The New York Rangers won their second straight game on Monday night, defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime at Scotiabank Arena. Artemiy Panarin shook off an uneven start to the season by netting the overtime winner, capping off a fun back-and-forth extra frame. Despite his heroics, though, the real story of the game was Igor Shesterkin. The Rangers’ netminder turned aside 40 out of 41 Toronto shots, repeatedly stymying Leafs star Auston Matthews, who had eight shots on goal himself. The Rangers only mustered 23 as a team.
It was a less-than-stellar effort from the shorthanded Blueshirts, who were again without Ryan Strome and Kaapo Kakko. The Leafs especially took it to the Rangers in the second period, outshooting them by a whopping 17-2 margin. Despite that, the Rangers escaped the period tied, 1-1. The score remained that way until Panarin’s overtime winner.
Mika Zibanejad (1) - Unassisted - 13:49
Shots on goal: Rangers 10, Leafs 12
After killing off an early penalty and spending much of the first half of the first period on their heels, the Rangers picked up their play in the latter part of the frame, culminating in Mika Zibanejad’s goal that opened the scoring. A strong forechecking effort by Ryan Reaves created a Leafs turnover that Zibanejad picked up before quickly firing a wrist shot home from the high slot. Initially, play continued as the shot was thought have hit the post and stayed out. But replay review showed that the puck ricocheted off the inside of the post and then off the camera in the top-back portion of the net.
The Leafs had two power-play opportunities—one early in the period and one late—but failed to cash in.
Michael Bunting (2) - Morgan Rielly (3) & John Tavares (2) - 1:36
Shots on goal: Rangers 2, Leafs 17
Toronto struck early in the second period for what would prove to be its only goal of the night. Defenseman Morgan Rielly led a rush into the offensive zone and threw a shot towards the net, and Michael Bunting and Patrik Nemeth got tangled up in front of Shesterkin, with the puck bouncing around the crease and eventually into the net after Bunting got a piece of it.
The Rangers only generated two shots towards Leafs goalie Jack Campbell, despite two power-play opportunities. The Leafs had another chance with the man-advantage late in the second frame, but again did not score.
Shots on goal: Rangers 7, Leafs 9
The Rangers got one more power-play chance just over halfway through the period, but were unable to score the go-ahead goal.
Artemiy Panarin (1) - Mika Zibanejad (4) - 3:48
Shots on goal: Rangers 4, Leafs 3
After a wild 3-on-3 overtime period that saw the two teams trading chances, it was some kind of irony that the Rangers were the team that one with a goal right off a faceoff, after they had been so miserable in the circle all night (they only won 24 percent of draws, with most of the losses being clean). Right after Campbell robbed Zibanejad on a 2-on-1, Zibanejad controlled the ensuing faceoff by going forward, and eventually got the puck to Panarin, who fired a quick wrist shot from the right circle past Campbell for the win.
The Rangers probably did not deserve to win, but Shesterkin gave them a chance to do so thanks to a throwback, Henrik Lundqvist-esque performance. Moving forward, the Blueshirts will need to be better than they were tonight, but getting another road win with two top-six forwards out of the lineup is huge for them. They’ll return to action Thursday night in Nashville for an 8:00 PM EDT tilt against the Predators.