The Rangers came out firing on all cylinders and never looked back in an easy win against the New Jersey Devils 5-2 this afternoon. The Blueshirts saw scoring from everyone, with Ryan Strome, Chris Kreider, Jimmy Vesey, Pavel Buchnevich and Mika Zibanejad all recording two points and Alexander Georgiev stopped 19 of 21 shots. In a day with rumors and loud noise from the Rangers’ upcoming decisions on the future of the organization, this victory is certainly a way to extinguish the blazing fire and give the Blueshirts some momentum.
Although both teams drew up lackluster lineups before Monday’s trade deadline, the Rangers had a fantastic first period in which they outshot their opponents 15-4. Jimmy Vesey netted his 14th goal of the season just 4:48 into the game as he knocked home a rebound off a net-front scramble. Around four minutes later, the Rangers doubled their lead with a sensational goal on the power play. Ryan Strome picked up the final pass from a beautiful sequence and ripped a shot past Corey Schneider. Pavel Buchnvevich tallied his second assist of the day with Strome’s goal. In the 11th minute of the game, a clearly frustrated Kurtis Gabriel, a fourth liner for New Jersey, took his hot to drop the gloves with Brendan Smith but was sent down seconds into the tilt. Three minutes after the fight, the Rangers continued their downpour and added yet another goal. Chris Kreider buried a goal from his office in front of the net to snap a multi-game goal scoring drought. Kreider whiffed two shots but finally knocked in the puck off of a defenseman, and into the back of the net.
Neither the Devils nor the Blueshirts could get anything going in the middle period as Corey Schneider and Alexander Georgiev had an easy period in which they watched the puck flop around the neutral zone. The best chance of the period came from Devils’ Blake Coleman as he knocked a rocket off the post while Jersey was shorthanded.
The third period was a scoring frenzy but the Rangers would ultimately hold on. New Jersey finally got in the board early in the third period. Kenny Agostino netted his third goal of the season off of a fortunate bounce behind the net and Agostino punched it into the net as Georgiev was way out of position. At 11:08, the Rangers gained a goal right back. Brady Skjei wired a one-timer from 60 feet out just over Corey Schneiders glove. Chris Kreider and Eric Gryba got into a wrestling match of sorts after the goal, but the two were separated and handed two-minute minors. With 7:01 remaining in the game, Devils captain Andy Greene skated into the slot and wristed a shot past Georgiev to make it a 4-2 game.
The Rangers iced the game in the waning moments as Ryan Strome collected his second goal of the game in the 400th game of his career.
The Rangers will be back in action tomorrow as they visit the Washington Capitals in a Metropolitan division bout.
Credit Brian Paget/ESNY