J.T. Miller timed it right late Tuesday night at The Garden. He hopped over the boards on a shift change in overtime, picked up the puck, missed a shot, got his own rebound, and skated around the net and scored a wraparound game-winner, as the Rangers beat the Canucks, 3-2.
Miller’s terrific individual effort capped an impressive comeback for the Rangers, on a night when the team peppered the Canucks goal with shots. The Blueshirts took a season-high 49 shots, and out-shot the Canucks 16-2 in the 3rd period. Vancouver goalie Ryan Miller made 46 saves in the loss [after making 47 Sunday against the Islanders].
Vancouver took a 1-0 lead midway through the 1st period. Bo Horvat skated toward the Rangers’ net and passed to Sven Baertschi in front of the net and Baertschi scored at 9:02.
The Blueshirts evened things up early in the 2nd period. Taking advantage of a delayed penalty on the Canucks, and with an extra attacker on the ice, Chris Kreider fed the puck to Derek Stepan in front of the net, and Stepan scored his 9th goal of the season, at 4:18, to make it 1-1. But the Canucks regained the lead later in the period. Ex-Ranger Emerson Etem got the puck to Alexandre Burrows, who deflected it past Henrik Lundqvist for the goal and a 2-1 lead.
In the 3rd, just when Rangers fans might’ve been getting a growing feeling of defeat, the usual offensive heroes stepped up. Mats Zuccarello scored at 11:46 of the 3rd period, off a perfect thread-the-needle pass from Keith Yandle, through the legs of Ryan Miller for his team-high 17th goal of the season and a 2-2 tie.
Yandle’s assist was his team-high 22nd of the season.
Lundqvist was lightly tested, stopping 18 of the 20 shots he faced, but he came up big several times, including a 2nd period save to stop a Baertschi shot.
The Rangers [now 25-16-5, 55 pts] have now alternated wins and losses in eleven straight games. They play the Hurricanes in Raleigh, NC, Friday night.