Recap: NYR Light Their Way Through the Dark, Beat Seattle 4-1

Recap: NYR Light Their Way Through the Dark, Beat Seattle 4-1
Oct 21, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate a goal scored by New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) during the second period against the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Despite some technical difficulties when it came to the lighting in Climate Pledge Arena, the Rangers had no problem lighting the lamp to pick up a huge win to kick off their first big road trip of the season. Not only was it important for the Rangers to bounce back after their dud of a game against Nashville, it was huge for them to get off to a strong start on their West Coast road trip that kicked off Saturday night in Seattle.

1st Period:

Puck dropped and play went on for 69 seconds before one of the officials got on the headset resulting in a lengthy delay of play. From the moment the game started, it seemed as if the lighting in the arena was quite dark, specifically in the Rangers zone. After eleven minutes of attempting to resolve the situation, the decision was made to continue play with the goaltenders switching sides at the ten minute mark to even out the disadvantage. Never a dull moment.

After another TV timeout about six minutes later, there was another brief delay but no update on the situation. Shortly after, the Kraken entered the Rangers zone and got some chances with shots from the point off the face-off. After a couple attempts, Brian Dumoullin faked a shot and passed it over to Justin Schultz who let a rocket of a one-timer go which beat Quick up high to make it a 1-0 game.

As promised, the teams switched sides shortly after the goal just ten seconds after the exact midway mark of the period. Given all the unusual circumstances that occurred up to this point, it was difficult for any sort of pace to really be established up to this point.

With 7:45 to go in the first, Alexis Lafrenière went to work on the forecheck which forced a turnover to Filip Chytil who fed Artemiy Panarin with a beautiful pass across the slot. Panarin ripped a shot right past Philipp Grubauer on the glove side to tie the game up at one. That line continues to be such a highlight for the Rangers through the early parts of this season.

One thing that became noticeable through the first period was the amount of ice time Peter Laviolette was giving Artemiy Panarin. Panarin was a mainstay on that line with Chytil and Lafrenière but was also taking shifts in place of Will Cuylle and Blake Wheeler on the third line with Vincent Trocheck. The teams exchanged chances as the period wound down with Jonathan Quick coming up with a big save in the final seconds.

No penalties through the games first twenty as the Rangers out-shot the Kraken 9-6 and the score remained tied at one.

2nd Period:

The second period would be all New York as they were playing with great speed, moving the puck really well right out the gate. Jacob Trouba took the first penalty of the game six minutes into the period as the Rangers Captain finished a hit on Andre Burakovsky, sending him crashing into the boards. Wasn’t a particularly dirty hit, just one that appeared to catch Burakovsky off guard and unfortunately sent him straight to the locker room. The Rangers penalty killers were doing a good job of killing this one off but with 19 seconds left on the man advantage, Ryan Lindgren was called for hooking, giving the Kraken a brief 5-on-3.

The Rangers lost the face-off but managed to kill off those final seconds of the initial penalty as they eventually killed them both. The tide would immediately turn as Yanne Gourde would take Seattle’s first penalty of the night as he tied up Lafrenière in the neutral zone. Wasn’t a great power play attempt for the Rangers but as the second unit took the ice towards the end of the penalty, Filip Chytil had a great chance that led to an extended shift in the offensive zone.

No change in score as the team’s would again change sides a little over the midway point of the game. This would work in the Rangers favor as right off the face-off, K’Andre Miller fed Jacob Trouba for a one-timer that snuck through just enough for Kaapo Kakko to put away the loose puck, giving the Rangers a 2-1 lead.

The goal would come as Kaapo Kakko’s 100th career point in the National Hockey League.

The Rangers continued to dominate play as they held the Kraken to just two shots on goal through the majority of the second period. With two minutes to go, Alexis Lafrenière had the puck down low and fed Filip Chytil with a nice pass at the half wall. Chytil cut in towards the bottom of the face-off circle and found Lafrenière in the slot who sent a quick shot to the back of the net, making it a 3-1 game.

Some food for thought regarding Lafrenière and the Rangers notorious struggles at generating 5-v-5 offense in recent history:

If this line continues to perform the way they have through the early parts of this season, it’s hard not to feel really good about the kind of year Alexis Lafrenière could have.

The Rangers held on to that 3-1 lead into the second intermission after what was one of their better periods through their first five games. They continued to out-shoot Seattle 19-10, continued to win the majority of the face-offs, blocking more shots than their opponents, out-hitting them and out-playing them in all areas of the ice.

3rd Period:

The Rangers continued their dominant efforts through the start of the third period, keeping Seattle to very minimal opportunities. Just over five minutes in, K’Andre Miller entered the Kraken zone and gave the puck over to Filip Chytil who again fed Artemiy Panarin in the slot. This time, Panarin let a quick shot go that beat Grubauer on the blocker side, picking up his second goal of the night in the process. Chytil with his third assist of the night on the play.

While a lot of the praise will go to Panarin, Chytil and Lafrenière for the Rangers successes on the night, Jonathan Quick really had a stellar night as well. He wasn’t tested a ton but when he needed to, he came up with some really big saves, including a nice glove save not long after Panarin made it a 4-1 game.

Midway through the third, Yanne Gourde laid a hit on Filip Chytil which the Rangers weren’t too happy about. Adam Fox gave him a shove which led to them exchanging blows before Kreider stepped in, throwing Gourde into the boards. Before Kreider’s involvement, Gourde threw a hit in Vincent Trocheck’s direction on the Rangers bench which prompted Will Cuylle to throw one back at Gourde. Earlier in the game, Trocheck delivered a hit on Brian Dumoulin that left him shaken up a bit. Gourde was eventually sent off for the night with a ten minute misconduct as well as a four minute match penalty with Kreider.

Play resumed at full strength and soon after, Chytil was inches away from making it a 5-1 game after hitting the post on a partial breakaway. The physical intensity continued after a TV timeout where Brian Dumoullin had some words for Will Cuylle, assumedly for his involvement with Yanne Guarde from the Rangers bench, before Vincent Trocheck stepped in. Trocheck ended up dropping the gloves with Jared McCann in a spirited bout, likely in response to everything that had happened leading up to that moment.

The Kraken had one more chance with the man advantage after Cuylle was sent off for holding Matty Beniers. The Rangers killed it off and ran out the remaining time left on the clock. An incredible night for this Rangers team who completely took this game from the Kraken. Final tally on shots was 27-19 in favor of the Blueshirts. One of those nights where you can mention a number of different players when it comes to who made a difference. Not to be lost in that is the coaching of Peter Laviolette which is seemingly bringing out the best in Artemiy Panarin as well as the young stars.

The Rangers are back at in Calgary Tuesday night for the first “Frozen Frenzy” of the year. With all 32 teams in action that night, this will be ESPN’s attempt at NFL Redzone with the NHL, covering all the big moments of each game throughout the night.