What a win!
For the first time since their victory over Winnipeg, the Rangers gained two points; registering a 6-5 overtime victory against Vancouver.
This was a seesaw game from start to finish.
Two goals from Kevin Hayes and one from Jimmy Vesey gave the Blueshirts a quick 3-0 first period lead.
And then things went south.
Canucks’ rookie Brock Boeser scored; cutting the Rangers’ lead to 3-1. And then, Bo Horvat scored on the power-play in the final minute of the first period to bring Vancouver within 3-2.
Coming out of the intermission, the Canucks took the fight to the Blueshirts. And the ageless Daniel Sedin scored; tying the game at 11:01.
But newly acquired Vladislav Namestnikov quickly turned the tide in the Rangers’ favor.
Namestnikov intercepted a pass from the Sedin Twins; turning up ice for a breakaway.
Vladislav kept his head up all the way and buried the puck past Anders Nilsson — on in relief of Jacob Markstrom — to give the Blueshirts the 4-3 lead; his first goal as a Ranger.
Then came the third period. And an exciting one at that.
Midway through the final period of regulation, Nikolay Goldobin tied the game for Vancouver; causing the Rangers to see ghosts of their recent losses.
But a goal from Mika Zibanejad — on a sweet move through the crease — restored the Blueshirts’ lead.
With a 5-4 lead heading into the final minute, it looked like the visitors were on the verge of breaking their seven-game losing streak.
Not so fast.
With time slipping off the clock, Brock Boeser scored his second of the game — with Vancouver’s net empty — to tie the game at five.
From there, the game went into overtime.
As the extra period started, Henrik Lundqvist was on the verge of a 50-save performance; a total he eventually matched.
The overtime period started off with the Rangers chasing the puck, but things turned around quickly.
With 1:22 gone by, Ryan Spooner carried the puck up the ice and got the puck on the stick of rookie defenseman John Gilmour. Gilmour shot the puck from the off-angle and the rubber disc had eyes for the net as it zoomed past Nilsson; winning the game for the Blueshirts.
BLUESHIRT BULLET POINTS
HIS MAJESTY: Normally, giving up five goals would hand a goalie the loss. But not on this night. Henrik Lundqvist adopted a bend-but-don’t-break mentality as he stopped 50 of the 55 shots sent his way. Luckily, the Rangers were able to outscore their mistakes.
BREAKING THE STREAK: The Blueshirts were in the midst of a season-long losing streak — seven games. And now, the only streak that matters is one. As in one win. And they certainly earned it tonight.
PAPA JOHN’S (2x): The Rangers’ offense finally woke up. After weeks of having trouble scoring, the Rangers put up six goals — three in the first period — securing a much needed win.
FRESH MEAT: Newly acquired Ryan Spooner and Vladislav Namestnikov combined for five points on the night. Spooner (three assists) and Namestnikov (one goal, one assist) were flying all over the ice all night long. And Spooner’s third assist, set-up John Gilmour’s game-winning overtime goal.
The Rangers face Johnny Gaudreau and the Flames Friday (March 2) at Scotiabank Saddledome. Game time: 9 p.m. ET. Broadcast: MSG 2.
Their 6-5 overtime win wasn’t always pretty, but the Rangers will take it.