Recap: Rangers Advance to 8 Wins In a Row

Recap: Rangers Advance to 8 Wins In a Row
Feb 20, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) makes a save against Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin (91) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Fewer teams were riding as hot as the New York Rangers were heading into tonight’s meeting with the Dallas Stars. Fresh off one of, if not their most exciting win of the season against the Islanders at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, the Rangers looked to keep things going against one of the top teams in the Western Conference and came out on top of it with quite an impressive team win.

1st Period:

The Blueshirts got off to a great start as they wasted no time generating offense and maintained strong puck possession through the early parts of the first period. Right off the bat, all four lines seemed to be rolling with that third line of Jonny Brodzinski, Kaapo Kakko and Will Cuylle looking incredibly noticeable as they have been as of late.

About eight minutes into play, after a bit of a scramble in front of Scott Wedgewood, Artemiy Panarin settled the puck down and sent a perfect pass up to Adam Fox at the point. Fox then let the shot go from up high in the slot to put the Rangers on the board to make it a 1-0 game.

Not long after the goal, the Rangers had the chance to really take advantage of this one as Matt Duchene was sent off for an interference penalty against Ryan Lindgren for the first infraction of the night. Lindgren, who was an early exit from the Stadium Series game on Sunday, was right back out there tonight after ten stitches and his eye being swollen shut from a high stick in the third period of that game which in itself is absolutely incredible. Nevertheless, the Rangers power play would unfortunately revert back to its struggling ways as they wouldn’t find a way to convert which kept things within a goal’s reach.

With three minutes to go in the first, Jamie Benn nearly got the Stars on the board as he ripped a shot off the post. About thirty seconds later, Dallas would get their first power play of the night as Adam Fox was awarded quite a questionable holding penalty. The Rangers had a successful penalty kill which included a valiant effort from the team’s iron man who simply can not catch a break. On top of dealing with the gash near his eye, Lindgren would have to spend some time killing this penalty without a blade on his skate as it fell off during Dallas’ attack.

That would just about do it for the first as the Stars would end up out-shooting the Rangers 10-6. Despite the low shot total, both teams had a good amount of attempts in what was a high intensity, physical opening period. The Rangers were off to a good start in face-offs as they had a 68% success rate and despite what the stats said, the Rangers looked to be the stronger team on the puck.

2nd Period:

It only took a minute and a half before the Rangers were at a disadvantage in the second period as Panarin was sent off for hooking Jamie Benn. After another successful kill, the Rangers had a couple of big chances but Wedgewood was coming up with some key saves to keep his team within one. A couple of minutes after the penalty to Panarin came to an end, Jamie Benn was sent off for tripping Mika Zibanejad. It was much of a similar effort from the Rangers power play crew but it wouldn’t be a full one as Vincent Trocheck was called for Tripping Esa Lindell.

As the team skated at 4-v-4, Kaapo Kakko had another strong shift that resulted in him putting a quick shot past Wedgewood to extend the Rangers lead 2-0. Kakko ties his career-long point streak of five games as he has quietly been one of the Rangers best players as of late. In his last 10 games, he has registered 4 goals and 3 assists for a total of 7 points which has made him quite the standout for this team.

Less than one minute later, a strong shift from Dallas resulted in Miro Heiskanen putting home a rebound on the left wing side to bring the Stars within one on the power play.

The Rangers got another power play chance just over the midway point of the game as Joel Hanley was called for holding Mika Zibanejad, Again, the Rangers couldn’t find a way to beat Dallas’ penalty killers as the score would remain 2-1 in their favor. By the end of the second, shots were now 25-20 in favor of Dallas as Igor Shesterkin was having a steady night to help keep his team in it. One of his best saves of the night came on a windmill glove save on Wyatt Johnson to keep the Rangers in control heading into the game’s final period.

3rd Period:

The third period would be much more of a low event period as the Rangers would ride things out to preserve their lead. They had one more look on the power play as Roope Hintz was sent off for goalie interference but again, the Rangers power play units had nothing to show for. About halfway through, Erik Gustafsson was called for cross-checking in the Rangers own end which gave Dallas yet another power play chance. Another strong penalty kill from the Rangers kept Dallas from registering a shot on goal and even sparked a couple of shorthanded scoring chances from Zibanejad and Kreider.

As play continued, Igor continued to stand on his head, coming up with massive saves to hold onto the Rangers one goal lead. One of which, rivaled his glove save on Johnston earlier in the night as he shut down Tyler Seguin right in front of the net, leaving even Seguin shocked.

The Rangers held on and as Dallas pulled Wedgewood for the extra attacker, they gave the comeback one more solid push. With just under two minutes to go, Vincent Trocheck would find the empty net goal to extend their lead 3-1. Dallas would pull the goalie again but wouldn’t be able to generate any serious chances as the Rangers held onto the lead. Chris Kreider came close and possibly should have made it a 4-1 game in the final second of play as it appeared the puck crossed the line with a couple of milliseconds left in the game. However, the goal horn didn’t go off and the officials seemed to overlook it as the score would remain 3-1 which would extend their win streak to eight games, their longest win streak since the 2015-16 season.

It wasn’t an overly flashy showing but the Rangers gave another strong sixty-minute effort to pull out yet another win to extend their streak to eight wins in a row. It was another night where they got a solid effort from everyone in the lineup and most importantly, had a 42 save night from Igor Shesterkin who without question helped them hold on to the lead throughout a real close game.

The Rangers are back at it on Thursday Night in Newark as they’ll pay a visit to the New Jersey Devils as they continue through a busy week of play.