New York Rangers soundly defeat the Vegas Golden Knights before all-star break


Photo Credit: Photo via: Massimo del Pozo

Chris Kreider played his 700th game of his career in this game, and he thrived. As he spent his entire 11-year career with the Rangers, Kreider, who is now 31 years old, has only gotten better with time and has become a fan favorite.

The Rangers, who are the betting favorite, defeat the Golden Knights in the regular-season series 4-1 thanks to another strong performance from backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak.

On Jan. 27, 2023 The Vegas Golden Knights headed to Madison Square Garden where both teams played their backup goalies to provide rest for the starters before the break. Where the All Star game rosters are revealed having three Rangers and one Golden Knight.

On the Rangers’ side, Artemi Panarin, with his third all-star game selection, Adam Fox, a former Norris winner and last season’s Vezina Award winner Igor Shesterkin make their all-star appearances for the second time of their careers. 

For the Vegas Golden Knights twenty-five-year-old goalkeeper Logan Thompas takes home his first all-star award in his first year starting as goalkeeper, representing Vegas. 

First Period

The Rangers dominated this period, controlling the puck throughout and finally capitalizing on an opportunity when veteran Chris Kreider scored his 20th goal of the season. Adam Hill had trouble seeing the puck as it was elevated by Vincent Trocheck for his 20th assist of the season, and just tipped by Kreider with three minutes and fifty-three seconds left in the period.

Trocheck would get another opportunity in this period and scored his fourteenth goal of the season with less than a minute left in the period. Teammate Barclay Goodrow would lead the one timer with an amazing assist to get it past Hill’s vision. 

Second Period

As the period starts, the Madison Square Garden arena would erupt as Rangers’ rookie William Cuylle drops the gloves and has himself his first NHL fight of the young man’s career. He challenged Vegas’ winger Keegan Kolesar for a fight where Cuylle would hold his ground and surprise the arena with his ability to scrap. 

With around fifteen minutes left in the period the Golden Knights would get one back as long time player Phil Kessell would score his ninth goal of the season. However, it was questionable because the play that resulted in the goal clearly involved a trip of Alexis Lafreniere of the Rangers. The decision by the referees to continue that play was met with boos from the crowd in the stadium.

The period would die down in action with some beautiful saves by Halak and Hill to keep their teams intact. 

3rd Period

Both goalies felt perfect throughout this period thanks to some very sloppy play by both teams, but with 5:43 remaining, Rangers center Filip Chytil managed to stick with the puck while being guarded by three Golden Knights players and scored a backhand goal to increase the lead by two. With his sixteenth goal of the year, Chytil exemplified the “No Quit in New York” motto by giving it his all to score.

With an empty net with less than a minute and thirty seconds to go Braden Schneider would have a beautiful block on Vegas’ star Jack Eichel shot that was bounced to Jimmy Vessey for an easy goal at the wide open net. That would be the final nail in the Rangers’ fantastic January, which saw them finish 8-2-2 overall.