Lundqvist Shines, But Knights are Golden in OT, 4-3

Henrik Lundqvist made a season’s worth of highlight reel saves in a single game, but Alex Tuch scored 2:11 into overtime, to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to 4-3 win over the Rangers, Sunday afternoon at The Garden. 

The Rangers are now 2-5-3 in their last ten games. It was the third straight home game where the Rangers lost to a Western Conference team, by a score of 4-3, in either overtime or a shootout. 

The game was a seesaw affair. The Rangers took a 1-0 just 73 seconds into the game when Brady Skjei scored, off a nice pass from Pavel Buchnevich. But Reilly Smith tied the game, 1-1, with a power play goal at the 11:43 mark. 

In the 2nd, Paul Stastny scored his first goal of the 2018-19, off an assist from Max Pacioretty, to give Vegas a 2-1 lead at 6:09. But the Rangers got it back, midway through the period. Mika Zibanejad‘s slap shot, from just inside the blue line, beat Marc-Andre Fleury for a power play goal, tying the game 2-2 at 12:10. 

That fizzy good feeling of having tied the game didn’t last long; a turnover in the neutral zone gave Vegas a 2-on-1, and William Carrier took a pass from Tomas Nosek and scored to make it 3-2 at 13:22. 

Early in the 3rd, Chris Kreider essentially said, “I’m tired of trailing”, took a pass from Kevin Hayes, stormed into the Vegas zone, and beat Fleury for his team-leading 15th goal of the season, tying the game 3-3, with 16:31 to play. 

Neither team scored during the rest of the 3rd period, sending the game to overtime. A few minutes in, after a Mats Zuccarello shot was blocked, Stastny and Tuch got free on an 2-on-1, and Tuch beat Lundqvist for the game-winner. 

Kevin Hayes had three assists for the Rangers. Tuch and Stastny each had one goal and one assist for Vegas, while Colin Miller had two assists. 

Boo Nieves played his first game of the season. Adam McQuaid was back in the lineup after missing ht east 21 games. 

The Rangers [now 14-13-5, 33 pmts] host the Anaheim Ducks Tuesday night at The Garden.