The New York Rangers probably deserved two points tonight with the way they dominated play, but ultimately, they only came away with one. Not that that’s a bad thing either, since the ultimate goal is having the Rangers lock up the first wild card spot at the end of the regular season. Even though they did lose, there was plenty to like about how the Rangers played tonight.
First and foremost, how about the kids on the fourth line? Pavel Buchnevich, Oscar Lindberg and Jimmy Vesey had quite the showing on Saturday in Minnesota, and followed it up with another big game this evening. There’s nothing wrong with having a fourth line with mainly skill players, and that trio showed yet again tonight why they need to stick together for the playoffs.
Sure, the intensity and hitting will pick up in the playoffs, but when you have a fourth line that is more skilled than most third lines in the league, you roll with it any time you get the chance. Hopefully Alain Vigneault takes notice. The fourth line wound up getting the Rangers back into the game after John Quenneville scored his first NHL goal at the 15:16 mark of the second period.
Oscar Lindberg responded at 16:53 after he deposited a ridiculous centering feed from Pavel Buchnevich behind the net. The scoring barrage continued after Lindberg’s goal as Taylor Hall rifled a quick wrist shot just under the crossbar to give the Devils a 2-1 lead. Nearing the end of the second period, the Rangers were given a power play after Miles Wood aimlessly jumped Nick Holden following a clean hit by the benches.
For whatever reason, Wood took exception to the hit and hunted down Holden while he was being pinned down by another Devils’ player. Wood was given 17 minutes of penalties on the play, which resulted in the Rangers getting a power play heading in the third period. Thankfully, they were able to make Wood pay for his foolishness and Rick Nash evened the game at 3-3 at the top of the crease.
That goal would be the only one of the period, which resulted in the game needing to be decided in overtime. During the overtime period, the Rangers had a majority of the chances, including a ridiculous one handed chance by Kevin Hayes on a partial breakaway. Corey Schneider was able to get just enough of the puck to keep it out, which set the stage for the winning goal.
Following an extended shift in the offensive zone, the Rangers skaters were completely gassed and the Devils were able to turn the puck the other way. John Quenneville found Joseph Blandisi cutting the net on the ensuing 2-on-1, and Blandisi buried the puck Antti Raanta. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, the Rangers deserved a better fate in this game but just couldn’t get the job done. Luckily for the Rangers, they will be right back in action tomorrow night, with a chance at redemption.
With the Rangers gaining a point tonight, their lucky number is now down to just seven points.