Before the global pandemic overtook the world and stopped hockey in a Thanos snap, the New York Rangers were having their best season in the last three years.
There were some great moments to look back on during this season, there was also some bad hockey, but like all rides, in the end, the good normally outweigh the bad.
Let’s look back at the top five moments of the 2019-’20 season.
5-Artemi Panarin’s MSG Debut Oct. 3, 2019, vs. Winnipeg
The Rangers signed the biggest free agent available in July, and now all eyes were on the team’s home opener against the Winnipeg Jets. Panarin didn’t disappoint Rangerstown, scoring a power-play goal 27 seconds into the second period helping the Blueshirts get their first win of the season defeating the Jets. Panarin also added an assist giving him his first two-point game of the year.
4- Rangers storm back from 4 goal deficit, defeat Montreal 6-5
The Rangers found themselves in a 4-0 hole three minutes into the second period on the road in Montreal. The Blueshirts had a decision to make. They could tank the rest of the game or picked themselves up and battle back. The team did the latter, scoring the next six of the next seven goals, including a short-handed goal by Brendan Lemieux (his second of the game), giving the Rangers a 6-5 win over their original six rivals.
3- Artemi Panarin records five points in a 6-2 victory of the New York Islanders
Artemi Panarin tied a season-high scoring two goals and three assists. The Rangers gave up the first goal against, then scored six unanswered goals dominating the game in all areas. Jesper Fast scored a goal with two assists to give the Rangers the first of back-to-back wins over the Isles that week.
2- Anthony DeAngelo scores a hat trick, Igor Shesterkin makes 46 saves in a win over the Devils.
Defensemen Anthony DeAngelo took charge in 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils in the Jan. 9, 2020 game at the Garden. He scored his first goal of the contest in the first period, which gave the Blueshirts a 2-1 lead. He followed that with two goals in the second period to complete the hat trick. This was his first hat trick in his young NHL career. For the game, Tony D. recorded four points assisting Chris Kreider’s goal in the first period. Rookie goalie Igor Shesterkin was the winner in his second game with the Rangers.
1- Mika Zibanejad scores 5 goals, including the overtime winner against the Washington Capitals
No surprise here. The top moment of this season belongs to Mika Zibanejad with his five-goal outburst against the Washington Capitals on Mar. 6. The game was a shootout between the two teams, which had plenty of highlight-reel goals between them. Zibby scored a power-play goal in the first period, one goal in the second period, two more goals in the third, including another man-advantage tally. He saved the biggest goal if the night for overtime after Capitals Alex Ovechkin had tied the game with 43 seconds remaining in the game.
In Overtime, Artemi Panarin streaked down the right side of the ice, drawing two Capital players to him. Panarin managed to chip the puck to the top of the face-off circle where the puck found the stick of Zibanejad, who then blasted the game-winner passed the Washington goalie.
The season might have been cut short, but the excitement of Rangers hockey was something fans won’t soon forget.