The New York Rangers have continued their impressive run towards a playoff spot tonight as they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-3 in regulation. New York exploded in the period and added five goals to their tally after entering the the final frame deadlocked at 1-1. Igor Shesterkin finally returned to the crease after a two game absence and turned in another solid effort to improve to 7-1-0.
Filip Chytil (13) - Kaapo Kakko (12) & Tony DeAngelo (31) - 1:58 1st Period
The Rangers didn’t waste much time finding the goals in this game and jumped out to an early 1-0 lead just under two minutes in. Filip Chytil created space for himself in the neutral zone and muscled his way by Adam Boqvist after receiving a pass from Kaapo Kakko. Chytil continued his momentum towards the net and snapped a quick wrist shot through the legs of Robin Lehner.
Dominik Kubalik (24) - Duncan Keith (15) & Patrick Kane (48) - 2:29 2nd Period
Chicago was held scoreless through 20 minutes of play, but eventually found the tying goal just 2:29 into the second period. The Blackhawks were able to get some extended zone and with some tired legs on the ice, the Rangers surrendered the tying goal. Duncan Keith was able to find Dominik Kubalik all alone in the faceoff circle and Kubalik wired a slap shot past Igor Shesterkin.
Pavel Buchnevich (14) - Chris Kreider (20) - 2:33 3rd Period
With the game coming down to the final frame to decide the winner, the Rangers came out of intermission with some jump to their game. Pavel Buchnevich was able to give New York their second lead of the evening after jumping into an open lane and deflecting home his 14th goal of the season. Chris Kreider did excellent work below the goal line to absorb a hit and feed a pass out front to the cutting Buchnevich.
Ryan Strome (15) PPG - Tony DeAngelo (32) & Mika Zibanejad (28) - 4:01 3rd Period
Nearly two minutes after Buchnevich’s tally, Ryan Strome finally broke through on the power play after being denied by the post earlier in the game. A hard point shot by Tony DeAngelo generated a perfect rebound in front of the net with Ryan Strome parked in the right spot. Strome was able to fight off his defender and slipped the puck past Lehner on a spinning shot.
Dominik Kubalik (25) - Drake Caggiula (6) & Jonathan Toews (35) - 6:05 3rd Period
Despite the Rangers scoring two quick goals, the Blackhawks came right back down the ice and drew back within a goal courtesy of Dominik Kubalik. Kubalik was able to chip the puck through the middle of the ice and split between Marc Staal and Jacob Trouba with a quick burst of speed. Igor Shesterkin was able to react to the breakaway move by Kubalik but the puck slipped between his legs to make it a 3-2 game.
Chris Kreider (24) - Mika Zibanejad (29) & Marc Staal (7) - 8:48 3rd Period
A little under three minutes later, Chris Kreider continued his dominance on offense and restored New York’s two-goal lead. Mika Zibanejad initiated the rush with a great pass to Kreider in stride as he gained the blue line. Kreider was able to keep himself onsides as well as corral the in his skates and broke in down the left side of the ice. The Rangers’ speedster powered his way to the net and slipped the puck past Robin Lehner with a slick move to his backhand.
Artemiy Panarin (30) - Unassisted - 9:41 3rd Period
New York continued their onslaught during the third period and Artemiy Panarin was able to pick up his 30th goal of the season. An errant puck wound up bouncing right out into the high slot, and the Breadman immediately jumped on the loose puck. Panarin unloaded a heavy slap shot that flew right over Lehner’s left shoulder and into the net just under the crossbar.
Drake Caggiula (7) - Jonathan Toews (36) & Alex Nylander (12) - 11:39 3rd Period
The Blackhawks continued to make the game interesting as they cut the lead to 5-3 with Drake Caggiula’s tally from inside the hash marks. Jonathan Toews made an excellent centering feed from below the goal line and put the puck right on Caggiula’s tape. Igor Shesterkin was able to turn his head in time to react to the sho, and Caggiula slipped the puck just under his right leg pad.
Mika Zibanejad (26) - Pavel Buchnevich (23) & Chris Kreider (21) - 13:37 3rd Period
The scoring in the third period finally concluded with Mika Zibanejad’s finishing off a beautiful pass play in front of Chicago’s net. Pavel Buchnevich started and ended the play by collecting the puck and making a ridiculous spinning pass over to Mika Zibanejad. Zibanejad didn’t have to do much after receiving the pass and tapped the puck over to goal line to make it a 6-3 lead in favor of the Blueshirts.
Overall, the Rangers completely took over the game in the third period after the game only had two total goals through 40 minutes. The Rangers big guns came through yet again on offense as New York sits just six spots out of the final Wildcard spot in the East. Julien Gauthier made his Blueshirts debut and came as advertised with his physical presence and the ability to turn on the jets and not be stopped. Following tonight’s impressive victory, the Rangers will have a scheduled off day tomorrow before traveling into Raleigh for a matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes.