Rangers Emerge Victorious in Overtime Thriller

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 28: Vladislav Namestnikov #90 of the New York Rangers is congratulated by teammates after scoring during their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena February 28, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Following an eventful trade deadline, the Rangers were back in action last night, as they snapped their seven game losing-streak with a victory over the Vancouver Canucks. On Wednesday it was the Blueshirts who got off to the hot start, as they found the back of the net three times in the first 13 minutes of the game. Two of the tallies were scored by Kevin Hayes (who now has 10 points in his last 10 games), with a goal from Jimmy Vesey sandwiched between them. New York’s hot start, resulted in a goalie substitution by Vancouver, in which Anders Nilsson replaced Jacob Markstrom. Travis Green’s decision to swap net-minders, sparked his squad, as the Canucks battled all the way back, tying the game at three about halfway through the middle period.

Late in the second period the Blueshirts would regain the lead. Vlad Namestnikov made a beautiful defensive play that sprung him on a breakaway, on which he beat Nilsson through the five-hole, giving the Ranger a 4-3 lead. This was the newcomer’s second point of the night, as he also assisted on Jimmy Vesey’s first period tally. Namestnikov looked great in his Rangers debut, showing the Blueshirt Faithful why he garnered  such interest from Jeff Gorton. He was effective in all three zones, and made his presence felt all over the ice.

New York’s lead lasted until the latter half of the final frame, when Nikolai Goldobin knotted the game at four. However, the Blueshirts responded just minutes later, as Mika Zibanejad notched a beautiful goal, marking his 18th of the season, thanks to a perfect setup from Chris Kreider. But as they had done all-night, the Canucks refused to surrender. With 46 seconds left in the tilt, Brock Boeser snapped a perfect wrist-shot past Lundqvist, tying the game at five apiece. This one would need extra-time.

1:22 into the overtime period the Blueshirts would prevail. John Gilmour was the overtime hero, as he netted the game-winner. Gilmour capitalized on a beautiful saucer-pass from Ryan Spooner, who recorded 3 more assists tonight, giving him an impressive 5 in first two games a member of the Blueshirts. This one was a thrilling back-and-forth victory for the Boys in Blue, and despite his yielding of five goals, Henrik Lundqvist was solid as usual, putting together a 50 save performance. The other notable Ranger-performer was Neal Pionk. The young defenseman racked up 2 assists, making last night his first career multi-point outing.

On Friday night the Rangers travel to Calgary to take on the Flames, as they look to sweep this season’s series, after defeating them in New York 20 nights ago (9:00 PM, MSG).

Brian Paget is on Twitter @BrianPaget17

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