SAN JOSE, Calif. — After days of bemoaning the fact that his team wasn’t playing well and wasn’t giving itself a chance to win, Rangers coach David Quinn finally got to see a performance from his team Tuesday that made him feel good.
“The Calgary loss [4-1 on Oct. 21] was very demoralizing to us, in a lot of ways, because we felt like we did so many things right and we really had a great opportunity to win that game,’’ Quinn said after the Rangers practiced at the SAP Arena Wednesday before flying to Anaheim. “And I really believe that affected us over the last three games. And I was real proud of the way we moved past that, proud of our effort, proud of our purpose — we gave ourselves a chance to win [Tuesday] night and we did.’’
They beat the San Jose Sharks, 4-3, in a shootout. Left wing Chris Kreider scored two third-period goals and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist somehow got over giving up the game-tying goal to Tomas Hertl with 1.6 seconds left to make a last-second save on Logan Couture in the overtime, then stopped all three Sharks players in the shootout. Kevin Shattenkirk finished it when scored his second shootout winner of the season to give the Rangers their first win on the four-game road trip (1-2-0) and their first road win of the season (1-4-1).
The win improved the Rangers’ record to 4-7-1 as they are set to conclude the road trip Thursday in Anaheim against the Ducks.
Having lost Sunday to the Los Angeles Kings on a goal in the final minute of regulation, the Rangers had to believe they had nailed this one down in the game's final seconds. But Hertl’s goal shocked them, and they had to go back to work.
“When they drop the puck in overtime, you just have to tell yourself, ‘Regroup here,’ ’’ Lundqvist said after the game. “You can’t be upset, or annoyed over what happened. It’s still a point for grabs, and a win to get.’’
Each team had a power play in the five-minute, sudden-death overtime, but Lundqvist made a glove save on Couture’s shot with 1.3 seconds left and the game went to the shootout, where Shattenkirk was the only one of six shooters to score.
Notes & quotes: D Adam McQuaid (lower-body injury) remained out, and Quinn said he’ll be re-evaluated when the team returns home to see if the injury is more serious than previously thought . . . F Vlad Namestnikov, who left the game in the third period after blocking a shot, practiced. So did did Lundqvist, who had a second-period injury scare in Tuesday's game. He suffered a stinger after twisting his neck when he was bumped into by teammate Cody McLeod . . . C Kevin Hayes did not practice. The team said he got a “maintenance day.’’ F Pavel Buchnevich, who was scratched Tuesday night, slotted into Hayes’ line for the practice, but otherwise the lines were unchanged from Tuesday’s game.