Rangers come back to beat the Wild with huge 3rd period; Duclair scores first career NHL goal
Did that really just happen?
After looking dead for the first two periods of the game, and dealing with two ejections, the Rangers managed to stay strong and scored 5 goals in the third period, leading them to a crazy 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Wild.
This was the first time the Rangers have scored 5 goals in a period since 2011 against the Canadiens, and it’s only the first time they have come back from a 3-0 deficit in the third since 1992 against the Minnesota North Stars.
Coming into tonight, the Wild had only given up 6 goals in 6 games. The Rangers practically managed to double that in one period, with the 5 goals coming from 5 different Rangers. Kevin Klein, Rick Nash, Derick Brassard, Anthony Duclair, and Mats Zuccarello all scored for New York.
Anthony Duclair scored his first NHL goal on a gorgeous wrist shot late in the third period that tied the game at 4. Duclair also picked up an assist on the play.
Rick Nash scored his 9th goal of the season tonight, which ties him with Corey Perry of Anaheim for the league lead. He too tallied an assist in the game.
Chris Kreider was given a game misconduct penalty late in the first period for a boarding major on Jonas Brodin. The hit was very hard and unnecessary, and Brodin did not return to the game. This is Kreider’s second game misconduct this season, and one more will bring him an automatic one game suspension.
John Moore was also given a game misconduct penalty for an elbowing major on Erik Haula. After being frustrated about his own error, Moore went back towards Haula and the puck and hit Haula high and deliberately. It wouldn’t be surprising if John Moore is also suspended for a game or two because of the hit, especially because he is a repeat offender and he was suspended for two games on an almost identical hit on Dale Weise.
Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves on the 30 shots he faced, and was sharp when he needed to be, especially late in the third period.
The first period was pretty slow. Both teams had some decent chances in the period but nothing too good on either side. New York took two hooking penalties in the period, on Marc Staal and Kevin Klein, and both penalties were killed off. Minnesota would go 0-4 on the man advantage, despite having 14 minutes on the power play.
Chris Kreider took his game misconduct with 16 seconds left in the first. Kreider came flying down the ice and barreled into Josh Brodin, who was a good 5 feet away from the boards. Brodin went head first into the board and Kreider was immediately given the penalty and ejected, and rightfully so.
This was really a stupid decision by Kreider. Brodin clearly slowed down and there was no reason for that hit. Kreider needs to be careful, because if he keeps getting involved in situations like this, Kreider may develop a reputation as a dirty player around the league, following the incident with Carey Price and other goalie incidents in the past.
In the second, the Wild’s power play carried over with almost the full 5 minutes remaining. Minnesota had trouble setting up plays while up a man and the Rangers did a great job pressuring the struggling special teams.
Shortly after they killed off the long penalty, Minnesota connected on the game’s first goal. The Wild went on a four man rush and Nate Prosser tapped the puck between the legs of Lundqvist.
Just 55 seconds later, Matt Cooke, not known for his offensive capabilities, scored for the Wild. The Rangers went for a change and Minnesota brought two forwards into the offensive zone. Cooke came off of the bench and went right to the front of the net uncovered for an easy goal.
John Moore took his game misconduct shortly after the goal. Moore elbowed Haula up high, similar to his hit on Dale Weise in the playoffs that earned him a suspension. I would not be surprised if Moore got a suspension for the hit, especially because he is a repeat offender.
The Wild would score one more goal late in the period. Jason Pominville would fire a slap shot through Lundqvist’s pads to make the score 3-0.
The Rangers would have one power play opportunity, but could not convert or establish much offense.
After the goal and after the period, it looked like the game was over. The Rangers were outshot 24-8 through the first two periods. They had to kill of 14 minutes of penalties. And they looked frustrated and out of focus.
The Rangers practically had no offense, which is understandable. It’s hard to get something going when you’re in the box for what felt like a majority of the first two periods.
However, New York came out of the locker room and looked like a completely different team in the final 20 minutes.
The Rangers came out fast and strong, getting tons of opportunities. Kevin Klein would open the scoring for the Rangers with his second of the year.
New York got in on the forecheck, and gained control of the puck, with Rick Nash doing most of the work against the boards. Nash got the puck to Zuccarello and went to the front of the net. Zuccarello passed it off to Kevin Klein, who blasted the puck from just inside the blue line, and it sailed through Nash’s screen for New York’s first goal. The assists went to Nash and Zuccarello.
Shortly after that, Rick Nash would cash in again, with his 9th goal of the season. It all started in the Rangers end. McDonagh gave away the puck to the Wild, and on the rush back, nearly tipped it into his own net, if not for a quick reaction from Henrik Lundqvist to keep it out.
The Rangers would carry it past the neutral zone, and start creating some chances. Derick Brassard passed it to Matt Hunwick at the point, and he threw a soft wrister in front, which bounced off of the pads of Kuemper. Nash cashed in on the rebound in front to bring the game to 3-2.
The Wild would answer back less than a minute later off of a tip-in goal from Jason Zucker, his 5th goal of the season. The Wild reestablished their 2 goal lead and seemed to kill the Rangers’ momentum.
The crowd kept supporting their team, and the Blueshirts did not disappoint. Kuemper had trouble handling the puck behind his net, and Zuccarello wound up coming away with it. Zuccarello got it to Carl Hagelin in front, who toe-dragged and sniped a shot off of the post. Kuemper could not find the puck, and Derick Brassard found it and buried it to bring the Rangers within one.
The Rangers continued controlling play, as well as getting some stops from Henrik Lundqvist, most memorably a save off of another Wild deflection.
The defense was also a lot more active, making better outlet passes and participating in the offense.
With less than 4 minutes to go, the Rangers would manage to tie the game off of a goal from everyone’s favorite rookie, Anthony Duclair. The goal was the first of his NHL career.
Kevin Klein got the puck from behind the net, and passed it off to Hunwick. Hunwick made a fantastic pass through the neutral zone to Anthony Duclair, who used his speed to get past the defender and fire a well-placed wrist shot that snuck through Darcy Kuemper.
Duclair’s first goal came when the Rangers’ needed him most, and the young man showed great poise in a very tough situation, and further proved why he should remain with the Rangers past Saturday.
Duclair was also vocal tonight. Following his goal, he went straight to the bench and told everyone, “Let’s go, keep it up! We need one more!” in an attempt to fire up his teammates.
And the Rangers did just that. Just 37 seconds later, Mats Zuccarello would give the Rangers the lead on his first goal of the season. Zuccarello dumped the puck into the zone and went to the front of the net. Brassard did a great job beating the defender to the puck, and made a great backhanded pass to Zuccarello, who tapped it in and made the score 5-4.
The Rangers would hold on to the lead and win in the craziest fashion. After taking two game misconducts and registering only 8 shots on goal through the first 40 minutes, the Rangers turned it around and really showed how tough of a team they are against a very strong Minnesota Wild team.
The third period was arguably the best period of hockey I have seen in a while from the Rangers. They clicked offensively and defensively, and controlled play. There were also a lot of the players that stood out and played well.
Kevin Klein and Matt Hunwick both stood out again tonight. Kevin Klein opened the scoring for the Rangers, and now has two goals this season. He is also the only defenseman to score. Matt Hunwick was good defensively, and really helped create two of the goals with his two assists. His wrist shot in front to Nash was perfectly placed, and he could not have made a better pass out to Duclair for the game tying goal. Matt Hunwick continues to shine in his role as an everyday defenseman for New York.
The Brassard line was easily the best line tonight. The trio of Brassard, Zuccarello, and St. Louis was extremely noticeable. They created a ton of chances throughout the night, and Brassard and Zuccarello both had a goal and two assists.
Derick Brassard continues to improve every game. After a slow start, Brassard now has 4 goals and 3 assists in 9 games, and has been doing a great job of passing to the open man and playing both sides of the puck.
Mats Zuccarello really needed a night like tonight. Coming into today, he had only 1 assist in 8 games. Tonight, he scored the game winning goal as well as notching two assists, bringing his point total to four on the year. Carl Hagelin has improved since getting on the score sheet, and hopefully this will do the same for Zuccarello.
How about Rick Nash. He continues to play tremendous hockey, picking up a goal and an assist tonight as well as being the catalyst for the Rangers’ comeback. Nash was great on the penalty kill, and was throwing the body the entire night, really firing up his team in the process. His presence on the forecheck and on offense created opportunities and he helped lead the Rangers en route to the 5 goal third period.
The penalty kill for New York deserves a lot of credit. The Rangers were down a man for 14 minutes in the first two periods, and did not allow a single goal. They hardly allowed the Wild to establish any pressure. The Wild are yet to score a power play goal.
The Rangers also did a good job with face offs. New York won 30 out of 47, which definitely helped them control the puck more.
And the Ranger who really impressed me was Anthony Duclair. After sitting for most of the second, because he isn’t used to kill penalties, Duclair came put in the third fresh and ready to skate. He looked great carrying the puck, and nearly set up a goal in front if it wasn’t for the Wild’s back-checking efforts. Duclair also scored a beautiful goal, showing off his speed and his scoring capabilities while also tying the game.
There is no reason to keep Duclair off the team. He has consistently been one of the Rangers best forwards night in and night out, and now has 5 points in 7 games. Duclair needs to stay with the Blueshirts and keep playing so he gets more and more comfortable with the team, and he should be a top 9 forward night in and night out.
This is a win that can completely lift and motivate an entire team. The Rangers really showed what type of team they can be as well as getting through a tough first two periods.
The Rangers (5-4-0) will have plenty of rest until their next game, when they face off against the Winnipeg Jets (3-5-0) on Saturday at the Garden.
I will be at the game on Saturday (section 227, Row 15, seat 2) wearing my Heritage Derick Brassard Jersey, so if you’re nearby, stop by and say hello!
FIVE STARS: (I can’t choose just 3)
1) Rick Nash: 1 Goal, 1 Assist, 3 Hits, 2 Takeaways
2) Derick Brassard: 1 Goal, 2 Assists, 17:54 TOI
3) Anthony Duclair: 1 Goal – game tying and first career
4) Mats Zuccarello: 1 Goal – game winner, 2 assists
5) Matt Hunwick: 2 Assists
NOTE: For those who were wondering, these were the lines at the start of the game
Posted on October 28, 2014, in Game Recaps and tagged Anthony Duclair, Carl Hagelin, Chris Kreider, Chris Mueller, Dan Girardi, Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard, Henrik Lundqvist, John Moore, Kevin Hayes, Kevin Klein, King Henrik, Madison Square Garden, Marc Staal, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Matt Hunwick, Michael Kostka, Minnesota Wild, MSG, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, NHL, NHL 2014-2015 Season, NY Rangers, NYR, overtime winner, Rangers Nation, Rangers Season Opener, Rangerstown, Rick Nash, Ryan Malone, Ryan McDonagh, The Duke, The Ranger Zone. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.