The New York Rangers walked away with two points in hand tonight after their third period comeback to force overtime, and defeat the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Rick Nash was a monster once again, and scored his league-leading 8th goal on the season, which tied the game late in the third period for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist deserves a ton of credit as well, as he stood on his head in the third period, which opened the door for the Rangers comeback. If not for him, this game probably gets out of hand, and overtime isn't even in the equation.
Things started off fairly quickly for the Rangers, as they came away with an early power play goal from Chris Kreider. Believe it or not, that power play goal was the first goal the Rangers have scored with the man-advantage, and it couldn't have come at a better time. Ryan McDonagh created the eventual goal by ripping a hard, low shot in on Cory Schneider, which allowed a rebound to pop up to the far left circle. Chris Kreider was in the process of cycling back out front, and found the puck with a wide open net, and flipped it over a sprawling Schneider to tie the game.
Just a few minutes later, the Devils had an opportunity of their own on the power play, and Jaromir Jagr eventually tied up the game at 1-1. Damien Brunner's point shot found a seam through traffic, ricocheted off the end boards, and landed right on Jagr's stick at the side of the net. At that point, Henrik Lundqvist was reading as if the puck was going behind the net, and wasn't able to get back to the near post to deny Jagr.
Things took a turn for the worst later on the second and third period, as the Devils were able to put two more up on the board, and took a 3-1 lead into the third period. Adam Henrique picked up the second goal, and always seems to be a thorn in the side when he plays the Rangers. Then it was John Merrill later on in the third, who had a year and a day to pick his shot, and sniped it over the glove hand of Henrik Lundqvist. Both of those goals also came on the power play, as the Rangers penalty killing unit continued to struggle all night long.
Then, it was the Rangers turn. With a little over ten minutes remaining in regulation, Mike Cammalleri took a delay of game penalty, which gave the Rangers some life. On the ensuing power play, Chris Mueller received an amazing cross-ice feed from Derick Brassard, and buried it with a sweet one-timer from the left faceoff dot.
Five minutes after Mueller made it a one goal game, a wild Rick Nash appeared. Nash forced Marek Zidlicky into making a terrible pass through the middle of the ice, which gave Kevin Hayes a wide open look in the slot. Hayes' shot wound up taking a strange bounce in front, and Nash was waiting right on the doorstep to pick up the rebound. Schneider didn't have much of a chance on the play, and Nash tucked the puck around him to tie the game up at 3-3.
The Rangers didn't stop there, however, and eventually picked up the win in the extra period. Just 2:42 into overtime, Kevin Klein wound up winning the game for the Rangers off of a beautiful play, and feed from Chris Kreider. Kreider was able to back off both of the Devils defenders with his speed, and found Klein cutting right down the middle. Klein had plenty of time to pick his shot, and tucked it right under Schneider's blocker for the game winning goal.
Things looked pretty grim just a week ago, but fast forward, and the Rangers have now put together three straight wins. That puts them right back on track, as they are currently in a three-way tie for first place in the Metro division. The Rangers will have some time off following tonight's win, as their next game isn't until Saturday evening, when they visit the Montreal Canadiens.