- While it certainly wasn't the best game the Rangers have played all year and it absolutely wasn't the prettiest; that might be the best win the Rangers have had so far. The Devils third goal sure felt like a dagger early in the third period, but the Rangers never stopped fighting, got back in the game with a power play goal of their own, tied the game and then won in overtime. Those are the wins you can build on because those are the moments the strength of the room overcomes the adversity on the ice. All great teams have that fight. The Rangers showed it last night.
- Rick Nash is a monster. What else can you say? He leads the NHL in goals (eight in seven games) and is third in points (nine in seven games). I thought he was active all night, especially physically, before finally cashing in to tie the game late in the third. His goalie interference penalty -- which probably is a penalty but where is he supposed to go? -- was a perfect example of this being healthy Rick Nash. I don't think Nash drives the lane and crashes the net last year. And while he didn't score on that play Tuesday night it's vintage Nash.
- Chris Kreider was a monster, too. I tweeted this last night:
I know young guys like Hayes and Duclair are getting a lot of the attention this year, but Kreider is 23 and is a star. What a talent.— Joe Fortunato (@BlueshirtBanter) October 22, 2014
I think it's easy to forget that Kreider is so young since he's been around for so long, but he's a special player. That play in overtime to speed out of the zone, breaking into the defensive zone, draw two defenseman to him and lay a perfect pass to Kevin Klein for the game winner? Not many players have the tools to do something like that. Kreider did it and made it look easy. He also scored the team's first power play goal of the year to open the scoring. He now has two goals and four assists for six points in seven games.
- How about that shot early in the second, too? The one where Kreider streaked into the zone and tried to pick the corner from the off angle and hit the crossbar? What a release.
- Derick Brassard sure looks good too, doesn't he? What a pass to Chris Mueller for the second Rangers goal. Cross ice, through traffic and right on the tape. Brassard has gotten better and better with each game and has contributed to the offense (three goals and four points in seven games) too. The Rangers need him to be good and he has been. He won 61% of his draws, too.
- Good for Mueller to finish that chance. I don't think he's going to stick with the team for the long haul, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him bounce up and down.
- At one point in the third period Kevin Hayes was benched and I couldn't figure it out. Only today looking back on the stats did I realize Hayes didn't win a single faceoff all night. Mueller replaced him on the top line for a little, and then Hayes went back late in the third and got an assist on the Nash goal. I actually liked Hayes' game a lot last night, even though he only played about 13 minutes. I think he's here to stay.
- The defense looked much, much better as a whole -- although the final three minutes of the third period were a disaster. I loved what I saw from Ryan McDonagh (especially offensively, recording two assists) and Dan Girardi. Outside of a soft play that allowed the Jaromir Jagr goal, Marc Staal was great. Klein didn't look awful on the second pairing, and I'm actually starting to like Matt Hunwick on the third pairing. Hunwick, I thought, had a really good game.
- Good goaltending helps, too, and Henrik Lundqvist was really, really, really good. He got scored on by Klein again, was screened for the Jon Merrill goal in the third and was the victim of an unlucky bounce for the first goal. Not much he can do there. And he was massive in the final moments of the third and overtime.
- Tanner Glass gets slammed every chance people get, so I feel responsible to point out when he does something right. The defensive play he made to keep Jagr from scoring his second of the game was fantastic, and was part of the reason the Rangers could even architect their late comeback.
- The Rangers power play looked really good again, but actually converted this time. 2-for-3 is a nice little conversion rate for a team who had a goose egg up there in the previous six games.
- The penalty kill? Dreadful for the first four and then better for the fifth. The Devils scored three power play goals and easily worked through the Rangers overload defense. That needs to be worked on because the Rangers can't seem to stop shooting themselves in the foot.
- Didn't notice Ryan Malone in any good ways Tuesday night. Took a bad penalty that gave the Devils a 2-1 lead. He's not coming out for Anthony Duclair since he's on the fourth line, but he better pick it up if he wants to stay around.
- Mats Zuccarello sure can't buy a goal right now. He had two golden opportunities thanks to Martin St. Louis passes that he couldn't finish. It will come for him eventually, but my fantasy team sure could use some points out of him right now.
That's a big win against a division rival. The Rangers have a long, much needed break and don't play again until Saturday. Nice to go into that break with a big win.