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Recap: Rangers Fall to the Devils in OT

New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

For Rangers fans, that was a frustrating game to watch, let alone to start your weekend off with. While vastly getting outplayed in the first period, the team was able to escape into the second with a 1-0 lead because of, you guessed it, Igor Shesterkin. They were able to settle down a bit in the second and extend their lead, but some costly turnovers and bad plays led to the Devils tying the game and ultimately winning it in OT. Let’s dive in.

1st Period

Jimmy Vesey (7)- Alexis Lafrenière (13) & Jacob Trouba (11)- 1:34

The Vesey revenge tour continues. The play started with the Rangers gaining control of the puck and bringing it back into their own zone. Trouba saw Lafrenière up the boards and made a hard pass. Lafrenière made an excellent touch pass and deflected the puck to Vesey right in the middle of the ice avoiding the Devils’ coverage. He made a move to cut into the slot, took a few strides, and fired the puck right past Vanecek, all of this on his first shift of the game.

2nd Period

Julien Gauthier (6)- Adam Fox (33) & Barclay Goodrow (11)- 3:28

Gauthier is a bit of an enigma, with all the tools and skill in the world yet there will be stretches where he doesn’t have his A-game and is subsequently scratched or benched. However, today Gauthier showcased a new move we haven’t seen from him before. The play started with Goodrow banking a pass to Fox as the Rangers’ were entering the offensive zone. Fox dropped the puck back to Gauthier who had a step on Hamilton and he chipped the puck up to himself and batted it into the net. This play deserves a spot in the Louvre.

Jack Hughes (25)- Unassisted- 9:24

The Rangers’ second goal started with a beautiful pass from Goodrow, unfortunately so did the Devils’ first of the game. It’s a tough play to watch and understand, but Goodrow turned with the puck to make a pass to a defenseman but placed the puck right onto Hughes’ stick who easily split the defenseman and beat Igor for his first goal of the game.

Chris Kreider (19)- K’Andre Miller (17) & Mika Zibanejad (25)- 13:15

Just a few minutes after the Devils pulled within one, the Rangers maintained possession of the puck, cycling around the offensive zone and displaying how good of a team they can be when all the cylinders are clicking. The Kreider-Zibanejad-Kakko line excels at maintaining possession and with the addition of Miller or Fox on the point you have players skating and moving the puck so adeptly. Watching the full shift gives you confidence that the Rangers really do have a bright future. Miller jumped up into the play multiple times making an excellent move driving towards the net and setting up Kreider for the easy goal.

3rd Period

Jesper Bratt (15)- Nico Hischier (20) & Jack Hughes (23)- 8:28 PPG

Kakko took a slashing penalty against Jack Hughes and the Devils and barely 30 seconds later the Devils made the Rangers pay for it. Hischier set up Bratt who launched an absolute rocket at the net. This one has to be played back in super slow-mo to even be seen. Doubtful Igor even had a glimpse of it.

Jack Hughes (26)- Dawson Mercer (14) & Ryan Graves (8)- 10:32

Down by one goal, the Devils won an offensive zone faceoff. Ryan Graves (remember him?) took a shot that deflected off of Mercer and went right to Hughes who sent the puck right into the back of the net under a sprawling Igor. This was bad puck luck, but the faceoff win and controlled possession gave the Devils the opportunity they needed to tie the game.


Damon Severson (3)- Unassisted- 2:47

Lafrenière had the puck on a two-on-one and tried to force the pass. Severson intercepted it and Sharangovich who was hustling to catch up with the play knocked Lafrenière down, effectively creating a two-on-one going back up the ice for the Devils. As a Rangers fan, it’s hard to watch this play again and break down what went wrong, but on the other side as a fan it’s easy to sit on our perch and make criticisms of players for their in-game decisions. That being said, Lafrenière should not have forced the pass there, either way this result is not good for the young player’s confidence. Especially since we can safely assume Gallant may heap blame onto him for this result. However, for me, the elephant in the room is the play Sharangovich made taking Lafrenière out. It appears to be incidental contact, but he didn’t make any attempt at avoiding Lafrenière, and in a different situation would maybe be called as interference. Regardless a rough outing for the Rangers.

  • In the third period Igor took a puck right off the mask that seemed to rattle him. It was after this that the Devils’ comeback began. I wonder what type of play triggers the concussion spotters to pull someone from the game, the NHL has been criticized in the past for the lack of transparency in their concussion protocol and injuries overall.
  • In the analysis of hockey players, it’s important to not give too much weight to one individual play, but Goodrow’s bad pass that directly led to Hughes’ first goal is a frustrating event. Not just in the sense that it was an awful play, but Gallant’s reaction to it. Goodrow didn’t receive any reprimanding or benching, we all know if this were any younger player on the team they more than likely wouldn’t see the ice for the rest of the game. What made it especially memorable though, is Goodrow being bumped up in the lineup later in the game after Kakko made a bad play. The Devils scored almost immediately after this change was made. It’s the lack of consistency and support that Gallant shows the younger “still developing” players on the team that is particularly irksome and if he continues to coach this way, the team will never fully live up to its expectations and the younger players will never take that proverbial next step.