Rangers had a formula that worked during the regular season: special teams and goalies.
On Sunday afternoon in the garden they went back there.
The two biggest episodes of the 3-1 win came on the power play and penalty shoot-out respectively, with the former responsible for the game’s opening goal after a dismal performance in Carolina.
Chris Kreider, who was up front at the net when Mika Zibanejad scored the first after a cross-ice feed from Artemi Panarin, suggested it took Rangers a game to figure out how to handle Carolina’s best penalty in the league should kill. The problem was that with just 27 seconds five-a-side, Game 1 was the second game – in which Rangers were disastrous in terms of man advantage and gave up an important shorthanded goal.
“I feel like everyone is putting pressure on the kill, especially on initial entries and loose pucks,” Kreider said. “This is a team that has probably been the best penalty taker in the league all year. Very effective in print.”
Indeed, pressure from the Hurricanes caused the Rangers to have seizures in Raleigh on Friday, leading to a series of odd rushes in the wrong direction before Brendan Smith finally converted. On Sunday, however, Rangers managed to pull off a puck move and eventually beat Antti Raanta for the first time since the start of game one.
“We just have to keep supporting each other,” said Kreider. “Have that five-a-side mentality and take the pressure off. [If there’s] A loose puck, a puck on the wall, we know they’re going to bounce. So in order to establish ourselves, we must work for one another. You have to have options, you have to have outs, you have to communicate.”
Rangers barely capitalized on their other two power play chances, but coupled with a penalty that was a perfect three-on-three, one goal proved to be enough.
That kill was particularly big in the third period when Tyler Motte went to the box to slash at 1:57 p.m. The following two minutes were the best Rangers had on penalties all afternoon, with Carolina failing to score.
Earlier in the period, Rangers had leaned on Igor Shesterkin to kill a penalty. This time – perhaps the only time all afternoon – Shesterkin’s services were not required.
That was particularly ironic on a day when Rangers won, resorting to the formula that had gotten them through so many games this season and leaning on their goalkeeper, who was superlative as always.
“Scored a few penalties, scored a power play goal,” said Rangers coach Gerard Gallant. “That’s how you win hockey games in tight games.”
https://nypost.com/2022/05/22/rangers-tap-into-proven-power-play-formula-for-key-game-3-win/ Rangers resort to the tried and true Power Play formula for the decisive Game 3 win