Overtime was Miller time.
Former Ranger J.T. Miller scored two goals, including the game winner in overtime as the Rangers blew a two goal lead in the third period and dropped a 3-2 decision in Vancouver. The loss snapped the Rangers’ five game road winning streak, as they fell to 6-2-2 on the young season.
“Wasn’t a full 60 minutes that why we sit here right now with a loss,” Mika Zibanejad said after the most disappointing loss of the season.
In overtime, Miller came in on a breakaway and was stopped by Shesterkin. The puck bounced in the air and Miller retrieved it and skated behind the net and was able to stuff it in as Shesterkin was out of position.
The Rangers led 2-0 after two, but the Canucks struck early in the third period to get back in the game. Miller got behind K’Andre Miller (who had a rough game) and buried a pass from Conor Garland for his 2nd goal of the season at 1:29 of the third period to cut the lead in half. “They scored early in the period. That was a tough one to give up early,” coach Gerard Gallant said after the game.
Less than four minutes later, Canucks rookie Vasily Podkolzin beat Shesterkin, top shelf, to tie the game at two. “Made a couple of mistakes,” Zibanejad said. “They obviously had a push back and scored on their chances in the third.
The Rangers were out shot 36-22. Much of that margin was because they spent too much time in the penalty box as they killed off six Canucks’ power plays, including three in the second period.
The shorthanded time on ice told a lot about this game. Defenseman Patrick Nemeth got over 7:00 of ice time on the penalty kill. Barclay Goodrow got nearly six minutes while Ryan Lindgren got a little over five minutes.
The Rangers tried to regain some momentum in the third period but Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko saved the day with an incredible sequence where he lost his glove.
The Rangers were on the power play and had a 5 on 3 for 36 seconds in the third period. They were able to generate a number of shots and Demko was up to the task. On one sequence, he was down on the ice but made an incredible save of a Panarin shot with his skate to keep the game tied.
Zibanejad took a pretty pass from Panarin and buried it for his second goal of the game at 2:33 of the second period for a 1-0 lead. Midway through the second, Panarin scored his second of the season on the power play for a 2-0 lead.
Adam Fox assisted on both goals to give him 100 points in his young career. Fox became the third Ranger to get 100 points in 135 games or less, joining Brian Leetch and Sergei Zubov. The reigning Norris Trophy winner who just signed a seven year contract extension, has 2 goals and 9 assists for 11 points this season.
The offense continues to sputter. In their four losses this season, the Rangers have scored six goals, while they have 18 in the wins.
Filip Chytil has one goal and one point on the season and nothing in the last five games. Alexis LaFreniere has one goal in his last five games. Panarin has ten points in his last 8 games but his line mate, Ryan Strome, has only a goal and added his second assist last night but he is still finding his way after missing games due to Covid.
The Rangers can rely on Shesterkin, only so much. They are going to have to score more goals if they expect to compete for a playoff spot in a very tough Metropolitan division.
Strome said, “We’ll move on, take the point and get out of here.” They got out of there with one point. They should’ve left Vancouver with two.