Recap: Quick & the Rangers Make it 3 in a Row

Recap: Quick & the Rangers Make it 3 in a Row
Feb 7, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal in the second period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers are once again officially hot as they extend their win streak to three games, their first win streak of that amount since almost two months ago. (December 15-19). It was another close, at times low event game as the Rangers played a hard, defensively strong game against another tough opponent. Not only was it crucial for this Rangers team to build off that win prior to the break but to establish a win streak against such noteworthy opponents really helps in rebuilding some of their momentum.

1st Period:

The teams wasted no time getting off to a high-intensity start as Erik Cernak laid a massive hit on Ryan Lindgren right off the initial face-off. As play went back and forth, Adam Fox took the puck into Tampa’s zone and nearly put the Rangers up by one as he ripped a shot off the post. Tampa then saw a golden chance of their own which left a sprawling Jonathan Quick defending an otherwise wide open net.

Things slowed down a bit from there but despite the early chance from Fox it was mostly Tampa getting pucks on net. Around the midway point of the first, the Rangers had another solid chance as Barclay Goodrow chased the puck into Tampa’s zone all alone but a last minute decision from Vasilevskiy to play the puck put an end to that.

It would end up being a whole lot of nothing through the games opening twenty. Kucherov had one shot off the post but aside from that, neither team was able to find the back of the net. No goals, no penalties and only six stoppages of play throughout the first period. Shots were 6-5 in favor of Tampa but all in all, there was solid pace to the game.

2nd Period:

Just as special guest Henrik Lundqvist finished talking about the Rangers goaltending situation on the broadcast, Jonathan Quick came up with a big save at the start of the second. Going the other way with it, Jimmy Vesey came in and caught Andrei Vasilevskiy cheating to one side which prompted Vesey to pull off a beautiful move and roof a backhander past him to give the Rangers an early 1-0 in the second.

Not long after the Rangers goal, they would head to the power play as Michael Eyssimont was sent off for holding Artemiy Panarin. Again, the Rangers power play unit remained cold as the Lightning were able to kill those two minutes off with ease.

A bit of a scary sight at the Garden as Mikhail Sergachev went down as a result of a reverse hit from Alexis Lafrenière. At initial glance, it didn’t look like much but when they showed the replay and you saw how Sergachev landed, it was quite evident that his leg buckled in a way legs should not bend. This was Sergachev’s first game back from a lower-body injury suffered back in December that kept him out for 17 games. A brutal break for Sergachev who was left in a great deal of pain and needed to be stretchered off the ice.

As play resumed the Rangers would end up losing a defenseman of their own as Nikita Kucherov went to redirect a cleared puck attempt which ended up nailing Erik Gustafsson right in the mouth. He would go straight to the bench where he would get some assistance and end up heading to the Rangers locker room.

With about seven minutes to go, the Rangers had one of their best chances of the night as Trocheck fed a pass over to Lafrenière on the other side of the net where he was robbed by Vasilevskiy. Tough night for Laffy who was pretty visibly shaken up after being involved in the collision that sent Sergachev off in a stretcher.

With close to two minutes to go in the period, a good puck battle in the corner led to Chris Kreider sending the puck over to Jonny Brodzinski in front of the net who used his great shot to let a quick one go which found the back of the net to make it a 2-0 game.

What a story Brodzinski is quietly becoming for this Rangers team. He has looked really good on that third line in between Kaapo Kakko and Will Cuylle and has truly been a great journeyman in the National Hockey League.

Not long after the goal, Brayden Point was sent off for holding as he was tangled up with Adam Fox in the Rangers zone. The Rangers initially moved the puck around well but again, would not pose any serious threats as Tampa would eventually clear and eat up the remaining time in the game’s second period. An extremely strong defensive showing from the Rangers as they limited Tampa to four shots on goal throughout the period with none of them being particularly strong chances.

3rd Period:

Some good news for the Rangers, Erik Gustafsson would end up returning accompanied by a full face shield. The Rangers kicked off the third with about 40 seconds of power play time remaining but of course with the face-off coming at center ice, there really wasn’t much time for them to really get anything set up. About five minutes later, the failed power play attempts would come to bite the Rangers as Brandon Hagel was able to get his team on the board to give them some signs of life after a quiet second period.

The game’s pace would drop off a bit following the goal. Alexis Lafrenière saw another good chance that required a save from Vasilevskiy and Tampa saw a chance on a play that almost certainly would have been reviewed for offsides but nevertheless, play went on.

With close to five minutes to go, Victor Hedman and Vincent Trocheck got tangled up in the Lightning’s zone which resulted in Hedman knocking the helmet off of Trocheck. That should’ve been a penalty but was missed by the officials. As Trocheck struggled to get the helmet back on, he ended up going off for Mika Zibanejad who made a nice play to go the other way with the puck and fed Panarin with a great opportunity to give the Rangers lead some insurance. Zibanejad would however end up taking a penalty later in that shift which gave Tampa their first power play chance of the night.

The Rangers did a good job of killing off the penalty with some help from Jonathan Quick who made a couple of big saves against the man advantage. By the time things settled down upon returning to even strength, the Lightning opted to pull Vasilevskiy for the extra attacker. With just over 60 seconds to go in the game, Barclay Goodrow chipped the puck ahead for Jimmy Vesey who took it in all alone to pick up his second of the night on the wide open net to make it a 3-1 game.

That would seal the deal in another big win for this Rangers team as Jonathan Quick led them through their third win in a row. Not only was it a good win for the team but they got some secondary scoring from bottom-six guys which is always a plus. The Rangers will head to Chicago from here as they prepare to take on the Blackhawks Friday Night in hopes of continuing to build on this hot streak.