Jean-Gabriel Pageau's Islanders debut was quite a memorable one, but it was overshadowed by another stellar Artemi Panarin effort as the Rangers topped the Islanders 4-3 in overtime on Long Island.
In his first game since being acquired in a deadline deal and then signed to a six-year extension with his new team, Pageau scored his 25th goal of the season and also was involved in a fight, picking up a game misconduct and leaving the loss early.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau records his first goal as an Islander 🚨pic.twitter.com/959JB4MHRa- SNY (@SNYtv) February 26, 2020
With the win, the Rangers set a franchise record with eight straight road victories, no easy task at the Coliseum.
"It felt like a playoff game in a lot of ways, just an incredibly fast-faced game," said Rangers head coach David Quinn. "Incredibly intense.
"This is a great building. They really thrive on their crowd here … Just a great feeling for our guys and I'm just so proud of them with another big, big road win."
The Rangers got the scoring started in the first period, as who else but Panarin lit the lamp and beat Semyon Varlamov for his 32nd goal of the season, setting a new career-high.
In the second period, Greg McKegg notched his fourth goal of the season, giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead. Then, with less than three minutes to go in the period, Pageau made the most off of a strange hop off the glass, as the puck bounced right back in front of the net, giving Pageau an easy chip in for his first goal with his new team.
In the third period, Pageau went to the defense of one of his new teammates. Jacob Trouba delivered a huge hit on Michael Dal Colle, and Pageau jumped in immediately to start fighting Trouba. While Trouba's hit appeared to be clean, Pageau took exception and was given a 10-minute game misconduct penalty.
Later, with less than six minutes to play, Jordan Eberle beat Alexandar Georgiev on the backhand to bring the Islanders back within one goal.
In the game's final two minutes, the Islanders pulled Varlamov, and with 17.9 seconds on the clock, Brock Nelson took advantage of the extra attacker, finding the back of the net to tie the game 3-3.
On the first shift of overtime, Panarin stole the puck in the Rangers' defensive end and after taking the puck all the way down into the offensive zone and getting covered by two Islanders, Panarin somehow freed the puck and passed into the open slot, as Mika Zibanejad slapped home the game-winner just 28 seconds into the extra session.
"The puck popped out and I just felt like shooting, and it went in," said Zibanejad after the game. "It was a nice win today.
"It was really a playoff-type of game. We knew they were gonna come out hard in the first, and I thought we managed it. … We'll take the two (points) and just keep going."
The Rangers now have 72 points on the season and are just four points pack of the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
"THE BLUESHIRTS, YA!!!!" pic.twitter.com/9iVyztoESB- Rangers Videos (@SNYRangers) February 26, 2020