The New York Rangers inconsistencies continue to plague them

After a three-day layoff, the Rangers returned to action out west in Seattle, looking to begin their four-game road trip on the winning foot. But despite overcoming their struggles and forcing the game to overtime, they couldn’t grab the extra point, as Justin Schultz scored to complete his two-goal night and uplift the Kraken to a 3-2 overtime victory.

At the outset, Seattle came out strong and hemmed the Rangers in their zone and got rewarded when Jared MCan tipped home a Will Borgen shot from the point off a Braiden Scheider turnover to give the Kraken a 1-0 lead 2:45 into the contest. The Blueshirts responded with a flurry of shots toward Martin Jones, who was up to the task until his defense failed him.

On New York’s second power play, they worked the puck down low, and Chris Kreider fed the puck across the crease to Mika Zibanejad, who wasted little time depositing the disc into the yawning cage to tie the contest at one.

Fans were treated to the Igor Shesterkin show in the second period as the netminder, fresh off a 31-save performance in Sunday’s 4-1 win against the Coyotes, backstopped the Rangers with 16 saves, none bigger than his breakaway robbery on Daniel  Sprong.

The middle 20 minutes were reminiscent of last season, with their defensive discrepancies, including a bench penalty and two offensive zone penalties, masked by their Vezina-winning goaltender’s brilliance. Seattle outmuscled the Rangers even strength-wise, winning battles along the boards and outdoing them by the faceoff dot. Yet when the dust settled, the teams remained tied despite a 16-5 shots advantage in the frame for the Kraken.

The Blueshirts had their chances in the third, generating an early power play, but that fell by the wayside, and Seattle capitalized. With 10:33 remaining, Schultz deflected Vince Dunn’s shot past Igor to reclaim the hosts’ advantage.

The strike wasn’t initially met with much pushback from the Rangers, as Zibanejad was boxed for tripping minutes later, thus milking the clock and forcing Shesterkin to save his team’s bacon with a slew of saves once again. Then, akin to their finish in last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat in Nashville, New York received a late power play opportunity via a trip from Carson Soucy.

Seattle fans saw this movie just a few days prior when  Soucy was penalized, leading the Winnipeg Jets to tie the game with 4 seconds remaining in regulation before winning it 3-2 in overtime. So it wasn’t to their surprise when Vincent Trocheck sent home a net-front rebound with 1:54 left, forcing the game to the extra session and giving the Rangers a hard-fought point in the standings.

 

The ice naturally opened up in extra time, with the teams skating three per side, leading to an abundance of scoring chances. After the Blueshirts tested Jones, who stood tall, Seattle had three odd-man rushes, only to be denied by Jimmy Vesey all three times. But on their fourth try, 3:39 in, the Kraken got the home bounce they were looking for as Jordan Eberle got by Artemi Panarin and saucered the puck across to Schultz, who beat an outstretched, bewildered, and irate  Shesterkin, giving  Seattle their maiden overtime victory at Climate Pledge arena.

 

While shots on goal alone don’t tell the whole game story, it gave a pretty good indication of how this one played out. After trailing the shot count 14-6 after one, the Kraken outshot New York 27-16 over the final 43:21 of play, as the Rangers continuously vie for full 60-minute performances.

It’s better than coming out of here with zero [points],” said Zibanejad, “But I don’t think anyone’s happy with the point right now. We’ll see at the end of the year if that meant something, but disappointing not to get off to a good start on the road.”

Nevertheless, a point is a point, and it’s one the Blueshirts will take with them into their second leg of four on the West coast when they battle the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night with puck drop scheduled for 10:30 PM ET.