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Traverse City Game 3: NYR 4 Minn 3, OT, Kaako shines, Kravtsov nets two PPG

September 9, 2019, 11:06 PM ET [95 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Rangers rallied from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to defeat Minnesota 4-3 in overtime Monday, With the win, New York improved to 2-1-0 in the Traverse City tournament, advancing to the playoff round. A regulation win would have put the Blueshirts in the finals, but because they won in overtime, Dallas is in the championship game while New York will play St. Louis in the fifth place game at 12:30pm. Kaapo Kakko won the game with a brilliant play while Vitali Kravtsov had a pair of power play goals and Igor Shesterkin notched the win.

Ladies and gentlemen, Kaapo Kaako. After missing the first two games with an illness, Kaakp, a game-time decision Monday, suited up for the first time in this tournament. He was placed on a line with Kravtsov and Kari Henriksson.



After falling behind 2-0, New York benefitted from a five-minute power play with 1:13 left in the second period the game when Lewis Zerter-Gossage was hit and injured by Drake Pilon, resulting in Zinter-Gossage bleeding profusely. Kravtsov scored twice in the third on the man-advantage, the second marker resulting from a brilliant feed by Kaako, who also assisted on the first tally.





Minnesota scored two minutes later to give the Wild the lead on a Matvey Guskov goal. The theme this tourney so far has been the Rangers inability to clear the puck. The problem reared its ugly head again Monday, as the Wild kept the puck in at the blue line and Guskov scored on a rebound.

With Shesterkin pulled, Patrick Newell tied the game at 18:23, but the key play was Kaako's feed from behind the net. Kakko controlled the puck behind the net, sending a pass to the crowd in front. Newell got his stick on the puck and put it past Hunter Jones to knot the game at three. Kakko now had a hand on all three Rangers; markers, but he wa sjust getting started.



The piece de resistance came in overtime. Kaako grabbed the puck and skated around all of the Wild on the ice. He was aided by a slightly illegal pick by Adam Fox, who slyly - thanks Alex Nunn for the term - turned his pick to avoid a penalty getting called, affording Kaako an angle. He took advantage of that room to beat Jones with a backhand for the game-winner..



Kakko after the game talking about the play and why he held onto the puck. If you didn't think he had star power and was concerned he wouldn't fit into new York, those concerns should now be alleviated. Granted, it's a game against other rookies, but he clearly gets it and wants to excel. Paired with Kravtsov, who is elite in his own right and played on his off-wing Monday, and Henriksson, who looks like he should be in New York somewhere down the pike, and you have the makings of a pretty good trio.



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