The Rangers fell in overtime for the first time this season as the Sharks picked up their first victory of the new campaign.
In David Quinn’s first game back at the Garden since his dismissal from the Rangers, the former Blueshirts bench boss picked up his first win, 3-2, as coach of the Sharks. Erik Karlsson scored 49 seconds into the extra period on an open net when goalie Igor Shesterkin was drawn out of position, handing the Rangers their second loss of the season.
The Rangers’ red-hot offense, which had amassed 17 goals in the previous four games, wasn’t as fluid in this one. Chris Kreider hit the post in the second period, and Jacob Trouba did the same early on in the third.
And it wasn’t necessarily about the quantity of the Sharks shots (27) but the quality. San Jose finished with 13 high-danger chances, according to Natural Stat Trick, but it felt like the visitors were threatening around the net for much of the night.
Immediately after a prime power-play opportunity arose late in the third period, the Rangers’ fifth of the game, Artemi Panarin was called for tripping to negate the man-advantage. The usually sharp first unit went 0-for-5 in the loss after posting five power-play tallies in their previous 15 tries.
Six penalties were called through the opening 20 minutes alone, meaning nearly half the period was played at five-on-four, one way or the other. The Rangers power play couldn’t convert on four separate opportunities, but the Sharks managed to open the scoring on one of their two chances for just their second power-play goal of the season.
San Jose’s lone bright spot has been its penalty kill, which was 18-for-18 on the season by the end of the first period.
Contrary to the first, the entire second period was played at even strength and the Rangers scored twice. Filip Chytil won a race to the puck along the boards before going five-hole on Sharks netminder James Reimer off the rush to tie it at one-all.
A pretty passing sequence from the Rangers then ended in the back of the net thanks to a bullet one-timer from Panarin, who is now riding the longest season-opening point streak by a Ranger since Brad Richards went five straight games in 2011-12.
With three goals and eight assists, Panarin also matched Rod Gilbert’s franchise record for the highest point total through five games of a season.
Despite limiting the Sharks to just four shots on goal, the Rangers surrendered another later in the middle frame, when Radim Simek bulldozed into the slot and put one past Igor Shesterkin to even the score once again.
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