The New York Rangers can’t stop the hot Vegas Golden Knights as they defeat the Blueshirts 4-1 behind the goaltending of Malcolm Subban.
The New York Rangers were looking to extend their four-game winning streak and a six-game home point streak, both which are season highs, but couldn’t seem to get pass the strong play of Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Malcolm Subban, who saved 29 of 30 shots on goal taken by the Blueshirts. Subban, who started in place of Marc-André Fleury, appeared in just his ninth game of the season on Monday night and proved to be the difference maker for the Golden Knights.
Not even two minutes into the game, a very odd sequence between Alex Tuch and Henrik Lundqvist resulted in a goal that would put the Vegas Golden Knights on top 1-0 with 18:26 left in the first period. After an Artemi Panarin shot was blocked in the Golden Knights zone, Brayden McNabb was able to send the pass up ice to a wide open Tuch who was able to wrist a shot towards Lundqvist. The puck would deflect off of Lundqvist and find its way past the red line and give the Golden Knights the lead after it was reviewed by the officials. McNabb was credited with the assist and Jonathan Marchessault was credited with the secondary assist.
Just 18 seconds later, Brady Skjei would be called for a holding the stick penalty which would give the Golden Knights the first power play opportunity of the evening. The Rangers, who just one game ago were a perfect 8-8 on penalty kills against the New Jersey Devils, would unfortunately start this game 0-1 after Tuch found the back of the net with two seconds remaining on the power play to give the Golden Knights an early 2-0 advantage. With William Karlsson bringing the puck down towards the Rangers zone, he would find Nate Schmidt who then found a cutting Tuch to register his second goal of the evening at the 16:10 mark. Schmidt was credited with the assist and Karlsson was credited with the secondary assist.
The Blueshirts were outplayed on all aspects of the game in the first period. The Golden Knights finished with more shots on goal (17 to 12) and more faceoff wins (10-7) which gave the Golden Knights a two goals to one lead after one period of play. Subban was lights out in the first period saving all 13 shots he faced.
The second period would start with a Rangers power play carrying over from the first period after Nicolas Hague was called for a delay of game. Unfortunately the Rangers were not able to get anything past Subban and would now sit at 0-2 on power play opportunities for the game.
The Rangers would go on to have multiple shots on goal for the next few minutes until Reilly Smith had a takeaway in the Rangers zone. He would then race up the ice for a one-on-one with Lundqvist and shoot the puck past the Rangers goaltender to give the Golden Knights a 3-0 lead with 15:16 left in the second period. The goal would be Smith’s 12th on the season, good for the team lead, and would go unassisted.
Things would go from bad to worst for the Rangers. Just about one minute after Smith’s goal, Kaapo Kakko would get called for a two minute penalty for high-sticking McNabb. This would lead to the Golden Knights second power play opportunity of the night, but most importantly, their second power play goal of the night just 21 seconds into the opportunity. Mark Stone would go on to win a faceoff in the Rangers defensive zone which then set up Cody Glass to find Max Pacioretty cross ice for the shot and another Golden Knights goal. This would give the Golden Knights a 4-0 lead with 13:40 left in the second period. Stone was credited with the assist and Glass was credited with the secondary assist.
The New York Rangers would finally get on the board with 4:45 left in the second period after a slick pass by Mika Zibanejad found an open Brendan Lemieux cutting in front of Subban in the Golden Knights defensive zone. With the goal, Lemieux has not registered points in his last two games, as well as, five points in his last eight games. Zibanejad is credited with the assist and Jacob Trouba was credited with the secondary assist. Zibanejad has now recorded a point in three of the last four games.
It took the Rangers almost 35 minutes to finally start playing aggressively and get on the board. Although the Blueshirts were still being outshot (28-19), they did play much more aggressively in the last few minutes of the second period and were able to cut the Golden Knights lead to three rather then four.
A few minutes into the third period, the Rangers would receive another man advantage to try and cut the Golden Knights lead to just two after Shea Theodore was called for hooking Kakko. The Rangers were able to get a few shots off on Subban but none were able to hit the back of the net. This would then lead to the Rangers now being 0-3 on power plays for the evening.
Less then two minutes after their first power play of the third period concluded, they were awarded another one after Pacioretty was called for tripping Tony DeAngelo. The Blueshirts would hold the puck in the Golden Knights defensive zone during most of the power play, but were not able to get anything past Subban once again. Boo’s reigned down at the World’s Most Famous Arena after the Blueshirts were not able to capitalize once again with a one man advantage.
The rest of the third period was back and forth between both teams, but with nothing to show on the scoreboard which ultimately led to a Golden Knights 4-1 victory. The Rangers would not convert on any of their six power play opportunities, which could be the exact reason why the Blueshirts dropped this one in the Garden. The win would end the New York Rangers four home game winning streak and would give the Golden Knights their first three game winning streak of the season.
The Rangers sit at 13-10-3 and have 29 points on the season so far. The Golden Knights now sit at 14-11-4 and have 32 points this season.