The Rangers get their second win of the season in an OT thriller.
The New York Rangers played their second-straight game in Canada on Monday in their toughest matchup of the season yet. They took on the 2-1 Toronto Maple Leafs, who are an all-around great team.
To make things harder for the Rangers, superstar Auston Matthews made his season debut on Monday, adding to one of the best offenses in the NHL.
1st period: Weird one, but we’ll take it
The Rangers opened the game with a strong period, although it didn’t start out that way.
Barclay Goodrow’s promotion to 2RW and his return to his hometown in front of friends and family began with a bad high-sticking penalty, but the Rangers killed it well.
Nils Lundkvist came frustratingly close to scoring his first career goal off a beautiful pass from Artemiy Panarin. Unfortunately, it hit the post.
It looked like a shot by Mika Zibanejad had a similar fate but, after review, it was deemed to be a goal that allowed the Rangers to come out of the period with a 1-0 lead.
Jacob Trouba was sent to the box for hooking, but this was another good kill for New York.
2nd period: The Shesterkin Show
The Maple Leafs came out flying and scored less than two minutes in to tie the game.
Seconds later the Rangers had a chance on the power play, but this was one, if not their worst, of the season so far. They weren’t able to get anything going, at all.
Igor Shesterkin, who had been great all game, was absolutely outstanding this period and is the reason why the Rangers came out of the second still tied at one.
He made a fantastic sequence of saves halfway through and the team relied too heavily on him here.
Faceoffs were a huge problem for the Rangers this game, especially on the power play. The Rangers had another terrible power play towards the end of the second and losing faceoffs was a reason why.
The absence of Kaapo Kakko and Ryan Strome was clear, especially on the power play. The second unit did next to nothing and a shuffling of the units might be needed.
3rd period: Woke up too late
Shesterkin had to come up with some big saves, once again, and the Rangers’ offense was so static that Panarin was promoted to the top line.
The Rangers seemed to wake up in the final minutes of the period and had some great scoring chances, but it wasn’t enough to take the lead.
To overtime we go, once again.
Overtime: Victory thanks to… a faceoff?
Die by the faceoff, live by the faceoff.
After an incredible goaltending duel between Shesterkin and Toronto’s Jack Campbell, a beautiful and creative faceoff win by Zibanejad allowed Panarin to get his first goal of the season and win it for his team. What a game this was.
Key Moment: Igor Shesterkin
With an unbelievable 40 saves, almost every stop Shesterkin made was the key moment of the game. The Rangers have no business winning this game without him and he’s stolen his team another game.
He made crucial sequences of saves in each period, including overtime. Plus, the goal wasn’t even his fault.
Player of the game: Mika Zibanejad
For the second-straight game, Zibanejad is the Rangers’ best player. The Rangers don’t score either goal without him and many of the team’s other dangerous scoring chances were thanks to him.
He was everywhere and continues to have a strong start to the season.