The year of the insane and unlikely goal continued last night, as Chris Kreider somehow managed to beat Niklas Backstrom with a fanned shot attempt. With the New York Rangers up by two goals with less than eight minutes to go in the third period, the Minnesota Wild coughed the puck up in the neutral zone.
Rick Nash pushed the puck ahead to Kreider, who managed to get a step on Minnesota’s defense. He mostly fans on the ensuing shot, but the slow-ball effect throws off Backstrom enough to sneak between the goalie’s legs.
It appears that Backstrom tried to poke the puck away, but flat-out missed and allowed the goal.
We’ve seen several strange tallies this season, but this one is among the oddest. Backstrom played a strong game aside of this goal, and made 33 saves on 36 shots. The Wild struggled to keep pace with the Rangers, who seemed desperate to snap a streak that saw them win just once in seven contests.
Kreider has been a revelation for the Blueshirts this season. After a disappointing 2013 campaign, the 22-year-old has erupted for 20 points in his last 30 contests. He started the season in the AHL, but has become a mainstay in New York’s top-six since being recalled early in October.