Read about the Rangers’ electrifying performance in Seattle after a light delay, as they dazzled with a 4-1 win and left fans beaming with pride!
New York Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette was in a bind. He had to decide whether to shake things up to send a clear message or stick to the same game plan and see how this revamped team would respond.
The Blueshirts hit the road for a season-long five-game bender out west.
They were coming off a concerning 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday, where their captain, Jacob Trouba, didn’t hold back. He said they got outplayed, outbattled, and outcompeted.
Laviolette, went with the latter option. He rolled out the same lineup when they faced the Seattle Kraken on Saturday at Climate Pledge Arena.
And what do you know? It worked like a charm! The Rangers looked like a completely different squad in their 4-1 victory over the Kraken, even though the player arrangements remained unchanged.
That was worthy of Laviolette tapping each player on the back as they left the ice.
Sometimes, consistency can be the secret sauce for success.
The game got off to a rocky start, with an 11-minute light delay on New York’s side of the ice. The teams had to switch sides midway through each period. However, according to the folks at Blue Collar Blueshirts on Twitter, the lighting problem “Wasn’t that bad,” so I guess they weren’t playing in the dark.
On MSG network, Steve Valiquette mentioned that goalies train with white pucks in the offseason for situations like these – maybe they should’ve brought out the glow-in-the-dark ones!
Play resumed, and Seattle struck first. Yanni Gourde won an offensive faceoff against Filip Chytil, and the Rangers couldn’t get the puck back. Eeli Tolvanen’s keep-in led to Brian Dumoulin finding Justin Schultz, whose one-timer beat Jonathan Quick. The Kraken took a 1-0 lead, but New York weren’t ready to walk the plank yet.
The Blueshirts had an answer, thanks to their revamped Artemi Panarin-Filip Chytil-Alexis Lafreniere line. They outshot Seattle 18-10 in 13:45 of ice time, with three decisive goals.
The first came when Lafreniere used his body to create a turnover behind the net, and the puck found its way to Chytil, who found Panarin in the slot and put it past Philip Grubauer.
This line’s forechecking in the offensive zone was perfect, and they weren’t done there.
After the teams switched sides in the second period, the visitors would get the game’s first goal on the lighter side of the ice.
In the second, a faceoff win by Mika Zibanejad back to K’Andre Miller led to a Jacob Trouba slap shot, which hit the post but got behind Grubauer. Kaapo Kakko would outmuscle Dumoulin and poke the puck home to give the Blueshirts a 2-1 lead. It was Kakko’s 100th point of his career.
The productive shift would pause the Rangers’ top line, which they would take advantage of.
Less than five minutes later, New York would double their lead. A pass behind the net from Alexis Lafreniere to Filip Chytil, led to him dangling behind the net. Then, Chytil found his linemate in front for his second assist and Lafreniere’s second goal of the season.
Panarin got his second in the third when Chytil set him up again for the first three-assist game of his career.
Laviolette knew Panarin was on a heater, so he double-shifted the star forward with Vincent Trocheck and Blake Wheeler. Panarin had 22 shifts and had 18:39 of ice time.