The Rangers demonstrated their trust in Chris Kreider when they gave him big minutes in Game 7 of their first round series. That was impressive for a player that made his NHL debut early this month, but it was topped by his efforts in Saturday’s 3-1 victory over the Washington Capitals.
Kreider scored the game-winning goal and registered his first assist of the playoffs. If you missed his goal, you can watch it below:This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
Rangers coach John Tortorella told reporters after the game that the team showed Kreider their concepts, but are ultimately just letting him go out there and play.
“There are a number of things that we’ll end up working with him on but this isn’t the time of year to do that,” Tortorella said. “We just want his instincts and speed, and then just go out there and play. As I said the other night, forget about what he’s doing on the ice, the mental part of the game as far as him trying to make a difference every shift it’s really good stuff for a young kid.”
That policy seems to have worked so far and Rangers fans have responded positively to Kreider. The hometown crowd started chanting his name on Saturday.
“It was a surreal experience; I got goose bumps, obviously,” Kreider told reporters following the contest. “I was really tired after the goal, but didn’t feel so tired when they started chanting.”