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Rangers knock off red-hot Kraken with decisive victory

The best teams, a group the Rangers consider themselves a part of, are divided by how they respond to difficult situations.

The Rangers overcame a season low of four straight losses and quickly turned it into a potential turning point.

They set a new winning streak in the process, defeating the Kraken 5-2 on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden for their second straight win after a four-game start.

This game featured many of the hallmarks of the Rangers' early-season dominance: a decisive north-south attack, crisp, accurate passing, and a vintage performance from Igor Shesterkin at the net.

However, the Rangers received much-needed contributions from members outside of the top six, so some unusual names stood out as goal scorers.

Blake Wheeler, who scored two goals, said after the game, “At the end of the game, as we get closer to playoff time, everyone needs to contribute.'' “Certainly they are [top-six] The players will be looked at carrying the offensive load every night, but we all need to work together. ”

New York Rangers center Vincent Trocheck #16 outscored Seattle Kraken goaltender Chris Drizzer #60 in the first period. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Artemi Panarin was given too much space on the power play early in the first period and was allowed to penetrate deep into the offensive zone.

He deftly found Vincent Trocheck to sneak into the front of the goal with a no-look pass across the ice, and Trocheck calmly slotted it in to give the Rangers an early 1-0 lead.

Justin Schultz was penalized for delay of game.

Panarin scored 60 points this season, tied for fourth in the league among Canucks centers with former Ranger JT Miller.

Kaapo Kakko, skating on the front line again alongside Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, turned heads in his second game back after missing the previous 21 games with a lower-body injury.

At 17:01 into the second period, Zibanejad made a snap shot off an exquisite backhand feed to extend the lead to 4-1, a bright spot for a lineup that has struggled to get going in recent weeks.

“I took some time off, worked out and thought about my game,” Kakko said. “Now that I’m back, I hope I’m better than before. …When I’m not scoring or when I’m not playing, [scoring] Very helpful. ”

Wheeler extended the lead to 3-1 in the last minute, giving the Rangers some breathing room.

He deftly deflected a shot from Johnny Brodzinski 12:32 into the second period, providing a rare highlight for the Rangers' often-maligned bottom six.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin defends the net against Seattle Kraken left winger Tomas Tatar during the second period. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Wheeler then scored an empty-net goal 17:21 into the third period to extend the lead to 5-2.

Shesterkin came into his own, converting 29 of 31 shots.

The Rangers relied heavily on him early in the second period, converting several close-range chances, including a double save from Will Bogen and Schultz and a breakaway save from Kyler Yamamoto just over a minute into the period. did.

“I thought he was really good,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “They're a rushing team and they generate a lot of production off the rush. Even if you get two guys back, they're going to come with three or four guys, so you have to pay attention to everything. To the goaltenders. We need big saves like tonight.”

New York Rangers right wing Blake Wheeler #17 celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during the second period.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

The Kraken tied the score at 1-1 in the first period through Jordan Eberle, but Erik Gustafsson scored just 28 seconds later to quickly reestablish the Rangers' lead.

He picked up a loose puck in the offensive zone and fired a wrist shot past Chris Driedger to make it 2-1 11:09 into the first period.

Tuesday's win was also the second game of the second half of the regular season for the Rangers, following Sunday's 2-1 win over the Capitals.

Maybe the Rangers are coming out of a slump in hockey over the first few weeks of the season.

They had a record of 9 wins, 9 losses and 1 draw since Dec. 5, but Tuesday's win improved their record to 28 wins, 13 losses and 2 draws, keeping them in first place in the metro division.

The red-hot Kraken had won nine straight games before losing to the Penguins on Monday.

But with a clinical first two periods and more solid defense, the Rangers were able to stop Seattle from losing their second consecutive game.

And it helped give the Rangers a temporary sigh of relief after their recent frustrations.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin made a save in the second period. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Coming off their worst hockey of the year, the Rangers have some much-needed new life on their four-game road trip out west.

“It was great,” Laviolette said. “I thought we needed that because we had good balance and we scored well. We haven't had that in the last few games and we were pressing, pressing, pressing and it just didn't look like we were going to get a few goals. I'm glad I was able to decide.”

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