Following a less than ideal Wester Canada road trip, the New York Rangers returned home this evening and picked up a big 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. The news of the day was Igor Shesterkin getting his first career start, and despite a rough start to the game, Shesterkin battled back for his first NHL victory.
J.T. Compher (6) - Samuel Girard (22) & Andrei Burakovsky (13) - 4:44 1st Period
Just four minutes into the game, Colorado certainly took the air out of the building as they were able to jump out to an early 1-0 lead. J.T. Compher picked up his sixth goal of the season after battling in front of the net and deflecting the puck through traffic. Unfortunately for Igor Shesterin, it was just an unfortunate bounce that eluded his blocker and he allowed a goal on his first shot.
Nathan MacKinnon (26) - Unassisted - 6:34 1st Period
Things escalated pretty quickly following the early marker by Colorado, and Nathan MacKinnon stunned the Rangers with another goal just two minutes later. Another fortunate bounce went against the Rangers as the puck leaped over Adam Fox’s stick and gave MacKinnon a clear breakaway. Shesterkin looked poised on the breakaway but just wasn’t able to lock down one of the league’s best goal scorers.
Chris Kreider (13) PPG - Ryan Strome (27) & Tony DeAngelo (22) - 8:57 1st Period
The Rangers finally put some life back into the building just under the halfway mark as Chris Kreider picked up a goal on the power play. New York did an excellent job of keeping puck possession during their opening power play, and it quickly transitioned into a goal. Ryan Strome was able to put the puck in a perfect position for Kreider and he deflected home his 13th goal of the year.
Mika Zibanejad (17) - Tony DeAngelo (23) & Jesper Fast (9) - 15:23 1st Period
With a little under five minutes remaining in the first period, Mika Zibanejad brought the Rangers back even in the game. New York generated the scoring chance with precision passing along the boards, and the puck eventually worked its way over to Tony DeAngelo. DeAngelo returned the favor after receiving the puck from Mika Zibanejad, and Zibanejad chipped the puck past Philip Grubauer.
Brady Skjei (6) - Adam Fox (18) & Artemiy Panarin (34) - 8:05 2nd Period
The Rangers carried over their strong play from the second half of the first period, and they eventually took their first lead of the evening. After missing on a glorious chance earlier in the period, Brady Skjei redeemed himself with a monstrous slap shot from the right point spot. With a great screen in front by Jesper Fast, Philip Grubauer never saw the puck and New York took a 3-2 lead.
J.T. Compher (7) - Andrei Burakovsky (14) & Valeri Nichushkin (9) - 11:32 2nd Period
However, the Rangers’ lead would only last for a little over three minutes as J.T. Compher registered his second goal of the game. This was the first time during the night that the Rangers were burned on a glaring defensive miscue. Neither Tony DeAngelo nor Marc Staal picked up Compher on the back post, and he was able to tap home a loose puck in the crease.
Ryan Strome (12) - Jesper Fast (10) & Artemiy Panarin (35) - 13:39 2nd Period
The Rangers obviously didn’t let the tying goal bother them very much, and they struck back just two minutes later to regain their lead. Ryan Strome picked up his 12th goal of the season after sliding to a soft spot in coverage, and snapped home a great pass from Jesper Fast in front of the net.
Artemiy Panarin (23) ENG - Mika Zibanejad (16) & Jesper Fast (11) - 19:32 3rd Period
The third period was a bit of an adventure for the Rangers as they dropped back defensive coverage to close out the game. They were able to keep their lead intact as most of Colorado’s chances came from the perimeter. Artemiy Panarin eventually iced the game after forcing a neutral zone turnover, and gave the Rangers the 5-3 lead with 30 seconds remaining.
The opening few minutes were just an unfortunate start to the game for the Rangers, but they battled back to tie the game. Igor Shesterkin didn’t let the opening two goals bother him very much and settled into his game the rest of the way. Following tonight’s impressive win, the Rangers will have a scheduled off day tomorrow before welcoming the New Jersey Devils to Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.