The New York Rangers picked up their second straight win of the weekend as they swept the two-game set against the New Jersey Devils. It also marks the second consecutive game where the Rangers put up six goals on the Devils and they picked up four huge points in the standings. Alexandar Georgiev got the nod in goal this afternoon as he takes over the crease from the injured Igor Shesterkin and he turned in a solid effort with 24 saves throughout the game.
Adam Fox (2) - Alexandar Georgiev (1) PPG - 2:06
With the Rangers having a poor start last game against New Jersey, they made a point of coming out with a better opening few minutes. They got exactly that after Sami Vatanen was sent off with a double minor for high sticking and gave the Rangers their first power play. Adam Fox made quick work on the man-advantage as he collected a dump in from Alexandar Georgiev, and flew up the ice. Fox was able to beat New Jersey through the middle uncontested, slipped around the defensemen and tapped the puck under Mackenzie Blackwood.
Ryan Strome (7) - Chris Kreider (3) & Kaapo Kakko (2) - 7:15
A little over five minutes later, the Rangers doubled up their lead on Ryan Strome’s seventh of the season. New York did an excellent job on the forecheck to force a turnover, and they quickly transitioned the puck back to the high slot. Chris Kreider and Kaapo Kakko combined on the passing play, and Ryan Strome finished it off with a lethal backhand under the crossbar to make it a 2-0 game.
P.K. Subban (2) - Pavel Zacha (9) & Jesper Bratt (6) - 14:54
Later on in the first period, the Devils turned up the pressure ever so slightly and they were rewarded with a pair of goals. P.K. Subban was able to beat Alexandar Georgiev from just inside the blue line, and the puck sailed into the top right corner of the net. It looked as if there was a partial screen in front by Nikita Gusev, and his slight swipe of the stick threw off Georgiev’s line of sight.
Mikhail Maltsev (3) - Nathan Bastian (4) & Yegor Sharangovich (3) - 15:11
Under 20 seconds later, the Devils jumped right back into the game off a transition play through the neutral zone. Adam Fox was caught up ice from the previous rush, and no one covered his spot as New Jersey flew back up the ice in transition. Nathan Bastian found Mikhail Maltsev cutting through the middle of the ice, hit him with a perfect pass, and Maltsev beat Georgiev on the forehand.
Kevin Rooney (4) - Filip Chytil (3) & Julien Gauthier (2) - 17:06
As if this period wasn’t crazy enough, the Rangers closed out the opening 20 minutes with their third goal of the period. Filip Chytil created the entire sequence by forcing a defensive play at the blue line, and generated a 2-on-1 rush into the offensive zone. Kevin Rooney was able to open up on the left side of the net, and rifled home the pass from Chytil through the middle of the ice. Mackenzie Blackwood almost got a piece of the puck as he sprawled over to the far side, but Rooney placed the shot perfect inside the left post to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead.
Libor Hajek (1) - Pavel Buchnevich (11) & K’Andre Miller (5) - 1:05
Despite giving up a pair of goals in the second period, the Rangers struck early in the middle frame to regain their two-goal lead. Just a minute in, the Rangers were able to get the puck into the offensive zone, and K’Andre Miller made a great play to retrieve the puck behind the net. Miller moved the puck back up top where the puck made its way to Libor Hajek, who tossed a low shot on goal. With plenty of traffic in front of the net, Mackenzie Blackwood never even saw the shot as it sailed by him and New York took a 4-2 lead.
Filip Chytil (3) - Julien Gauthier (3) - 8:38
About two minutes prior to the halfway mark of the third period, Filip Chytil extended the Rangers’ lead to three goals with his third of the season. Julien Gauthier deserves all the credit on the goal as he carried the puck below the goal line, beat his man and then shoveled a pass out front while falling. Chytil was able to collect the loose puck in front, made a move to his backhand and slipped the puck past Mackenzie Blackwood.
Nathan Bastian (2) - Travis Zajac (2) & Jesper Bratt (7) - 17:48
New Jersey was able to get a goal back late in the third period as the Rangers collapsed in their own zone, and allowed a play through the middle of the ice. Travis Zajac made a great centering feed to setup Nathan Bastian in the high slot and he snapped a shot off the goaltender. Alexandar Georgiev actually got a pretty good portion of the puck but it slipped under his right arm and rolled into the back of the net.
Ryan Strome (8) - Adam Fox (12) - 18:47
Nearly a minute later, the Rangers were able to shut down the Devils with the goaltender pulled at the far end of the ice. Adam Fox broke up a potential rush and immediately fed the puck up to Ryan Strome at the opposing blue line. Strome iced the game with his second goal of the game and put the Rangers up 6-3.
The Rangers had a much better start to this game, and were in command for a majority of the game. Even though they have a slight blip on the radar in the first period, they quickly responded and never really looked back. New York is finally getting scoring contributions up and down the lineup, and their young players continue to progress game by game. As the Rangers slowly welcome back the likes of Artemiy Panarin and Jacob Trouba, they will continue to build off of these efforts.
Following a two-win weekend over the Devils, the Rangers will have a short turnaround as they head to Pittsburgh for a meeting with the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow night.