The New York Rangers were certainly fortunate this afternoon, and came away with a 3-2 win over the Seattle Kraken, thanks to a late third period goal by K’Andre Miller. New York was thoroughly outplayed a majority of the game, but another strong outing by Igor Shesterkin kept the Rangers afloat.
Mika Zibanejad (17) - Artemiy Panarin (37) & Jacob Trouba (16) PPG - 11:46
Despite Adam Fox being out of the lineup, the Rangers first power play unit still operated like a well-oiled machine. An early man-advantage gave the Rangers the momentum, and they took full advantage by picking apart Seattle with quick passing. Artemiy Panarin eventually found the open lane across the ice, and put a pass right on Mika Zibanejad’s tape. The puck wasn’t there for very long as Zibanejad absolutely bombed a one-timer from inside the left faceoff circle, and beat Philip Grubauer over the shoulder.
Alexis Lafrenière (9) - Mika Zibanejad (29) & Zac Jones (1) - 4:23
After a rough closing to the opening 20 minutes, the Rangers made a point of pushing the pace early in the second period. Just over four minutes in, the Rangers’ strong offensive zone pressure lead to Alexis Lafrenière’s ninth goal of the season. Zac Jones made an excellent cross-ice feed over to Mika Zibanejad, who smoked another heavy one-timer from his patented spot. The shot took a slight deflection off of the crossbar, and dropped right in the crease where Lafrenière was positioned to give New York a two-goal lead.
Jared McCann (18) - Jordan Eberle (13) & Marcus Johansson (10) - 7:17
Even though the Rangers jumped out to the 2-0 lead, leads have hardly been safe with New York blowing two-goal leads in their previous two games. Those bad habits crept right back into the Rangers’ game once again as Jared McCann was able to pull Seattle back within a goal, just three minutes later. Some quick passing through the neutral zone crossed up the Rangers’ coverage, and Jared McCann was able to open up in space. Jordan Eberle set him up with a crisp pass, and McCann was able slipped the puck under Igor Shesterkin.
Yanni Gourde (10) - Mark Giordano (13) & Jared McCann (10) PPG - 18:52
A late period penalty by Mika Zibanejad proved to be pretty costly as Seattle came all the way back to tie up the game at 2-2. Mark Giordano displayed some great patience as he walked the blue line, and waited long enough for Yanni Gourde to roll out into a shooting position. Gourde was able to sneak the one-timer just over the shoulder of Igor Shesterkin, and this game appeared destined for overtime with his late marker.
K’Andre Miller (3) - Mika Zibanejad (30) - 19:26
Even though the Rangers had just coughed up their third two-goal lead in as many games, they stuck with it, and were rewarded with the game-winning goal. A clean faceoff win by Mika Zibanejad started the play, and a little “accidently on purpose” by Chris Kreider freed up a lane for K’Andre Miller. Miller was able to step into the open shooting spot, and absolutely smoked the top right corner of the net with a heavy snap shot. Philip Grubauer never saw the shot as it sailed over his shoulder and the Rangers took a late 3-2 lead.
It certainly wasn’t pretty by any means, but the Rangers avoided their third straight collapse thanks to the heroics of K’Andre Miller. There’s no doubt that the Rangers probably didn’t deserve this game after their effort, and being outshot 42-24 in regulation. The Rangers will close out their first half schedule with Tuesday’s matchup against the Florida Panthers, and will follow that up with an extended two-week break.