The New York Rangers were defeated 5-2 this evening by the New Jersey Devils, who haven’t played a game since January 31. New York struggled once again on the offensive side of the puck, and just couldn’t find a way to beat MacKenzie Blackwood consistently. Igor Shesterkin gave the Rangers every single opportunity to pull ahead in this game with his strong play in the first period. Unfortunately, the run support wasn’t there yet again and the Rangers dropped their fourth straight game.
Pavel Zacha (3) - Damon Severson (4) & Janne Kuokkanen (3) PPG - 7:37
Following a quick start by the Devils in the first period, they were able to strike first early in the second period on the power play. The Rangers were unable to get control of the puck off of the ensuing faceoff and the Devils went to work on the man-advantage. New York simply gave Pavel Zacha too much space at the top of the faceoff circle, and he absolutely wired a wrist shot past Igor Shesterkin.
Colin Blackwell (2) - Brett Howden (2) - 11:32
Nearly four minutes later, the Rangers finally got the response that they sorely needed to lift their spirits. Colin Blackwell was able to break free entering the offensive zone, and Brett Howden was able to lay a quick pass off to him. Rather than looking for an additional pass, Blackwell put his head down and snapped a shot behind Blackwood to tie up the game at 1-1 for the Rangers.
Will Butcher (1) - Nick Merkley (2) & Janne Kuokkanen (4) - 17:14
The Rangers run of unfortunate luck continued as the Devils were able to retake a one-goal lead with under three minutes remaining in the second period. Will Butcher’s shot from the left corner of the ice bounced around in traffic and somehow found its way over the goal line. Igor Shesterkin never even saw the puck with the amount of bodies in front, and New Jersey took a 2-1 lead.
Pavel Buchnevich (4) - Chris Kreider (1) & Jacob Trouba (3) - 19:27
Despite giving up the late goal against, the Rangers stuck with their game and eventually tied up the game once again. Chris Kreider did all the heavy lifting in terms of puck possession and fired the puck back across the ice. Pavel Buchnevich was able to corral the pass, and immediately fired a quick wrist shot that beat Blackwood over the glove hand.
Yegor Sharangovich (2) - P.K. Subban (4) & Jesper Bratt (2) - 10:43
Third periods have often been miserable for the Rangers as of late, and that was the case once again tonight. Despite not participating in a game in 15 days, the Devils were flying at the start of the third period. That eventually lead to the go-ahead goal at the 10:43 mark courtesy of Yegor Sharangovich. Sharanagovich was able to deflect P.K. Subban’s point shot at the top of the crease and beat Shesterkin under the right arm.
Nick Merkley (1) - Janne Kuokkanen (5) - 14:04
The Rangers continued to chase the play throughout the third period, and less than four minutes later, the Devils doubled up their lead. Nick Merkley was able to open up in the high slot, and wired a one-timer under the crossbar off of a beautiful centering feed from Janne Kuokkanen. That goal was the final nail in the coffin for the Rangers as they trailed 4-2 with under five minutes to go in regulation.
Mikhail Maltsev (1) - Kyle Palmieri (4) ENG - 19:39
Same story, different game for the Rangers as their offense couldn’t get going and ultimately, they find a way to lose. It sucks too because they didn’t even play that bad once again, they just can’t find a way to create their own luck. To make matters worse, their luck on the other side of the puck continues to be terrible as well. Two deflections just barely squeak through Shesterkin, meanwhile the Rangers can’t buy a goal on a wide open shot in the middle of the ice. Sometimes that’s just the way it goes and the Rangers are now winless in their last four meetings.
Following another disappointing loss, the Rangers will have tomorrow off before returning to action on Thursday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.