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Game 16: NYR 3 PIT 2, OT, Kakko/Fox create magic in overtime

November 13, 2019, 7:47 AM ET [220 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Rangers behind the kids defeated the Penguins 3-2 in overtime Tuesday. New York jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first period before allowing Pittsburgh to tie the contest with a pair in the second stanza. After a scoreless third, the Blueshirts weathered 2:06 in their own zone to start the overtime before Kaako Kappo notched his second of the game off a sublime feed from Adam Fox to give New York the win. The Rangers fave Tampa in Florida on Thursday.

Game recap:

A few thoughts:
1) Kakko - I don’t think Kakko is going down to Hartford anytime soon (as mentioned by others). Coach David Quinn said Kakko has a certain swagger to his game. That’s an apt description. Kakko has found the spark he needed. Success begets further success and doesn’t confidence give you swagger or does swagger give you conference? It’s a chicken or egg question, regardless of what you think, Kaako has that swagger.

With his hot play, the drum beat has not started to get louder to move him up to the top line. I understand the view, but if he is playing well, leave him where he is for now. Plenty of time exists for him to be moved up.

Kakko has five goals in his past seven games. As the Rangers PR department noted, he is the first 18-year-old player in Rangers history to score two goals in a game. Kakko scored 18 seconds after Chris Kreider, Artemi Panarin and Tony DeAngelo finally got off the ice after opening overtime with a shift that lasted 2:06 because they were hemmed in the defensive zone. That aspect may have been lost in the win but was a huge reason for the victory.

Chris Kreider, Artemi Panarin and Tony DeAngelo were absolutely gassed on that shift. But that trio still for the most part maintained their defensive presence and didn’t allow Pittsburgh wide open drives to the net. That group was finally able to change when Brian Dumoulin's drop pass missed Evgeni Malkin and went all the way down the ice.

As the game recap noted, Malkin got the puck back into the zone, putting it wide of the net. Kakko intercepted the puck in the slot and gave it to Adam Fox to start the rush up the ice that led to the winning goal. Brilliant play by Fox, who knew where Kaako was on the break out and drove to the middle, creating room and space for Kakko on wing for the game-winner.


Kaako’s first goal. Great stretch pass by Brendan Lemieux. Kakko loves the backhand, forehand, backhand move to beat the goalie.

2) Panarin's assist on Fox's goal extended his point streak to nine games (four goals, nine assists), tying his NHL career long streak. he just continues to make plays. Fox, showing how hockey sense, found open space and beat Matt Murray bar down for the tally. The trade with Carolina to acquire Fox looks better and better by day. The concern, which in full disclosure I had as well, as to the picks surrendered looks unfounded as of this moment, as Fox appears to have first pair defenseman upside and possibly may be the team’s best offensive blueliner.

3) Alexandar Georgiev came up big in the third and overtime when needed. After three games with Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes, Georgiev made the most of his chance Tuesday. Quinn has a decision whether to stay with Georgiev or go to Lundqvist on Thursday. My guess is Hank goes Thursday and Georgiev on Saturday against Florida.

4) Kreider was used for face offs in place of Filip Chytil a good portion of the game. While that was a bit odd to see, Kreider won 88.9% of his draws. With Chytil struggling - and it was a a good idea, though one a bit late in coming in having Brad Richards work with the team between the dots - keep using Kreider in that manner, especially if he is winning draws.

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