For the first time in the 97-year history of the New York Rangers, they have won all five games on a West Coast road trip. It’s been a historic voyage for the Blueshirts, but Peter Laviolette’s squad marked Blake Wheeler’s return to Winnipeg with a victory in overtime against the former Atlanta Thrashers. It’s five straight wins for the Blueshirts, and everything seems to be clicking smoothly.
It started beautifully for the Rangers when Artemi Panarin found the back of the net to extend his point streak to nine games. He found his thirteenth point of the season on the back of a nice pass from Jacob Trouba. Give K’Andre Miller an assist on this one, too. He follows up his OT winner and first goal of the season against Vancouver with a helper on the opening goal of this one.
Unfortunately, that would not stay the case. Winnipeg would get it back late in the first when Cole Perfetti set up David Gustafsson. No, he’s no relation to Erik, just to be super confusing. It’s one that Igor Shesterkin may want back, but in the end, it didn’t matter, so we don’t have to have any painful discussions about the goaltending moving forward, indeed.
It was a relatively balanced second period with chances and penalties for both teams, but ultimately, there was no scoring. This takes us into the third when Nikolaj Ehlers found a way to get the puck past Igor to give the Jets the lead and put the pressure back on the Rangers. New York has not spent much time chasing games on this road trip outside of the Vancouver game, so it was a good indicator of how the team responds to pressure.
It was the powerplay that was the great equalizer. Panarin finds a nice pass to Adam Fox, Fox sends a shot on the net, and that puck is tipped past Connor Hellebuyck in the Winnipeg net. A powerplay goal that was tipped at the top of the crease? Yeah, it had to be Chris James Kreider. His sixth goal of the season, and the Rangers’ powerplay, is firing early in the young season.
New York started overtime short-handed due to a bad call by the officials on Ryan Lindgren at the end of the third period. This is important because it meant that the Rangers had to spend the first 1:42 of OT trying to kill the penalty that was wrongfully assessed, and then when Lindgren was released, it was 4-on-4 hockey, which is not as free-flowing.
Once it did get down to three skaters each, K’Andre Miller gave the puck to a streaking Panarin. Panarin put it on the blade of Mika Zibanejad, and Zibanejad found twine. Game over, road trip over, the Rangers go 10 for 10. A possible 10 points were available, and the Rangers got them all. A beautiful game and the Rangers will return to the Garden as the hottest team in the NHL. A great day to be a New York Rangers fan.