The Rangers and Devils played their second straight game at the Prudential Center today. The Rangers continued to be on a roll at the Rock, defeating the Devils 6-3. The Devils wrap-up their homestand at 0-6-0, while New York advances to 2-0-0 on their current road trip.
At the beginning of the game, it appeared that the Devils would run away with this game. They had all of the momentum for about the first minute and a half of the period, generating several scoring chances, even though they only got two shots on net.
Just when you thought that the Devils were going to bounce back from their 6-1 loss the other night, Sami Vatanen took a four-minute double-minor penalty for high-sticking at 1:33 time elapsed in the period. This penalty would be extremely costly to New Jersey.
Only a few seconds into the man-advantage, the Rangers scored the first goal of many for the night. Adam Fox got the goal with the rare assist going to Rangers netminder Alexander Georgiev at 2:06 elapsed in the period. That made it 1-0 New York.
From there, it was all Rangers.
At around the 14 and a half minute mark in the period, the Devils began to seize momentum again, and it looked like they were about to make a game out of it.
Kevin Rooney and the Rangers were having none of that, though, as, at 17:06 elapsed in the period, he scored the third goal of the game for New York. The assists this time were credited to Julien Gauthier and Filip Chytil.
Through just one period, it was already 3-2 Rangers.
The second period started off with more of the same themes as the first period. The Rangers continued to dominate the ice.
The remainder of the period consisted of a lot of puck control by New York.
There were a few solid chances on the powerplay for New York, but nothing particularly special after the Adam Fox goal early on in their first powerplay attempt.
K’Andre Miller would go to the box for tripping Pavel Zacha at 11:33, but nothing special would come out of it for the Devils.
At the end of the second, the score was 4-2 New York.
The third period was more of the same thing as what Devils fans have seen all year. Keep it somewhat competitive in the first two periods and then collapse in the third.
Just 39 seconds into the period, Andreas Johnsson was sent to the penalty bench for two minutes for holding Kappo Kakko. Granted, the chance didn’t end up amounting to much for New York, but it wasted valuable time for the Devils.
The third period really consisted of the Rangers playing the style of their cross-town rivals in the New York Islanders. Dump the puck into the offensive zone and make New Jersey go the full 200 feet of the ice to have a chance to score, and if you happen to put one behind the other team’s netminder, so be it.
Put one behind the other netminder is exactly what the Rangers would do. This time it was Filip Chytil with the assist going to Julian Gauthier at 8:38.
The Rangers would really embrace the style of play of the Islanders for a while, icing the puck a number of times just trying to milk the clock down. Unfortunately for them, they’re not as good at the Islanders’ style as the Islanders are.
Nathan Bastian managed to beat Georgiev on a goal assisted, once again, by Jesper Bratt and Travis Zajac. The score was now 5-3, but it was really too little, too late.
Ryan Strome would then score his second goal of the night with an assist going to Adam Fox at 18:47 on the empty netter.
New York – 6
New Jersey – 3
The Rangers, with their win today, advance to 6-4-0 in their last 10 games, as well as 3-0-0 in the month of March. They currently sit in 6th place in the NHL Massmutual East Division with 23 points, 4 points behind Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, who are currently tied with 27 points.
New York’s next game is against the Penguins in Pittsburgh tomorrow at 7:30 pm ET on NBCSN.
With their loss today, the Devils fall to 2-8-0 in their last 10 games and 0-6-0 on their homestand, being swept in a 5+ game homestand for the first time since the 2000-01 season. That was a year that they went on to the Stanley Cup Finals. That is seeming increasingly more unlikely as time goes on, though. They are currently 7th in the division with 16 points, which is 11 points behind Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
New Jersey’s next game will be against the Boston Bruins in Boston tomorrow at 5 pm ET.
1st Star: Filip Chytil – 1G, 1A, 2 shots
2nd Star: Adam Fox – 1G, 1A, 2 shots
3rd Star: Ryan Strome – 2G, 3 shots