It was deja’ vu all over again for the Rangers.
For the second straight game, the Rangers blew a two goal lead in the third period and lost to a red hot Edmonton Oilers team in overtime, 6-5. The talented Oilers won their fourth in a row and improved to 9-1-0 on the season while the Rangers felt to 6-2-3.
“Disappointed. No doubt, the way it happened. We played a great 35 minutes and we sorta started watching them a little bit,” coach Gerard Gallant said after a second straight overtime loss.
Mika Zibanejad scored two goals while Filip Chytil had a goal and an assist for the Rangers who lost their second straight on this four game road swing with one more left tonight in Calgary.
“I don’t know if we get too passive. Try to protect the lead, little bit too much of a defensive way,” Zibanejad said.
Edmonton’s Jesse Puljujarvi scored two goals, while the Oilers’ lethal combo of Conor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl accounted for the goal that tied the game at five and the game winner in overtime.
The Rangers had three leads but couldn’t hold them against an Oilers team that came in waves.
“You felt good about it, [the three goal lead] but still, you knew they were gonna come. I mean they got those two world class players,” Gallant said. They were pressing us and they were forechecking us hard. Unfortunately for us, McDavid made a spectacular play on the tying goal.”
Alexandar Georgiev got the start in net and made 33 saves but he was under siege during the second half of the game. Edmonton goalie Mikko Koskinen stopped 20 of 25 shots.
The Rangers took a 4-1 lead in the second period on goals from Kevin Rooney, his third of the season, Chris Kreider’s team leading 8th goal and Mika Zibanejad, who scored his first of the night on the power play.
It is crucial to stay out of the penalty box against Edmonton, the best power play in the league, but Ryan Strome was called for hooking at 12:53 of the second. Puljujarvi cashed in with his first of the night to make it 4-2.
The Rangers couldn’t afford to give Edmonton another man advantage but Ryan Strome went off for hooking at the :24 second mark of the third period and Tyson Barrie cut the lead to 4-3 with his second goal of the season.
A little over two and half minutes later, Puljujarvi scored his second of the night to tie the game at four as the Rangers were getting overwhelmed by a team that is a prime Stanley Cup contender.
“When you give a team time and space they’re gonna make their plays, especially that team with their talent. We played too much in their d-zone in the last 25 minutes of the game and it caught up to us,” Gallant said.
Zibanejad’s second goal of the game and fourth of the season, gave the Rangers a 5-4 lead with 12:42 remaining but McDavid tied the game with a goal that will go down as one of the highlights of the season.
McDavid entered the Ranger zone and beat four defenders before putting the puck past Georgiev to tie the game at five and send the Edmonton crowd into a frenzy.
In overtime, McDavid corralled a loose puck near the left wing boards and with his back to the net, he turned and fired a pass to Draisaitl, who was all alone in front and fired it past Georgiev for the game winner.
Edmonton outshot the Rangers, 39-25. The Oilers also won the face off battle, taking 31 of 53 draws including 13 of 20 in the third period when they were able to spend a lot of time in the Ranger zone.
The Rangers don’t get much time to regroup as they play in Calgary tonight to finish off the road trip (1-0-2) before returning home to play another hot team Monday night in the Florida Panthers.