The Rangers began the period taking the play right at a Devils defense that didn’t have Jonas Siegenthaler, as the $3.4 million defenseman was scratched for the physicality of Brendan Smith. At the 5:53 mark, Adam Fox, who had four assists in game one, dropped the puck back for Vladimir Tarasenko, whose wrist shot got his team going for the second straight game.
Vincent Trocheck took advantage of a poor decision by Kevin Bahl to wrap the disc behind the net and around the boards for Ryan Graves instead of going tape to tape. Vincent Trocheck kept the puck in the offensive zone and found Artemi Panarin down low, who fed Ryan Lindgren at the point before Fox and Tarasenko worked their magic. A few minutes later, Miles Wood went off for slashing, which gave the Rangers a power play and set the stage for the Chris Kreider show.
THE CHRIS KREIDER SHOW:
After two tip-in goals in game one, Chris Kreider didn’t want to discuss much else aside from Thursday’s game two. “Game two is the hardest one to win after your win game one,” he said. After another two-goal game on Thursday, he amended that statement and said game three. That’s who Kreider is. His mind is always forward, never backward. That may be one of the reasons why he’s incredible at net-front deflections. The first one came at the 9:57 mark of the second period when he tipped home an Artemi Panarin shot to give the Rangers the lead for good.
Then, following a holding call against Timo Meier, Kreider deflected Patrick Kane’s shot past Vanecek for New York’s third goal in 10:07.
“He touches everything that comes in, so it’s tough to cover that on the power play,” Kane said. “You don’t ever really see defensemen tie up with the net-front guy, so if there are lanes to shoot it, we want to shoot it because it’s a good chance he’s going to deflect it one way or the other.” The two tallies made Kreider the first player in NHL history to score four power-play goals in a series, extending his franchise record to 38 playoff goals.
SHOWTIME SHOWED UP:
After recording assists on both of Chris Kreider’s goals, Patrick Kane took matters into his own hands and netted one himself. Up to this point, he had been alright but didn’t exactly take over games as he did even in his last days with the Chicago Blackhawks before the February 28th trade that brought the three-time Stanley Cup champion and former Conn Smyth winner to Broadway. Those doubts quickly subsided for at least one night when Showtime stripped the puck away from Jesper Bratt, and roofed it over Vanecek on his trademark backhand, increasing the Rangers’ lead to 4-1.
Feeding off of the momentum, Filip Chytil set up Kaapo Kakko to bookend the scoring.