02/06 23:20 CST Lafreniere scores in OT to lift Rangers over Flames 5-4
Lafreniere scores in OT to lift Rangers over Flames 5-4
By ALLAN KREDA
NEW YORK (AP) --- Alexis Lafreniere scored 1:37 into overtime and Jaroslav
Halak made 28 saves as the New York Rangers beat the Calgary Flames 5-4 on
Lafreniere led a 2-on-1 rush and then tracked down the rebound of Mika
Zibanejad's shot, beating netminder Jacob Markstrom for his seventh goal this
season. That ended a frenzied game that was tied four times and featured
several fights following big hits --- two by Rangers captain Jacob Trouba.
"Getting the game-winning goal in OT is always fun,'' the 21-year-old
Lafreniere said. "It was a great up-and-down game with two really good goalies.
It was fun to play."
Calgary's Andrew Mangiapane and Michael Stone scored two minutes apart early in
the third period to give the Flames a 4-3 lead, but Zibanejad scored his second
goal of the game --- his team-leading 24th --- to tie it for the fourth time at
Filip Chytil also scored twice for the Rangers, who improved to 9-2-3 in their
last 14 games and are 17-4-3 since Dec. 5.
Halak has won six straight and seven of his last eight appearances.
Zibanejad put New York ahead 3-2 with 14 seconds left in the second but
Mangiapane scored at 6:38 of the third to tie it. The play was reviewed to
determine if Mangiapane kicked in the puck with his skate, but the goal stood.
"It wasn't pretty at times. ... It was a hard battle. We just kept going,''
Zibanejad said. "It was a big two points and a great way to come back from the
Zibanejad's first goal came as he roofed the puck past Markstrom on the power
play with assists to Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin. The assist was Panarin's
300th point with the Rangers.
Chytil opened the scoring at 5:37 of the first, rifling a high shot past
Markstrom. Kaapo Kakko and Adam Fox assisted.
Calgary forward Blake Coleman tied it at 10:25 with his 11th goal.
There were several skirmishes in the first as both teams were playing for the
first time since Jan. 27 following the All-Star break.
"It wasn't a great hockey game, but it was an exciting game,'' Rangers coach
Gerard Gallant said. "It was different --- a bunch of fights going on. ...
Maybe the break was too short."
Trouba tussled with Calgary's Chris Tanev after the defenseman leveled Flames
forward Dillon Dube with an open-ice check.
Later in the first, several fights ensued after Rangers forward Sammy Blais
drilled Flames forward Milan Lucic. New York rookie Will Cuylle fought
Calgary's MacKenzie Weegar, and Lucic was assessed an extra two minutes for
roughing against Rangers forward Jake Leschyshyn.
"Exciting game. Fun game. I thought we were valiant to come back," Flames coach
Darryl Sutter said. "I thought we played really well. ... There were three or
four hits. They were clean, big hits."
Chytil put the Rangers ahead 2-1 on a breakaway at 2:02 of the second. Fans at
Madison Square Garden chanted the 23-year-old Czech forward's name after his
"That's cool, feels very good," he said. "It motivates me to be better the next
shift and show what I can do."
Chytil has a career-best 18 goals and 31 points this season. He has six goals
in his last four games and 14 points --- 10 goals --- in his last 12 games.
Calgary's Tyler Toffoli tied it at 2 with his 19th goal on the power play at
16:45 of the second.
Trouba struck again with just under a minute left in the second, body-checking
Nazem Kadri hard in the Rangers zone, then fighting Dube who rushed to his
teammate's defense. Dube received an extra two-minute penalty for instigating,
and Zibanejad scored the go-ahead goal on the ensuing power play.
NOTES: Zibanejad's 83rd power-play goal for the Rangers moved him ahead of Phil
Esposito and Jean Ratelle into a tie with Vic Hadfield for sixth place on the
franchise list. ... Calgary scratched defensemen Dennis Gilbert and Connor
Mackey, plus forward Brett Ritchie. ... The Rangers scratched forwards Julien
Gauthier and Vitali Kravtsov, plus defenseman Libor Hajek. ... The teams meet
again Feb. 18 in Calgary.
Flames: Visit the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
Rangers: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.
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