The Rangers and Stars each came into Thursday night’s matchup missing a key forward– Chris Kreider and Roope Hinitz respectively.
Perhaps the absence of these forwards contributed to an uneventful first period, as neither team managed to get much going offensively. The best chance of the period came late, when Alexis Lafrenière, moved to the top line in Kreider’s absence, nearly set up Mika Zibanejad for a goal just outside the crease. Later, the Rangers’ forward depth was tested even further, as Sammy Blais and Julien Gauthier collided in the offensive zone, and both came up bleeding. Blais returned for the second with stitches in his mouth, while Gauthier, for the second game in a row, did not return.
In addition to being promoted to the top line at five-on-five, Lafrenière received time on the team’s top powerplay unit as well. Huh. A first overall pick, getting significant time on the powerplay with good players. You’d think we’d have seen more of that in the past couple years. Anyway, the Rangers powerplay got to work three times in the second period, but failed to do much against the Stars’ stingy penalty kill. The Stars had one powerplay of their own, and Tyler Seguin scored on a bad change by Barclay Goodrow. In a tight-checking game like this, those little details can prove to be the difference.
For a while, it seemed like the it might be the difference, as Dallas continued to suffocate on D. With the game on the line, the Rangers pulled their goalie, and proceeded to pressure the Stars for two minutes. It took until the final second of regulation, but New York finally broke through on a goal by K’Andre Miller. He took a slapshot that was blocked, gathered his own rebound, and wristed it by Jake Oettinger.
An ultra-clutch goal from K'Andre Miller to knot the score 1-1 in the final second of regulation. Miller with a 2:25 shift ahead of that score pic.twitter.com/5Kh0ijvzgr— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) January 13, 2023
In the overtime, the Rangers took control of possession and basically never let it go. Adam Fox completed the thrilling comeback win with a forehand-to-backhand that fooled the entire world. The sequence started with a takeaway by Zibanejad in the defensive zone, continued with a high-danger chance for Panarin and another takeaway by Zib, and ended with Fox’s backhand for a 2-1 final. Just an incredible play all around.
It starts with a defensive play from Zibanejad, ends with a backhander to win it in overtime from Fox pic.twitter.com/6itQ1TcCzF— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) January 13, 2023
I have to imagine this was a good win for morale. After being shut down for most of the game, the Rangers finally got a couple bounces and made the most of them. It was delightful to see Miller on ice for the six-on-five, as he is likely the second best creator of offense on the blueline. He now has points in five games in a row. Fox continues to do Fox things, and he is currently on a six game point streak.
An incredibly hyped Panarin brings back the leg kick celebration pic.twitter.com/PbEGs1NZZq— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) January 13, 2023
The Rangers will host the Montreal Canadiens in an Original Six matchup on Sunday at 5:00.