The New York Rangers picked up their second consecutive win on home ice this evening as they put together a solid performance, and defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-1. Mika Zibanejad got the scoring started midway through the first period, and Filip Chytil and Chris Kreider each added a goal in the final 40 minutes. Igor Shesterkin was spectacular as always, and made several highlight reel level saves early on in the game to keep the Rangers afloat.
Mika Zibanejad (21) - Jacob Trouba (18) & Chris Kreider (15) - 11:11
Igor Shesterkin had to make several key early saves to keep the Devils off of the scoreboard, but it would be the Rangers to strike first at the 11:11 mark of the first period. Jacob Trouba’s initial shot from just inside the blue line took a deflection off of Nico Daws’ chest, and landed right at the top of the crease. With Alexis Lafrenière taking the attention of Dougie Hamilton, Mika Zibanejad was able to swipe the loose puck, and shoot it into the empty net on his backhand.
Nico Hischier (16) - Andreas Johnsson (17) - 13:56
A little under three minutes later, the Devils were finally able to break through Igor Shesterkin after failing on their previous attempts. New Jersey was able catch the Rangers napping through the neutral zone, and Nico Hischier was able to take advantage with his 16th goal of the season. The Rangers simply didn’t play their gap control at all, and let Hischier slip right through the middle of the ice uncontested. Hischier was able to break in on a partial breakaway as a result, and sniped a quick shot under the crossbar to even up the game at 1-1.
Filip Chytil (6) - Ryan Lindgren (7) - 8:57
After the Rangers rolled over and let Hischier score earlier in the first period, the Devils returned the favor at the 8:57 mark of the second period. Ryan Lindgren was able to transition the puck up ice quickly after jumping the passing land, and causing a turnover. After surveying the ice, Lindgren found Filip Chytil trailing him with plenty of ice in front of him. After receiving the clean pass, Chytil immediately snapped a shot on goal that appeared to surprise Nico Daws, and flew it over his right shoulder. The goal was certainly a confidence booster for Chytil, who has been playing well since returning from injury.
Chris Kreider (36) - Mika Zibanejad (35) & Adam Fox (47) - 11:23
It wouldn’t be the 2021-22 season if Chris Kreider didn’t find a way to score a big goal in the third period to double up the Rangers’ lead. He did just that once again, but this time he would snap a shot off the rush and beat Nico Daws through the legs. Adam Fox started the initial rush with a crisp outlet pass to Mika Zibanejad, who finished off the play with a centering feed to Kreider. Before the puck even landed on his tape, Kreider was thinking shot the entire way and absolutely labeled the shot to give New York a commanding 3-1 lead.
The Devils certainly had their opportunities early in the game, but thanks to another strong outing by Igor Shesterkin, the Rangers were able to pull back the momentum in their favor. It was great to see Filip Chytil finally break his scoring drought after missing the last handful of games with an injury, and he has played very well since his return. Igor Shesterkin was well.....Igor Shesterkin yet again and brought the crowd to their feet on multiple occasions. The Rangers will get a well earned break tomorrow before before they head up north for a meeting with the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night.