The Rangers Wild fall from grace signals defensive depth problem

ST PAUL, MN - OCTOBER 13: Kirill Kaprizov #97 of the Minnesota Wild skates with the puck while Zac Jones #6 of the New York Rangers defends in the second period of the game at Xcel Energy Center on October 13, 2022 in St Paul, Minnesota. The Rangers defeated the Wild 7-3. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
ST PAUL, MN - OCTOBER 13: Kirill Kaprizov #97 of the Minnesota Wild skates with the puck while Zac Jones #6 of the New York Rangers defends in the second period of the game at Xcel Energy Center on October 13, 2022 in St Paul, Minnesota. The Rangers defeated the Wild 7-3. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /
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EDMONTON, CANADA – OCTOBER 26: Jonathan Quick #32 of the New York Rangers watches the play behind the net in the second period against the Edmonton Oilers on October 26, 2023 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Lawrence Scott/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, CANADA – OCTOBER 26: Jonathan Quick #32 of the New York Rangers watches the play behind the net in the second period against the Edmonton Oilers on October 26, 2023 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Lawrence Scott/Getty Images) /

Quick’s heroics steal Rangers a point:

Towards the end of regulation, four Rangers skaters – Braden Schneider, Zac Jones, Vincent Trocheck, and Blake Wheeler – found themselves on the ice for what felt like an eternity. It was a shift that lasted over three minutes. The Rangers were stuck in their zone, and it was like a never-ending penalty kill. The bottom pair of Zac Jones and Braden Schneider struggled all evening long. They were outshot 10-3 when on the ice. It was there where New York missed Fox, their Norris Trophy winner, the most. It’s something they’ll need to learn how to deal with fast.

Yet Quick came to the rescue. He denied Jonas Brodin and Kirill Kaprizov during that chaotic stretch, helped send the game to overtime, and secured a point for New York in the standings. The extra frame wasn’t much better for the Blueshirts, but some crucial stops by Quick sent the game to a shootout. New York was doubled up in the shot count 40-20. The Rangers’ netminder finished the game with 36 saves and a +1.05 goal saved, which was above expected.

Panarin and Zuccarello scored to open the shootout. After Kaprizov and Mika Zibanejad were stopped, Boldy’s shot hit the post, went off Quick’s back, and rolled into the net, giving Minnesota the 2-1 lead. Fleury then made a stretch save on Trocheck to end it, sending the Wild fans into a frenzy. It marked the 65th shootout win for Fleury, the most in NHL history. It was also the 546th win for the 38-year-old, putting him five away from tying Patrick Roy for second on the all-time wins list.

As tough as a loss as this is, it’s one game. The Rangers were just on a six-game heater. They’re still on a seven-game point streak. The focus is now on Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden. On the bright side, they won’t play in the Central and Western time zones until November 20th in Dallas.