The Power of Brodzinski Bread:
The Rangers didn’t have a perfect game after their feisty 4-3 win in Nashville over Andrew Brunette’s pesky Predators on Saturday. Predictably, it led to a few early lapses. Despite the Sharks’ struggling at 6–16-2, they entered MSG winners in three of their last four games after a tough 0-10-1 start. Anthony Duclair’s breakaway goal past Jonathan Quick, courtesy of a defensive lapse by K’Andre Miller and Trouba, put the Sharks ahead 1-0.
The former Blueshirt continued to threaten, narrowly missing a second goal, which Jonathan Quick stopped in the slot. Yet the Rangers responded when Panarin tied things with a power-play goal, kicking off his stellar evening.
The game saw back-and-forth action, with the Sharks briefly retaking the lead on a tally by another former Ranger, Ryan Carpenter. The Carp man took advantage of a failed clear and beat Quick for his first goal of the season.
However, Panarin responded again. The puck became loose behind the net off the rush, and Vincent Trocheck attempted a wraparound. MacKenzie Blackwood stretched his pad just far enough to make the save, but the Breadman seized the opportunity, executing his wraparound to square the score.
Then, Kreider received a gorgeous feed from Jonny Brodzinski, who batted the puck out of the air and passed it to Kreider. Kreider, in turn, set up Zibanejad, who slotted the puck high glove on Blackwood, giving the Rangers a 3-2 lead. It marked Zibanejad’s third five-on-five goal, extending his point streak to seven games.
As for Brodzinski, he impacted the top line in his first chance. When the 30-year-old was recalled in place of Kaapo Kakko after his injury last week in New York’s 5-1 loss to Buffalo, he led the AHL in scoring. He has four assists in the previous two games and looks comfortable in the spotlight. “I think this is the first time in my career really that the coaches are trusting me right away and putting me in a position to succeed,” Brodzinki said.” I think that’s the most beneficial thing that I’ve had so far. Getting into a role that I’m comfortable with and can excel at.”
“He had a really good training camp,” Laviolette said. “ We were just talking about pushing things offensively from training camp. He was the one guy who did. He was generating lots of scoring chances, attempts, pucks at the net, he was doing lots of good things and he does it through his speed and his offensive instincts and skills.
“I mentioned this the other day, I think trying to put people in positions where they can be successful, that would be a spot for him to come up and show what he can do. On the power play, that’s the type of a situation, that type of a line. Then it’s up to him. It’s up to people to make the most of the opportunities.”