Recap: Zibanejad, Panarin Lead Rangers Past Golden Knights 5-1


The Rangers rolled into Vegas and scored four unanswered third period goals for a 5-1 victory.

The Rangers played a rock solid first period, and came away with a 1-0 lead. They sustained pressure in the offensive zone throughout, and held Vegas to a mere five shots on goal, and only six shots overall. Kappo Kakko was the lone goal scorer. He tipped a shot by K’Andre Miller through traffic and past Logan Thompson. The goal was his first in seven games, though he never stopped getting chances. With the assist, Miller has four points in his last six. A couple extra points out of Miller would go a long way, given the lack of offensive production on the blueline outside of Adam Fox.

The Rangers carried their strong play into the second, but the latter half of the period was all Vegas. Jonathan Marchessault tied the game on a five-on-three powerplay. After getting caught on a long shift, Vincent Trocheck took a tripping penalty, and mere seconds into the powerplay Ryan Lindgren crosschecked Mark Stone, who was slow to get up. With a long two-man advantage, Vegas closed the distance to the goal before Shea Theodore took a shot from the point, Chandler Stephenson recovered the rebound and found Marchessault on a cross crease pass.

In the third period, the Rangers broke through and just kept piling on. Mika Zibanejad scored the go-ahead goal with his ninth powerplay goal of the season. He hammered a one-timer from Artemi Panarin to the far side of the net. The assist was career point number 600 for Panarin.

24 seconds later, Filip Chytil, who drew the previous penalty, scored his first in his last nine games. Panarin started the play with a stretch pass, Barclay Goodrow looped an arching pass across to center ice, and Chytil took a quick shot that Thompson got a lot of, but not enough. Alexis Lafrenière and Zibanejad each put another tally on the board. Vegas was clearly quite frustrated, taking a couple bad penalties, smashing a goalie stick, and earning a game misconduct. But allowing four unanswered third period goals en route to a 5-1 loss will do that.

Not much to dislike about this win for the Rangers. They played excellent five-on-five hockey, stumbling only in the second while controlling the first and dominating the third. Their powerplay scored twice, and the only goal surrendered was a 5-3 powerplay goal.

The Rangers will look to add to their fledgling two game win streak against a battered Colorado Avalanche Friday night.