After cycling the puck within the corner with the sport tied at three-all within the third period, K’Andre Miller watched as Kaapo Kakko dished it out to Mika Zibanejad, who was covering for the defenseman at the highest of the zone.
As Zibanejad wound as much as unleash a shot, Miller went to screen Pyotr Kochetkov and ended up getting his stick on the puck to redirect it to the highest shelf on Carolina’s goalie.
Miller’s goal was certainly one of three that the Rangers scored in the ultimate 20 minutes of their eventual 5-3 win over the Hurricanes on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
The sport-winning goal capped a mixed bag of an evening for Miller, who — along along with his defensive partner Jacob Trouba — was also on the ice for all three of the Hurricanes’ goals.
Mika Zibanejad (right) congratulates K’Andre Miller on his go-ahead goal within the Rangers’ 5-3 win over the Hurricanes.Getty Images
“Obviously, you never need to go right into a period minus-three, but that’s hockey, that happens sometimes,” Miller said after the win, which improved the Rangers to 21-12-6 on the season. “I feel having a brief memory and attempting to put it prior to now and search for good plays and being reliable again.”
The 22-year-old Miller, who was a forward in his earlier playing days, admitted it was weird to be the player tipping the puck in as a substitute of his usual role of sending it into traffic. Nevertheless, the goal was Miller’s third of the season, all of which have are available the last 13 games.
“It was an enormous goal,” head coach Gerard Gallant said. “They were probably not too comfortable with being on for 3 goals, but I’m not blaming them for the three goals, it’s a five-man unit on the market. They were unlucky situations where the puck went in our net. It was an enormous goal for K’Andre. I believed he made a few great offensive plays and played an excellent solid game again.”
With three goals within the third period Tuesday night, the Rangers have now totaled 52 in the ultimate 20 minutes this season, which is the third-most within the NHL.
Igor Shesterkin earned the starting nod, marking his twenty ninth start of the Rangers’ 39 games this season. After stopping 20 of the 23 shots he faced to select up his 18th win of the season, the Russian netminder is now tied with the Golden Knights’ Logan Thomas and the Jets’ Connor Hellebuyck for the second-most within the NHL behind only the Bruins’ Linus Ullmark’s 21.