash deflected the shot over Cam Talbot’s shoulder. Despite a miserable start to the period, the power play bailed the Rangers out as they looked to carry over the momentum gained at the end of the period.
With the Rangers protecting the lead in the third period, they weren’t looking to be overly aggressive and give up the tying goal. As a result, there wasn’t a whole lot of action throughout the third period, but the game started to open up just past the halfway mark. Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello had two huge opportunities to cash in on 2-on-1 rushes, but came up empty handed on Cam Talbot.
The Oilers elected to pull the goaltender late in the game, and the Rangers forced the Oilers into making inopportune passes that resulted in turnovers. Michael Grabner eventually converted on one of those turnovers and deposited the puck into the empty net. The Rangers have now made it six wins in a row, and after their 3-7-2 start, they are now tied for first place in the Metropolitan Division.