Final score: New York Rangers 3 New Jersey Devils 4
Scratches: Michael Del Zotto and Benoit Pouliot (healthy) Derek Dorsett (sprained wrist)
- This was Pouliot’s first scratch of the season
- Justin Falk tallied his first point of the season
- Dom Moore had the highest face off win percentage of the game with 62%
- Ryan Callahan led the team in hits with 5
- Ryan McDonagh led the team with 28:05 in TOI
- Marc Staal left the game early after an ugly hit to the head, more to follow as information becomes available
The Rangers came out hot and played a clean game. Brad Richards caught the Devil’s defense out of position and drove the net to stun Martin Brodeur for a high blocker snapper that put the Rangers on the board first. Credit Mats Zuccarello with the primary assist and Falk with his first point of the season. Getting on the board at 3:32 in the first period brought life to the team and motivated them to continue. It didn’t take long for the traditional chant to begin, “MAAAAAAARRRRRRRTTTTTYYYYYYYY!!!!!” could be heard roaring through the building. The fans even booed Brodeur for a miss fire on a clearing attempt that resulted in an icing call, which brought the puck back for a faceoff in the Rangers’ offensive zone. They played smart and stayed out of the “sin bin” for the entire first period. Their power play at 14:03 was the result of Marc Staal being hooked by Damian Brunner. The power play was uneventful, nothing new for the Rangers, but it didn’t yield a short-handed goal. Henrik Lundqvist made some beautiful saves, he also gave a LOT of rebounds. Both teams battled hard and at the buzzer Taylor Pyatt had a very near miss against Brodeur. The Devils out-shot the Rangers 9-8 in the period.
The period began with the Devils winning the opening face-off and getting some time in the Rangers’ end. Lundqvist stopped the first shot on goal, the rebound was shot wide and the puck was cleared from the zone. A quick trip up and down the ice brought the puck back in front of Lundqvist. The Rangers’ defense would not allow progression. Dan Girardi makes a great blocking move deflecting the puck out to the boards where Marc Stall makes the strong play and makes pass to Ryan Callahan. Callahan gets the shot on Brodeur who blocks it with his pads across the crease setting Zuccarello up for the goal again on Brodeur’s blocker side. It took you longer to read that then the 57 seconds it took for the Rangers to actually score the goal. Girardi had quite the highlight reel from the beginning of the period; he made huge plays both offensively and defensively. He helped prevent goals and even had some really good chances, the best was a quick snipe at 3:45 in the period after 2 attempts by Rick Nash were denied. Brian Boyle was also playing a very strong physical game which is something that is new this year for him but becoming quite regular; it’s serving him well. The shift in the winds came at 6:02 when New Jersey was credited with a goal off of the foot of the Devils’ Cam Janssen. The play was under review in Toronto but the call on the ice was upheld. in the event that you missed it, or would like to see it again, you can do so here. There is also an “explanation” of the rule below the viewing window. I have never seen Lundqvist so angry over a call; but he was also very motivated by it. The teams kept battling and the game carried on until Boyle was called for a boarding penalty with 41 seconds remaining in the period. I couldn’t find a video of the hit, probably because it wasn’t really a boarding hit, it wasn’t even good enough to make it on the Game Center abbreviated game reel. Boyle had the only “penalty” of the period. The Devils again out-shot the Rangers 11-8 in the period.
The Devils began to play their game and the Rangers allowed it. The physicality aspect of the period clearly favored the Devils, the rangers just aren’t a team that will play dirty. At times it can be frustrating but in the end we can all realize that the Rangers play the game with respect and for that we can all be proud. Opening the period on the penalty kill seemed to deflate the Rangers a bit, but they kept fighting. At 2:59 in the period, Richards had a beautiful take away which set Callahan up to draw a slashing penalty from Eric Gelinas at 3:03. Unfortunately the Rangers were unable to convert. Shortly after returning to even strength, the Devils were able to get the tying goal at 5:58. The Rangers’ defense got tied up behind the goal as Ryan McDonagh was battling hard against Jaromir Jagr and had what appeared to be a pick set for him behind the goal (it really looked like a basketball play). Jagr’s rebound was finished off on the backside of the play. J.T. Miller made his presence known at 8:19 with his hit on Peter Harrold, which drew a roar from the crowd. The Rangers went on the power play again at 9:24 when Brunner was called for hooking against Stepan. The Rangers again failed to convert with the man advantage. The go ahead goal came at 15:56 off of a mistake by John Moore, off a missed poke check, that was stoppable by Lundqvist, it was another bad rebound. Continuing to battle hard the Rangers got another chance on the power play at 18:49 when Anton Stralman drew the delay of game call from Travis Zajac. Chris Kreider made the Devils pay for this mistake by tying the game with 21.3 seconds remaining. The goal was Kreider’s third power play goal of the year and seventh total goal. This goal also sent the Rangers to Over Time for only the second time this year. The Rangers convicingly out shot the Devils 11-3 int the period.
Over Time:As the period began both teams were steady. Stralman had a poor defensive zone turnover that resulted in Callahan scrambling to cover space and a careless high sticking penalty for a double minor at 1:02; leaving the Rangers short-handed for the entire extra period. It took the Devils just 13 seconds to end the game with a goal that went off Lundqvist’s glove. The Goal was the only shot on goal for the extra period.
Three Stars for the Game:
3rd Mats Zuccarello 2 points/+2/1 shot/1 hit
2nd Travis Zajac 1 point/4 shots/1 hit/ 2 PIM
1st Eric Gelinas 1 point/4 shots/2 hits/2 PIM