It wasn’t pretty, but the New York Rangers ‘ grit and K’Andre Miller’s overtime magic stole the show in their 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
To be clear, the New York Rangers 4-3 overtime victory over the Vancouver Canucks wasn’t the kind of performance you’d describe as “textbook perfect.”
It was another game where we witnessed the sheer brilliance of Igor Shesterkin, whose clutch saves kept the Blueshirts alive. A sigh of relief washed over visiting fans at Rogers Arena when K’Andre Miller scored the overtime winner, giving New York their fourth straight win.
However, sometimes, when things get gritty, that’s where the true character of a team shines through. It might not have been pretty, but it was a testament to the resilience and determination of these 6-2 Rangers. Even when things looked tough, they didn’t back down. Good teams win ugly.
Rangers Hold Their Ground in Gritty Battle Against Canucks:
The Rangers had a tough time dealing with the Canucks’ 2-1-2 attack all evening. Defensively, Vancouver had all four high-danger chances in the first period. Shesterkin was sharp, keeping them at bay. The top six struggled at even strength, but the third line of Will Cuylle, Vincent Trocheck, and Blake Wheeler stood out.
They outshot Vancouver 9-5 when on the ice, and Trocheck was spectacular in the faceoff dot, going 15-22 (68.2%) on the night. Yet it’s clear why head coach Rich Tocchet has Vancouver at 5-2-1; they’re relentless with their forecheck and don’t give anyone much room to work with.
The best chance to score in the opening frame was on the power play, and New York capitalized. A delay-of-game penalty by Filip Hronek gave them a five-on-three opportunity. Mika Zibanejad’s shot hit the post, but he set up Artemi Panarin, who extended his point streak to eight games, giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
The second period was similar, with the Blueshirts showcasing their shot-blocking skills and defensive prowess. Nick Bonino blocked three shots in one sequence and had five on the night. Despite being just game eight of the regular season, the tight-checking affair felt like playoff hockey for these two 5-2 teams.
However, Vancouver managed to tie it when former Ranger JT Miller tipped home a Hronek shot from the point during a power play caused by a too-many-men penalty. It was the lone blemish of the evening by the Blueshirts’ penalty kill who went 5/6. The score stayed 1-1 after two periods, setting up the dramatic climax.