The New York Rangers got their redemption this evening after falling to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and returned the favor with a 3-1 win in regulation time. This is just the second time this season the Rangers were able to close out a game in the third period, and the big guns stepped up tonight to get the job done. Artemiy Panarin had a big night by adding three points of his own, and Chris Kreider’s third period goal held up as the game-winning goal. Igor Shesterkin picked up his sixth start of the season and played well turning aside 25 shots on the evening.
Jason Zucker (3) - Chad Ruhwedel (1) & Evgeni Malkin (4) - 9:05
New York got out to a pretty slow start in this game, and ended up chasing in the defensive zone a little too much. As a result, the Penguins were able to jump out to an early 1-0 lead at the 9:05 mark of the first period. Chad Ruhwedel’s point shot took a strange deflection off of the stanchion behind the net, and deflected back out in front near the right post. Igor Shesterkin had overcommitted on the initial shot, and wasn’t able to slide back over to handle the rebound. Jason Zucker was able to shovel a quick shot towards the net, and gave Pittsburgh the opening goal of the game.
Kevin Rooney (2) - Artemiy Panarin (6) & Ryan Lindgren (2) - 17:42
The Rangers had spent A LOT of time killing penalties throughout the opening two periods, and they appeared to build some sort of momentum. On a delayed penalty call against the Penguins, the Rangers were able to control the puck down low below the goal line, and eventually tied up the game. Kevin Rooney was able to score on a great individual effort to the left of the crease, and slammed home the rebound on the second chance opportunity. It was a big goal to finally get the Rangers offense on the board after they had been killing penalties for seemingly a good portion of the game.
Chris Kreider (4) - Adam Fox (5) & Artemiy Panarin (7) - 11:10
Third periods have been a struggle throughout this season for the Rangers with blown leads, and the Rangers knew they needed to be better. With under nine minutes remaining in regulation, New York had a huge opportunity thanks to a timely delay of game penalty by Pittsburgh. That setup the ensuing power play where the Rangers finally broke through on the man-advantage and Chris Kreider picked up his fourth goal of the season. Kreider had plenty of looks throughout the game, and finally converted on a redirection in front of the net. Adam Fox did an excellent job of looking off the lane initially to open up a shooting chance, and put the puck at waist height for Kreider to deflect perfectly.
Artemiy Panarin (5) - Ryan Strome (2) ENG - 19:59
It seemed like this is the furthest the Rangers have made it into the third period without giving up their lead in quite a while, and Artemiy Panarin finally sealed the deal. After numerous attempts on the empty net, Panarin finally snuck a shot under the crossbar with under a second remaining in the game.
This was a game that the Rangers really needed just from a confidence standpoint. They’ve blown countless leads in the third period, and I’m sure it snuck back into their mind tonight with the game on the line. K’Andre Miller had a huge block to save a goal late in the game, and Chris Kreider’s third period marker ended up being the difference maker. They sorely needed something to go their way and they finally got the job done tonight.
The Rangers will have a chance to build on tonight’s effort as they welcome in the Washington Capitals on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.