Gerard Gallant recently acknowledged just how much more familiar he is with his Rangers players after the first quarter of his first season with the club, but the one skater the head coach has been sure about how to use since Day 1 is Barclay Goodrow.
When the Rangers need a boost or to change things up, like they did in the 4-3 shootout win over the Lightning on Friday night, Gallant has taken to plugging Goodrow throughout the forward lines wherever he sees fit.
That’s exactly what Gallant did in the first game of the home-and-home series with Tampa Bay on Friday — and it paid off.
After flipping Goodrow to the second line with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome and bumping Dryden Hunt early in the middle frame, the Rangers got a big-time goal from Goodrow and that new unit in the third period to take a 3-2 lead.
Strome won the faceoff and Goodrow cut to the net, as did the Rangers’ second-line center. Panarin then made a deceiving backhanded pass at the top of the zone to K’Andre Miller, who put it on net for Goodrow to tip in at 13:35.