The New York Rangers picked up their second win of the preseason this evening, as they defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-1 at Madison Square Garden. The notable standouts from tonight’s contest included Brandon Pirri (once again), John Gilmour, Nathan Gerbe, and of course, Jimmy Vesey. In addition, Rick Nash and Kevin Hayes also had strong outings in their opening game, and clicked well with Vesey on the wing.
Things started off fairly quickly for the Rangers in this one after Jimmy Vesey immediately broke in on a breakaway and drew a slashing penalty. Not only that, but Vesey showed veteran-like instincts by breaking to the gap, and opening up for a pass from Rick Nash.
Vesey didn’t get on the score sheet at all tonight, but he had an extremely strong game along the boards and showed off a nice combination of speed and skill. On the ensuing power play, the Rangers picked up where they left off last game and converted quickly on the power play.
John Gilmour was credited with the goal after he absolutely wired a slap shot off of a pass from Brandon Pirri, and gave the Rangers the 1-0 lead. A few minutes after Gilmour’s tally, Pirri picked up a goal of his own and slammed home a loose puck in the crease at the 9:35 mark of the first period.
On the goal, Pavel Buchnevich picked up his first point of the preseason and kept the play alive with a beautiful sprawling keep-in from his back. Later on in the second period, the Devils finally broke the shutout streak as Miles Wood slapped home an off-angle shot and fooled Antti Raanta from the left circle. Following the goal, Mackenzie Skapski suited up in relief of Raanta, who was only scheduled to play half of the game this evening.
Early on in the third period, the Rangers were rewarded with another power play, and once again, they continued their hot streak. The goal came from Brandon Pirri, which was his second of the evening, and it gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead. Pirri is quickly making a name for himself early in the preseason, and as expected, his lethal shot is paying off for the Rangers with the man-advantage.
Mackenzie Skapski was able to hold down the fort for the remaining 16 minutes, and helped secure the Rangers second straight victory. After two strong opening games from the kids fighting for roster spots, the Rangers will have another day of practice before meeting up with the Devils again on Saturday night.