|BRADY SKJEI, Rangers|
|A HERO ONE MOMENT . . . A HERO THE NEXT|
You can almost hear Bill Chadwick. “Jim. How many times do you see it? A team almost gives up a goal in their end of the ice. And then they go down and score in the other end of the ice.”
What Chadwick and all hockey fans rarely get to marvel at, however, is when it’s the very same player who prevented the goal at one end who puts the puck home on the counterattack.
But Brady Skjei did all that and more — the goal was the second of the game for the New York defenseman.
In the third period, with the Rangers hanging precariously to 4-3 lead, Ottawa broke into their zone on a 3-on-1 break, with the attackers set up perfectly in a triangle, where all three were an equal threat to score.
Skjei was the lone Ranger back. There was no time to holler for Tonto. And the Senators’ rush looked as if it were propelled by the William Tell Overture.
Mike Stone elected to send a short cross-ice feed to Kyle Turris, as the two arrived in tandem at the twin circles. But Skjei played it perfectly, cutting off the pass after bending down to one knee to do his best to clog the gap.
The puck caromed to the corner and was picked up by Skjei’s defensive partner Brendan Smith. Now it was the three Ottawa players who were trapped behind the play as Smith rushed the puck all the way over the Senators blue line. The Rangers had four skaters in the zone with just two Senators back. Smith flipped the puck across to Skjei with the other Rangers heading for the net.
Skjei let Alex Burrows slide right by him and now had plenty of open ice to operate. He shifted toward the high slot, waited for Michael Grabner to provide a screen, and rifled a snap shot through the five-hole of goalie Craig Anderson.
It was end-to-end action and Skjei was at the center of all of it.
|4/29/2017 vs. Ottawa|