Gerard Gallant, Chris Kreider praise Rangers' fight in shootout loss to Golden Knights

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  • New York Rangers
    New York Rangers
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Gerard Gallant
    Gerard Gallant
    Canadian ice hockey player
Chris Kreider yelling blue jersey
Chris Kreider yelling blue jersey

The Rangers got off to a sluggish start against the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday night at The Garden, and while they eventually fell 3-2 in a shootout, their second period offered a glimpse of what they can be at the top of their game.

“The first 15 minutes wasn’t great, but after that I thought we played real, real good hockey the rest of the game,” said head coach Gerard Gallant. “They definitely got a jump on us early in the game, but we played really well the rest of the way.”

After falling behind 1-0 after a rather unspectacular first 20 minutes, the Rangers wasted no time coming alive in the second, as Mika Zibanejad scored 17 seconds into the frame to tie the game. From there, Chris Kreider would go on to notch a power-play goal, his 18th tally of the season, to put the home team up 2-1.

Dylan Coglan tied the game late in the third and Jonathan Marchessault scored the only shootout goal to give Vegas the win, but Kreider spoke afterwards about being pleased with the way the Rangers answered the bell in the second.

“I think that’s the strength of our team, when we’re rolling four lines and constantly advancing pucks, not turning pucks over in the neutral zone and making other teams try to break out,” he said. “I think our forecheck’s getting better and better and the ability to force turnovers and create chances off of that.

“It’s difficult against good teams to try to just possess the puck and try to break them down when their D’s unstructured. You’ve got to do a good job of forcing turnovers when they’re trying to advance the puck as well, so I thought we did a really good job of that against a good team tonight.”

The Rangers picked up one point on Friday, but they’re now one point behind the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Blueshirts skate against next Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens.