The New York Rangers won 5-3 against the St. Louis Blues, ending their two-game losing streak. Here is what happened.
Great Rangers Start
The Rangers got off to a good start with a goal by Alexis Lafreniere (13). Once entering the zone, Lafreniere’s initial wrist shot was saved by goalie Ville Husso. Adam Fox’s (44) wrist shot was saved seconds later and then Lafreniere scored on the rebound on a wrist shot. This made it 1-0 and the lone goal in the period.
The Rangers had 11 blocked shots in the first period, showing they were willing to sacrifice their bodies for the sake of defense. The Blues started to up their game at the end of the period, but Igor Shesterkin held them off.
Ryan Strome (12) added to the Rangers lead late in the second period, succeeding on a stuff attempt. The puck went between Husso’s legs. Artemi Panarin (43) and Jacob Trouba (17) assisted on the play.
Three Shots, Three Goals
It didn’t take long for the Blues to come back. At 17:30 in the second, Ryan O’Reilly (12) buries the puck stick side on Shesterkin on a wrist shot. This goal was assisted by Brandon Saad (13) and David Perron (17) and was the first of three consecutive shots on goal that lead to a goal.
The Blues scored again at 18:37, tying the game 2-2 on a wrist shot by Ivan Barbashev (17), scoring glove side. Jordan Kyrou (29) assisted on the play.
At 19:44, Perron (12) scored on a snap shot stick side, making it 3-2 Blues. The Rangers looked like they were collapsing in their own zone. O’Reilly (23) and Colton Parayko (16) assisted on the goal.
At this point, the Rangers blew their two-goal lead on three consecutive shots. They needed to find ways to score. Well, they did. The third period had some great hockey by the Rangers.
At 7:27 in the third period, Patrik Nemeth (1) scored his first goal for the Rangers, on a wrist shot. The puck deflected off of the Blues player Barbashev, going into the net.
This goal came about when the Rangers blew a 2-on-1 with Strome unable to take a shot on a pass from Panarin. Strome passed it back and went to Nemeth, shooting at an open net and scoring. Husso was down because of the two-on-one opportunity for the Rangers, thinking Strome would shoot. This gave Nemeth the advantage, which he took advantage of. Husso was looking for a goalie interference penalty, but didn’t get it and the Blues decided not to challenge.
At 11:40, Rangers regained the lead on a PPG by Chris Kreider (35), his league-leading 18th PPG of the season. He scored in normal Kreider fashion, on a tip-in.
The timing of the Kreider goal was perfect, as Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant took a time out. He wanted to keep hit top PP line out on the ice and gave this line a break. It worked because Kreider scored shortly after that. Fox (45) and Panarin (44) assisted on the play.
The Blues took their goalie out late in the third period. Panarin (15) scored an empty netter, assisted by Fox (46). This win broke the Rangers losing streak and helped them inch closer to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes.
The Rangers play the New Jersey Devils on Friday at 7 p.m. ET. The Devils are seventh in the Metropolitan Division, their playoff hopes not looking good.
The Rangers will be looking to get a winning streak going, hoping to keep up with their division rivals. They are also hoping to fend off the Washington Capitals, who are eight points behind them. The Caps currently hold the second Wild Card spot.
Who is going to win this rivalry? Will the Rangers start a winning streak? Or will the Devils continue to slide further back, ruining their playoff chances? For those who don’t mind winding down on a Friday night, watch the game to see who wins.
Featured Image Courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
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