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Resilient Rangers return home to face wounded Ducks

Sportsnaut
Jan 8, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; New York Rangers center Ryan Strome (16) and Anaheim Ducks defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) chase down the puck in the second period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

All season, the New York Rangers have demonstrated an ability to produce wins despite slow starts.

It happened again Saturday against the Dallas Stars, and now the Rangers will look to get on another roll when they host the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.

New York is 14-14-3 when allowing the first goal. The Rangers also own 19 comeback wins, tied for the league lead with the Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets, and their nine wins when trailing after the opening 20 minutes are the most in the NHL.

New York fell behind 2-0 in the first 4:53 at Dallas but answered with four goals in a span of 5:05 and ultimately won 7-4.

Artemi Panarin scored and collected four assists for his third career five-point game as the Rangers produced an impressive response to a slow start, especially after being outscored 11-4 in lopsided road losses last week against Minnesota and St. Louis.

“I think the one great thing about this team is that it comes from within ourselves,” New York’s Dryden Hunt said. “We have a lot of pride in that room. It was tough to lose those two games — not just losing, but the way we lost. We just had no response, so it was nice to play the way we did.”

Mika Zibanejad scored a power-play goal while Greg McKegg, Adam Fox, Hunt, Patrik Nemeth, Barclay Goodrow and Ryan Strome also scored to help the Rangers improve to 14-6-2 following a loss and avoid three straight regulation losses for the first time this season.

“That’s been a staple for us,” New York forward Chris Kreider said. “I think that level of poise, knowing that the other teams got good players, they’re going to make plays, stuff’s going to happen.”

The Ducks are 4-9-2 in their past 15 games since Jan. 29 and 1-5-2 in their past seven road contests in that span.

After opening its five-game trip with by getting outscored 12-4 in losses to Chicago and Nashville, Anaheim dropped a pair of one-goal games to the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders. On Saturday, the Ducks took a 2-1 shootout loss to New Jersey and followed it with a 4-3 setback to the Islanders.

Anaheim’s latest loss occurred as the Ducks tied a season high with 42 shots on goal. The Ducks trailed 3-1 after the opening period and have been outscored 9-2 in the opening period during their trip.

Josh Manson, Isac Lundestrom and Adam Henrique scored for Anaheim, which took at least 40 shots for the third time. The Ducks matched their highest total despite playing without Rickard Rakell, whose upper-body injury might keep him sidelined Tuesday.

“It’s a challenge,” Ducks defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. “We’re a young team as it is, so you look at some of the key guys we have out who play key minutes for us, fill key roles in our locker room.”

Besides missing Rakell, the Ducks are without Ryan Getzlaf (lower-body injury), Jakob Silfverberg (lower body) and Sam Steel (facial injury).

The Rangers are 10-2-1 in the past 12 meetings and scored three times during the third period in a 4-1 victory Jan. 8 in Anaheim.

–Field Level Media