The New York Rangers were a measly 2-4-1 within the confines of Madison Square Garden in the month of November. Even with the flip to a new month, the Blueshirt’s struggles in their home rink continued Friday night.
The Rangers gave up a game-tying and game-winning goal to Brady Tkachuk and the team lost its third straight at home, this time to the Ottawa Senators, 3-2 in overtime.
“It wasn’t good enough…We’re coming into our building and just beat this team in Ottawa and to come in to play like we did tonight, after losing the last couple at home the way we did, it’s not acceptable for our group.” Gerard Gallant told reporters after the game.
Momentum was a key component throughout Friday night’s contest. After a double minor penalty from Filip Chytil put New York on the penalty kill for four minutes, the defense responded in a big way giving up just one shot and keeping the Senators scoreless.
The Rangers, and specifically Vitali Kravtsov would capitalize on that early momentum with his first goal of the season and in just his second game back from being a healthy scratch for the last couple of weeks.
Ottawa would bounce back in a big way throughout the contest though. Tim Stuzle, the former third overall selection in 2020 was able to score off a rebound to tie the game at one and continue an offensive onslaught that saw the Senators go to three powerplays in the period.
Into the third period, the Rangers appeared to be playing their style of play though. Mika Zibanejad, off a rebound, tallied the leading goal midway through the third period for a 2-1 advantage. The goal was Zibanejad’s 12th of the season with assists going to Chris Kreider and Braden Schneider. The lead was held in check for most of the final period by key saves from Igor Shesterkin and solid offensive chances.
“I think we got back to playing our game and doing what we need to do to make us successful and it seemed like the third was a little better but we just got a little too loose towards the end and gave up too many chances.” Ryan Lindgren said afterward.
Just when the Rangers thought they were on the precipice of a second consecutive win though, the Senators found a way to tie the game. With 48 seconds left in the contest, Brady Tkachuk’s deflection got past Shesterkin and sent the contest into overtime.
In the extra period, after Zibanejad was stonewalled on a solo breakaway, Tkachuk would secure the win for Ottawa on a breakaway of his own that got past Shesterkin.
“It’s definitely disappointing with Shesty giving us a chance to win. We have to take advantage of that.” Zibanejad explained.
While the Rangers did get a point in the overtime loss, they fall to 11-9-5 on the season with the second game of a doubleheader coming Saturday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.
- New York and Gallant tinkered with the lines again. While Chytil and Panarin stayed together on the second line, after a strong showing Wednesday, Kravtsov moved up the second line while Kakko, Lafreniere, and Trocheck made up the third.
- Libor Hajek got the start over Zac Jones and was paired with Jacob Trouba throughout the contest. Trouba totaled two hits and got into a major fight with Tkachuk midway through the second period that got the home crowd on their feet.
- Adam Fox and Artemi Panarin each earned their 20th assists on the Kravtsov goal in the first period. The Rangers and Oilers are the only two teams in the NHL with multiple players with 20+ assists at this point in the NHL season according to the Rangers Stats and Info Twitter account.