It was only fitting that on Halloween, a Ranger goaltender named Igor was dressed as a brick wall.
Igor Shesterkin made 32 saves and Adam Fox scored the go ahead goal with less than eight minutes left in the third period as the Rangers scored a 3-1 win in their first game against the Kraken and their first ever visit to Seattle.
The Rangers (6-2-1) opened this four game road trip with a win and have won five in a row overall away from Madison Square Garden.
Chris Kreider gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 3:38 of the first period with his 7th goal of the season. Kreider skated into the Seattle zone with Mike Zibanejad on a two on one and snapped a shot that beat Kraken goalie Philip Grubauer. Barclay Goodrow had the lone assist.
Kraken right wing and former Islander Jordan Eberle tied the game in a second period that was the Rangers’ worst of the season. They’re a fast team, they got a little momentum, we were playing on our heels,” said Fox. “I think we were turning it over a lot right at the blue, right at the red. I think we had one or two shots that whole period.”
Eberle’s back hander with less than six minutes left in the second period, eluded Shesterskin but that was his only blemish as he stopped 12 of 13 shots. “We don’t wanna rely on him that heavy, most games,” Fox said after the game. You know we need him and he comes through. I don’t think anyone wants their goaltender to bail them out most games.”
The Rangers were fortunate to be tied after two. They could not generate any offense as they went through a span of 11:50 of the second period without a shot on goal. Seattle had a 22-10 shot advantage after two and a 22-12 face off advantage after the Rangers only won three draws in the second period.
Coach Gerard Gallant was blunt with his assessment of what went on in the second period. “Looks like we stopped playing, second period we had one shot, we lost every face off. Disappointing, frustrating. We found a way, Igor was the main reason,” he said.
Things got better for the Rangers in the third period but the game was still tied at one when the Kraken nearly took the lead, only to be denied by Shesterkin.
The 25-year old goaltender should maybe have gotten an assist on the winning goal. “Big save by Shesty to start that,” Fox said. “Saw ‘Bread’ there, gotta get open when he has the puck and he found me and I just tried to get a shot through. Happy it went in.”
Seattle’s Brandon Tanev was on the doorstep but Shesterkin made the save near the left goal post. Fox played the loose puck ahead to Artemi Panarin along the left wing boards. Panarin pulled up and found Fox who had entered the offensive zone. The reigning Norris Trophy winner found some open space between the circles and beat Grubauer for the game winner.
Goodrow scored an empty netter, assisted by Zibanejad, to close out the scoring and give him a goal and an assist on the night.
Jacob Trouba did yeoman’s work as he logged over 25 minutes of ice time. The Rangers were 0 for 2 on the power play but the superb penalty killing continued as they kept Seattle’s power play off the board on four attempts.
The Rangers played a complete 60 minute game in the win against Columbus on Friday night, but Gallant knows they were far from complete in this one. “We found a way to score a goal and then get the empty netter but we all know we gotta do better,” he said.
They’ll try and do better on Tuesday night in Vancouver.