Vladimir Tarasenko and Nico Mikkola made their Broadway debuts Friday night against the Seattle Kraken. With the new skaters in tow, Gerand Gallant fired up the ol’ Hamilton Beach Line Blender to revamp the lineup:
Gotta say, I like this particular blend of flavors. The first period in particular was a tantalizing look at what this newfound depth can achieve.
Tarasenko didn’t waste any time notching his first goal as Ranger, scoring on his second shift. Less than three minutes into the game, his pal Artemi Panarin took advantage of a bad turnover, creating a 2-on-1. Panarin hit Tarasenko with the centering pass, and Tarasenko took care of the rest.
Panarin sets up Tarasenko in the slot, and the newly acquired winger has his first goal with the Rangers pic.twitter.com/MSZJNu8Vgz— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) February 11, 2023
Minutes later, those rascally Kids did it again. This time, Kaapo Kakko broke a 16-game goal drought. Again, the Rangers capitalized on a Kraken turnover. From behind the net, Alexis Lafrenière set up Filip Chytil in the high slot. He put the puck towards the net, and Kakko redirected it past Martin Jones. Though he didn’t register in the scoring, Adam Fox made a great pass to get the Blueshirts up ice after the turnover.
Kakko gets the Kid Line on the board. The Rangers are now outscoring their opponents 18-6 with this trio on at 5v5. pic.twitter.com/VuHnezJTew— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) February 11, 2023
In the final six, the second line got in on the fun, this time on a low little give-and-go between Vincent Trocheck and Chris Kreider. Trocheck made a hard move to the net, and the puck trickled just over the goal line, giving the Rangers a 3-0 lead.
THAT’S WHY YOU DON’T QUIT, KIDS pic.twitter.com/1ay8l7SUfs— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 11, 2023
The second period was more low-key, though Jacob Trouba netted an early powerplay goal. The new second unit saw more ice time than usual, and Trouba capitalized with a backhander he pitched into the slot, off Will Borgen, and into the net.
PUCKS ON NET pic.twitter.com/egA4LihiNv— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 11, 2023
However, Oliver Bjorkstrand answered immediately, taking advantage of a bad change by the Rangers. Eeli Tolvanen sprung him, and Bjorkstrand unleashed a lightning quick, pinpoint shot to put the Kraken on the board.
ollie, ollie, oxen free! pic.twitter.com/xUikfg6bO7— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) February 11, 2023
Neither team scored again in the second, though both had their chances. Chytil, in particular, was robbed on a 2-on-1 with Lafrenière.
The Rangers powerplay kept chugging along in the third. For the second game in a row, Kreider used a no-look, backhand pass to set up Zibanejad for a goal to extend the lead to 5-1.
Mika Magic x 26. pic.twitter.com/sQ1F3hGegI— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 11, 2023
The Kraken answered with two quick goals. After Mikkola took his second minor of the game, and Jared McCann scored a powerplay goal on a hard shot from range. 22 seconds later, Brandon Tanev got a step on the defense and beat Shesterkin five-hole on the backhand.
what time is it?!— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) February 11, 2023
it's turbo time! pic.twitter.com/Wf4vgicKLW
Fortunately, the Rangers stopped the bleeding there. The final goal of the game was scored by Ryan Lindgren, delightfully. It was an empty net, shorthanded tally from his own zone to put the game away, 6-3.
The Rangers established their lead early and were able to coast a bit afterwards. It was great to see Tarasenko get on the board, and to see him and Panarin so chuffed to be playing together. The powerplay looks far more dangerous now that Gallant seems willing to play two units. Chytil’s goal streak ended, but Kakko and Lindgren both snapped long droughts. This is going to be an exciting stretch for the Rangers, who have now won four in a row.
The Rangers will head to Carolina, where they will start a four-game road trip tomorrow night.