Rangers Win Opener
It was a special night for the New York Rangers organization. It was opening day which included a wonderful pre-game ceremony to honor the 90 years of Rangers hockey and then a Rangers Islanders matchup right off the bat. And boy did this entire night not disappoint!
The Garden lights dimmed and the 3D on ice graphics depicted 90 years of Rangers history before special players from all throughout the eras came out and formed a line where the current day Rangers would walk out from. The present day blue shirts gathered at center ice, got a large cheer from the crowd, there was a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem and only then did the puck drop!
From there the Rangers were flying. The young kids, the vets, the new names, everyone looked like they were ready to go in game one. And it would be new Ranger and former Islander Michael Grabner who got the scoring started for the home side. Mats Zuccarello would get a fortuitous bounce off of a backhanded pass in the second period to double the Rangers lead and it looked for the entire world they would cruise to a victory.
Of course this was not meant to be. The Islanders are too talented to just lie down and go away and they scored two goals in three and a half minutes to level the score. It was a major early test of mental strength for the Rangers and they responded positively.
Pavel Buchnevich filtered a perfect pass to Chris Kreider who scored his signature goal of out pacing the defense and grabbing a lead pass and shifting the puck behind Jaro Halak to give the Rangers back the lead. The Rangers would go on to add a power play goal off the stick of Brandon Pirri and an empty netter from J.T. Miller to ice off the game.
The young kids and the new faces contributed a ton while the power play and the ends of periods were very strong for the Rangers, the defense also looked much improved in front of the net. These were all major downfalls for the team last year and if they can keep it up for an entire season they’ll be a team that will be far and beyond more successful than they were last year.
The Rangers get a chance to make it two wins in two when they face off with the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night in St. Louis.