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Rangers vs. Sharks: Take The Points And Run

Rangers snap losing streak with 6-5 victory over Sharks and head into All-Star break one point out of a playoff spot.

New York Rangers v San Jose Sharks
  • The New York Rangers entered Thursday night’s contest on a three-game losing streak, and just three wins in the last 10 games played. They needed a win in the worst of ways, and ultimately found a way to get the job done.
  • The 6-5 victory was a back and forth contest and the Rangers squeaked out an ugly victory. But two points is two points, and the team is probably happy to be headed home for a week off due to the All-Star break.
  • Kevin Hayes made a triumphant return to the lineup scoring in the first period on a booming shot.
Shayna Goldman | @hayyyshayyy
  • Hayes has used this move before, and he really has a knack of picking a spot and putting all his weight behind his shot so that the goaltender doesn’t have a chance. Goalies are so used to Hayes passing across that they start to cheat, and he made Aaron Dell pay here.
  • J.T. Miller, fresh off a benching in the second and third period of Tuesday’s contest vs. the Anaheim Ducks, picked up the primary assist on the goal (20th overall). Mats Zuccarello picked up the secondary assist (28th overall). Both Miller and Zuccarello continued to make an impact as the evening progressed.
  • At that point the Rangers had a lead, but it didn’t last long. Exactly one minute later the Sharks got on the board as Barclay Goodrow tucked home a rebound, and just over four minutes later Logan Couture sniped a shot past Ondrej Pavelec to give San Jose a 2-1 lead.
  • However, the Rangers regrouped and generated a few chances after San Jose took the lead, and Jesper Fast ultimately tied things up at two after being setup by Michael Grabner (5) and Peter Holland (2).
Shayna Goldman | @hayyyshayyy
  • The second period was played with a lot more pace, and less overall defense. Couture got the Sharks on the board again with his second goal of the game to give San Jose a 3-2 lead.
  • Just after the midway point of the second period the Rangers tied things up as Ryan McDonagh picked up his 1st goal of the season! It took him his until his 45th game of the season to finally score, but hey, a goal is a goal.
Shayna Goldman | @hayyyshayyy
  • Hayes picked up the primary assist on the goal (9th assist overall), and Miller the secondary assist (21st assist overall).
  • But McDonagh wasn’t done, as he picked up a power-play goal 1:12 after his first. Pavel Buchnevich picked up the lone assist, his 19th of the season.
Shayna Goldman | @hayyyshayyy
  • Just as the Rangers gained some momentum they went to the penalty kill and it looked like the Sharks were going to get back in the game. Heading into the game San Jose had scored power play goals in three straight games.
  • Instead the Rangers benefited from a fortuitous bounce that went off Brady Skjei while shorthanded to give the team a 5-3 lead. The goal was Skjei’s third of the 2017-18 campaign.
Shayna Goldman | @hayyyshayyy
  • In the third period both sides were relatively quiet for the first half, but Marc-Edouard Vlasic pulled the Sharks within one after scoring a goal at the 9:09 mark of the period.
  • From that point on the Sharks continued pressing, and although the Rangers did bend a bit, they did not break.
  • With 1:50 remaining in the game, Zuccarello drove down the wall and swung behind the net and found a streaking Miller who scored to give the Rangers a 6-4 lead. The goal was Miller’s third point of the night, and it stood as the game winner.
Shayna Goldman | @hayyyshayyy
  • The Sharks picked up a goal from Tomas Hertl with 0:50 left in the game to cut the deficient to 6-5, but ultimately fell short in their comeback.
  • Overall, Miller had a nice bounce back game with a goal and two assists. He made the most of his ice time, 15:53, and showed why he is one of the Rangers more talented players. Hayes also looked very comfortable with a goal and two assists, and the time off while recovering from a contusion did him some good.
  • It was good for McDonagh to finally get his first goal, and added another for good measure. Skjei picked up a goal and an assist and Zuccarello finished with two helpers.
  • Pavelec stopped 23 of 28 shots faced, and while not his greatest outing he did enough for the Rangers to win. It was a weird way for the team to end their road trip, but a win is a win no matter how ugly it is.
  • The Rangers’ next game is on Thursday, February 1 and will take place at home vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs.