After a moderate layoff, the Rangers began a road trip out west with a match up against the Seattle Kraken, who have looked greatly improved this season after a rough inaugural year.
The Kraken got on the board first when Jared McCann tipped a Will Borgen shot from the point just 2:45 into the game. The Rangers responded well, spending a solid chunk of the period in Seattle’s zone. After Barclay Goodrow drew a penalty while driving to the net, Mika Zibanejad tied the game with this tenth goal of the season. It was a satisfying sequence that saw all five Rangers skaters touch the puck, and ended with Chris Kreider’s cross crease pass to Zibanejad, who fired it past a sprawling Martin Jones. Zibanejad’s been hot lately, and he’s playing some incredible hockey too. He is now tied with Connor McDavid for the league lead in powerplay goals, and this goal was point number 12 in the past 10 games.
In the second period, Seattle came out flying and ended up doing a pretty good impression of the Rangers–they absolutely dominated play but a combination of a strong goalie and lack of finish kept the score tied. Despite two posts, three powerplays, and a whopping 2.4 xG, the Kraken simply could not pull away. Shesterkin was a perfect 16 for 16 on shots on goal against, and he single-handedly kept the Rangers in the game. It was a rough period, but it’s kind of fun to be on the other side of the “dominate play but fail to score” line every once in a while.
Igor Shesterkin's the difference-maker this period, here with a glove save pic.twitter.com/mVzYHQeGAu— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) November 18, 2022
The Kraken eventually broke the tie midway through the third period. After the Kraken made quick work of a Rangers powerplay, Justin Schultz put the Kraken up 2-1. He took a shot from the point that was going wide, but instead deflected off Braden Schneider and into the net. Shesterkin made so many key saves, but was done in by an unlucky bounce. Late in the third, the Rangers fourth line drew a penalty, and Vincent Trocheck scored the game tying goal on the ensuing powerplay. It feels like Trocheck has done everything but score lately, so it was nice to see him finish.
As if the 10:00 start time wasn’t ruining my sleep schedule enough, we moved on to overtime. With Panarin caught back on D, Jordan Eberle saw an opportunity and powered around the forward, setting up Justin Schultz for a bad-angle shot that ricocheted off Shesterkin and into the net to sink the Rangers 3-2.
This was a rough one. The Rangers were simply outplayed in the final two periods and a herculean effort from Shesterkin wasn’t enough to to make up for that poor display. Frankly, they should feel fortunate to have come away with a point. The Rangers will look to rebound Saturday night in San Jose against David Quinn and the Sharks.