It was nearly impossible to know that last night’s 4-3 win was a preseason matchup. Highlighted by speed, skill, and even a fight, the Rangers managed to out muscle the Devils capped off with a Vinni Lettieri deflection in the extra period.
New York brought the house in the first while also protecting Hank in their own end of the ice. Recording double digit shots and nearly the same in scoring opportunities, the Rangers were stoned by Devils netminder Eddie Lack.
The second period did bring upon a scoring frenzy though. Soon to be Wolfpack player, Steven Fogarty, netted one home off a net front scramble to give New York a one goal lead. Just past a minute later, veteran defenseman Marc Staal was forced into a sloppy turnover by MVP Taylor Hall who dished it to Kyle Palmieri for a blistering one-timer. Fortunately for the Blueshirts, momentum was gained back off a nice efforr play by Neal Pionk who skated in to the zone and recorded a tough shot with a rebound which led to a Tim Gettinger goal.
Overall, a really solid opening two periods by the Rangers. Besides from some sloppy turnovers, the Blueshirts were poised to continue their winning ways against New Jersey.
The boys in blue got off to a quick start in the third due to a beautiful powerplay goal. Mika Zibanejad threw it across the ice to Chris Kreider who roofed a tap in on the powerplay. The lead didn’t last unfortunately. Out of the blue, David Quinn’s players seemed to lose their ways in allowing two consecutive goals off the sticks of Hall and Hischier.
The late goals can’t all be blamed on the New York defense though; Marek Mazanec came in late and allowed the goals on two spectacular plays by superstars Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier.
For the second time this preseason, the Rangers and Devils would again fight against one another in the overtime period. To quote Ken Daneyko in the booth, “How can’t you love 3 on 3 overtime?!”
Almost four minutes into the extra period which featured odd man rushes which seemed as to come almost every ten seconds, the high paid Kevin Hayes showed off his patience before laying the puck beautifully onto Vinni Lettieri stick.
With the next cuts expected to happen after the final preseason tilt, the front office will have many tough decisions to make as a lot of the young guns have shown some serious potential. I expect for Tony Deangelo and Nea Pionk to squeak into the defensive pairings and longshots Ville Meskanen and Matt Beleskey to also be in the running.
The Blueshirts are now 2-2 this preseason with the next matchup against the Isles at the Garden on Wednesday.