“Rangers” youngsters won over “Golden Knights”.

LAS VEGAS — Rangers manager Gerard Gallant’s top-six changes were necessary for many reasons, but the players given the opportunity are proving to be worth it.

Three of the Rangers’ five-on-five goals in a 5-1 win over the Pacific Division-leading Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday night came from the newest members of the club’s top two lines. Kaapo Kakko, Filip Chytil and Alexis Lafreniere helped propel the Rangers to a confidence-boosting win over the NHL’s third-best team, all while living up to their youthful streak. high draft status.

There’s no doubt that Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin will be the mainstays on the first two lines after stepping up to play alongside the team’s elite three young talents. Their time had come – and it was too late.

“They played great,” said Mika Zibanejad, whose two power-play goals in the third period were sandwiched by goals from Chitil and Lafreniere. “I worked hard, I did the little things. [Kakko and Lafreniere] received an award. It was nice to see.”

Filip Chytil scores a goal against Logan Thompson during the Rangers’ 5-1 win over the Golden Knights.
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The Golden Knights may be without Jack Eichel and Alex Pietrangelo, but the Rangers played as a team and can hang their hat on this win. Especially considering they nearly blew a half-game power play six seconds into the second period when the Rangers committed two penalties, Vegas began to tip the ice in their favor.

Vincent Trocheck was called for tripping and Ryan Lindgren cross-checked Mark Stone soon after, leaving the Rangers at a five-on-three disadvantage. Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault made the Rangers pay with a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle to tie the game.

Mika Zibanejad (93), Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko (24) celebrate after Lafreniere’s goal during Rangers’ 5-1 win.
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In addition to capitalizing on two power-play opportunities in the third, the Rangers remained aggressive and continued to outscore their opponents on the top two lines. A stellar feed from Goodrow, Chytil buried the puck over the rush. Alexis Lafreniere then scored her second goal in as many games, slotting in at the far post for a 4-1 lead.

“We came to a loud building and a very good team, we went 1-1 on the road to third place,” Zibanejad said. “We just come together, see this as a good opportunity to get two points and play our game and that’s what we did.”

Ever since they traded starting quarterback Ryan Reaves to Minnesota late last month, the Rangers have struggled more than ever. It seems that while this team’s tactics are sparkly, it’s also the result of letting their frustrations get to them at times. In any case, “black-blue-shirts” played stronger.

Goodrow has been behind captain Jacob Trouba when it comes to dropping the gloves lately. After beating a Vegas player in the net, he hit Thompson over the head and the rest of the home team took exception. Goodreau was bundled up before getting into the box for the interference, but Vegas winger Keegan Kolesar was also hit with a foul penalty. Both players went for it as soon as they left the box.

If there was any sign from the hockey gods that the Rangers’ kids were ready for more responsibility, Gallant needed to look no further than what he saw on the ice Wednesday night.


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