Kreider's OT Game Winner a Thing of Beauty

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Dave Rogers

Editor-in-Chief at Cleared for Contact
Writer, photographer and a lifelong New York Rangers hockey fan.
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During the long grind of the regular NHL season, few moments stick with you as the team marches along towards a hopeful playoff run. Last night was one of the exceptions. After what would kindly be termed a “good road game” where the Rangers managed the ebb and flow of 55 minutes reasonably well, they found themselves five minutes away from a 1-0 victory. A mistake in the offensive zone allowed Buffalo to come down the length of the ice and tie the game as the Rangers scrambled to recover.  After reaching overtime, a Michael Grabner partial breakaway drew a slashing penalty and the Rangers went to work on an unmemorable 4-on-3 power play. That is until this happened:

Mika Zibanejad carried the puck up the ice with a handful of seconds left in the man-advantage. With two Sabres converging on him, he dropped the puck back to Chris Kreider as he crossed the blue line. One defender stayed with him while the other pressured Kreider. Defensemen Nick Holden headed towards the far circle, forcing the Sabres player on that side of the ice to stay deep which created space for J.T. Miller as he entered the zone. Kreider fed the puck across to Miller who skated towards the slot all alone. Everyone in the arena expected Miller to shoot there. Zibanejad was in front for the screen, while the Sabres’ goalie was at the top of his crease awaiting the shot. Kreider’s check had over committed to block the pass, though, and Miller spotted Kreider who gave his stick a quick double tap on the ice as he snuck in. The pass back to Kreider was perfect as was Kreider’s one-time release. The goalie had no chance and the game ended as Kreider’s momentum sent him sliding across the goal line on his knees, his hands raised in the air.

Now go back and watch the video again. You know you want to.

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