This game was a little bit more of a snoozer than we’ve had previously. The organization certainly had its hands full the last couple of days, so it was to be expected that the team may come out looking flat. I just didn’t expect it to last 2 periods. Anywho, lets get right to the thoughts on the game shall we?
The puck dropped and you could tell at the first shift or so that we were in for a rough night. Sloppy passing, missed opportunities, and some suspect defense. This was prudent on the Penguins only goal of the game which was like many of the other Penguins goals against this season. Fluky and annoying.
Malkin on the half wall, passes it to the point, Chad Ruhwedel (which side note, is totally a Pokèmon Gym leader name for an insect gym leader) shot it high and wide, rebound off the glass right to Jason Zucker, who tapped it in for an opening goal. The Penguins certainly work hard for all of their goals. Not much else occurred the rest of the first except for a shit ton of penalties for both teams. Can we talk about how the calls are getting softer and softer every season? Onto the 2nd.
The second would produce much similar results as the first period. A lot of sloppy passing, undisciplined penalties for both teams, and a lot of cardio for both teams. But with about three to go in the second, the Penguins took a penalty, and with the extra skater Panarin flubbed on a one timer. The puck found its way right onto Kevin Rooney’s stick who is showing early on that he can be an effective bottom six player for this team. That tied the game at one a piece as the Rangers would then go into the third with hopefully a little more pep in their step after tying the game.
It worked, the Rangers finally woke up and were producing some incredible scoring chances. With the state of the Pittsburgh blue line, one would certainly like to have seen them pepper DeSmith. The Penguins did a good job for the most part of the game, keeping shots to the outside. This of course changed with about 12 minutes to go in the game when Ruhwedel would take a delay of game penalty.
On the power play, Panarin would feed the puck from the circle up to Adam Fox, who took the puck for a skate on the blue line, floated in a wrister, which Kreider deflected for the go ahead goal. Special teams were absolutely key in last night’s victory. Though not a stellar stat, the penalty kill deserved a lot of props as they went 6/6 on the kill. The Rangers needed their special teams to start producing to give them a chance to win hockey games, and they did just that. The rest of the game was just trying to kill the clock, and with a second to go, Panarin would get an empty net goal to cap off a 3 point night for himself.
Some closing thoughts, Igor Shesterkin looked fantastic in this game. I hope to God the net is his for a run. I don’t think it does the Rangers any good to be switching their goalies every game. No one can truly get into a rhythm and Igor looked like Igor from last year and his arc as a goalie: Clutch. Let’s do this again Thursday!
Follow me on Twitter @TylerRichard93