Gallant started two NHL-caliber forward and defense lines tonight. The second line of Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome, and Kaapo Kakko was the top line for tonight, followed by the Sammy Blais, Kevin Rooney, and Ryan Reaves line. The top two defensive lines were K’Andre Miller and Jacob Trouba, followed by Zac Jones and Braden Schneider. Igor Shesterkin and Tyler Wall.
Rangers Come Out Strong In First
The Rangers had a great showing in the first period. The Blueshirts had great puck movement and had a lot of energy throughout the lines. Kakko stood out in the first, as he was making amazing passes and showing his skating legs. The Rangers would get time on the powerplay but would not put points on the scoreboard.
Igor was amazing in the first, stopping 7 shots, including 4 on the powerplay. He shut down the Bruins both on the powerplay and at even strength. He even stopped a shorthanded breakaway that the Bruins had. Without Igor, the Bruins would’ve certainly had some goals going into the second.
Scoring Opens Up in the Second
The Rangers opened the second early with a goal from Anthony Bitetto on a nice pass from Panarin. The Rangers picked up the momentum from there, generating plenty of great chances. Kakko followed up with a rebound goal that was set up by Zac Jones and Panarin. Just like that, the Rangers were up 2-0. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t last.
Jack Studnicka would cut the lead soon after Kakko’s goal. This goal resulted in the end of Shesterkin’s night. Igor had a great game with 12 saves on 11 shots. Tyler Wall replaced Igor and remained in for the rest of the game. Late in the second, Boston would tie the game off of an absolute snipe by Urho Vaakanainen. The Rangers responded just a minute before the period ended when Panarin scored on a breakaway.
Rangers Win After A Scoreless Third
The Rangers had control for pretty much the entire third period. While they failed to score on their powerplay chances, they had most of the puck possession and played great defense when they didn’t have it. The Rangers also killed penalties well with help from the defense and Tyler Wall. Some solid play towards the end led to the Rangers’ first preseason win.
A couple of players stood out as great tonight. Kakko was phenomenal and is showing lots of promise. Hopefully, the work he’s done in the offseason translates to the regular season. Panarin showed that he’s still the best player on the team, to nobody’s surprise.
The young defensemen, Zac Jones and K’Andre Miller, both played amazing on the blue line too. They each had some great defensive and offensive plays, with an assist each. Brendan Schneider also had a quietly good game with 7 hits.
The Blais-Rooney-Reaves line did exactly what they were brought here to do, with 13 combined hits in the game.
Both goalies played extremely well, especially Igor. He will be a crucial part of the Rangers season, and he needs to be at the top of his game. Tonight was a nice start to that.
The Rangers’ next game is on Friday, October 1st against the New Jersey Devils.