The New York Rangers picked up their third straight victory this evening, following a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils in the shootout. The Rangers clawed back twice in the third period to force overtime, and found the tying goal with a little over a minute remaining. Henrik Lundqvist continued his dominance in net for the third straight game, and put on an absolute clinic in the shootout the shutdown the Devils.
During the opening minutes of this game, the Rangers came out flying despite playing last night against the Nashville Predators. Unforunately, Corey Schneider was on his game, and prevented the Rangers from converting on their early opportunities. Those missed chances wound up coming back to haunt the Rangers, as the Devils finally broke the scoreless tie early in the second period.
Just prior to the goal, Marc Staal was sent off the ice for a delay of game penalty after chipping the puck out of play. A little over a minute into the power play, the Devils finally found their bounce and P.A. Parenteau put the Devils up 1-0. The goal did come off of a fortunate bounce, as Lundqvist wound up knocking in the puck after it deflected off of the post.
Nonetheless, the Rangers found themselves down a goal after 40 minutes of play. Thankfully, the Rangers came out flying during the third period, and found the tying goal at the 8:10 mark. Oscar Lindberg started the play with a strong forecheck in the offensive zone, which eventually led to the puck finding Zuccarello behind the net. Zuccarello made a quick centering pass out to Chris Kreider, and he fired it into the empty net with Corey Schneider still looking in the opposite direction.
The excitement would only be short-lived, though, as the Devils quickly responded with a goal coming from Miles Wood. Dan Girardi fumbled the puck behind the net before Adam Henrique ripped it away from him and fed Wood in front of the net for the easy tap-in. Even though they were down yet again, there didn’t appear to be any panic in the Rangers game, and they kept clawing away.
Finally, with a little over a minute remaining and the Lundqvist on the bench, the Rangers found their opportunity to strike. Following a faceoff win, the Rangers quickly worked the puck to McDonagh on the outside, who then immediately flipped the puck into the high slot. Derek Stepan was in perfect position to get a deflection on the puck, and sent it just under the crossbar to knot the game up at two.
Despite the high pace in overtime, and the numerous chances at each end, the game would head to the shootout after remaining deadlocked at 2-2. Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes were the two goal scorers for the Rangers, while Michael Cammalleri scored in the third round to pull the Devils.
That put the game on the shoulders of Henrik Lundqvist, who made quick work of Damon Severson with the poke check, and gave the Rangers their third straight victory. This was one of those “feel good” type of wins for the Rangers after tying up the game twice in the third period, and ultimately prevailing in the shootout.
Following tonight’s victory, the Rangers will have a scheduled off day on Monday before they head into Pittsburgh for a meeting with the Penguins on Tuesday evening.