Recap: Barclay Goodrow the OT Hero, Series Tied 1-1

The magnitude of this game and its implications for the rest of the series were evident going into this one. A win was of the essence but most importantly, the Rangers needed a serious bounce back. Couple of lineup changes were the big storyline heading into this one as Kaapo Kakko would be a healthy scratch in exchange for Matt Rempe.

1st Period:

A much better start for this Rangers team who had all the jump in this one right off the initial puck drop. Through the first couple of minutes, they dictated the pace of play, keeping the puck in Florida’s end of the ice generating a fair amount of pressure. Just over four minutes in, a tremendous forecheck from the Rangers kept the puck in the zone and a big hit from Alexis Lafrenière opened up the slot for Adam Fox who found Vincent Trocheck wide open at the doorstep to bang it home, 1-0 Rangers. 

Then some chaos ensued as Carter Verhaeghe went after Lafrenière amidst the celebration which prompted a response from just about everyone on the ice. Somehow, it worked out in the Rangers favor with Matthew Tkachuk getting the additional penalty to send the Rangers to the first power play of the night. A huge opportunity for the Blueshirts to take control of this one but again, they struggled with the man advantage. 

Right at the ten minute mark, as Alex Wennberg was cutting up the slot, Dmitry Kulikov laid him out with a massive hit that appeared to be right to the head. The play was reviewed for a major but the officials didn’t see it as a direct hit to the head, therefore it was dropped to a two minute minor for interference. With the Rangers back to the power play, they again had a golden chance to add to their lead but Sergei Bobrovsky wasn’t giving up anything. 

Overall, it was becoming quite a physical period. Matt Rempe was obviously one of the big storylines going into this one but he and his linemates were establishing a physical presence early. Florida picked it up as the game went on with the questionable hit from Kulikov and a big, cleaner hit on Mika Zibanejad from Ryan Lomberg.

With about two and a half to go in the period, the Rangers began to run into some trouble in their own end which led to their first penalty of the night. Barclay Goodrow was given a bit of a weak interference call as it looked clear as day that Aleksander Barkov was going for a bit of a swim. Regardless, the Rangers typically don’t have much to worry about on the penalty kill but a Verhaeghe shot through a screen from Evan Rodrigues trickled through Igor Shesterkin to tie the game up at 1-1. 

A frustrating blow to an otherwise great start for the Rangers. They were playing physical, were getting plenty of looks and had a pair of power plays that should have acted as an opportunity to put their foot on the gas. Lots of positives to take away from the first twenty but special teams were struggling and the low shot totals weren’t doing either side any favors. Shots after the first were 8-7 in favor of the Rangers who were also out-hitting and out-chancing the Panthers. Face-offs were split at thirteen apiece but the Panthers had the slight edge in high danger chances. 

2nd Period:

Intermission came at the right time for the Rangers as the Panthers were swarming to close out the first but things seemed to pick up right where they left off as Florida kicked off the second with a strong shift. That catapulted into another five minutes of mostly Florida controlling the play as the Rangers were going on ten minutes without registering a shot on goal. The tide finally began to turn and the Rangers picked it up enough to spend some time in the other end of the ice, generating a couple of chances. 

Their best chance came from a Wennberg wrist shot that may have tickled the crossbar but Florida was right back at it soon after as Igor Shesterkin was forced to come up with a massive pad save on Brandon Montour on a breakaway. Not long after, a pair of penalties sent the teams to two minutes of 4-on-4 play as Kevin Stenlund was called for interfering with Filip Chytil but a slash on the way down sent Chytil off as well. This quickly turned into a power play for the Rangers as Panthers Captain Aaron Ekblad got the stick caught up in the face of Chris Kreider. 

It would be a unique array of power play situations as the Rangers started 4-on-3 then briefly 5-on-4 but nevertheless, another man advantage opportunity came and went without them converting. A growing problem but for the most part, things were feeling better at least for the moment. Sure enough, Florida picked it back up and a strong effort from Barkov at the end of a lengthy shift nearly gave them the lead. With under a minute to go, Adam Fox tied up Rodrigues which earned him a penalty that would leave the Rangers shorthanded to potentially close out another period. 

The Rangers held them off for the 44 seconds remaining, leaving the score locked at 1-1. One other note from the second, Jimmy Vesey took a nasty hit from Lomberg away from the play which left him favoring his shoulder and kept him on the bench for the rest of the period. Shots continued to be close through the second as the Rangers still had the advantage now 17-16. Hits, attempts and now high danger chances were all led by the Rangers but Florida continued to be a problem, refusing to give the Rangers half of an inch in any area of the ice. The Rangers either needed to find another gear, or needed some puck luck to go their way. 

3rd Period:

With the final twenty set to kick off, Jimmy Vesey would not be on the bench for the Rangers. The penalty killers did a good job of clearing the zone and a high stick from Verhaeghe on Jacob Trouba sent it back to 4-on-4. The Rangers had the chance to get something going with the offensive zone draw but Florida quickly went the other way with it. A point blank chance for Anton Lundell was shut down by one of the most critical saves from Shesterkin up to this point. 

The Rangers then had a short chance on yet another power play but it would be much of the same story. Changes were there, but the conversions were not. As the period went on, it was becoming quite evident that this game was going to be decided by the next goal and both netminders were putting on an absolute showcase in net, turning away every single chance that came their way. 

On top of that, with Vesey out for the rest of the game, Matt Rempe stepped up in a big way. One of the biggest criticisms of him being in the lineup had to do with his little ice time but with Vesey out, Laviolette and the coaching staff was forced to trust him and he proved worthy of that trust. He played smart and safe while still bringing a physical presence and it was wearing off on the rest of the squad. 

As expected, this one was bound for overtime. Shots were just 25-21 at the end of regulation with attempts being well over double that for either side. Bound to be a pivotal moment in the series, who was going to be the hero? 


Barclay. Goodrow. I will be the first to admit, I complain about his contract all season long. But man, what he’s done in these playoffs, between the goals and all the little things, he is worth every penny and then some. A bit of a too-close-for-comfort call where Goodrow batted the puck down in the neutral zone but after a nifty little passing play upon entering the zone, Trocheck sent it back over to Goodrow who let a perfect wrist shot go to beat Bobrovsky upstairs… RANGERS WIN!

These are the types of games you have to find a way to win against a team like the Panthers and sure enough, they pulled it off. Still plenty to take away from but it’s a whole new ball game as the series heads back to Sunrise for Game 3 Sunday Afternoon.