Take a bow Jimmy Vesey, you earned it!
A Sunday matinee at The Garden against the Canucks turned into an early evening thriller.
The Blueshirts slept-walked through the first period and found themselves trailing Vancouver 1-0.
A brief surge to open the second period was soon forgotten when Jake Virtanen extended Vancouver’s lead to 2-0.
Staring down a two-goal deficit as the second period neared completion, Jesper Fast came through in a big way. His goal brought the Rangers back from the brink, making it 2-1 Canucks.
Funny thing about late-period goals, they often have a way of turning the tide of a game.
Kevin Shattenkirk would say after the game, that he felt the turning point was Fast’s goal, because, “going into the third period down one instead of two is huge. It gives us a chance to come back.”
Comeback they did, as Michael Grabner flew down the wing to start the third, and from the face-off dot, fired a wrist-shot past Jacob Markstrom; tying the game at two.
Less than a minute later, Sam Gagner reclaimed the lead for Vancouver, momentarily extinguishing the Rangers’ momentum.
Four-minutes later, Rick Nash pulled off a spin-o-rama pass to a streaking Vesey, who backhanded the puck over Markstrom’s pads to knot the score at three.
Vesey later said, “My eyes just lit up in that instance. I didn’t even have time to think. The puck was immediately on my blade and I just backhanded it, hoping it would go over Markstrom’s pads.”
With the scored tied at three at the end of regulation, the teams headed to overtime, however, even the presence of Brady Skjei, Mats Zuccarello and JT Miller couldn’t determine a winner.
It was poetic justice that on the 12th anniversary of Marek Malik’s 15th-round shootout-winner the Blueshirts would again find themselves in a protracted shootout.
Canucks’ rookie sensation Brock Boeser scored in the third-round, putting the home team in a do-or-die spot.
Kevin Shattenkirk answered the call to arms and tied the game, sending the shootout to the fourth-round.
A scoreless fourth soon gave way to a dramatic fifth. Sven Baertschi sent a backhand shot past Lundqvist, again forcing the Rangers into a score-or-go-home scenario.
This time, Rick Nash answered the call, firing a wrist shot past Markstrom to knot the score again.
A scoreless sixth and seventh for Vancouver opened the door for the Blueshirts to win it in the bottom of the seventh. That they did when Vesey fired a wrist shot past Markstrom for the game-winning tally.
BLUESHIRT BULLET POINTS
HOME ICE ADVANTAGE: Dating back to their win against Arizona on October 26th, the Rangers have won eight-straight contests at Madison Square Garden. It’s their longest such streak since winning nine-straight from October 19, 2015 to November 23, 2015.
PAPA JOHN’S: 14 times in their last 18 games the Blueshirts have scored three or more goals. Looks like this team really likes discounted pizza.
HEART-ATTACK COMEBACKS: For the third time this season the Boys in Blue won a game after entering the third period down at least one-goal.
The Rangers face Roberto Luongo and the Panthers Tuesday (Nov. 28) at MSG. Game time is 7:00 p.m. ET and the broadcast is on MSG Network.
There’s a saying in Baseball, “a pitcher that makes 30-starts will have great stuff in 10, horrible stuff in 10 and middling stuff in the other 10. It’s those middling 10 that determine the type of year you have.”
The 7th Avenue Skaters lived that today. During their eight-game home winning-streak the Rangers have had some great periods, some bad periods and some middling ones. It’s been their performance in those middling periods that has given birth to their winning ways.