This game is the New York Rangers’ season in a nutshell and another example why this team is such a joy to watch. Challenged by the coach after two bad losses, the Blueshirts came out determined to get off to a good start only to fall behind 2-0 after just five minutes.
But these never say die Blueshirts didn’t give up and they scored four goals in just over five minutes later in the same first period. They let the Stars close within a goal twice, but answered back each time and skated off the ice with a 7-4 win. Artemi Panarin had a five point night, Dryden Hunt had three assists and Igor Shesterkin recovered from a shaky start to make some key saves to preserve the win.
Coach Gerard Gallant was very, very happy with the effort. “They competed,they played hard, they played the way we wanted them to play…I was real happy with the response…I liked the way everybody played.”
Gallant said that the way the team played, he would have been happy even if they lost. “If we would have lost 4-3 and played the way we played tonight, I would have been satisfied. Everybody was involved, it wasn’t five guys or seven guys, it was everybody and that’s what was key to me.”
Dryden Hunt said it was kind of a must-win game. “It was tough to lose those two games, not just losing but the way we lost, we had no response…It was a huge answer for us. It’s kind of been our problem as of late and to flick that switch like that was huge”
The start of the game was awful as Igor Shesterkin let in one his worst goals of the season, just 49 seconds into the game. Esa Lindell put a backhand shot from the boards over Shesterkin’s shoulder.
It wasn’t over as the Dallas Stars built on their lead just four minutes later. Five minutes into the game and they were down 2-0, the arena was rocking and the Rangers were reeling.
The Rangers got one back at 9:45 when Julien Gauthier did great work on the boards and fed K’Andre Miller for the shot that deflected of Greg McKegg past Stars goalie Jake Oettinger.
When Roope Hintz took a hooking penalty against Jonny Brodzinski, the power play went to work and it was Artemi Panarin who kept the puck in at the blue line and got the puck to Ryan Strome who fed Mika Zibanejad for a blazing one-timer. Game tied.
75 seconds later it was Adam Fox’s turn to score, tipping in a point blast by Jacob Trouba.
The play was made by Artemi Panarin who was able tot keep the puck in the zone at the blue line and he then fed Trouba for the shot.
The Rangers were buzzing and Dallas could not get the puck out of their zone. 36 seconds later it was Panarin who put the puck past Oettinger on a wrist shot after dipsy doodling in the Stars’ zone.
It was a dominant first period for the Rangers as they outshot and outhit a stunned Dallas team.
Of course, this Rangers team cannot stand prosperity and they allowed the Stars to draw within a goal on a power play goal with a two man advantage after penalties to Ryan Lindgren and Jonny Brodzinski. Shesterkin objected to the goal saying that Jason Robertson had directed the puck into the net with his glove, but the officials looked at it and called it a good goal.
The Stars were the better team for most of the second period and the Rangers were holding on. That’s when Patrik Nemeth scored what Gallant called a “greasy goal.” He took a pass from Panarin and drove to the net. He carried the puck behind the net, then reversed and tried to tuck the puck under Oettinger’s skate.
Initially not ruled a goal, the officials reviewed the play and on replay you could see the puck had crossed the goal line and the Rangers had their two goal lead back.
The Rangers came out in the third period and played an excellent defensive game, but Joe Pavelski was able to get an odd man rush on transition and fired the puck past Shesterkin. The rush came right after Barclay Goodrow had opted to pass instead of taking the shot from the slot with Greg McKegg poised for a rebound. The pass was intercepted leading to the odd man rush for Dallas.
Goodrow made it at 14:07, taking a feed from Filip Chytil and blasting the puck past Oettinger, a goal he would definitely want back.
The Rangers hung on and when Dallas pulled the goalie with 3:25 left in the game, there were some scary moments until Ryan Strome got the empty net goal. Igor Shesterkin tried to shoot the puck down the ice for a goal, but he fanned on the shot and had to make a couple really good saves as the Stars pounced on the puck.
Here is a video recap of the game:
Although he allowed four goals, Shesterkin had a good comeback game after the debacle in St. Louis.
So the Rangers went home splitting the four game road trip, not a bad result considering that they played four teams battling for a playoff spot and played two of the worst defensive games of the season.