The New York Rangers are officially in the win column for the 2021-22 season as they picked up a gritty 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Chris Kreider picked up his third goal of the season, and Alexis Lafrenière was credited with the game-winning goal in front of his friends and family in Quebec. Igor Shesterkin had another solid outing in between the pipes, and made several jaw dropping saves to keep the Rangers afloat in this game.
Chris Kreider (3) PPG - Mika Zibanejad (2) & Artemiy Panarin (2) - 9:59
After failing on their previous two attempts, the Rangers finally cashed in on the man-advantage and jumped out to a 1-0 lead. New York was doing great work on the power play with solid puck movement, and they were finally rewarded for their efforts. Chris Kreider picked up his third goal in as many games, and caught a fortunate bounce off of a defenseman’s leg. Jake Allen had no idea where the puck was after the double deflection, and the Rangers took their first lead of the season.
Jonathan Drouin (2) - Christian Dvorak (1) & Brett Kulak (2) - 9:24
The Rangers had played a pretty good defensive game on the road up until this point, but one glaring mistake led to the puck in the back of their net. Four different Rangers were caught puck watching, and focused in on Christian Dvorak circling behind the net. That left Jonathan Drouin all alone in the high slot, and he finished off the crisp pass from Dvorak with a slick move to the backhand. Igor Shesterkin never stood a chance, and Montreal tied up the game just prior to the halfway mark of the third period.
Alexis Lafrenière (1) - Mika Zibanejad (3) & Adam Fox (2) - 9:50
Despite the Rangers coughing up a third period lead, they came right back at Montreal and attacked off of faceoff. Mika Zibanejad created the entire rush with a strong play through the neutral zone, and he was able to continue to fight his way through traffic as he crossed the blue line. Montreal was unable to adjust, and a mini 2-on-1 rush down low led to the game-winning goal by Alexis Lafrenière off to the left of the Jake Allen.
Kevin Rooney (1) - Unassisted ENG - 19:50
New York was tasked with closing out the final few minutes of regulation, as they hung onto their one-goal lead late in the game. The Rangers did an excellent job of closing down lanes, and eventually forced Montreal into coughing up the puck. Kevin Rooney collected the loose puck in the middle of the ice, skated through the neutral zone, and scored on the empty net to ice the game.
The Rangers played well enough to win against the Dallas Stars, but ultimately didn’t get the result. Tonight, they played another solid game and continued on their momentum to pickup their first win of the season. Unfortunately the Rangers lost Kaapo Kakko due to injury tonight, and his status remains unknown at this time for the remainder of the road trip. Following tonight’s encouraging win, the Rangers will have a scheduled off day tomorrow before heading to Ontario for a meeting with the Toronto Maple Leafs.