The Rangers were hungry for a win and what better way to satisfy that hunger by devouring a portion of wings. The Rangers scored seven unanswered goals, including six in a wild third period as they clipped the Red Wings, 8-2 to snap their three game losing streak at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit last night.
It was the most goals that the Rangers have scored in one period since March 17, 2021, when they scored seven against the Philadelphia Flyers in a 9-0 rout at Madison Square Garden.
Seven different Rangers scored goals and eight Rangers had multi point nights as the club found the net for its highest single game output of the season.
Mika Zibanejad, who was playing in his 700th career NHL game, paced the scoring with two goals while Adam Fox had a four point night with a goal and three assists. Zibanejad also saw his father pump up the team before the game when his dad read the starting lineups to the players as they prepared to hit the ice.
Everyone around the team was thrilled to have the players’ dads on hand. The Rangers have done this in the past and it’s always been one of the highlights of the season for the players. Moms go on some trips as well.
“They’re real excited, it’s obviously fun,” Head Coach Gerard Gallant said. “When your dads are sitting in the stands and watching your kids play, you wanna play real hard and I think that’s what the guys did tonight, they brought an extra effort.”
Zibanejad’s first goal of the game gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 15:40 of the first period, but Detroit’s Joe Veleno tied the game at one with 1:14 remaining in the first period.
In the second, the Red Wings took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Lucas Raymond, but the Rangers used the power play to tie the game at two. With Detroit’s Oskar Sundqvist in the box for slashing Kappo Kakko, Chris Kreider deflected a pretty feed from Artemi Panarin (who had two assists) past Red Wings’ goalie Ville Husso for his sixth goal of the season and the teams were tied at two after two.
Four days ago, it was the Red Wings who were the better third period team in a 3-2 win over the Rangers at the Garden. This time, the Rangers flipped the script.
The Rangers scored six unanswered goals in a 10:29 span of the third period. The scoring barrage began at 6:02 when Fox scored the go ahead goal, his fourth, assisted by Filip Chytil and Alexis LaFreniere.
Barclay Goodrow made it 4-2 just a minute and 21 seconds after Fox and then Zibanejad scored his second of the game at 8:13 to make it a 5-2 lead. Julian Gauthier joined the party just 46 seconds later as he scored his second goal of the season for a four goal advantage.
Libor Hajek scored his first of the season and Jimmy Vesey, who had a fantastic game, capped the scoring with a shorthanded goal.
During the losing streak, the Rangers were outscored 7-1 in the third period, but in this one, they took control in the third and never looked back. “We kept playing the same way for 60 minutes. We didn’t get frustrated, we had some good chances and we just kept going,” Zibanejad said.
Gallant made some tweaks to the lineup that paid off. The kid line (Kakko, Chytil and LaFreniere) was reunited and they played well. Gallant put Vesey on a line with Zibanejad and Kreider and that line produced six points (three goals, three assists) while Vitali Kravtsov had what likely his best game of the season playing with Panarin and Vincent Trocheck.
Fox, who has four goals and 11 assists in 15 games, felt the team finally put together a complete game effort. “We’ve struggled to put together a good three periods, we were able to do that here, especially in the third, definitely something we wanna build on,” Fox said. “We played well. We got to the net, got some dirty goals, got some rebound goals, forecheck caused turnovers. That’s when we’re at our best.”
The Rangers and Fox in particular, got a boost as valuable defenseman Ryan Lindgren returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games.
“You’re a little more comfortable, a little more confident when you have someone you’re familiar with,” Fox said. “Obviously, feel good with the other ‘D’ partners too but I’d played probably 90% of my games in the NHL with him so obviously a little sense of comfort for me. You see what he does for the team too when he’s back.”
The Rangers will complete this two game road trip on Saturday in Nashville, before returning to the Garden on Sunday to play the Arizona Coyotes. After that, it’s a four game West Coast swing that will take them to Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and end in Anaheim on the night before Thanksgiving.