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Rangers Complete Historic Comeback In Stadium Series Tilt Over The Islanders

Stadium Series

After their Stadium Series showdown at MetLife Stadium, the New York Rangers remain perfect in outdoor games with a record of 5-0-0. With the odds far in their favour at one point in time, New York revived their old, reliable “no quit” mentality and defeated the New York Islanders 6-5 in overtime. Sunday’s win is now seven consecutive victories for the Blueshirts, retaining the longest active winning streak in the NHL. The phrase “a win is a win” could not be more evident here. With the cold wind in their faces and a three-goal deficit to climb out of, Peter Laviolette’s team never said never.

It was not the prettiest of wins, yet it was the way they overcame their obstacles. When Igor Shesterkin and the defensive core looked depleted, the forwards kept moving their feet. Drawing penalties ended up being the deciding factor in the Rangers acquiring at least one point and forcing overtime. This was a game where the big guns came to play. Two goals were scored by one of New York’s all-stars in Vincent Trocheck. An equalizer provided by a new-and-improved Mika Zibanejad. Finally, the win is capped off by the leading point-scorer, Artemi Panarin. It was an incredible night that the team and fans will never forget. To quote High School Musical, “This can be the start of something new.”

Stadium Series: The Meadowlands Miracle

“Somewhere in the swamps of Jersey,” the Rangers pulled off a comeback that even Bruce Springsteen would be proud of. With over 79,000 people in attendance, MetLife Stadium was buzzing right from the start of warmups. From pulling into the parking lot, the crowd was dominated by the colours of red, white, and royal blue. Reminiscent of New York Giants playoff games, it felt as if there were no parking spots left. The music was blasting, the drinks were flowing, and New York hockey fans were ready for an all-time matchup.

Both fanbases were glowing and amped for their teams to hit the ice. With a delayed start due to sun glare, fans (including myself) became restless and were eager for puck drop. After a brief waiting period, it was time to play some hockey. From the initial puck drop, the Islanders tested Igor within the first minute. Testing his ability to see the puck, Shesterkin stood tall momentarily. Not even 90 seconds into the game, Erik Gustafsson let go a clapper past Ilya Sorokin and the Rangers would score on their first shot of the game. It seemed as if Patrick Roy took that goal personally.

Count the Islanders for three consecutive goals from Brock Nelson, Bo Horvat, and Mathew Barzal. In the blink of an eye, Long Island’s hockey team is in full control of a two-goal lead. Blame the sun or blame the defensive collapse, it was a completely different hockey game then. The only source of optimism was that there were forty minutes of play left. Yet the beginning of the second period felt like a carbon copy of the end of the first.

The Importance of Drawing Penalties

Despite being down in the game, New York knew there was all to play for in the final period. Although Alex Romanov made it 5-3, there was just enough time to create some magic.

A trademark deflection from Chris Kreider and a now trademark one-timer from Zibanejad made it a 5-5 hockey game. The capacity crowd grew louder and louder as overtime began. The extra frame only took 10 seconds thanks to Panarin. His controversial goal had to be reviewed by the league.

Eventually, it was deemed a good goal and the Rangers, along with their fans, started to celebrate.

It was a gusty win for New York and shows the effect of moving your feet to draw penalties. Even when you do not have a lane or a shot, continue to make a play. That is one thing that Alexis Lafreniere has in his repertoire. On the puck, he alone can keep a play alive. He continues to be a reliable asset on New York’s second line. Until now, no team had ever come back from a three-goal deficit in an outdoor game.

After all that, New York will return to action on Tuesday when they take on the surging Dallas Stars at Madison Square Garden. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.

(Also, shoutout to Matt Rempe on an impactful NHL debut. The amount of guts to drop the gloves with Matt Martin in front of 79 thousand people says a lot. It is a well-earned Broadway Hat, to say the least.)

Main photo by: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports


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