Recap: Rangers Three Pointers Lead Them to Wild Victory

Recap: Rangers Three Pointers Lead Them to Wild Victory
Nov 9, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Vincent Trocheck (16) celebrates his goal against the Minnesota Wild with teammates during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

You get a multi-point game, you get a multi-point game, everyone on the second line gets a multi-point game! After a night and day opening two periods, the Rangers came out on top in the third to pick up their tenth win of the season in a 4-1 win against the Minnesota Wild. Still bugged with injuries, Louis Domingue kept the Rangers grounded and picked up a 26 save night to win his first NHL start in over a year.

1st Period:

Rangers got off to a great start in this one establishing possession and zone time early. Just four minutes in, Erik Gustafsson made a beautiful play to hold the blue line and keep the puck in the zone. From there, he fed Alexis Lafreniére with a pass which led to him setting up Vincent Trocheck perfectly for the shot which beat Marc-Andre Fleury clean on the blocker side to make it a 1-0 game early.

The assist on the Trocheck goal comes as Gustafsson’s 200th career point for his ninth of the season in 13 games. What a start to the year the veteran defender has been off to as he is quickly becoming one of the best value signings not just for the Rangers, but around the league as a whole.

This was probably one of the best periods the Rangers have had since the early games in the season in terms of all around play. They were completely taking away the neutral zone from Minnesota, keeping them out of their own end and really owning the ice in the offensive zone as well. The defensemen were actively joining the rush with Ryan Lindgren being quite noticeable, getting a couple shots off early as well as joining the rush later in the period.

When the Rangers are executing their system the way they want to, it leaves plenty of opportunity for the defensemen to get involved offensively and that’s exactly what we saw throughout the first up and down the lineup. In addition to Lindgren, K’Andre Miller came close to extending the Rangers lead on a rush attempt and Erik Gustafsson was just as active in more ways than one.

With four minutes to go in the first, a small scrum ensued after Marc-Andre Fleury froze the puck which left Brandon Duhaime hungry for a fight. After the TV timeout, the puck dropped and so did the gloves of Duhaime and Barclay Goodrow for the first proper fight for the Rangers this season.

At the end of the first twenty, Rangers had the one goal lead and out-shot the Wild 14-3. What continues to be one of the most impressive stats to follow in the early parts of this season for the Rangers is the success they’re finding in the face-off dot, as they currently rank third in the league. A huge improvement for a team notorious for being among the worst in the league at winning draws year after year as they went 9-for-14 in the first.

2nd Period:

Louis Domingue wasn’t overly tested throughout the first period but was welcomed into the second with a couple of quick chances which he was able to turn aside. The Rangers had more of a difficult time controlling play through the first half of the second and as the game went on, weren’t having any luck at all. The Wild were getting the bulk of the scoring chances and Louis Domingue was doing a great job of helping the Rangers hold onto the one goal lead.

Just over the midway point of the game, Jacob Trouba would take the games first penalty as he was sent off for tripping up Marco Rossi. Frankly, with how much Minnesota flipped the narrative through the first half of the second, it was surprising it took that long for them to draw a penalty. Vincent Trocheck had the opportunity to pick up his second of the night on a shorthanded breakaway but missed just wide. The Rangers were able to kill off the penalty as teams returned to even strength.

It wouldn’t be long after returning to 5-v-5 before the Wild put themselves on the board. Rookie defender Brock Faber let a shot go from the point that deflected off the stick of Brandon Duhaime to tie the game up at one. At this point, the Wild were out-shooting the Rangers 11-1 in the second period.

Things didn’t change much from there. The Wild continued to apply pressure and the Rangers just could not get back to how they were playing through the opening period. Shots were 15-3 in favor of the Wild through the second period which tied the tally on the game up at 17 a piece through forty minutes of play. On the bright side, the Rangers increased to 66% on face-offs but would need to find a way to get back on track in the third period.

3rd Period:

Less than two minutes into the final period of regulation, the Rangers made a great defensive play which led to a two-on-one from Artemiy Panarin and Alexis Lafreniére. Panarin gave a perfect pass over to Lafreniére who had a wide open net to shoot at to regain the lead 2-1.

That extends Artemiy Panarin’s point streak to 13 games to start the season which ties his career-long point streak and leaves him one point away from tying Rod Gilbert for the all-time Rangers record.

The Rangers were doing a much better job of looking like the kind of team they were in the first period of the night as opposed to the second. They followed up regaining the lead with a couple of grade A chances and continued to keep the puck in Minnesota’s end.

Halfway through the second, Marc-Andre Fleury robbed Nick Bonino of a goal after Kaapo Kakko impressively skated back and forth behind the Wild net as if he had the puck on a string before feeding him with a pass. Couple minutes later, the Rangers finally got their first look on the power play as Joel Eriksson-Ek was sent off for tripping.

While the top power play unit wouldn’t be able to capitalize, the second unit was able to get the job done as Blake Wheeler finally got his first as a New York Ranger. A nice one timer from Will Cuylle off the feed from Miller as Alexis Lafreniére picked up the first rebound for his third point of the night as Wheeler was able to put the second rebound away.

With just over three to go, the Wild pulled Fleury for the extra attacker and immediately went to work, trying to get back in the game. Again, it was Louis Domingue coming up big for the Rangers making key saves when they needed him too. With 80 seconds left, Artemiy Panarin picked up his second of the night on the empty netter to make it a 4-1 game. Each member of that second line had a multi-point night, accumulating for eight points total. Both Lafreniére and Trocheck with three point games.

The Rangers pick up their second win in a row, their eighth in their last ten games to advance to 10-2-1 on the season. This team continues to find ways to win and the face that they are doing so without so many key players is incredibly impressive. The Rangers are back at it at the Garden Sunday Night as they will host the Columbus Blue Jackets and look to keep this thing going.