The New York Rangers picked up their third victory of the season on Monday evening at Madison Square Garden vs. the Anaheim Ducks, and were propelled once again by the strength of the power play. The final score of 6-4 makes it seem that the game was closer than it was, but the Rangers got sloppy in the final 20 minutes while playing with a multi-goal lead.
Monday’s game saw Ryan Strome and Frank Vatrano make their return to MSG as visitors, but early on the tone was set by the player who was signed to replace the departing Strome.
Vincent Trocheck tallied goal No. 2 of the season, on the power play, and six minutes later he assisted on Mika Zibanejad’s third goal of the season, another marker on the power play.
MIKA ZIBANEJAD! IT'S A POWER PLAY GOAL! pic.twitter.com/ypyVuRMrrD— Rangers on MSG (@RangersMSGN) October 17, 2022
Artemiy Panarin picked up the secondary assist on each goal, and overall it was a big night for the Rangers’ highest paid player.
The aforementioned Vatrano made his presence known with a quick goal of his own at 15:48 of the period, and Trevor Zegras tied things up at 2-2 when he buried a goal of his own just 94 seconds into the second period.
Things remained tied until Kaapo Kakko, originally credited to Zibanejad, picked up his second goal of the season.
Alexis Lafrenière potted his first goal of the season with just minutes left in the period, and Panarin scored a goal of his own at 19:26 to give the Rangers a three-goal lead heading into the final frame.
That goal was enough to chase John Gibson, and he ended the evening with 29 saves on 34 shots in 40 minutes. Anthony Stolarz settled things down in the third, and he stopped 8 of 9, with the lone goal being Zibanejad’s second of the game coming at the near midpoint of the game.
Overall the third period was a bit of a mess, as the Ducks scored twice on 8 shots after finding the back of the net 2 times on the previous 14 shots. Gerard Gallant made note to the team’s lackadaisical defensive effort in the postgame, and the team also had a bit of a subdued reaction to the victory based on how the game ended.
Tone in the #NYR locker room tonight is far from satisfied. Everyone admits the PP has been excellent, but emphasis is on cleaning up defensive errors.— Vince Z. Mercogliano (@vzmercogliano) October 18, 2022
Fox: "Wins mask all mistakes, but I still think we want to focus on that... Long term, those mistakes are going to hurt you."
But the team picked up two more points, and continued to flex offensively, especially on the power play. That element of the Rangers’ game has looked very impressive thus far, and I’d expect the team to tighten things up during their next game on Thursday which will see David Quinn return to MSG as the bench boss of the San Jose Sharks.