Filip Chytil
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Youngsters Filip Chytil and Brett Howden score goals in helping the New York Rangers knock off the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 at MSG.

  • New York Rangers 2 (9-7-2, 20 points)
  • Vancouver Canucks 1 (10-7-2, 22 points)
  • NHL, Final, Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

On a day when they announced forward Pavel Buchnevich will be out four to six weeks with a broken thumb, two of the New York Rangers other young talents came up big as the Blueshirts edged the Vancouver Canucks, 2-1.

After spending most of the year on the fourth line, Filip Chytil scored his first goal of the season, while Brett Howden scored the game-winner late in the third to beat the Pacific Division-leading Vancouver.

This win brings the Rangers point streak to seven straight games, placing New York near the top of the Metropolitan Division. After the game, Chytil said he was very happy to get this monkey off of his back.

“I waited 17 games for my first goal,” Chytil said in his post-game interview with MSG Network. “After (the goal) I felt much better and hopefully my confidence is higher. It felt great out there.”

Chytil led the Rangers with six shots on goal, was moved up in the lineup with Mika Zibanejad and Vladislav Namestnikov, and was named number one star of the game. With the way Chytil has been playing lately, head coach David Quinn said it was a matter of time before moving him up in the lineup.

“I thought he had a jump the last Columbus game and he had some jump against Detroit,” Quinn said in his postgame interview on MSG Network. “It was just kind of a gut feeling to get him back on the wing. I don’t know if he is a wing and I have kind of been reluctant to put him on the wing because I don’t know if he loved it first try so I just wanted to get him more involved with more ice-time and made the switch. He’s earned the opportunity he got tonight and if he plays with that type of pace and is responsible in other areas he is going to continue to get the ice time he deserves.”

The first period ended with both teams unable to add to the scoresheet with eight shots apiece. Each team failed to capitalize on their one power-play opportunity.

The Rangers had the first six shots of the game but shortly after a Tony DeAngelo high-sticking penalty six and a half minutes in, the ice was tilted in the Canucks favor as they put up the next seven shots.

The Rangers would go almost thirteen minutes without a shot until Brady Skjei failed to capitalize on a three on one with just over three minutes left.

Early in the second, Vancouver made the Rangers pay for failing to capitalize on a power-play as the Canuck who took the penalty, Nikolay Goldobin came out of the box and scored on a two-on-one to give Vancouver a 1-0 lead.

The Canucks had another two on one opportunity shortly after when former Ranger Michael Del Zotto hit all three posts with a shot. Officials called the play a goal and then overturned the call upon video review. The Rangers were held off the board until their fourth power-play when Chytil banged in a rebound to score his first goal of the season to tie the score at one.

Chris Kreider had a breakaway opportunity one minute into the third after a nifty pass from the left-wing by Kevin Hayes, but Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom held his ground and stopped Kreider with the left pad.

The Rangers had another golden opportunity with 12 and a half minutes left when Chytil was left all alone in front of the net, but Markstrom once again made a save with the blocker. With nearly eight and a half minutes left in the third, the Rangers broke through after Howden buried a blocked shot from Jimmy Vesey to give the Blueshirts a 2-1 lead.

Howden was named number two star of the game and still sees a lot more potential in his team despite their current run.

“I think as a team we still got to get a lot better,” Howden said in his postgame interview with MSG Network. “It is crazy to say that because we have been playing well, but we still think we got some stuff we can improve on.”

After a bad tripping penalty by Zibanejad, the Canucks found themselves on the power-play with just over a minute left in the game. Vancouver would have one last surge, including three consecutive shots on Henrik Lundqvist with just seconds remaining, but the veteran goaltender stood tall as the Rangers came away with the victory.

“It is just a battle for everyone especially when you go down shorthanded against six guys,” Lundqvist said in his MSG Network interview. “I thought we did a great job on the penalty kill throughout the game especially last minute. We are in every game and if we continue to make smart plays and smart decisions with the puck we can put ourselves in a good position to win a lot of games.”

Tonight’s win was also a milestone for Lundqvist, as he put up 25 saves on 26 Canuck shots to bring his win total to 437, tying him with Jacques Plante for seventh on the all-time list.

With all the talk of a rebuild and the Rangers exceeding some expectations at the moment, Quinn is hoping they can continue to silence critics.

“We have believed it as a group from day one,” Quinn said. “I know what happened last February, with the perception, with all the media writes about because of the trades we made. But you come here to win no matter what. We want to win every game, you can play your young players and win. That is what we have done so far and we have been fortunate. We want to win right now, that was our goal from day one and it is our goal right now.”

This win gives the Rangers 20 points, putting the Blueshirts two points behind Columbus.

The Rangers will be back in action on Thursday night in Brooklyn when they face the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center. The Blueshirts are still looking for their first-ever win in that building.

WPU Graduate. Die-hard Ranger fan. Pain loving Jet fan. Loves to make comic, movie and TV references. Born and raised in Central Jersey. Twitter @JohnnyLonny82 Instagram @JackKnife82