The New York Rangers were in a tough battle coming into tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Furthermore, with all the drama about Tony DeAngelo‘s upcoming departure, a win for the Rangers would regain their winning momentum. With the Rangers win tonight, they tie the Islanders for 7th place in the East Division standings. This allows the Broadway Blueshirts to continue pushing forward for the ultimate goal of making the playoffs this season. Let’s breakdown each period of the game for a better understanding of what went down during the 60 minutes of play on Monday night.
During the first period, both teams came out with relentless speed and determination. Though the Penguins dominated most of the period, the Rangers gave them a good fight for the first twenty minutes. Pittsburgh left the ice with 12 shots on net while the Rangers left with 9. The Rangers were given an early powerplay where great chances were created, but no goal to show for. At 9:05 of the period, poor defense from K’Andre Miller led to a goal from Jason Zucker. This is strange to see because Miller has been on fire over the past few games, doing his best to help the team. Later in the game, Brendan Smith suffered an injury to the hand, resulting in him going to the locker room to receive proper treatment. After the first period, a fight broke out between Brett Howden and Kasperi Kapanen after some words against each other. Final Score of the period: 1-0 Penguins.
For the first half of the second period, it was all about Pittsburgh. Many shots and great plays which included 5 power plays overall. Igor Shesterkin was ready to go tonight and he proved it when he stopped Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin numerous times. When the 4th power play had ended for the Penguins, K’Andre Miller had a great breakaway where after multiple tricks, he whiffed on his own shot, causing the Rangers to remain scoreless. But what do you know, the next minute, a scramble at the Penguins net lead to a tap-in by Kevin Rooney. Now, the game had changed. The Rangers received great strength to keep pushing. Although Brendan Smith did not return to play, the Broadway Blueshirts were able to cope with 5 defenders. The period ended with the score of 1-1 with some of a Penguins power play left to play in the third period.
If the third period had a name for itself, it would be called “Ranger Danger”. The New York Rangers came out ready to go and battle their way to success against the Penguins. Not only did the Rangers have their most successful opportunities during the final twenty minutes, but they also showed their opposition how tough they can play. Controlling most of the puck, the Rangers were able to score a power-play goal from Chris Kreider, assisted by Adam Fox, and Artemi Panarin. From that moment on, the Pittsburgh Penguins were receiving a school lesson from the Blueshirts. The speed of the final period was beyond fast, giving both squads opportunities to score. When Casey DeSmith was pulled for an extra skater, one player who really benefited the Rangers was Brendan Lemieux. He had many takeaways which led to an empty netter by Artemi Panarin with 0.3 seconds left in the hockey game.
With tonight’s win, the New York Rangers prove they can persevere through tough games and get the job done. The final score of the contest was 3-1 favoring the Rangers. Their next game is on Thursday, February 4th against the Washington Capitals. Hopefully, New York continues to strive for greatness as the season progresses.