The Rangers look to get back to their winning ways in second straight against the Capitals.
The New York Rangers have lost two in a row, but will need to begin winning games again if they hope to make a serious push for a playoff spot. Every game counts for them.
No changes were made to the lineup and Igor Shesterkin would get the start in net. Adam Fox was named the NHL’s first star of the week on Monday and would look to get his 30th point of the season.
1st period: Trying to keep up
The Rangers simply couldn’t keep up with the Capitals, who were too much for them to handle. They came out firing and were able to come out of the period with a 2-0 lead, as a result (and thanks to a Kevin Rooney penalty).
A penalty by Washington brought with it some optimism: the Rangers have gone 7-for-16 on the power play over the span of four games, good for best in the league. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to capitalize here.
However, a great takeaway by the young Filip Chytil allowed him to have a breakaway opportunity, which he converted into a goal. The kid really does have some fil-thy handles (pun intended).
The Rangers came out of the period down 2-1. It could’ve been much worse and Shesterkin came up with some great saves to keep his team in this game. The Rangers would begin the second period on the power play, some more good news.
2nd period: No offense
The Rangers didn’t do much offensively for most of the second and found themselves defending quite a bit.
As a result, Shesterkin was forced to step up. And that he did. He was New York’s best player and allowed his team to head into the third unscathed.
The Rangers were quite lucky to have kept the Capitals off the board in the second period and would need to figure out a way to score in the third because whatever they’ve been doing isn’t working.
3rd period: The Breadman ALWAYS delivers
The third period was the Artemi Panarin show, and the Rangers can thank him and Shesterkin for this win. The Rangers scored five unanswered goals, something that’s been an issue for them all season.
Coming into this game, they were 0-10 when losing by two or more goals. This game proved the value of Panarin to this team: he contributed to three of the team’s five goals.
The Rangers must continue to do this against great and bad teams alike in order to have a chance at a playoff spot. This is a good start.
Key Moment: Kakko’s geno
The key moment of the game was Kaapo Kakko’s goal. It all started with Panarin, without whom the comeback doesn’t happen.
His playmaking was amazing here and the goal that Kakko scored to tie the game gave the Rangers momentum. They didn’t back down after that and kept scoring while preventing their opponents from adding to their goal total.
Player of the game: Artemi Panarin
Given the fact that the Rangers probably would not have won without him, Panarin is the player of the game. The comeback was fueled by his elite playmaking and scoring ability. He’s New York’s best player for a reason.
Panarin’s numbers: 19:43 TOI, 1 G, 2 A, 60 CF%, 0.25 iXG, 0.68 xGF, 0.38 xGA, 2.86 GF, 0 GA, 4.20 Game Score, 0.59 defensive rating, 1.48 offensive rating, and 2.14 individual rating.