The Rangers conclude their four-game western conference road trip in Anaheim. (10:00 p.m. ET, MSG).
David Quinn’s men are coming off one of their best performances of the season this past Tuesday night (Wednesday morning). The Blueshirts edged the Sharks four to three in a back and forth contest. Brett Burns got the Sharks off to a quick start beating Lundqvist and extending his point streak to nine games. Mats Zuccarello would continue his excellent recent play and beat Martin Jones just a minute after the Burns goal. The Rangers controlled most of the play and generated some great scoring chances.
The game remained tie until the third period when Chris Kreider one timed a puck past Jones. Martin Jones would make two fantastic saves including one on Brady Skjei who drove the puck to the net. This led to a two on one after a bad read by Vinny Lettieri and Timo Meier sniped a shot past Lundqvist and joining Burns with a nine-game point streak.
However, like the Sharks first goal, the Rangers quickly responded by a goal from Chris Kreider in a shark’s defensive breakdown. The Sharks and Rangers each continued to generate chances with both goalies making game saving saves. Just as it appeared that the Sharks were not going to get another one past the Swedish goaltender, Tomas Hertl found an equalizer with one second to spare. The only word to describe Rangers personnel was “shocked.”
While it looked like the Rangers may have been defeated mentally, they put that goal behind them and kept playing. Both teams generated more scoring chances, and each had a powerplay, but no one could score in the five-minute overtime. In the shootout, Lundqvist denied all three Sharks shooters and Kevin Shattenkirk got the game winning goal. Lundqvist made 31 saves in a winning effort and became the NHL’s all-time winningest goaltender in the shootout with 60 wins.
David Quinn was pleased with the performance of his team. “I feel good for our guys, we got the 2 points, we deserved it,” Quinn said.
The Blueshirts played a complete game and competed for 65 minutes. The effort level of the team was more noticeable than the other games on the road trip. The forecheck was fantastic all night long especially the third line (Vesey-Howden-Fast). Lundqvist had a very strong game stopping some grade A scoring chances.
The goal for the Rangers is to carry their strong play from Tuesday in their only visit to Anaheim this season. After starting the season 5-1-1, the Ducks enter the game winless in their last six outings and have only managed eleven goals in those contests. Yikes. The Ducks are currently without Corey Perry who had surgery on his meniscus and MCL in his right knee. The Ducks are led by captain Ryan Getzlaf and a Swedish trio consisting of Rickard Rakell, Jakob Silfverberg and Hampus Lindholm. John Gibson will get the start for the Ducks and he has had a strong start to the season. Gibson has played ten games and currently holds a .938 save percentage.
For the Rangers, Alex Georgiev will get the last game of the road trip. Georgiev had a strong outing in his last start against the Panthers in a 5-2 win. On Wednesday, David Quinn expressed his confidence in Georgiev. “He’s a good goalie, we want to get him a game, and Hank needs a bit of a break,” Quinn said. “And we trust him. Anxious for him to play tomorrow.”
The lineup for the Blueshirts will remain the same as it was against San Jose. “I thought we had a really good hockey game the other night,” Quinn said. “Those guys deserve to be back in with their effort.”
With no lineup changes, Pavel Buchnevich will be a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game. Adam McQuaid remains out of the lineup with a lower-body injury. In other news, today was also a good day for Rangers 2018 first round picks.
Vitali Kravtsov had two assists extending his point streak to three games in the KHL.
K’Andre Miller was named NCAA Rookie of the Month/
Nils Lundkvist had two assists for his first career multi-point game in the SHL.