Whew…Rangers beat Philadelphia in a shootout

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New York Rangers center Colin Blackwell (43) celebrates his goal with left wing Chris Kreider (20) and left wing Alexis Lafreniere (13) Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Was this an important win?  Absolutely.  Was it a work of art? Not at all.  Does it matter?  Just a little.  The New York Rangers won a game that they had to win and they really should have won.  While the win was important, if it had been a loss it would have been devastating.

There was a lot not to like about the win. They allowed the Flyers to score in the first minute of the game. Then, they allowed the Flyers to tie the score in the last minute of regulation.  While they scored on the power play, they also squandered a two man advantage with an undisciplined penalty.

There was also a lot to like.  They stifled the Flyers offense for most of he game. They scored on the power play and the penalty kill was perfect.

The heavy lifting in this game was by the unheralded players. Colin Blackwell, Tony Bitetto and Brendan Smith were the unsung heroes. The fourth line did yeoman’s work again.   Jack Johnson was pressed into action and played well.   But the single most important factor was the return of Artemi Panarin who singlehandedly tried to carry the team to victory.

After the game, Quinn was pleased with the win, but not how they played. He said “We needed two points and we got two points…maybe it wasn’t a Picasso, it certainly wasn’t the way we want to play or need to play if we are going to have sustained success,. We’ve suffered our lumps and we needed to dig deep and figure out a way to win and that’s all that matters.”

Quinn didn’t like the breakouts and the lack of structure, but was happy with the will to win. The four game losing streak is over and the Blueshirts have four tough games coming up in the next week against Washington, Boston and a rematch with the Flyers.

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