Rangers fourth line impresses again in 'big turning point'

NHL

The Rangers decided to fight fire with fire.

And this is where rookie forward Matt Rempe is at his best.

The Panthers, one of the league's toughest teams, overwhelmed the Rangers early in Saturday night's game en route to a 2-0 lead early in the second period.

The Panthers average 27.4 hits per game, according to StatMuse, the most in the NHL.

Matt Rempe and the Rangers' fourth line helped them have the advantage in hitting against the Panthers. Jason Szenes for the New York Post

After defenseman Adam Fox's goal cut the Rangers' deficit to 2-1 in the second half, coach Peter Laviolette opted to rely on his fourth line, which Remby skates alongside forward Jimmy Vesey and center Barclay Goodreau, to keep the team's momentum going and add more momentum. Of snarling at the game.

They answered the bell, delivering some big hits that had the Madison Square Garden crowd excited.

The second line of Artemi Panarin, Vincent Trocheck and Alexis Lafreniere replaced the fourth line soon after, with Panarin equalizing before Rangers eventually secured a thrilling 4-3 penalty shootout win.

“I thought it was a big turning point in the game,” Laviolette said of the fourth-line effort. “We didn't produce a ton in the first period. We got on the power play in the second [period]We score a goal. The control line was out, Vesey and Rempe, they put the ball behind them and finished some shots, had some shots on the net, and the next thing you know we're back with the Trocheck line and a great goal and a great play, and that settles things. There was a lot of energy on the bench, a lot of energy in the building. From here we got better and better.”

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Jimmy Vesey races for the puck along the boards during the Rangers' shootout win over the Panthers on Saturday.
Jimmy Vesey races for the puck along the boards during the Rangers' shootout win over the Panthers on Saturday. AP

This fourth line helped the Rangers gain a 28-24 advantage in hitting, bullying the Bullies.

Rempe led the way with five hits, while Gaudreau had four hits.

Rempe's 7:31 on-ice time marked his third-high of the season.


Finally, the Rangers got some much-needed rest.

After playing nine games in 15 days, capped off with a win Saturday night, the Rangers won't play again until Tuesday.

That allowed Laviolette to have the players have the day off on Sunday and be scheduled to practice on Monday — something that has been rare in recent weeks.

The Rangers went 7-2-0 in that grueling stretch, but the break is certainly welcome.

“We have two tough games coming up,” Laviolette said. “The good thing is we had a day off and then a training day. We haven't seen that in a long time. [Saturday’s] The match was on [end of a] A long period of games in a short period of days, and the guys responded throughout. Really deserves a day off [Sunday]”.




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