Following last Saturday night’s 7-4 win over the Dallas Stars that capped off an inconsistent four-game road trip, the New York Rangers returned home to face the floundering and undermanned Anaheim Ducks on Women’s Empowerment Night at the Garden. The game would not be an easy one, however, as the Rangers were somewhat sluggish for parts of the game, allowing the pesky Ducks to hang around before falling being midway through the third period. The Rangers nevertheless came to life in the final frame, tying the game on yet another Chris Kreider power-play goal before Adam Fox scored the overtime winner.
Fox finished the game with a goal and two assists while Artemiy Panarin had three assists as a follow-up performance to his five-point outing in Dallas. Mika Zibanejad also picked up a goal and an assist, while Alexandar Georgiev got the start and finished with 20 saves on 23 shots. While not spectacular overall, Georgiev made a few excellent saves, so hopefully for him, that gets his game and confidence back on track as the March 21 trade deadline looms.
NYR: Jonny Brodzinski (1) - Filip Chytil (10) & Braden Schneider (5) - 4:29
The Rangers started well, taking the play to the Ducks in the first few minutes. That culminated in Jonny Brodzinski’s first goal of the season in his 11th NHL game of the campaign. Braden Schneider worked the puck to Filip Chytil as the Rangers exited their zone. Chytil then hit Brodzinski in stride with a crisp pass in the neutral zone, allowing Brodzinski to enter the offensive zone with speed before he beat Anaheim goaltender John Gibson with a quick snipe from the top of the right circle.
ANA: Max Comtois (3) - Troy Terry (23) & Adam Henrique (15) - 14:05
With the Rangers ahead 1-0, the Ducks began to push back, generating some zone time and some good looks against Georgiev and the Rangers. Georgiev came up with a fantastic save on Trevor Zegras as the Ducks were pressing, but he yielded a somewhat fluky goal a few minutes later. Troy Terry fired a shot towards the net that hit K’Andre Miller before ricocheting off Georgiev and then Comtois, at which point it finally fluttered into the net.
The shots on goal for the period were fairly low in total, with the Rangers edging the Ducks 7-6 in that category. The Rangers came up empty on one power-play attempt, while the Ducks ended the period with a man-advantage that would carry over into the second period after Ryan Lindgren shot the puck out of play from the defensive zone.
NYR: Mika Zibanejad (24) - Adam Fox (51) & Artemiy Panarin (53) - 3:06
Shortly after the Rangers killed off Lindgren’s penalty from late in the first period, they were able to generate some pressure in the offensive zone, which led to a penalty on the Ducks as Dryden Hunt was held. The Rangers, however, brought on an extra attacker and continued to possess the puck on the delayed call. Fox and Panarin, in particular, patiently worked through a high passing cycle before Fox found Zibanejad from at a sharp angle on the left wing. Zibanejad one-timed the puck for a precise finish to the vacated short side of the net, restoring the Rangers’ lead.
ANA: Cam Fowler (7) (PP) - Adam Henrique (16) - 4:53
The Rangers’ second lead of the game was short-lived. The Ducks answered right back to tie the game once again. With Jacob Trouba in the penalty box for a tripping infraction, longtime Rangers nemesis Adam Henrique won an offensive zone faceoff cleanly back to Cam Fowler. Fowler skated toward the middle of the point and fired a wrist shot past Georgiev, who did not see the shot thanks to a screen by Comtois and a missed block attempt by Fox.
The Rangers would kill off a Ryan Strome tripping penalty late in the period, and the teams went into the second intermission tied, 2-2. The Rangers had 11 shots in the second period while the Ducks had 10.
ANA - Derek Grant (9) - Danny O’Regan (1) - 10:35
The Rangers controlled play for the vast majority of the third period, but the Ducks countered and took their first lead of the game midway through the frame. Patrik Nemeth had a point shot blocked, and then he and Brodzinski got caught pinching to try to recover the puck. The lone defender back was Schneider, but he did not have a good angle on a breaking Derek Grant of the Ducks. One-time Rangers minor-leaguer Danny O’Regan recovered the puck after his block on Nemeth and sprung Grant for a breakaway, and the latter beat Georgiev to the glove side after a subtle lateral move.
NYR - Chris Kreider (39) (PP) - Adam Fox (52) & Artemiy Panarin (54) - 13:40
The Blueshirts, however, did not let the goal against slow down what was otherwise a dominant period. Fox drew a power play when Comtois hooked him as he was streaking down the high slot, and the Rangers’ lethal man-advantage attack struck for the tying goal.
After the Rangers’ top power-play unit held the zone and had several chances, head coach Gerard Gallant called a timeout with 50 seconds remaining on the Comtois penalty to rest the top unit and devise a play. Eventually, after some more crisp puck movement, Panarin fed Fox for a one-timer from the point that Kreider deflected wide. But the puck bounced off the end boards right back to Kreider, who backhanded it in for the tying goal. It was Kreider’s 39th goal of the season, his NHL-leading 20th power-play tally, and his 400th career point.
The Rangers continued to apply heavy pressure but could not get the go-ahead goal before the end of regulation. Their dominance showed up in the shot totals, with the Rangers holding a 19-7 advantage in the third period.
NYR: Adam Fox (9) - Artemiy Panarin (55) & Mika Zibanejad (37) - 0:55
It didn’t take the Rangers long to finish things off once the game got to the three-on-three overtime period. After Terry narrowly missed on a chance for Anaheim, the Rangers came back the other way on a partial two-on-one. With a Ducks defender right on Panarin, the Breadman was able to get the puck to Fox in the slot. Fox gathered the puck and quickly fired a low shot that beat Gibson, giving the Rangers the win less than a minute into the overtime session. Fox’s goal was the only shot on goal in overtime; for the game, the Rangers outshot the Ducks 38-23.
The Rangers move to 81 points on the season, with a record of 38-17-5, while the Ducks drop to 27-25-11. With the Pittsburgh Penguins falling to the Nashville Predators 4-1, the Rangers move back into second place in the Metropolitan Division. Both they and the Penguins have 81 points, but the Rangers have a game in hand and the tie-breaker via more regulation wins (32 to 30).
The Blueshirts are in action again Thursday, March 17, when they take on the rival New York Islanders at 7:00 PM EDT at Madison Square Garden.