The New York Rangers begun their four game road trip in Edmonton on Saturday. Alexandar Georgiev was in net as the Rangers tried to grab their second straight win.
Early in the period the alarm sounded, but the puck fooled the announcers and stadium staff as Darnell Nurse’s shot had struck the post. Nurse received a cross-ice pass and fired a wrist shot that hit Georgiev and then rang the post, fooling everyone. Later, Brendan Smith took a high-sticking minor to Connor McDavid, to which McDavid answered with a goal as he finished a wrist shot from the left circle. Two minutes later Matthew Benning took a wrist shot from the point that struck a fallen Georgiev and went into the net. The refs immediately called the goal off because of goalie interference via Zack Kassian. The Oilers disagreed however, and challenged the ruling. What seemed like an obvious no-goal was overturned, however, as the replay showed that contact between Georgiev and Kassian was initiated by Fredrik Claesson slashing Kassian’s stick into Georgiev’s head. The Rangers had a great chance with 10 minutes left as Mika Zibanejad beat a defender on a two on one and passed to Filip Chytil to finish into the open net. Unfortunately, Kassian made a great play to break up the pass and the Rangers didn’t get another chance at net.
The Rangers came out of the locker room and played significantly better. Their first chance came to Chytil who had a one-timer from between the dots saved by Mikko Koskinen. With 15:30 left in the period Brendan Lemieux marked his presence on the game by fighting, and beating, Jujhar Khaira. After two more impressive saves by Koskinen on Pavel Buchnevich and Chris Kreider, Lemieux gained the second leg of the Gordie Howe hat trick when he beat Koskinen via the five-hole. Kevin Shattenkirk led a three on two and dished it to Lemieux who fired a quick wrist shot under Koskinen with 8:31 left in the period. Despite letting two past him in the first period, one of which was not his fault, Georgiev stood tall in the second period and made a host of great saves which allowed the Rangers to claw back into the game.
The third period got started quickly as Brett Howden ended his 35 game drought. Lemieux completed his Gordie Howe hat trick as he drove to the net and the puck was poked loose, allowing Howden to finish up close. Seconds later Connor Brickley laid a huge hit on Benning, sparking a fight between him and Kyle Brodziak. Benning went back to the locker room, leaving Edmonton with four defenders because of Oscar Klefbom’s prior injury. Both teams traded penalties in the middle of the period but couldn’t finish. Jesper Fast had the best chance for the Rangers as he received a pass from Shattenkirk with an open net but couldn’t get a shot off. Brady Skjei took a late tripping penalty, but Georgiev once again stood tall and sent the game to overtime. Edmonton took care of things early as Draisaitl beat Georgiev on a one timer after a McDavid pass.
The Rangers looked weak in the first period but turned things on in the second and third periods, just like Saturday. This is the fifth overtime loss in the last eight games for the Rangers who continue their frustrating season on Wednesday at Vancouver.