Recap: Alex Wennberg the OT Hero, Rangers Take Series Lead

It can never be easy with this team. After a solid second period that gave the Rangers a two goal lead, the Panthers fought their way back to force a second game to overtime. Far from a great game for the Rangers but all that matters is the outcome and they powered through adversity to do what they do best, find a way to win. Let’s break it down. 

1st Period:

After a slow start through the first two minutes of play, a brutal giveaway from Braden Schneider led to a good defensive effort from Adam Fox to break up a Florida scoring chance. Schneider however, double downed on the cough up and took the first penalty of the game as he was sent off for delay of game. The Rangers penalty killers went to work but weren’t able to find the same type of success they’ve had and gave up the first goal of the game off a weird angle play from Sam Reinhart. 1-0 Florida early. 

It was a terrible pace to start the game. Lots of icings and other whistles that prevented anything from really unraveling. The Rangers needed to find a way to wake up and thankfully, it didn’t take them too long. A beautiful breakout from Jacob Trouba and Vincent Trocheck sent Alexis Lafrenière on a breakaway where he snipped a backhanded right under the cross bar to tie the game up, 1-1. 

Less than a minute later, a great shift from the fourth line led to a Braden Schneider shot from the point. With Matt Rempe providing the screen in front, Barclay Goodrow was able to get a stick on the shot from the point which redirected through Sergei Bobrovsky to give the Rangers the lead, 2-1. 

The Rangers got the response they needed but they also needed to stay out of the penalty box which they were struggling to do. Right after taking the lead, K’Andre MIller took down Anton Lundell which sent the Panthers back to the power play. This time around, the Rangers were able to kill it off a bit more confidently but it was becoming more and more evident that this isn’t a team you can take penalties against. After a brief spurt of offense from the Rangers, Florida turned it back on which sent the puck to the other end of the ice. 

Matt Rempe was called roughing as he got his hand tangled up with Reinhart’s head. Igor Shesterkin came up with some big saves to keep things going but it wouldn’t be enough as Florida got their second power play goal of the period. From that same weird angle Reinhart scored his first on, he would get credit for the second as the puck bounced off the skate of Trouba and through Shesterkin to tie the game back up, 2-2. 

Things settled down from there but Florida was still running up a higher shot total. Not a bad period by any means but certainly frustrating to give up that flukey second goal. After the first twenty, shots were 16-8 in favor of Florida. On top of that, they had the significant advantage in high danger chances 6-1 in addition to 29 total attempts. The Rangers had their moments but they desperately needed to find a way to slow this Panthers team down and spend less time in the box and more in the offensive zone. 

2nd Period:

Much of the same to start the second. Florida had the jump from the start and a shot from Gustav Forsling tickled the crossbar which only amplified the need for the Rangers to turn it up a notch. About five minutes in, Kevin Stenlund was sent off for interfering with Trouba to finally give the Rangers a power play. There was some good movement and possession but nothing substantial enough to pose any major threats.  

Just after the midway point, a high stick from Aleksander Barkov sent the Rangers back to the power play but it wouldn’t move the needle. Zibanejad had one good chance in front but Florida fought it off, leaving the Rangers 0-8 on the power play throughout this series. Something has to give there and they need it to happen sooner rather than later. From that point on, things slowed down a bit but the final five minutes of the period would be massive for the Rangers. 

Just under the five minute mark, Lafrenière had another grade A chance that Bobrovsky was able to shut down. He would quickly get a second chance where he pulled off a highlight reel goal as he weaved his way through the slot to finish up close, regaining the Rangers lead 3-2. The Rangers needed someone to step it up for them in this one and they were getting a truly outstanding game from Lafrenière. 

With two and a half to go in the period, Jacob Trouba really put the Rangers in a difficult position. After taking an initial slashing penalty against Sam Bennett, Trouba caught Evan Rodrigues up high with an elbow that left Rodrigues laying on the ice in serious discomfort. The officials reviewed the play for a potential major and honestly, it was a little too close for comfort. Thankfully, it would only be a minor but because Trouba had both penalties, it would be a four minute power play for the Panthers. 

The Rangers had a big task ahead of them to close out the period killing a big penalty; What better time for another short-handed goal? What a story Barclay Goodrow is becoming for this Rangers team. Can’t emphasize it enough, such a big player when it matters most and sure enough, he surprised everyone with a massive one timer from high in the slot to extend the lead 4-2. Huge goal at a huge moment.

Shots at the end of two were 19-16 with the Rangers picking it up in high danger chances, still behind Florida 7-5. The Rangers had a much better period which left them twenty miles away from closing it out. That of course would prove to be the challenging part. 

3rd Period:

You can’t sit back against this team. Can’t say it enough. After five minutes of underwhelming hockey, another unfortunate deflection in front of Shesterkin went off of Barkov and in the back of the net to bring Florida within one. That had to be another wake up call for the Rangers but just a couple of minutes later, it would become a tied game once again. After another icing from the Rangers, a lost defensive zone draw led to Gustav Forsling getting left all alone at the far point to put a rocket of a shot past Shesterkin, 4-4 game. 

As the game was reaching clutch time, the Rangers came close to a four minute man advantage as it appeared that Barkov cut Zibanejad with a high stick. Upon review, it showed that Barkov actually hit Zibanejad’s stick into him which deemed it not a penalty at all. A tough break but the Rangers couldn’t let that get to them, they needed to regain control of this one but they weren’t getting any help from the officials or anyone. 

With about four minutes to go, a stickless Trouba was called for his third penalty of the game as he took down Matthew Tkachuk in the slot. Why this was a penalty? Couldn’t tell ya. What else was Trouba expected to do without a stick? Regardless, this gave Florida a crucial power play that pretty much shut the Rangers down for the rest of regulation. They killed the two minute minor but they may as well have been at a disadvantage through the rest of the period. Unable to clear the zone let alone get anything on Florida’s net, for the second game in a row, we were headed to overtime. Who would it be this time around?


Alexander Wennberg. Boy was it not a pretty five minutes but after an offensive zone face-off win from Wennberg, a shot from Ryan Lindgren at the point deflected off of Wennberg to find the back of the net. RANGERS WIN. 

Once again, plenty to take away from this game in terms of learning from mistakes but as long as the wins keep coming, that’s all that matters. The teams will be back at it in Sunrise on Tuesday Night for what’s bound to be an intense Game 4. Let’s keep this thing going!