Recap: Rangers With 3rd OT/SO Win in a Row 

Recap: Rangers With 3rd OT/SO Win in a Row 
Mar 28, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8) and New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) battle for the puck in the first period at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

For their second and final meeting of the regular season, the Rangers took on the Colorado Avalanche in what ended up becoming yet another game that required extra minutes. With limited regular season games remaining and both teams either having clinched or being close to punching their playoff ticket, this game had the potential to be a bit of a snoozer which was how it was looking to be at the start. However, it quickly started to feel like a playoff game as two of the top teams in the league weren’t going to go down easily.

1st Period:

It’s only been about a month and a half since these two teams last saw each other but with how mild mannered of a start this one was off to, you’d think it was longer. The first ten minutes of the games opening period was very low key with the two teams playing a bit reserved, registering just a handful of shots early on. Right around the midway point, the Avalanche were called for the games first penalty as Nathan MacKinnon was sent off for interfering with Ryan Lindgren.

The power play attempt for the Blueshirts was as uneventful as the game as a whole had been up to this point but both sides saw a brief flare of offense when the teams returned to even strength. Towards the end of the period with just under three minutes to go, K’Andre Miller was called for hooking Mikko Rantanen to give Colorado their first power play of the evening.

The Rangers penalty killers were equal to the challenge which took us to the end of the games first twenty. Both teams were playing very sound defensively with shots very limited at six apiece. Colorado had the significant advantage in attempts, hits and face-offs, but the Rangers were matching their pace extremely well making this quite an even game to get started.

2nd Period:

Things were starting to open up a bit more for either side as the game had a little more jump to it at the start of the second. Jack Roslovic in particular had a couple of really good chances for the Rangers early on, including a point blank chance that found him all alone in the slot off a connection from Chris Kreider. The offense continued as Artemiy Panarin found himself on a quick breakaway off a great cross-ice pass from netminder Igor Shesterkin that former friend Alexandar Georgiev was able to turn away.

As the period went on, that Kreider line continued to buzz but Georgiev continued to come up with some big saves for the Avalanche. With exactly two minutes to go before the official midway point of the game, the Rangers were sent back to the penalty kill, this time as a result of a questionable play by Jimmy Vesey that earned him two for interference. The Avalanche sustained some really strong pressure with the man advantage, really forcing the Rangers penalty killers to work but again, they were equal to the task as the score remained locked at a pair of goose eggs. Vincent Trocheck would get a strong short handed chance as Colorado’s man advantage neared its end but ripped the shot off the post.

Rangers fans really do travel well and have an uncanny ability to make any NHL arena feel like a home game which was evident as Ball Arena was filled with ”Igor” chants. In the midst of which, Shesterkin came up with an even bigger save as he was sprawled out in the crease and with some help from Adam Fox, kept the puck out of the back of the net. Both goaltenders were playing excellent as the score would remain scoreless all the way through until the final minute of the period.

The Avalanche were the ones to finally break the scoreless stretch as Casey Mittelstadt let a perfect wrist shot go off a nice feed from Brandon Duhaime to make it a 1-0 game.

A much more eventful period as shots nearly tripled on both ends with Colorado still having the advantage 18-16. Despite giving up the late goal, the Rangers were still very much in this game as they were skating stride for stride with the Avalanche, just in need of finding a way to beat their old netminder in Georgiev.

3rd Period:

A tough start as the pace continued into the third which left Chad Ruhwedel crashing hard into the boards while racing Miles Wood to the puck in the Rangers end. Ruhwedel would head to the Rangers locker room and on the next shift, the Blueshirts would tie the game up. One of the elements of Kaapo Kakko’s game that’s been extremely evident, especially as of late, is his control with the puck behind the goal line in the offensive zone. Kakko made a great play to get the puck to Jonny Brodzinski whose rebound was left for Kakko to bank in off Georgiev to knot things up 1-1.

With a little over eleven minutes to go, Artemiy Panarin did what he does best and danced around with the puck seemingly on a string which helped draw another Colorado penalty. This time it was Zach Parise going off  for holding. With the Panarin line already out there, the Rangers opted to use their timeout to rest up their top power play unit. An outstanding decision by the coaching staff as the Rangers would end up capitalizing on the man advantage to take a 2-1 lead. Mika Zibanejad found Panarin back at the point who let the shot go to set up Chris Kreider for the rebound in front perfectly.

The shot from Panarin actually hit Trocheck in or around the glove first which prompted Colorado to challenge for a hand pass. A pretty reckless coaches challenge as no part of that was even remotely close to a hand pass and sure enough, the call on the ice stood and the Rangers got an extra power play as a result. With that goal, Chris Kreider now passes Brian Leetch on the franchises all-time power play goals list for sole possession of third in team history.

The Rangers wouldn’t convert the second time around and not long after the delay of game penalty came to an end, the Avalanche found a way to tie things right back up. The shot from Devon Toews at the point led to a rebound for Mikko Rantanen but it was actually Ryan Lindgren’s stick that sent the puck in Shesterkin’s direction as it slipped through and into the back of the net, making it a 2-2 game.

Cale Makar nearly regained the lead for his team with an impressive individual effort and it was back and forth action from there. Both teams saw chances at either end of the ice but the Rangers got the worst of it as Adam Fox took a redirected puck right to the face which sent him straight to the Rangers locker room. Might be time to seriously consider resting your stars. Ruhwedel thankfully returned to the Rangers bench but somewhere along the way, K’Andre Miller briefly disappeared from the bench.

Nevertheless, the score would remain 2-2 through the final stretch of the third period which meant for the third game in a row, bonus hockey! Final shots on goal tally through regulation would be 37-24 in favor of Colorado in what started out as a slow game but quickly turned exciting in the second period.


With Adam Fox still in the Rangers locker room, we saw some experimenting for the Rangers in overtime, including a look at Zac Jones in a 3-on-3 setting. The Rangers won the initial face-off which allowed for Panarin to do his thing. When Zac Jones replaced K’Andre Miller on that starting line, he took some chances and looked pretty confident with the puck which was refreshing to see. The Avalanche saw a couple of threatening chances to which Shesterkin came up with key saves to keep the Rangers in it and sure enough, five minutes would come and go to require a shootout.


The Avalanche opted for the Rangers to shoot first which allowed for Artemiy Panarin to come in calmly to beat Georgiev with a clean shot. Casey Mittelstadt then came in slowly and pulled off a handful of moves in which Shesterkin was able to patiently stick with and turn away.

Mika Zibanejad came in with a forehand-backhand-forehand move but couldn’t get enough on it. Mikko Rantanen then tried to surprise Shesterkin with a quick shot to which he stood tall on without a problem.

With the game on his stick, Vincent Trocheck came in with great poise and pulled off a similar move as Zibanejad just a little smoother and in closer which left him able to sneak a shot past Georgiev to earn the Rangers the extra point, picking up their 49th win of the season.

Another impressive showing from this Rangers team but the main concern will be ensuring that Fox, Miller and the rest of the Rangers defenders are all alright. While it’s incredibly exciting to see this team continue its dominance and push for the Presidents Trophy, getting everyone healthy and rested down the stretch here should be priority number one. The Rangers will head over to Arizona to take on the Coyotes for a Saturday Night showing at Mullett Arena.