Dive into the New York Rangers’ icy triumph over the Pittsburgh Penguins! Jonathan Quick’s goaltending brilliance chills the competition in a 1-0 victory.
New York Rangers fans can smile at their Thanksgiving tables knowing the team just came off a hard-earned victory.
The Bluehshirts served a holiday Eve treat on Wednesday by snagging a tasty 1-0 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena. New York’s backup goaltender, Jonathan Quick, played like his former self and orchestrated a shutout against Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Erik Karlsson, and Kris Letang.
In his first start in 10 days, Quick stopped all 32 shots he faced with a +3.65 goals saved above expected. He joined the Rangers record books, becoming the second goaltender in franchise history to grab points in his first six or more decisions with the team. At 5-0-1, he boasts a league-best 1.61 goals against average and a .940 save percentage.
“We’ve been winning those tight games. It starts with our team commitment to defense and the way we play in our D-zone, Quick said.” “We take care of that zone and then go from there.”
Putting the Freeze on Pittsburgh: Rangers’ Quick Icy Victory!
The 37-year-old was not just good; he was vintage Quick, maybe even better. He’s credited his success to Rangers goaltending coach Benoit Allaire. “He does a great job of simplifying things so that they don’t come across in a confusing way,” Quick said of Allaire. “It’s very clearcut what he wants to see out of his goalies in different situations. The communication’s been great.”
Quick made a save on Jake Guentzel in the first period after a New York turnover manifested an odd-man rush. In the second, he bailed out a Trouba turnover by robbing Malkin in the slot. Moments later, he stopped former Vegas teammate and fellow reigning Stanley Cup Champion Reilly Smith in tight.
Pittsburgh appeared to have broken through when a shot beat a barehanded Quick, who lost his glove, which was knocked into the corner. The tally was waved off after the Blueshirts successfully challenged for offsides.
“I asked them to look at it in between periods if he thought it would’ve been goalie interference”, Quick said. ”He said because my glove was outside of the crease, even though my feet were inside, the goal probably would’ve stood.” It was as close as the Penguins got.
They threw everything at the net in the third, outshooting New York 15-4, but Quick was ready. He denied Smith again, then Crosby from the slot.
Head Coach Peter Laviolette couldn’t stop praising him, calling it Quick’s possibly best performance yet.
Alexis Lafreniere dished out the main course as the lone goal scorer. Mika Zibanejad picked up a turnover and found the winger, who beat Tristan Jarry on a breakaway with 5:10 left in the first period. It was the only blemish the Pittsburgh netminder made as part of a brilliant evening. He made 35 saves on 36 shots with a +2.16 goals saved above expected.
The Penguins had their chance to support him, but the Rangers penalty kill went a perfect 5-for-5. It wasn’t just a win but a statement—a team effort against a Pittsburgh group, who entered 6-2 in their past eight games.
Blocks, hits, and saves – every move mattered. Everybody was backchecking and sacrificing their body. No shade to Gerard Gallant, but games like this are where having a coach with Laviolette’s tactical prowess shines bright.
The Blueshirts blocked 25 shots, only yielding eight high-danger chances. Captain Jacob Trouba led the way with five blocks. Forward Nick Bonino had four, while Barclay Goodrow and the veteran Blake Wheeler rejected three. Zac Jones and Braden Schneider stood out defensively, shutting down Pittsburgh’s top line of Guentzel-Crosby-Drew O Conner.
Forget the high-scoring affairs; this first-place team, now 13-3-1, proves they can collect wins in various ways.
Zibanejad owned the ice in arguably his best performance of the season. He was a defensive wizard, forcing turnovers, blocking shots, and breezing through zone entries. He notably got a piece of a wide-open Malkin rebound attempt in the first period. The only thing missing from his checklist was a goal, but hey, Lafreniere took care of that, giving him an assist.
The victory in a playoff-style contest was gigantic for the team’s morale. Quick, who was swooped up for $800K in the offseason, is practically playing like the future Hall of Famer he will be three years after he hangs up his skates. The Rangers are cooking something special this season, and everyone is thankful for that.