The Rangers recovered from a sluggish 1st period to fight off a feisty, albeit mathematically-challenged Boston team, pulling it out in overtime, 3-2. Henrik Lundqvist had a great night, making 33 saves on 35 shots and keeping the ice even for the tired Blueshirts, who were coming off 4 games in 6 days, 2 in the last 24 hours.
It took the Rangers far too long to register a shot in the 1st, and Boston’s forecheck and long sticks basically left NY skating pointlessly back and forth, until a shot from Michael Grabner ricocheted off the glass and into Tuukka Rask’s back, resulting in a goal. A fantastic penalty kill that seemed to put some spring back in their skates ended the 1st.
The team came back with more fire in the second, and it took just 2:41 for Ryan McDonagh to launch J.T. Miller with a stretch pass on the power play. 2-0 Rangers.
Miller, from Mac & Skjei, on the power play for a 2-0 NYR lead pic.twitter.com/So8LDiH5oM— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) December 16, 2017
The Rangers had ample time to polish up their penalty kill, currently 8th in the league, as the refs were quick with the whistles against them, while identical Boston infractions — slashing, stick holding — went uncalled. But it was miscommunication on defense (and an unusual amount of spinning in circles?) that led to both Bruin goals, the first here, from Danton Heinen, almost 15 minutes into the 2nd:
And the second here, early in the 3rd from Brad Marchand, who was all alone on the power play, because ... I have no idea why, but Marc Staal seems to think it’s his fault, so let’s go with that.
Marchand scores, Bruins tie NYR 2-2 pic.twitter.com/5OGRQjQQnD— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) December 17, 2017
After that, there was a lot of fierce back and forth, as well as increasing mathematical difficulties for the Bruins, who squandered the officials’ earlier generosity by putting 5 — yes, FIVE — men on the ice during the 3 on 3.
So the OT actually ended 4 on 3, when Zucc, after giving the matter serious thought, decided to shoot instead of pass. Bless his little Hobbit heart.
That followed, of course, by this.
Thanks to the Hobbit and the King, we all lived happily ever after! Until Tuesday, anyway, when the Rangers take on the Ducks.