New York tramples Minnesota, scoring 5 goals in 3rd period
Anthony Duclair scored his first NHL goal with 3:48 remaining, and Mats Zuccarello put the Rangers ahead 37 seconds later as New York stormed back from a three-goal deficit by scoring five times in the third period to stun the Minnesota Wild 5-4 Monday night.
The Wild appeared to be in complete control when they carried a 3-0 lead into the third and held a 24-8 shots advantage, but Darcy Kuemper - who had allowed only four goals this season - was rocked for five in less than a period.
Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein started the comeback at 2:52 and Rick Nash made it 3-2 at 4:48, but Jason Zucker restored the Wild’s two-goal lead 47 seconds later.
New York was still undeterred, and Derick Brassard made it a one-goal game again at 7:54. The 19-year-old Duclair, playing his seventh NHL game, got the Rangers back within a goal, setting up Zuccarello’s winner.
Nate Prosser, Matt Cooke and Jason Pominville scored second-period goals for the Wild (4-3), who held a 30-20 shots advantage but had their two-game winning streak snapped.
Rangers forward Chris Kreider and defenseman John Moore could be facing supplemental discipline from the NHL for separate hits that led to the ejection of both players.
Despite receiving a pair of 5-minute power plays that combined to take up 9:45 of the second, the Wild still haven’t scored a man-advantage goal this season in 24 opportunities. But they struck for three even-strength tallies in the second, and have outscored opponents 13-1 in the middle period this season.
Henrik Lundqvist could hardly be faulted. New York was outshot 24-8 through 40 minutes - including 11-3 in the second. The Rangers (5-4) began a stretch of 10 of 13 games at Madison Square Garden in thrilling fashion.
Kreider received a major penalty for boarding defenseman Jonas Brodin late in the first period, and Moore was ejected midway through the second for a blatant hit to the head of forward Erik Haula that resulted in a match penalty.
Kreider was behind Brodin as they chased a loose puck in the Wild end. Kreider shoved Brodin in the middle of the back as they got to the goal line and drove him into the end boards with 15.8 seconds left in the first.
Brodin hit the boards hard and limped off after being down on the ice for a few moments.
Kreider was given a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct. That gave the Wild their third power play of the scoreless first period, with 4:45 of the advantage carrying over into the second.
The Rangers killed that off, but Minnesota grabbed a 2-0 lead soon after with goals 55 seconds apart by Prosser and Cooke.
Less than a minute after the second goal, Moore drilled Haula in the side of the head between the circles in the New York end. The Rangers killed that 5-minute power play, too, but gave up a goal moments later to Pominville to fall behind 3-0.
Earlier in the period, Wild forward Zach Parise was struck in the face by an errant stick from New York defenseman Marc Staal behind the Rangers net - the same place where Brodin was injured. Parise was bleeding while he was down and was then helped to the dressing room with a towel pressed to his face.
No penalty was called on that play. Parise and Brodin both returned in the second period.
Any momentum the Rangers could have expected after Kreider’s penalty expired was lost 44 seconds after it ended when Justin Fontaine sent a diagonal pass down to the right post to Prosser, whose shot was initially stopped by Lundqvist but slithered in at 5:29 for Prosser’s first of the season.
Cooke made it 2-0 at 6:24 when Fontaine sent a pass from behind the net to him at the right post.
Pominville stretched the Wild’s lead to three by scoring with 4:22 left in the second. AP