PostGame Analysis

Rangers Extend Win Streak to 4 With Comeback Win Vs Habs

An Original Six matchup on Monday night proved to be a great one, with the fun starting early and continuing throughout. The Canadiens were coming off a shootout win against the Isles the previous night and the Blueshirts were looking to extend their winning streak to four. And in one of the best hockey games of the year, the blueshirts have now won four in a row. The Rangers would defeat the Habs by a score of 5-3 in what was one of the most dramatic finishes of the year, highlighted by the sensational late game winner by Neal Pionk.  

The first frame started off with a bang and action followed for the whole period.  Only 23 seconds in, winger Tomas Tatar skated down the left boards and sent a shot on net that tricked through Lundqvist. After the goal, Madison Square Garden dropped to a silence which would last for nearly 15 minutes. The Habs took the early momentum and kept it going, but Lundqvist was sharp, keeping the game at just a one goal deficit.  The last eight minutes were wild; four penalties, over 15 shots, and a nice goal. During a small section of time at even strength, Kevin Hayes found Chris Kreider in front who whipped the puck into a wide open net to tie the game at one. Soon after, Marc Staal ignited the crowd by pushing and shoving with Montreal’s superstar, Max Domi. Not to mention, Tie Domi, Max’s father, who was known for his aggressive play style on the ice was at the game.

The second period was probably one of the craziest of the year. There were 25 shots, three goals, and a staggering 11 penalties. Yes, over ten men made their way to the box in a span of 20 minutes.  Early on, Tomas Tatar netted his second of the game on stick deflection while there was a scramble in front of net. Two minutes later, the Rangers crowd, bench, and broadcasting booth were baffled when Lias Andersson was called for a questionable high sticking penalty. With the crowd yelling at the top of their lungs in anger, Max Domi quieted them down scoring on a nifty backhand to give the Habs a 3-1 lead. Then, the real chaos started. Cody McLeod and Mike Riley totaled 5 penalties on one play!  McLeod got four of them, which isn’t that surprising with his ferocious background. Included was a 10 minute game misconduct sending him off to the locker room. Because of a charging double minor it actually ended up being a four minute penalty for the Canadiens, but the penalty kill was sensational and kept the game at 3-1. There would be another five penalties in a span of three minutes, and all but one of them gave Montreal the man advantage. Somehow, Lundqvist was a brick wall and once again the Rangers survived. With two minutes to go, a seemingly harmless shot from Tony Deangelo found its way past the blocker side of Price to cut the deficit to one. The third was bound to be a frenzy, and that it was.

The third period provided only 13 shots, but New York had the majority and they capitalized when they needed to. First, Marc Staal wristed a high shot on Carey Price which dropped back down to the ice for Pavel Buchnevich to jam in the rebound.  With the game tied and the Garden as loud as it’s been in a long time, Neal Pionk pulled off one of the most spectacular goals of the NHL season. To quote NHL.com,” Neal Pionk goes coast to coast like butter on toast!” The goal can’t be described in words, so here is the video.

Commenting on the buzz being generated by the blueshirt faithful, NHL network analyst Kevin Weeks compared the atmosphere to a playoff game. Now up 4-3 with a rattled Canadiens team and a loud arena, Mika Zibanejad finished it all off by putting another one past Carey Price. I think it is fair to say “What a Game, What a Goal, and What a Win!”

The Rangers next game is Friday against the Red Wings in Detroit as they hope to extend their win streak to five. What a turn of events in New York as the blueshirts are only two games out of the playoffs and back to .500.

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