The New York Rangers blew three different leads in Wednesday night’s game, but John Gilmour‘s overtime beauty ended the team’s seven-game losing streak in a 6-5 win.
The New York Rangers took the ice for the first time following the blockbuster trade on Monday afternoon that sent Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller to Tampa Bay. Vladislav Namestnikov, acquired in Monday’s trade, had an immediate impact as he recorded a goal and an assist in the Rangers 6-5 win in Vancouver.
With that goal, Gilmour became the first rookie defenseman in team history to score an overtime goal.
“We broke the play up and Spooner was skating up the ice and the guy is so creative, so I wanted to get open and try to get to the front of the net,” said Gilmour to Matt Calamia of NYRangers.com, “I mean, you saw the pass, backhand saucer pass. He couldn’t have made a better pass and all I had to do was get some wood on it.”
The Rangers wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as Kevin Hayes scored the first of his two goals just 1:17 into the contest. Newly acquired Ryan Spooner assisted on both of the goals and along with Jimmy Vesey‘s 12th of the year sandwiched in between, the Blueshirts had themselves a 3-0 lead just 12 minutes into the game.
As has been the case for most of the season, this lead did not hold up as the Canucks scored two of their own in the last six minutes of the period the first period on goals by Vancouver’s Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat. The goal by Boeser was his 28th of the year and leads the team.
Daniel Sedin netted his 20th of the year, unassisted, nine minutes into the second period that even the game at three.
“It was a roller coaster, that’s for sure,” said Henrik Lundqvist who finished the game with 50 saves. “A lot of goals, a lot of chances. It was a battle.”
Vladislav Namestnikov, who already had an assist on the Vesey goal, showed why the Rangers are so high on the 25-year-old as he gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead on a breakaway goal with just six minutes left in the second.
“I saw that no one was behind, so I kind of slowed down there a bit,” Namestnikov said. “I saw the five-hole open and I shot it and luckily it went in.” Namestnikov arrived in Vancouver late Tuesday night and he felt a little sluggish in the first period, “the first period was tough. I didn’t have any legs with the long flight last night, but as the game went on, you kind of settle in and enjoy the game.”
The see-saw battle continued in the third as Vancouver tied the game at 12:17 of the third period. Mika Zibanejad gave the Rangers a 5-4 lead with a helper from Chris Kreider but the Canucks tied the game again, with the goalie pulled to even things at 5 before Gilmour’s OT heroics.
The win was Lundqvist’s 24th of the year as he is striving to get to number 30.
“It’s a game right now where we’re going for it,” he said. “A lot of times we’re going to score some goals [and] we’re going to make some mistakes. I’m going to try and do my best to clean it up as much as I can.”
The Rangers will next face the Calgary Flames on Friday night in Alberta.